- Associated Press - Friday, September 19, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Carter’s Grove, a Virginia plantation with ties to the earliest English settlers, has been sold for $7.2 million to a Chicago businessman and preservationist, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation said Friday.

The sale to Samuel M. Mencoff includes the 18,700-square-foot mansion, 400 acres with a commanding view of the James River and 76 adjoining acres, according to the foundation that operates Colonial Williamsburg. The property is 8 miles southeast of Williamsburg.

Mencoff, who did not immediately return a telephone message left by The Associated Press, is a respected preservationist who has restored properties in the Midwest and in Newport, Rhode Island, the foundation said.

“Sam Mencoff is superbly qualified to be the steward of this important property,” Colin G. Campbell, president and chief executive officer of the foundation, said in a statement.

The Rockefeller Foundation donated the property to Colonial Williamsburg in 1969 and it was open to tourists until 2003.



In 2007, Halsey Minor, a dot-com entrepreneur from Charlottesville, purchased Carter’s Grove for $15.3 million. He planned to live there and use the property and its stables as a thoroughbred horse farm. But Minor lost his riches in the recession and he never lived at Carter’s Grove. He filed for personal bankruptcy in 2013.

Carter’s Grove was put up for auction in May. Only the foundation submitted a bid. Hours later, it said it would put the property on the market.

The property was first settled by English colonists in the early 1600s, and is only miles from Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement. Digs on the property have also found evidence of strong links to native populations.

The mansion, which is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the nation, was built in 1755. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mencoff purchased Carter’s Grover under a Delaware limited liability company, Carter’s Grove Associates LLC.

In a statement provided by the foundation, Mencoff called Carter’s Grove a treasure “chronicling the history of the New World.”

“My team and I look forward to working closely with Colonial Williamsburg to preserve this important piece of our national heritage for generations to come,” Mencoff said.

A conservation easement protects the plantation’s historic and archaeological resources in perpetuity.

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Steve Szkotak can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sszkotakap .

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