Berkeley’s history begins in 1619 when settlers observed the first official Thanksgiving in America. The 1726 Georgian mansion is the birthplace of Benjamin Harrison V, signer of the Declaration of Independence and governor of Virginia. The estate is also the birthplace of William Henry Harrison, ninth U.S. president and ancestral home of his grandson, Benjamin Harrison, the twenty-third president. During the Civil War, Berkeley, known as Harrison’s Landing, was occupied by General George McClellan’s Union Army. While at Berkeley, General Daniel Butterfield composed the familiar tune “Taps,” first played by his bugler, O.W. Norton. John Jamieson, a drummer boy with McClellan’s forces, returned to Berkeley in 1907 and purchased the house and 1400 acres. His son, Malcolm, and his wife, Grace, are responsible for the extensive restoration seen today. The plantation is presently owned by the Malcolm E Jamieson family.
A Virginia and National Historic landmark
Drummer Boy Returns