Quarter Place

 

The reality of slavery at Red Hill is one that we are exploring and researching. We believe our evolving Quarter Place Trail research brings the opportunity to discover new history together to foster engagement and dialogue. 

 We believe the Quarter Place project is the best way to expand the interpretative focus of Red Hill. Moving beyond the story of Patrick Henry as one of the nation’s Founding Fathers and his family as plantation owners, this project focuses on the enslaved community who Henry and Red Hill relied on to work the land and enrich the family’s well-being. 

One aspect of expanding our recognition of the people who lived and worked at Red Hill, but who have been left out of its history, is to restore the African American enslaved cemetery and the Quarter Place Trail. The cemetery is located in a quiet corner at the end of the Quarter Place Trail. This is a project that needs additional funding. It requires historical advising and research, as well as the delicate physical endeavor of restoring the grave sites and area.

The name Quarter Place appears on 19th century deeds and maps of Red Hill to describe the grouping of living quarters of the enslaved Americans and African Americans living at Red Hill from the 18th century until the mid-20th century. 

Enslaved Cemetery

Through a grant in 2018, Red Hill re-acquired 77 acres of adjoining property originally part of Henry’s Red Hill. On that land, referred to as Quarter Place, sits a cemetery that Red Hill maintained over the years, believing it to be a sacred burial ground for people enslaved at Red Hill, their ancestors, and family members buried after them. In early 2019, Dr. Brian Bates, Director of Longwood University’s Archaeology Field School, surveyed the area using LiDAR and marked 147 graves. Additional gravesites have been identified more recently. Acquiring the cemetery allows Red Hill to integrate, in a meaningful way, the birth, life, perseverance, and resilience of those enslaved by Henry into the history of Red Hill and the nation's founding. Research on this project has just recently started. If anyone has information regarding the cemetery, or descendants of Red Hill's enslaved community, please contact us directly.

 

 

The Trail

The Quarter Place Trail is a half mile long, culminating at the Enslaved & African American Cemetery. Ther terrain slopes at the trailhead, levels off, and then steepens as it descends to the cemetery. The one-mile round trip walk is of moderate difficulty.

Cabin Foundations

Immediately northwest of the Quarter Place Cabin are the stone foundations of two early enslaved cabins that survived into the twentieth century. Old photos of these cabins served as the basis for the Quarter Place Cabin design.

Tobacco Curing Barn

Tobacco was the cash crop of Virginia. During Patrick Henry's ownership of Red Hill, the plantation yielded over 20,000 pounds of tobacco a year. After the plant was cut from the ground, the stalks were split up the center and then hung over wooden sticks inside the tobacco barn to dry for 4 to 6 weeks. The leaves were cured with heat generated by woodstoves. Once cured, the leaves were pressed into large barrels known as hogsheads and then sent to market to be sold.

Ordering Pit

The ordering pit, a covered dirt-floored cellar, was utilized to bring cured tobacco into a state of "order" or pliableness, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in preparation for processing it for market. The ordering pit is visible from the Quarter Place Trail next to the surviving stone foundation of a barn.

Quarter Place Cabin

A reconstructed log cabin is the starting point for the interpretive and recreational Quarter Place Trail.