Black Walnut

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


The historic Southside homestead of Black Walnut is noted for its unusually complete collection of plantation structures. Placed about the rambling frame residence are a brick kitchen, a wash house, a dairy, two smokehouses, two sheds, a cool-storage building, a privy, a stable, a barn, and a slave cabin. A late 18th-century schoolhouse and a family cemetery complete the group. Together these buildings remind us of the complexity and self-sufficiency of Southern plantations. Using slaves before the Civil War and hired labor afterwards, these agricultural complexes required organization and manpower. Black Walnut’s dwelling was begun between 1774 and 1790 for Matthew Sims. It was expanded in the early 1800s and again in 1848. Halifax County’s only Civil War engagement—the battle of Staunton River Bridge—was fought on Black Walnut property. The Black Walnut farm, originally one of the county’s largest, remained owned by John Sims’s descendants at the time of listing in the registers.

Last Updated: April 20, 2024

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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