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Red Hills (Charlottesville, Virginia) facts for kids

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Red Hills
Red Hills entrance from Polo Grounds Road.jpg
Entrance to the estate
Location 2051 Polo Grounds Rd., near Charlottesville, Virginia
Area 26.5 acres (10.7 ha)
Built c. 1797 (1797)
Built by Milton L. Grigg, William Hale
Architectural style Georgian, Colonial Revival
NRHP reference No. 98000047
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP February 13, 1998

Red Hills is a historic home and farm complex located near Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Virginia. It consists of a two-story, five bay brick main section built about 1797 in the Georgian style, and two brick rear wings. It has a modern, one-story frame wing. The front facade features one-story, gabled portico of Colonial Revival design added about 1939. Also on the property are a contributing barn (early-20th century), corncrib and shed (early-20th century), shed (late-19th century), well (19th century), and slave cemetery (19th century).

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

Slave Population

The Red Hills Plantation was tended by an enslaved labor force of twenty four people. This population included 35.2% of children, 23% of people aged 25–44, and 23.5% of people over the age of 45. In 1930, the Red Hills District included seventy six white families and three negro families. Many of these slaves lie in the slave cemetery, previously a part of the Red Hills property.

Slave Cemetery

A half a mile to the south of the main house there is a small cemetery that contains the remains of at least 21 enslaved laborers who lived on the Red Hills Plantation. The graves contain upright fieldstone markers, many with indecipherable carvings and some with matching footstones. Additional unmarked depressions were also found, which may contain more remains.  

The cemetery is located on the curve of the old road bed. It is believed that this road once lead from the plantation house to the cemetery. The cemetery is no longer a part of the Red Hills Plantation because of land sales and construction.

Standards of Living

The Virginia Farm Whites averaged 4.5 persons per family and 5 persons per household. White homes are relatively scattered throughout the property. The average size of a slave family was 3.9 persons and the average size of each household was 4.8 persons. Enslaved laborers housing were found fairly close to one another. The average distance from this housing to drinking water was 100-200 yards. Six families had to travel over a half mile for water. There was no "negro" doctor living within the Red Hills area. A colored physician must have been called from the Charlottesville, VA, area, which was a long trip with a high fee. Doctors were only called in extreme necessity.

Church Membership

A majority of white people from the Red Hills area belonged to churches in the Charlottesville, VA, area. Prior to the Civil War, there were no colored churches in the Red Hill area. Following the war, several were created at South Garden, Chestnut Grove, and Cross Roads, all of which were Baptist. Both the negro men and women show a higher percentage of church attendance than white men and women.

Schools for Enslaved Laborers

One-third of enslaved laborer families lived within a mile of colored schools, while half of them live up to two and a half miles. Walking to school created considerable danger due to automobiles. It is typical of these students to drop out following their third year of attendance.

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