Adam Thoroughgood House
Like most resort towns, Virginia
Beach is a challenge to navigate, which means the out of town visitor needs to
be armed with good instructions, a detailed map, hopefully from mapquest or a
good city map. Using the force doesn't quite work! Adam Thoroughgood House Museum
can be found in a delightful, upscale community around the Country Club near the
Lynnhaven River. It is quite a distance from downtown Virginia Beach, so persevere!
Take 13 to 225 which turns into Independence Boulevard Take the Five Forks
Road exit, and turn left. Take the long drive to Thoroughgood Drive, which is
not far from Hermitage Road. Now you must pay attention to road signs. Mercifully,
either Thoroughgood Drive or Thoroughgood Lane runs into Parish Road, where Adam
Thoroughgood House Museum awaits your visit,situated on 4 1/2 acres of lawn and
garden, with a lovely view of the Lynnhaven River.
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23455
Tues-Saturday: 10am-4:30pm * Sun 1-4:30pm.
* Mandatory 30-min. tours available on demand (last tour 4:30pm)
$4 adults * $4 seniors * $3 children 13-18 * $2 children 6-12 * free for children
5 and under
This 1680 medieval English-style cottage
is a fine example of a gentry home, which is a rectangular, two story, 4 room
solid brick structure built to withstand anything nature has to offer, and the
sands of time as well. Being 326 years old,Adam Thoroughgood House Museum is one
of the oldest restored home museums in a America, thanks to the efforts of the
Adam Thoroughgood Foundation and the City of Virginia Beach.
funds provided in 2003 by the City of Virginia Beach were well spent on not only
the exterior and historic herb and flower gardens & grounds of this historical
home, but of the interior as well. The interior of the rooms have the exposed
wood beams and whitewashed walls, which was a common characteristic of the home
from this era.
The displays inside this old home give insight to life in
the colonial times and 18th century life. This restore house museum "features
an exceptional collection of late 17th- and early 18th- century furniture and
decorative arts," furnished originally by the Chrysler Museum located in
Norfolk. While not the original furnishings of the Thoroughgood family, they represent
furnishings used by the English gentry class during the late 17th and early 18th
Adam Thoroughgood Foundation also sponsors fun events throughout
the year. In the summer of 2006, they had THOROUGHGOOD MIDSUMMER CELEBRATION!
Sort of like a Renaissance Fair, it offered fun activities to participate in and
to watch, based on a medieval theme. "Wednesday, June 21st... from 2:00
p.m. until 9:00 p.m. all for $3 per person (children under 6 years, free)"
Thoroughgood was born and raised in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England. As a young man
he indentured himself in order to come to the colony of Virginia in 1622,as he
couldn't afford the cost himself. After he worked off his indentured status, he
became a very successful tobacco farmer, became a community leader, a member of
the House of Burgesses at Jamestown, and was granted a piece of land in 1635,
a prime piece of real estate, both then and now! The smaller home located on the
museum grounds was built by Adam Thoroughgood in 1636. Another one of the man's
accomplishments is that he helped to form the city of Norfolk, which is named
after his home town in England. Unfortunately, Adam died at the young age of 36,
but he accomplished quite a lot in his short life. His family continued on course,
as they learned the lessons from his life concerning work ethic, being focused
and being involved with the community.
One of his grandsons built the main
cottage in 1680. Not much is reported about the years between 1680 and 1957; only
that the property was long gone from the family by 1957, when the City of Norfolk
and the Chrysler Museum took over the estate and restored it to be a museum, enjoyed
for years by school children and the community at large. Both citizens in Norfolk
and the ever growing newcomer Virginia Beach loved the place.
The city of
Virginia Beach was discovered and became popular as a vacation resort with people,
which encouraged its rapid spread. It soon grew around the area of Adam Thoroughgood
museum. While The city of Norfolk still owned the property and was responsible
for the physical upkeep of this very old building, Virginia Beach was in charge
of managing the property and the museum.
UH OH! This wasn't good! Things
came to a head in 2003, when the Norfolk city council didn't want to fund the
museum any more because they weren't managing it. The city of Virginia Beach didn't
want to fund it either because they didn't own it. YIKES! Unless the quarreling
parties could work something out, the Adam Thoroughgood Museum was about to close
and be allowed to deteriorate!
Private citizens pledged seed money and a
historical foundation formed quickly in Virginia Beach, offering to help run the
museum, if the city would designate funds. Soon the two cities began negotiations
and by May most of the details had been worked out. By October 1st, 2003 it was
made official when the city of Virginia Beach took over the ownership of this
historic property with a proper photo op ceremony! "Mayor Paul Fraim to Virginia
Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorf. Thoroughgood descendant Paul Treanor attended the
ceremony and was pictured with both mayors in the doorway of the house."
entities from the original Thoroughgood family who built the 1680 colonial cottage
home still reside here.
A female entity has been
spotted by the living carrying a candle in the inside of the house by the windows,
going about her business.
A male entity dressed in a brown suit has been
seen by the staff and visitors walking the halls of this home.
has been known to move on their own volition
During a scheduled
tour of the home, 4 glass candle domes lifted themselves off their assigned candles
and dropped to the floor, in front of an amazed volunteer docent and her rather
startled group of 30 visitors!
This ghostly pair still
enjoy their home, despite the company of the living. They must be pleased with
the fine restoration job done on their home, even if one of them has some issues
with the style of the 4 glass domed candle fixture!
The National Directory
by Dennis William Hauk
frommers.com * home.hamptonroads.com * carolshouse.com * .tarvinfamily.org