Soon after landing at Jamestown in May 1607, Captain Christopher Newport, while exploring the James River discovered Turkey Island (two miles south). He named it for the large number of wild turkeys there. In 1684, William Randolph purchased Turkey Island; it then became the seat of the Randolph family. His descendants included Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and Robert E. Lee. Robert Pickett acquired Turkey Island in 1836. During the Civil War, the large family dwelling was burned by Union troops. Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett and his family lived there in a small cottage after the war.
Geographic Location: Henrico County
Physical Description of Location: Varina, VA 23231. Located on New Market Road (Rt. 5), 0.2 miles west of the junction of New Market Road (Rt. 5) and Willis Church Road (Rt. 156). Marker is on the left when traveling west on New Market Road (Rt. 5).
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