Sweet Briar’s historic 19th-century cabin will be open to visitors for self-guided tours in November and December.
Current research suggests that the cabin was built during the antebellum period to house enslaved laborers, who lived in dozens of similar dwellings on the Sweet Briar Plantation. This cabin, located behind Sweet Briar House, is the only one that survives.
Indiana Fletcher Williams’ overseer, Logan Anderson, likely lived in it during the 1880s. When the College was founded in 1901, Sterling Jones Sr. and his family resided in the cabin until the mid-1920s. Following that period, the cabin was used to house the alumnae office, a theater classroom, a coffee shop, a chapel and a farm tool equipment museum. It has been in continuous use for about 170 years.
In 2012, the College was awarded a Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant to re-interpret the complex history of this building and to create an exhibition that highlights the history of African Americans at Sweet Briar. For now, the historic structure is open to the public on the following days:
Friday, Nov. 9: 1-5 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 13: 10:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 15: 10 a.m.-noon
Tuesday, Nov. 27: 10:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 29: 10 a.m.-noon
Friday, Nov. 30: 1-5 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 4: 10:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 7: 1-5 p.m.
Hours are weather-dependent. In case of freezing conditions, please check the cabin tours website at tusculum.sbc.edu/africanamericans.
For more information about the cabin’s history, contact Lynn Rainville, director of the Tusculum Institute, at (434) 381-6432 or [email protected], or visit the institute’s website at tusculum.sbc.edu.