Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

104-5140 Foster Site

Foster Site
Photo Credit: University of Virginia, ca 2020

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 03/17/2016

NRHP Listing Date 05/16/2016

NRHP Reference Number 16000259

The nearly three-quarter-acre Foster Site, located on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, contains archaeological features and artifacts associated with the family of a free African American seamstress, Catherine “Kitty” Foster, who purchased the residential property in 1833. As part of a free African American community called “Canada,” the Foster family occupied the site until the land was sold in 1906. Prominent archaeological features of the site include a domestic basement, a brick fire box and chimney base, and remnant masonry piers. The site also contains the remains of a brick-lined well, a likely smokehouse, and a small cemetery. The Foster Site is significant as the one-time residence of an antebellum free-black household and for its research potential pertaining to the service-based commercial relationship between free African Americans and the University of Virginia community during the pre- and post-Civil War eras. The university has installed a memorial park (pictured above) dedicated to informing the public about the Foster family, the adjacent cemetery, and the nearby Canada neighborhood.

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: June 6, 2021