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A well-preserved antebellum farm complex, Brightly features a circa-1842 Greek Revival main residence and eight outbuildings, including a barn, chicken house, granary, privy, well house, windmill, and a pair of slave dwellings linked by a common chimney. The buildings are within an area clearly defined by gateposts and a long privet hedge, and convey the sense of a “village,” the description applied to many Virginia plantations in contemporary accounts. Built for George Harris, Brightly distinguished itself from other James River plantations such as Tuckahoe and Howard’s Neck because it was neither a huge riverfront estate nor owned by a wealthy planter. Harris was a local physician—a professional, not a planter—and Brightly a small farm located near the county’s courthouse village. Its two surviving frame slave dwellings reveal much about the life of enslaved persons in Goochland County during the late antebellum era.

Last Updated: November 21, 2023

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

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