Historic slave cabin opens to visitors

| September 16, 2013

Sweet Briar College will reopen its historic 19th-century cabin to visitors beginning Sept. 16.

The circa-1840s dwelling behind Sweet Briar House is the only one surviving of more than two dozen that once housed enslaved African-Americans on the former Sweet Briar Plantation during the antebellum period. Much of the building is original and well preserved, despite nearly continuous use as a residence, classroom, offices and museum for the past 170 years. Visitors can imagine what it would have been like to live there.

The former slave dwelling behind Sweet Briar House is the only one left of more than two dozen that once stood on the property.

Informational brochures will be provided for self-guided tours of the cabin, which will be offered during the following hours through the fall 2013 semester:

Monday: 3 to 6 p.m.
Tuesday: 12 to 1 p.m.
Wednesday: 10 to 11 a.m.
Thursday: 3 to 6 p.m.
Friday: 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Hours may be subject to change, especially in case of inclement weather. Please check the online schedule on the African-American Heritage page on the Tusculum website at Tusculum.sbc.edu before making plans.

Research to tell the story of the cabin’s entire history — before and since the Civil War — through future interpretive exhibits and programs is ongoing. In 2012 and 2013, the College received grants to study and present its history for public education as well as inclusion in Sweet Briar’s curriculum. The College’s Tusculum Institute administers the funds and oversees the project.

The institute is a community outreach program dedicated to preserving and studying local and regional historical assets. Working with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Tusculum supports the preservation of these assets in a framework of environmental stewardship and promotes their use as a resource for better understanding our past — the people, places and contexts in which history occurred.

For more information, contact Tusculum director Lynn Rainville at [email protected] or (434) 381-6432.


Category: Tusculum Institute