Private Home

Site Type curated by: The African American Historic Sites Database Team

Private Homes in Virginia

Locations for Site Type

Historical Significance: Poet Anne Spencer lived and worked in her Pierce Street home from 1903 until her death in 1975. Internationally recognized as a poet of the Harlem Renaissance period, Spencer was the first Virginian and the first African…

Historical Significance Azurest South was a residence and studio designed by Amaza Lee Meredith (1895-1984), one of the nation's first black female architects. Meredith was born in Lynchburg to a white father and black mother. Due to…

Historical Significance Dr. Albert Johnson, who lived and worked at 814 Duke Street for 46 years, was one of the first licensed African-American physicians in Alexandria. Active in community organizations, including the local black chapter of the…

Historical Significance Charles Richard Drew, M.D. (1904-1950) made many of the important early medical discoveries concerning blood plasma, and his findings saved thousands of soldiers during World War II. Born in Washington D.C., Dr. Drew…

Historical Significance Dr. Robert Walter Johnson (1899-1971) resided at 1422 Pierce Street, a house constructed in 1911 in the American Foursquare Style. Dr. Johnson was a well-known and respected physician and general practitioner in Lynchburg,…

Historical Significance Emily Howland, a New York Quaker and abolitionist, taught in a Freedmen's camp during the Civil War. After the war ended, she was disappointed to find that Freedmen were not in fact receiving the "40 acres and a mule"…

Historical Significance Ethel Bailey Furman, born in 1893, is identified by the Library of Virginia as the first female African-American architect in Virginia and is one of Richmond's lesser known but highly influential architects. Furman's father,…

Historical Significance George Lewis Seaton, Alexandria's first African-American state legislator, acquired a large frame house at 404 South Royal Street in 1866 and was living there when he died in 1881, at age 59. A master carpenter, grocer, and…

Historical Significance Enslaved African Americans working in the city's sugar refineries built Alexandria into the country's third-largest sugar producer in the early 19th century. In 1807, Jacob Hoffman built the city's second refinery on North…

Historical Significance Located in Cappahosic on the York River, Holly Knoll was the retirement home of Dr. Robert Russa Moton. Moton was born in 1867 and graduated from the Hampton Institute in 1890. In 1935, after serving for twenty years as…

Historical Significance This exuberant Queen Anne/Georgian Revival style house was built circa 1900 for James Wilkerson, a prominent black businessman. His funeral home business, begun in 1874, continues successfully today. Physical Description No…

Historical Significance Built circa 1820 in the Federal style, the Jarratt house is named for the family who owned the property for over a century. The earliest Jarratt to settle in Pocahontas was John Jarratt, a free black waterman and a founder of…

Historical Significance Jazz great John Kirby (1908-1952) was raised in this house by the Reverend Washington Johnson. Johnson's daughter, Mary, taught Kirby to play the piano, and Powell W. Gibson, principal of Douglas School, taught him to play…

Historical Significance Lott Cary was born enslaved about 1780 in Charles City County at the home of John Bowry, a Methodist minister. In 1804, he was hired out by his owner to work in a Richmond tobacco firm. During this time he taught himself to…

Historical Significance The Ralph Sampson Park occupies the former location of the Gray estate called "Hilltop", where the educator Lucy Simms was born. The park is dedicated to Ralph Sampson Jr., a well-known NCAA and NBA basketball player.…

Historical Significance Maggie Lena Walker (1864-1934), born Maggie Mitchell, daughter of a former slave, became a pioneering black businesswoman and civic leader dedicated to improving the fortune of black citizens in Richmond and elsewhere. Mrs.…

Historical Significance In the first half of the 20th century, middle- and working-class blacks lived side-by-side, regardless of socioeconomic status. The New and Byrne Street area of Petersburg was one example of such a neighborhood. The…

Historical Significance Dating to 1910, the Pompey Callaway House is located in the historically black section of the town of Elliston. The builder and owner, Pompey Callaway, was born enslaved in Franklin County. It is said that he modeled his home…

Historical Significance Robert Orrick was a prominent black citizen of Winchester born into slavery in 1841. Shortly before the Civil War, his owner, Joseph Kean (or Cain) allowed Orrick to establish a livery stable in Winchester, and Orrick…

Historical Significance Smithland was owned by the Smith family, who first settled on the land in the 1760s. The white brick mansion was built by the grandson of the original settler. The Smith family was well known in the community and hosted many…

Historical Significance Baseball star Spottswood Poles (1887-1962) was born at 530 Fremont Street in Winchester to Matilda and French Poles, a laborer. He once reminisced that "I played baseball since I was six years old, using a broomstick and a…

Historical Significance In 1937, an African-American woman, Susie Rosa Catherine Byrd (1899-1960), a teacher by profession, worked as a Federal Writer for the Petersburg District of the Negro Federal Writers' Project (WPA) of Virginia. The WPA was a…

Historical Significance Dr. Charles Martin Read came to the United States from Jamaica, British West Indies in 1903. In 1912, Northampton County certified him to practice medicine in Virginia. In 1916, he purchased one acre of land from James and…

Historical Significance Born enslaved in 1862, Thomas Calhoun Walker became one of the first African Americans to practice law in Gloucester County. Mr. Walker's many achievements are summarized on a marker in front of his home which reads "Here…

Historical Significance Dr. Undine Smith Moore (1904-1989), composer, educator, and lecturer, taught piano, organ, and music theory at Virginia State University for 45 years. Some of her former students went on to become some of the most outstanding…

Historical Significance William G. Price (1868-1941), born and raised in Albemarle County, became a pioneering educator. In 1885, one of his sisters wrote to the principal of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute asking if he would consider…

Historical Significance The William H. Trusty house is the home place of William H. Trusty, born in 1862 of freed parents in Prince George County. The family moved to Hampton in 1871. Trusty became a successful businessman and civic leader in…