For more than 100 years, members of the illustrious Randolph family called the Wilton House home. Built circa 1753 for William Randolph III, Wilton was the centerpiece of a 2,000 acre plantation.
After passing from one generation to the next between 1753 and 1859, Wilton was sold to Col. William C. Knight, to pay off a mounting family debt. Wilton went on to survive the Civil War and change owners another 4 times before going into foreclosure by The Bank of Commerce and Trust during the depth of the Great Depression. In 1932, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia voted to rescue this unique house from falling victim to the wrecking ball. Raising money without the assistance of outside funding, the Dames were able to purchase the house. However, the zoning of the original property forced them to dismantle and move the house to its present location. At the completion of the moving and rebuilding of the now 180 year old house, Wilton became the new headquarters for the Virginia Dames.
With a collection of more 1,400 objects Wilton is not merely Richmond’s only 18th century public plantation home, but also home to an array of artifacts. These 17th, 18th, and 19th century pieces include silvers, ceramics, textiles, paintings, documents, and furniture. You can browse the museum’s collection by visiting the National Portal to Historic Collections at the American Heritage website.
You can also find out more about pieces in Wilton’s collection by visiting our blog.
In November 2000, the National Trust for Historic Preservation presented their prestigious Trustee Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites to The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America “for acquiring, restoring, and interpreting a collection of historic properties that offer invaluable opportunities to experience the rich variety of America’s heritage.”
Click Here to View the Collections of the NSCDA Museums. (Through the American Heritage Collections portal)