Adam Thoroughgood House

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Family members still reside here, not always approving!



This 1680 medieval English-style cottage is a fine example of a gentry home, which is a rectangular, two story, 4 room solid brick structure built to withstand anything nature has to offer, and the sands of time as well. Being 326 years old, Adam Thoroughgood House Museum is one of the oldest restored home museums in a America, thanks to the efforts of the Adam Thoroughgood Foundation and the City of Virginia Beach.

Restoration funds provided in 2003 by the City of Virginia Beach were well spent on not only the exterior and historic herb and flower gardens & grounds of this historical home, but of the interior as well. The interior of the rooms have the exposed wood beams and whitewashed walls, which was a common characteristic of the home from this era.

The displays inside this old home give insight to life in the colonial times and 18th century life. This restore house museum “features an exceptional collection of late 17th- and early 18th- century furniture and decorative arts,” furnished originally by the Chrysler Museum located in Norfolk. While not the original furnishings of the Thoroughgood family, they represent furnishings used by the English gentry class during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

Adam Thoroughgood Foundation also sponsors fun events throughout the year. In the summer of 2006, they had THOROUGHGOOD MIDSUMMER CELEBRATION! Sort of like a Renaissance Fair, it offered fun activities to participate in and to watch, based on a medieval theme. “Wednesday, June 21st… from 2:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. all for $3 per person (children under 6 years, free)”



Adam Thoroughgood was born and raised in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England. As a young man he indentured himself in order to come to the colony of Virginia in 1622, as he couldn’t afford the cost himself. After he worked off his indentured status, he became a very successful tobacco farmer, became a community leader, a member of the House of Burgesses at Jamestown, and was granted a piece of land in 1635, a prime piece of real estate, both then and now! The smaller home located on the museum grounds was built by Adam Thoroughgood in 1636. Another one of the man’s accomplishments is that he helped to form the city of Norfolk, which is named after his home town in England. Unfortunately, Adam died at the young age of 36, but he accomplished quite a lot in his short life. His family continued on course, as they learned the lessons from his life concerning work ethic, being focused and being involved with the community.

One of his grandsons built the main cottage in 1680. Not much is reported about the years between 1680 and 1957; only that the property was long gone from the family by 1957, when the City of Norfolk and the Chrysler Museum took over the estate and restored it to be a museum, enjoyed for years by school children and the community at large. Both citizens in Norfolk and the ever growing newcomer Virginia Beach loved the place.

The city of Virginia Beach was discovered and became popular as a vacation resort with people, which encouraged its rapid spread. It soon grew around the area of Adam Thoroughgood museum. While The city of Norfolk still owned the property and was responsible for the physical upkeep of this very old building, Virginia Beach was in charge of managing the property and the museum.

UH OH! This wasn’t good! Things came to a head in 2003, when the Norfolk city council didn’t want to fund the museum any more because they weren’t managing it. The city of Virginia Beach didn’t want to fund it either because they didn’t own it. YIKES! Unless the quarreling parties could work something out, the Adam Thoroughgood Museum was about to close and be allowed to deteriorate!

Private citizens pledged seed money and a historical foundation formed quickly in Virginia Beach, offering to help run the museum, if the city would designate funds. Soon the two cities began negotiations and by May most of the details had been worked out. By October 1st, 2003 it was made official when the city of Virginia Beach took over the ownership of this historic property with a proper photo op ceremony! “Mayor Paul Fraim to Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorf. Thoroughgood descendant Paul Treanor attended the ceremony and was pictured with both mayors in the doorway of the house.”



Some spirits may not approve of the decor set up in their house by the Living, and may let them know about it in subtle and direct ways. (Related: Hotel Colorado CO * Carleton House AZ)

Some spirits may object sometimes to having the living continuously traipsing through their home without their permission. (Related: Catfish Plantation TX * Whaley House CA * Buford House AZ)



Two entities from the original Thoroughgood family who built the 1680 colonial cottage home still reside here.

Spirit of Female

A female entity has been spotted by the living carrying a candle in the inside of the house by the windows, going about her business.

Spirit of Male

A male entity dressed in a brown suit has been seen by the staff and visitors walking the halls of this home.

General Activity

Items have been known to move of their own volition

During a scheduled tour of the home, 4 glass candle domes lifted themselves off their assigned candles and dropped to the floor, in front of an amazed volunteer docent and her rather startled group of 30 visitors!


Yes indeed!!

This ghostly pair still enjoy their home, despite the company of the living. They must be pleased with the fine restoration job done on their home, even if they has some issues with the style of the 4 glass domed candle fixture, and/or the amount of visitors that come to visit.



1636 Parish Road
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23455

Like most resort towns, Virginia Beach is a challenge to navigate, which means the out of town visitor needs to be armed with good instructions, a detailed map, hopefully from mapquest or a good city map. Using the force doesn’t quite work! Adam Thoroughgood House Museum can be found in a delightful, upscale community around the Country Club near the Lynnhaven River. It is quite a distance from downtown Virginia Beach, so persevere!

Take 13 to 225 which turns into Independence Boulevard Take the Five Forks Road exit, and turn left. Take the long drive to Thoroughgood Drive, which is not far from Hermitage Road. Now you must pay attention to road signs. Mercifully, either Thoroughgood Drive or Thoroughgood Lane runs into Parish Road, where Adam Thoroughgood House Museum awaits your visit, situated on 4 1/2 acres of lawn and garden, with a lovely view of the Lynnhaven River.


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