Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

042-0020 Marlbourne

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 09/09/1969

NRHP Listing Date 10/15/1966

NHL Listing Date 07/19/1964

NRHP Reference Number 66000837

Edmund Ruffin, the pioneering agronomist and ardent secessionist, made his Hanover County plantation a laboratory for his agricultural theories. By showing that exhausted soils could be revitalized with the application of marl, scientific crop rotation, and other advanced farming methods, he contributed to a renaissance of agriculture in the South. Violently opposed to any political interference from the North, he symbolized his dedication to the Confederate cause by firing the first shot on Fort Sumter. Although sacked by Union troops, Ruffin’s substantial frame house at Marlbourne, built ca. 1845, survived without significant damage and still overlooks the broad, fertile bottomlands of his splendid farm, owned and operated by his descendants. Ruffin, who committed suicide over distress at the Confederate defeat, lies buried in the family cemetery.

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

Updated: February 20, 2019