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The Historic Lexington Foundation (HLF) and the Brownsburg Museum are pleased to present a tour of five historic, former slave houses in the Brownsburg community. The tour is FREE and the hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This is a self-driving tour; a map and description of each property will be available at the Brownsburg Museum (2716 Brownsburg Turnpike) on tour day.

This public tour is the outgrowth of a project which began in 2019. That year, staff from Virginia Humanities and Jobie Hill, founder of Saving Slave Houses, visited and documented four known slave houses in the Brownsburg area. Publicity of this event resulted in separate inquiries by a resident of Charlottesville, VA, and a resident of Elizabeth, NJ who had traced their ancestry to enslaved individuals who lived at yet a fifth Brownsburg slave house. A serendipitous and poignant effect was that both individuals’ research converged on a common enslaved ancestor. Hence these men are long-lost, distant cousins. This connection was documented in a short film entitled “Uncovering Connections” produced by Washington and Lee University students as part of their Cross-Cultural Documentary Filmmaking class. Jobie Hill returned to Brownsburg in 2021 in her capacity as Director of the 2021 Virginia Black Public History Summer Institute to visit and document this newly discovered site.

Community researchers have done extensive document searches of wills, deeds, census records, church records, and other sources to identify the pre-Civil War property owners as well as some of the individuals they enslaved. The tour is entitled “Still Standing – Brownsburg’s Slave Houses.” Please join us.

Our work brings people together and honors our shared humanity.

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