Standing for well over a hundred years, this slave house now acts as a museum. The cabin is open to the public to educate the history of African-Americans in the area. The Sweet Briar Slave house serves as a grim reminder of our past, and a testament to how far our society has come in our understanding of African-American history.
This cabin was built
around 1840, most likely by enslaved laborers. Of the over two dozen slave
cabins to exist on the Sweet Briar Plantation, this building is the sole one to
remain standing. For two decades, enslaved families at the Sweet Briar
Plantation lived here.
After emancipation, a
series of overseers, such as Logan Anderson, lived in the home with their
families. Sometime later, after the college was founded, an employee, Sterling
Jones, and his family lived in the cabin for several years.
In the 1920’s, the
Sweet Briar Alumnae network requisitioned the building for their offices. For
the next century the structure was used for a variety of purposes including a
classroom, a chapel, a newspaper office, and a farm tool museum.
In 2013, Dr. Lynn
Rainville teamed up with colleagues from across the state to curate an
exhibition about African-American Heritage at Sweet Briar. The exhibition,
Roots, Restoration, and Remembrance is also captured in a
downloadable .pdf file on the website listed in the More Information section below.