Jennie Dotts | Real Estate Agent | Long & Foster Skip to main content



One Magnolia Road, Mathews, VA

"Magnolia," ca 1700, has been artfully restored and offers privacy on 50+ acres. A classic Virginia planter's home with 1,100 ft. of waterfront on the magical East River. Main house, rich in historic detail, has 6 fireplaces, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a river room with spectacular sunset views. Guest cottage, barn with 2 stalls, paddock, pasture, carriage house, and dock with power/water & 2 sailboat slips.


"Stumpy" Bryant, a William and Mary football star, was a previous owner of Mildred Belle and kept her docked at his historic home, Magnolia, c. 1700 on the East River in Mathews, VA in the 1970's.  It is for sale separately through the "Living Classroom Foundation" in Baltimore, MD, where it is used as a research vessel.


A Bit of History

Magnolia is thought to be one of Mathews, Virginia's earliest homes. The land traces its beginnings back to a patent to William Armistead in 1635. By 1651, the patent was in Philip Hunley's name.

Although the Mathews County property record lists 1700 as the date of Magnolia, the home has traditionally been known as a 17th century homestead attributed to Philip Hunley. Notably, during recent renovations by John England, a highly regarded contractor in historic restoration, a whole tree was seen that runs the entire length of the oldest part of the house serving as the sill. Numerous brick piers of varying ages are evident under the house. Loblolly pine floorboards which run the length of the main block on the first floor suggest it was one room.

While the history of the house is impossible to know definitively because some of Mathews County's historical records were lost, interesting newspaper articles with anecdotes and eulogies pertaining to the Hunley family and Magnolia have survived. Magnolia has evolved and changed through generations and centuries from its early and simple existence into a gracious, well loved Tidewater home with warm and gentle appeal.

Today, Magnolia encompasses approximately 51 acres (nine parcels). The home is privately situated with about 1,100 feet of shoreline on the East River, noted for centuries, as the most navigable river in the area for shipping and commerce.

 In the 1800s, this strikjngly beautiful river was also used as a passage for learning. Children were transported by boat across the East River to school at Magnolia. Several children of Reverend Thomas Muse Hunley, a Methodist minister who owned Magnolia, were teachers while they lived there. The 18th century schoolhouse which served the property then was eventually connected to Magnolia, and this charming wing now serves as a first-floor bedroom/study with studio above.

 A focal point of Magnolia is the river room and kitchen featuring floor to ceiling windows and a beautifully finished, reclaimed, heart pine floor. Over the past few years, Magnolia was extensively renovated and upgraded by John England. His collaboration with a regional architect to incorporate today's conveniences into the historic fabric of Magnolia resulted in an exceptionally comfortable and functional home.

Dependencies include a 2.5 bay cedar sided carriage house with loft, large barn with workroom, studio, open area, two equine stalls, and paddock. A reproduction dairy house encloses a 20kW generator, and a guest cottage with screened porch features one bedroom, full bath, front room, media room, and kitchen. A dock on the East River has two deep water boat slips, water, and electricity, and a spring fed pond is located near the brick pillar entrance. In 2013, Magnolia was open to the public for the Virginia Historic Garden Week Tour.

 Although the information contained herein is believed to be accurate, it is not so warranted, nor is it otherwise guaranteed.


Jennie Dotts

Long & Foster Grove Richmond, VA - Realty
5702 Grove Avenue
Richmond, VA 23226
Email Call
Facebook Instagram