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.

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

Updated: June 6, 2021