Foster Site

Charlottesville (Ind. City)

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NHL Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


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.

Last Updated: June 2, 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

Photo Credit: University of Virginia, ca 2020

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