Cumberland: A historical legacy

Cumberland has been a significant fixture of Virginia’s history since the 17th century. In recent years, this landmark site has had new life breathed into it as a result of its acquisition by Criss Cross Properties, LLC.

Criss Cross Properties was founded by John Poindexter, an entrepreneur and restorationist whose ancestry is deep-rooted in the New Kent area. “Criss Cross,” which signified Christ’s cross in that era, was the name of his family’s first plantation in Colonial Virginia in the late 1600s.

Although Mr. Poindexter resides in Texas, he considers New Kent his second home because of his rich family heritage in the area. Inspired by his love for history and a strong desire to preserve it, he began a property acquisition and restoration program in 2013. As part of the program, Mr. Poindexter acquired 3,423 acres of rural property clustered around the authentic Criss Cross home. That acreage encompassed part of the original family settlement, including the grounds of Cumberland Plantation.

Disrepair and land degradation plagued most of the individual properties when they were purchased. Today, thanks to the guidance of local craftsmen and talented advisors, the plantation has been revitalized to an impressive semblance of its original condition — with modern conveniences. Likewise, the surrounding lands are once again thriving as farms and managed forests that maintain the character of the colonial era.

Origins: The Poindexter Family and Criss Cross

George Poindexter was the founding immigrant of a prominent family long established on the Isle of Jersey — a British island off the coast of Normandy, France. Shortly after arrival in America in the 1650s, George settled at Middle Plantation, Virginia, now known as Williamsburg. In the 1680s, he and his wife, Susannah, moved to New Kent County, where they established a substantial landholding.

Following George’s death in 1691, Susannah continued to live on the Criss Cross until her death two years later. Their son, George II, succeeded her, and the property remained in the Poindexter family until 1830. In 1953, more than a century later, the home was acquired by Ed and Gayla Harrison, who partially restored the property. In 1973, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved their application to have Criss Cross placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cumberland is comprised of 5 distinct residences built within 4 areas of the property: