Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

042-5802 Brown Grove Rural Historic District

Brown Grove Rural Historic District
Photo credit: Mary Ruffin Hanbury, 2022

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/16/2022

The Brown Grove Rural Historic District is a historically African American community located south of the Town of Ashland. The district’s boundaries encompass two discontiguous areas near the geographic center of Hanover County, separated by the Interstate 95 corridor. Established during the Reconstruction Era by families that included formerly enslaved individuals. The community that emerged at the turn of the 20th century featured a landscape of small subsistence farms connected by a network of paths and tracks to each other, the wider world, and community hubs such as the centrally located Baptist church and schoolhouse and a few general stores. It is an excellent example of a rural landscape of Black heritage that grew from an antebellum plantation economy to a self-sufficient agricultural community, and transitioned in the 20th century into a middle class residential neighborhood. Contributing resources in the approximately 1,200-acre Brown Grove Rural Historic District consist of two churches (including the Slash Church, individually listed in the National Register) along with sixty-five single dwellings, one commercial building, ten cemeteries, and four archaeological sites.

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

Updated: September 15, 2022