Fluvanna County to Restore Pleasant Grove - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Fluvanna County to Restore Pleasant Grove

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Fluvanna County is about to begin the restoration of a Civil War plantation home to make it a thriving center for community events.

The Pleasant Grove plantation manor is on the National Register of Historic Places.  Now, the county hopes it becomes a place to attract tourists and neighbors to experience Fluvanna's history.

Fluvanna County Historical Society Director Judy Mickelson admires the antebellum beauty of Pleasant Grove manor.  She stated, "It was a very large plantation."

The plantation home was built in 1852 by the Haden family.  Mickelson said, "It was a very simple, plain, and lovely home."

It became a bustling farm - sending tobacco and crops from Fluvanna down the Rivanna River.  But time hasn't preserved the plantation.

Mickelson stated, "To save this house from ruin is what we need to do."

That will begin this summer.  The county is rehabilitating the manor house and property.

"We're hoping Pleasant Grove becomes a destination for tourists as well as the citizens in the county," said Fluvanna County Grants Administrator Pat Groot.

The project will rehabilitate the home's brick and wood exterior and build on a two-story addition with office space and catering kitchen.  The county hopes that will make Pleasant Grove an inviting space for weddings and events.

Groot said, "It's a perfect setting for that."

The home will also house a visitor's center and display about the history of the Rivanna River canal system.

"The Rivanna River here in Fluvanna has the most preserved remnants of the canal and batteau system," stated Groot.

A combination of grants, accumulated over the past five years, will pay for the $736,000 restoration.  Fluvanna County is contributing $150,000 of that.

"We're hoping Pleasant Grove becomes sort of a central keystone for events in the community," Groot said.  "And it's also preserving a very essential part of our history."

Mickelson is looking forward to the day Pleasant Grove lives up to its name.  She said, "I just think it enhances the value of our history."

The rehab work should begin early this summer with the plantation home and property opening about a year later.  The historical society is also raising money to add a Heritage Farm Museum on the property.

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