|Late 18th- or early
19th-century house built on the site of Werowocomoco and owned
by Archer Bland (from an 1855 sketch).
from the surviving historic documents following Powhatan’s
departure in 1609. Powhatan Indians likely continued to live at
Werowocomoco after their leader moved to Orapaks on the Chickahominy
River, but for how long and in what numbers is not known. Gloucester
County was not settled by Europeans until the 1630s and the site
of Werowocomoco was not patented until 1652. In that year, William
Roberts patented the majority of the land between modern day Leigh
and Bland creeks. Very little is known of this early settler.
In 1708 the property
was sold and the new owner repatented the property in 1714. It is
unclear if the new owner lived on the site, or if tenant farmers,
indentured servants, or slaves worked the land during this period.
The historic record remains silent from 1714-1763, Gloucester County’s
records having been destroyed by fire in 1821 and 1865.
The parish vestry book
and early land tax records link the Taliaferro family to the property
from 1770–1814. During this time, Richard Taliaferro owned
415 acres where he resided with his wife and at least one son. They
may have lived there earlier and are first mentioned as living in
the parish in 1763.
From 1815 to 1860 the
site of Werowocomoco was owned by the Caffee family and from 1860
until the mid-20th century the Bland family owned and lived on the
property. By 1964 the site was owned by Rachel K. Schiebel who sold
it to Coleman and Barbara Donaldson. They owned the property from
1969 to 1996, purchasing neighboring parcels and consolidating over
350 acres by the time they sold the property to Robert and Lynn
Ripley, the current landowners, in 1996.