Ideally situated on the Rappahannock River, Richmond County offers residents and tourists numerous opportunities for water and history related activities. All along the river and its tributaries are beautiful, unspoiled beaches and wildlife refuge areas for swimming, boating, hiking, and exploring.
Richmond County is also home to one of Virginia’s most revolutionary historic sites—Menokin, once home to signer of the Declaration of Independence, Francis Lightfoot Lee.
Menokin is a 500-acre site, rich in heritage and stories. What unfolds here are the lives of the Rappahannock Indians, English colonists and Founding Fathers, enslaved Africans, families surviving through war and economic hardship, and today’s activists inspired to tell the site’s stories to future generations.
The Menokin Foundation owns and operates the property and provides tours to the general public, special programs, and a place to simply relax, have a picnic and take a walk in a natural and historic setting.
Built in 1769, Menokin was a wedding gift to Francis Lightfoot Lee and his bride, Rebecca Tayloe. The house was abandoned in the early 1960s, however, the original plans for the house are preserved at the Virginia Historical Society. Much of the original millwork and other fabric remain and are used to tell the home’s amazing story to its visitors by the Menokin Foundation, which owns and operates the site.
The Foundation’s long-term goal is to create a cultural hub that inspires innovative thinking through the arts, humanities, and sciences. At the centerpiece of the visitor experience will be the rehabilitation of the Menokin house, which will blend 18th century construction with 21st century technology. The missing exterior walls, roof, and floors will be recreated in glass and steel to protect the remaining historic fabric, to restore volume and space, and to provide exhibit areas. The personality of the house will be conveyed through a variety of non-intrusive, cutting edge interpretation methods such as art, sound and light installations, and augmented reality.
For families and historians, artists and conservationists, thinkers, students of the humanities and sciences, beauty and nature lovers –the Menokin Foundation is creating a place for you from the home of one of our nation’s original “revolutionary” thinkers, Francis Lightfoot Lee. Visit Richmond County and get your Menokin experience today!