Sessions House


SessionsHouse001The APVA Yorktown Branch was instrumental in having the Sessions House placed on the National Register as a National Historical Landmark in 2003.

One of the best examples of a seventeenth century brick house is the Sessions House. It occupies lot #56 which was first sold to Thomas Sessions in 1692. It was bought in 1766 by Dr. Matthew Pope who had been personal physician to the Royal Governor in Williamsburg. The Sessions House survived both the Revolutionary and the Civil Wars and served as headquarters for General McClellan’s staff during the Civil War Federal occupation of the town.

In 1901 the property was purchased by Conway H. Sheild, husband of Catherine Sheild, the founder and directress of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities Yorktown Branch.  Mrs. Sheild remained directress from 1921 to 1946. Her residence and lawn were used for all APVA entertainments during that time.  During the preparation for WWI when the York River was used as a base for the Atlantic Fleet,  many of the principle planners of the war visited the Conways in their home including Admirals, the Secretary of the Navy,  and several Presidents.  The Sessions House is currently still owned by members of the Sheilds family.