Indian Point: A little bit old, a little bit new

Published 8:38 pm Thursday, March 31, 2011

Indian Point Farm got its name through being a trading post with the Nansemond Indians. Its owners are in the middle of a renovation that will double the home’s square footage. It is one of four locations that will be open to the public during the Nansemond River Garden Club’s Historic Garden Week.

Indian Point Farm on King’s Fork Road is the oldest site featured on this year’s Garden Week home tour and brings a historical flair to the event.

Built in 1779, Indian Point Farm got its name from being a trading post for the Nansemond Indians, said Betty Delk, the Garden Week tours chairman.

“In the back of the property is where Native Americans had a trading spot,” she said.

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The history captured at the farm was a big part of the reason it was chosen for the tour by the Nansemond River Garden Club, which is sponsoring Suffolk’s events celebrating Virginia’s 78th annual Garden Week, Delk said.

However, Indian Point Farm has several other historical connections in addition to being a former Indian trading post.

Additionally, Indian Point is located on a carriage trail that used to run from Petersburg to Suffolk. The home’s driveway actually was part of the trail, Delk said.

“We loved the fact that this has been a working farm for a long time,” she said. “We love that this is part of what makes Suffolk such an interesting city.”

The historical value of Indian Point Farm was recognized by Colonial Williamsburg recently, Delk said.

The organization transported two buildings that were on the farm to North Carolina as historical landmarks.

Luckily, Delk said, the property tour guests still will be able to visit a potato barn, an old homestead and a kitchen from the 18th century.

Fans of history won’t be the only ones drawn into the sights at Indian Point. There’s also a new addition that will intrigue visitors, Delk said.

The owners of Indian Point, David and Monica Christiansen, are in the middle of a renovation to their house that will double its square footage.

Delk said the garden club was unsure at first of how the restoration would affect the tour, and they didn’t know how much of the restoration would be finished by Garden Week.

In the end, they decided it would be a great thing for visitors who are restoring their own homes to see. She said she thinks it will be interesting for all guests to see how the Christiansens are maintaining the integrity of a historic house while making it livable for their family.

“You get a sense that normal families can do this,” she said.

Guests will be able to see the renovation that will take the home from about 3,000 square feet to 7,100, but they will not be able to enter the new part of the house.

Additionally, David Christainsen will be present during the tour to answer questions about the history and other parts of the farm.

The Garden Week tours will take place April 17 from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale at The Suffolk Visitor Center, Smithfield-Isle of Wight Convention and Visitors Bureau, and A. Dodson’s on Bridge Road.

Adult tickets are $25 if purchased before April 3 and $30 after that date. Children, ages 6 to 12, tickets cost $15. All children 5 years old and younger are free.

For more information on Indian Point Farm, visit