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Lee House

Lee House
The Lee House circa 1900

Also known as "Kiskiack" after the Indian tribe in the area is located about two mile off the river toward the center of the Naval Weapons Station, the only one of the plantation houses that is still standing. The house originally had a west wing, but that has since burned and the kitchen was originally on the east side. The house was constructed to withstand the frequent Indian raids, i.e., thick walls and narrow slits for windows. Later generations enlarged the windows to their present size. The principal crop of the Lee plantation was tobacco.
Probably due to a lack of early detailed records, there is a disagreement as to whether Richard Lee, an ancestor of Robert E. Lee, ever actually lived in the Lee House -- indeed, whether he was even related to Henry. The first says that 1,247 acres were granted jointly to Richard and Henry Lee by Sir William Berkley in 1644 for bringing five persons to the colony.

They built their home in 1650 and lived on 250 acres of their land. Both the Lee brothers were justices of the York Court in 1648. Richard became a member of the House of Burgesses in 1647 and Henry in 1651. Both received more land grants. Richard received a grant in Northumberkland where it is assumed he moved. The second report states that there is no recorded relationship between Dr. Henry Lee and Col. Richard Lee, the grand father of Robert E. Lee. This source even states that the seven Lee emigrants to the new world were only related in business and in colonial affairs.
 

1. 1649 Book II, 202. grant to Henry Lee 247 acres of County of York abutting northeasterdly upon branch of A. West's creek, south east on main woods and head rights, Henry Lee, John Lee, and three others.
2. 1650 Book II, 250. grant Henry Lee and William Clopton 250 acres on a branch of the Rappahannock River.
3. 1653 Book III, 20. Grant to Henry Lee 247 acres of County of York, beginning at the end of Capt. Francis Mason's land.
4. 1670 Book 7, 655. Grant to Henry Lee, son of Henry Lee deceased, 350 acres of County of York, beginning at the end of Francis Munson's portion and adjoining Mr. Lees's land 

The Lee House on the Naval Weapons Station burned in 1915, and was rebuilt on the old foundation with the old pink brick. The house was kept in the Lee family for nine generations until the government took it over in 1918. The family burial ground as well as the old slave cemetery is well preserved. Many of the family are buried in the family cemetery, but because of an odd burial system the exact number is not known. Grave stones do not mark the location of individuals graves. Instead, when bodies were buried, a small stone slab bearing the persons name was cemented to a central place.

 

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The Lee House, originally built around 1650, still stands today on Naval Weapons Station Yorktown.

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