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River View Farm celebrates historic milestone

Published: Apr. 3, 2022 at 7:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - River View Farm is celebrating its addition to the national register of historic places. Purchased by the newly emancipated Hugh Carr in 1890, Ivy Creek Natural area has become a place where nature lovers go, but on Sunday, April 3 it celebrated the history of the barn and farmhouse.

“It’s over 200 acress. We have seven miles of trails, but then we also have this historic Riverview Farm,” executive director of the Ivy Creek Foundation, Sue Erhardt said.

Hugh Carr originally purchased the land to farm.

“Learning about this incredible African American family, and how they were successful farmers and community leaders for 100 years that the family owned this land,” Erhardt said.

Now the land is shared between Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville.

“Collaboratively recognizing this as a public space, over 200 acres here that people can walk through and just enjoy the nature of the place, but also to see this fantastic barn, house, and education center,” said Yancey Community Program Coordinator, Edward Brooks.

Carr’s great great grandchildren were part of this celebration.

“It is truly an honor that the descendants have not forgotten about Charlottesville, where it all started, and they want to pass it onto their children,” Brooks said.

This barn built in the 20th century offers a place for visitors to learn.

“A prototype barn built in 1935 with government funds and a bond that is still standing today and will be considered outstanding, even today,” Brooks said.

For one day only visitors could view inside the Carr family’s historic home.

“The house is just open today for a sneak peek as we’re working on preserving the house and hopefully in the next couple of years it will be open to the general public,” Erhardt said.

The Education Center also has a focus on the natural sciences

“It’s so important that people learn about the natural world. We’ve learned to preserve it and the history of African American farming is rich in our community and it’s important for people to know that as part of our American history story,” Erhardt said.

The foundation hopes as visitors come to see the park, they will learn about its history as well.

“It’s open 365 days a year. It is a city-county public park and we welcome everyone to come out here and take a look for yourself,” Brooks said.

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