Buyers get a 2nd chance at extensive estate

The 7,773-square-foot home.

The 7,773-square-foot main house. (Photos by Al Wekelo courtesy of Premiere Estates)

After a deal with a buyer fell through this month, a massive James River plantation is once again fair game.

The sellers of the Brandon Plantation, an 18th century brick mansion and working farm in Prince George loaded with historical ties, are accepting offers on the 4,500-acre property following an auction and subsequent purchase contract that didn’t make it to the finish line.

This time around, Premiere Estates Auction Company, the Los Angeles- and New York-based luxury auction firm handling the sale, will not use an auction process.

Todd Wohl, managing partner of Premier Estates, said the plantation is valued at about $20 million.

Brandon Plantation has seven bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms.

Brandon Plantation has seven bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms.

“It is so difficult to set a price on a property that is essentially a Monet painting,” Wohl said. “If someone came to you and said, ‘You own the Mona Lisa,’ how could you set a price? It’s impossible.”

The county most recently assessed the property, which sits about 40 miles southeast of Richmond, at about $10.3 million.

Wohl said Premier Estates plans to pick a buyer by the end of January.

He imagines the future buyer would want the property for its working farm and timber production but would also enjoy the plantation’s storied past.

“The people with primary interest will see the fantastic value of the land, but, additionally, will have an understanding, a soft spot and an appreciation of the home because the home is historic,” he said.

Wohl wouldn’t say whether they’ve received any offers but noted that they’ve had interest from as far away as California.

The plantation’s story reads like a history book. It has connections to William Shakespeare’s lineage and the politically connected Harrison family (which counts two U.S. presidents as relations), and it bears scars from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

Thomas Jefferson reportedly designed parts of the plantation’s 7,773-square-foot main house. It remained in the Harrison family until 1926, when it was purchased by Titanic survivor Robert W. Daniel Sr. His son, former U.S. representative Robert Daniel Jr., inherited the property and owned it until his death in 2012. His estate put the property up for auction in June.

“I’ve been doing this over half my life, and I’ve never been involved with a more historic property ever. And I highly doubt, unless I sell the White House, I ever will be,” Wohl said.

The property includes 11 other houses and 14 farm structures, Premiere Estates said.

Richard Buckingham, a local real estate agent with ReMax Commonwealth, is working with Premiere Estates on the sale.

Brandon Plantation dates to before the Revolutionary War. (Photos by Al Wekelo)

Brandon Plantation dates to before the Revolutionary War.

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