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Home > Virginia > Yorktown%2525252525252525252525252525252Bvicinity > Kiskiack, Naval Mine Depot, State Route 238, Yorktown, York County, VA



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Item Title


Location
State Route 238 vicinity, Yorktown%2525252525252525252525252525252Bvicinity, VA

Find maps of Yorktown%2525252525252525252525252525252B, VA


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS VA-183
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (N317; N317,N699,N811; N699, N811).
Significance: "Kiskiack" or the "Henry Lee House" exists as an eighteenth-century artifact characterized by extravagant brickwork popular in the mid 1720s. Kiskiack's most salient features are its T-shaped chimney stacks; implied by the detailing of these brick chimneys is a high level of craftsmanship, and so cost, needed to construct them. The expense incurred by building in brick made such dwellings unusual in colonial Virginia, leaving it as a place characterized by wood, that is to say, forests and wood-frame houses. Thus, the quality of materials (brick) and the manipulation of the brickwork, as well as the allusion to labor required for the project, quietly stated the owner's wealth and inferred his position in society. Traditionally referred to as the ancestral home of the Lee family of Virginia, Kiskiack has been identified with Henry Lee who immigrated to York County, Virginia, by 1640. Although the county records do not substantiate this association, the dwelling's preservation is an effect of the belief that the property descended from Henry Lee, the emigrant, to its last private owner, William Warren Harrison Lee. A fire destroyed the interior of the house in 1915; all that remains -- and that largely due to the efforts of the Henry Lee descendants -- is a shell of early Tidewater architecture. Even so, Kiskiack is a rare survivor from the colonial period.

Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

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