Arguably one of the most historically significant sites in Virginia, Ingles Farm transports visitors back to the days of westward expansion, Native Americans, and the daily struggle to survive.
Deeded to William Ingles in
1747, the property was settled by William and his wife, Mary Draper
Ingles, in the 1750’s. In addition to being a working farm, the Ingles’
built and operated a ferry and tavern to transport and shelter some of
the hundreds of thousands of settlers traveling westward along the
Wilderness Road across the New River.
While it was surely an
exciting and busy time for the Ingles family, Mary Draper Ingles is
surely better known for her abduction by a tribe of Shawnee warriors
during a massacre in nearby Draper’s Meadow in 1755. She and 2 of her
children were taken more than 600 miles away through present-day Ohio
and Kentucky before she was able to escape and journey back home in
uncharted territory. Mary’s heart wrenching decisions and sheer will to
return to her family have made her story legendary.
Today the farm is still owned and operated by direct descendents of
William and Mary Draper Ingles. The accurately reconstructed cabin where
Mary lived and worked for the remainder of her life, original tavern,
graveyard, remnants of the ferry, and authentic strains of cattle,
sheep, and vegetables combine to create the backdrop for hearing her
story and the story of the Wilderness Road. You’ll also learn the
secrets behind the hollowed-out trees and angled rocks in the river
Additional archeological excavation continues to be
completed, with plans to reconstruct other original buildings well
Ingles Farm is still a working property, it is open to visitors on a
limited basis. Ingles Farm will be open selected weekends spring through
fall and may also be occasionally opened for private tours. Please
contact the Radford Visitor’s Center at 540-267-3153 for more
As the family’s intention in opening Ingles Farm
to the public is to promote the legacy of William and Mary Draper Ingles
and the history of the New River Valley, there is never a charge to
visit the property.