Continuing down Francis St. adjoining Homeplace is the Chiswell-Bucktrout House reconstructed to represent a dwelling where Ben I had lived from 1771 to 1779 before his first wife died.  At that time Bucktrout’s world was changing with the violent conflict with England.  A trend to simple furniture had developed and ads in the VIRGINIA GAZETE announced that he made “elbow chairs”, garden furniture and did decorating with fabric and wallpaper.  Peter Pelhams abandoned shop nearby served s his shop.   

    Imports were soon cut off, as the Revolution began in Virginia in 1774.  After gunpowder was seized at the Powder Magazine her operated a gunpowder mill - praised by Jefferson.

    When the Royal Governor fled, he prepared a coach house for Washington who took command of forces with Patrick Henry as rebel governor in 1776.

    From 1777 to 79, Bucktrout was purveyor to Public Hospitals of State, but on the death of his wife he sold his house.  Following some trips back to England, he began buying lots along Francis St. with two on the vacant Capitol Square, including the Ayescough. At the site of his gunpowder mill up Francis St., he laid out an elegant house with formal gardens and started courting Mary Bruce whom he married in 1797.

    Under Jefferson in 1882-12 he was Commissioner of Taxes and later as town surveyor her produced his famous map of Williamsburg.

    Delia’s daughter Minnie (1879-1952) said this Bucktrout site next to Homeplace, was in her youth, only a brick lined hole where ducks swam in winter and treasure hunters came to dig.  (Early guidebooks show the thick woods and ravine as Blackbeard’s hideout).  Although this Bucktrout House is not open to the public, its outbuildings and gardens are.  Remnants of apple trees were there in 1960, as were straw beehives and a “ha-ha” wall (brick wall next to moat to keep sheep out).

Chiswell-Bucktrout House