Construction crews are painstakingly restoring and expanding a historic plantation home in Fluvanna County. The project is transforming Pleasant Grove Manor into a museum and community event space.
The same contractor that restored Virginia's Executive Mansion is working on the manor. The 1850s plantation home will share with visitors Fluvanna's history as a farming community and begin a future as a bustling host for events.
The Fluvanna County Historical Society started collecting grants and donations in 2007 to pay for the $736,000 restoration - $150,000 of which Fluvanna County taxpayers are contributing.
The restored manor will house a visitors' center and exhibits about Fluvanna's farming and Rivanna River history.
"The fabric of our land is really rural, and here you have the best example of that," said Judith Mickelson, the historical society's director.
The progress to restore Pleasant Grove amazes Marvin Moss, the historical society's president.
"You can see the potential of the finished product here, which is really very exciting," he said.
Crews chip away paint from original windows, replace panes with recovered glass, and reveal the 1850s plantation home's pine floors and beams.
"It's a difficult process and takes a lot of understanding of the historic fabric of a building like this," Moss said.
A two-story addition will feature a catering kitchen and rental space for private events, including weddings.
"This is just a wonderful place to feel open and free and a memory of what was in a rural society," Mickelson said.
Moss envisions Pleasant Grove Manor as a destination for neighbors and visitors. "When this is finished, it will be open to the public. People will be able to see and also, I think, learn a great deal about the history of Fluvanna County," he said.
The historical society expects construction to finish and the manor to open next April or May.
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