|Back To Multimedia|
Lamington Plantation was part of Captain Thomas Purife’s original land patent from the Crown. Around 1830 the land was purchased from Simon Hollier’s estate (Poole) by Robert Hudgins I. Hudgins and his wife Harriet Anderson moved into a newly built home on the property in 1831 said to be built by Houlder Hudgins, Robert’s father, of materials imported from England. While living at Lamington, Robert Hudgins cultivated the land, growing first grain and then between 1850 and 1860, tobacco.
In March of 1861, on the eve of the Civil War, Robert died. Normally the son of the deceased farmer would take over farming duties and support his mother and any dependent siblings. Robert Hudgins II did not have the opportunity to take over the farm upon his father’s death because his family fled west to avoid Union occupation of the Peninsula. Robert stayed in Hampton at his military school and in the fall of 1861, while on picket duty near Lamington, he saw Union soldiers had looted and vandalized the house. The plantation’s slaves had left for Fort Monroe and the house was vacant. In the spring of 1863, eleven plantations were confiscated by the Union forces, including Lamington. At the end of the war Robert left his company, the Old Dominion Dragoons and returned home. His home was in great disrepair, and on the farm livestock had strayed and the fields were overgrown. Robert was penniless but for ten dollars given to him by former slave. He decided to restore the Lamington plantation, and began hunting birds on the farmland, selling the game to the steward at Fort Monroe. Former slaves helped him find seven stray cattle and harvest a small amount of grain and Robert was able to revive the plantation. Sometime between 1896 and 1916 John Kimberly purchased the property from the Hudgins family and he later sold it to Harry Holt, Hunter Booker, and Nelson Groome. The group sold the Lamington tract to the federal government shortly thereafter.
Lamington consisted of 250 acres with the main house and several buildings still standing at the time the property was purchased by the government. The house stood at near the intersection of Clarke and Harris Avenues until at least 1935. For a number of years, the house was used as a primary school for the children of the Post.
The hand carved mahogany mantels which were destroyed during the War Between the States were replaced with plain pine wood mantels. The house was built of brick made on the property, from clay taken from the river bank, molded and baked. The walls were two feet thick. The window casements were made of granite. A small cemetery not far from the house contains the graves of the Hollier family, the original owners of the place. (Source: The Library of VA. Record No. VHIR/09/0367 Lamington: survey report, 1937 June 22 / research made by Mary Bullifant. Information source: Mr. Worsham Hudgins, 322 Marshall St., Hampton, VA, grandson of Mr. Robert Hudgins.)
1907 from [John William Holder Hudgins]