Colonial National Historical Park | NELSON HOUSE

Thomas Nelson Jr. House in Yorktown, Colonial National Historical Park

Thomas Nelson Jr. House in Yorktown, Colonial National Historical Park


See the Historical Buildings of Yorktown web page for a map of the historical area.


The Nelson House is famous as the home of Thomas Nelson, Jr., a Yorktown native and signer of the Declaration of Independence, though it was actually built by his grandfather, Scotch Tom Nelson, in 1730. The Nelson family had been involved in politics since coming to Virginia in the early 1700s, though always on the British side of things until Thomas Jr. came along. He was elected governor of Virginia in 1781 and was a commander of the Virginia militia at the Battle of Yorktown.

The Nelson House was damaged during the fighting at Yorktown, and the damage can still be seen on the outside of the building. The Nelson descendants owned the house until 1908. In 1968, the National Park Service purchased the house and restored it to its appearance in 1781. It is open to the public during the summer as staffing allows. A schedule of operating hours is posted at the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center. It was not open during my April visit, so I cannot report more on it.

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Last updated on January 21, 2024
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