ker place

history of ker place

This magnificent Federal-period Georgian-style house was built in 1799 to 1803 for prosperous merchant farmer John Shepherd Ker; his wife, Agnes Corbin Ker; and their family. It is described by the Virginia Historical Landmarks Commission as "the finest and most elaborate Federal mansion on Virginia's Eastern Shore," and "one of the Shore's major architectural landmarks.”

The elegant home has been restored to its original appearance as noted in the 1806 John Ker inventory. Rich colors, detailed plaster work, and finely crafted woodwork are found throughout the house. Period antique furnishings create an authentic ambience of plantation life in the early 19th century on the Eastern Shore.

today

Ker Place, formerly named Kerr Place, is the headquarters of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society located in Onancock, Va.

The house operates as a museum open to visitors and has trained volunteer docents giving guided tours of the interpretive interior as well as various exhibits.

The second floor of the structure currently is used as museum exhibit space and the historical society's library, archives, and collections spaces. The smaller and newer section of the home is used as a welcome center for visitors with office space for staff. The entire house is used as gallery space for important Eastern Shore artwork as well as for programs and rotating exhibits.

Ker Place also is used as a venue for weddings and special events for the community.

directions to ker place

Heading North

  • Heading north on U.S. 13 (Lankford Hwy.), turn left at Rt. 179 (Market Street).

  • Stay on road for approximately 1 mile, and Ker Place will be on your right.

  • Turn into the driveway with the white picket fence.

Heading South

  • Heading south on U.S. 13 (Lankford Hwy.) turn right at Rt. 179 (Market Street).

  • Stay on road for approximately 1 mile, and Ker Place will be on your right.

  • Turn into the driveway with the white picket fence.

location

69 Market Street
Onancock, VA 23417
Map

Admission

By donation

Hours

March through
mid-December
Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tours are on the hour. The last tour begins at 2 p.m. or call to schedule a private tour.

Contact

(757) 787-8012

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