Fire damages Nomini Hall in Virginia’s Northern Neck
A historic plantation house in Westmoreland County that was being restored after a major fire in November has burned again.
Volunteer firefighters responded to a call around 3:30 a.m. about a structure fire in the Nomini Hall Road area of the county, said Assistant Chief Todd Padgett of the Cople District Volunteer Fire Department.
Nomini Hall, a historic house that was often used for weddings and receptions, was just a week away from being completely renovated following a fire eight months ago that caused a substantial amount of damage, said Fredericksburg property owner and developer Tommy Mitchell, who owns the house and 70 acres around it.
The property was settled in 1729 by Robert “King” Carter. His descendants include presidents William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison.
The plantation home’s best-known resident was Robert Carter III, grandson of land baron Robert “King” Carter of Corotoman.
Carter III initiated the emancipation of more than 500 of his enslaved people, the largest manumission of slaves by a single person before the American Civil War. He is the subject of Andrew Levy’s book “The First Emancipator: The Forgotten Story of Robert Carter, the Founding Father Who Freed His Slaves.”
Padgett said the main part of the house was destroyed by the time units arrived, and the back part of the house suffered smoke and water damage.
All of the volunteer fire units in Westmoreland County responded to the fire as well as units from Northumberland and Richmond counties.
The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation by the Virginia State Police’s arson division.
–Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419; firstname.lastname@example.org
(updated, after a crosspost from the News Desk)