What we call the “Caleb Williamson Farmhouse” was first occupied by members of the Williamson family around 1844 or ’45, but was built much, much earlier — probably the 1700s, and it most likely belonged to other branches of the Williamson family, namely the McCoys and the Carsons.
Other families that married into the Williamson family include the Etheredges and Wilkersons, with Porter McCoy Williamson (d.-2003) the last of the family line to inhabit the farmhouse after his extensive renovations (1979-’82).
Several hundred yards south of this farmhouse, on the western side of Oak Grove Rd., just across from our Tree Propagation Nursery, is the Williamson family cemetery.
The Williamson family, along with the Whitehurst and Hall families, donated to the City of Chesapeake the approximately 48 acres including the farmstead that became the Chesapeake Arboretum as we know it today. The Founders’ vision and energetic efforts can only be considered EXTRAORDINARY. The property is administered by a volunteer Board of Directors, and financed primarily by funds from Friends (members) of the Chesapeake Arboretum and from various grants sources. A large number of invaluable volunteers devote countless hours to manicure the grounds and keep the trails mulched and litter-free. Please take a moment to see our “Giving Tree” list and plaques that reference just a few of our donors and volunteers (located on the tool shed just east of the pecan grove behind the farmhouse.)