Ker Place a Federal-period, Georgian-style mansion in Onancock, Va., operates as a museum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday from mid-March through mid-December. The house was built in 1799 for prosperous merchant farmer John Shepherd Ker and his wife, Agnes Corbin Ker. Volunteer docents offer guided tours of the house, grounds, and exhibits. Admission is free; donations are appreciated.
The site, with its lovely lawn and garden, also is available for wedding and other special-event rentals.
The Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission describes it as “the finest and most elaborate Federal mansion on Virginia’s Eastern Shore” and “one of the Shore’s major architectural landmarks.” The home has been restored to its original appearance as noted in the 1806 John Ker inventory. Visitors will find rich colors, detailed plaster work, and finely crafted woodwork throughout the house. Period antique furnishings create an authentic ambience of plantation life in the early 19th century on the Eastern Shore.
Ker Place houses the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society, which uses the second floor of its museum for exhibit space, library, archives, and collections. The nonprofit also owns historic Hopkins & Bro. Store, home to Mallards at the Wharf restaurant at Onancock harbor, as well as Wise Cemetery.
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