Rosewell is our third and final Virginia plantation. Located across the York River from Williamsburg, Rosewell was built from 1726 through 1737 by the Page family, who held on to it for more than 100 years. Thomas Jefferson wrote a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence there. Yet perhaps no other plantation has had the fall from grace as did Rosewell. From the largest and finest home of its day, where it hosted balls and became the center of horse racing, it later was stripped of everything of value and remained a ghostly ruin. It was all but abandoned in the 1830s, enjoyed some resurrgence in the 1850s but never recovered from the Civil War.The final indignity came in 1916 when a fire lasting two weeks consumed all but the shell. The 1891, 1900 and undated photos show Rosewell in decline.