On November 28, 1867, Nathaniel Burwell Cooke of The Vineyard in Clarke County, Virginia, married Jane Mercer Winston, daughter of Edmund Winston Woodgrove of Hanover County. Edmund supervised the erection of Janeway, named for his daughter, on property partitioned from the western side of Woodgrove.

Buliding materials were difficult to come by in the years following the Civil War. Janeway was built almost entirely with wood from the surrounding forest, and bricks made from the property's abundant supply of red clay.

Two slave's quarters buildings were brought to Janeway from South Wales, another of Mr. Winston's properties. They were joined together behind the main building to form Janeway's kitchen, which still stands today, held together with wooden pins.

The original house utilized a simple rectangular layout of two floors over a functional basement. To accommodate a growing family, Nathaniel and Jane added two rooms on the north side by 1880. The Cookes farmed Janeway for 47 years. Both died of the influenza of 1918 on the same day.
Janeway was vacant from 1918 to 1937. The Cooke’s oldest daughter, Jennie Winston Cooke, and her husband, Heyward Hunter, chose to remain at the cottage next door. The Hunters updated the main house in 1937, and finally made it their home.

The east and west wings were added at this time. Jennie’s and Heyward’s daughter, Anne Middleton Hunter, married Donald Macdonald in 1935. The couple retired to Janeway and lived there from 1961 until they both died in 1998.

Recent renovations have produced a comfortable, functionally modern house that maintains most of the fabric and ambiance of the earlier house. In this renovation, completed in 2001, a two-story addition was made to the rear of the house.

Janeway continues to be owned by descendants of Nathaniel and Jane Cooke, and is today the residence of Scott and Linda Macdonald.

Janeway is one of Hanover's 27 Century Farms, farms which have been in operation for at least 100 consecutive years.

Please click on any of the images on this page for a full-sized image.

Janeway's library

Janeway's dining room

Janeway's kitchen, made of two slave's quarters buildings brought from another property

The interior of Janeway's kitchen

Janeway's Smoke House to the left, next to the recently restored Ash House, where the property's ash would be stored to be made into soap.

A note about historical accuracy: Finding definitive information about the historical sites of Hanover County is a daunting task. If you have reason to suspect any aspect of the histories presented at this website are inaccurate, please email the webmaster and we'll do what we can to get it right.

Hanover County Historical Society Bulletin: Volume I, 1969-1987 Pp60-61