Thursday, August 11, 2011
Holladay/Bowyer House @ Greenfield Plantation
The boys and I, Ozzy included, hiked around Greenfield on Saturday afternoon. I knew there was an old cemetery near this house that I hadn't checked out yet. This house sits near the entrance of Greenfield, to the right as you drive in. When you walk up to the house, there is another trail that leads to the small family cemetery. Our visit was cut short as a big storm came through.
Interesting reading on the area:
The 'Holladay/ Bowyer House' National Register Site
By the time that Botetourt County was organized (in 1769), the acreage upon which the 'Bowyer/ Holladay House' would be constructed had already been farmed for more than two decades. The property's proximity to Fincastle, the county seat for a territory that once stretched to the Mississippi River, coupled with the well-watered, rich farmland made this land valuable. The topography in this part of the county lies in the limestone belt of Virginia, which results in fertile soil suitable for general farming and excellent for producing cereals, fruits, and grasses, as well as providing good grazing for livestock .
Like most of Virginia, from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, Botetourt County was primarily agricultural and rural. The geography of the Valley, unlike that of the tidewater or piedmont regions, did not favor large scale monoculture such as tobacco, and the trade routes from west to east were not adequate to transport large quantities of goods during the early nineteenth century . As a result, Valley farms differed from the large plantations east of the mountains that relied almost entirely on slave labor. Instead farms in the Valley were often smaller with a few slaves who worked alongside their masters in the fields . The number of slaves on Valley farms also tended to remain small throughout the antebellum era, with most slave owners owning less than five slaves. The Preston and Bowyer families residing at Greenfield in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were among the relatively few slave owners in Botetourt County possessing over twenty slaves.
click here for even more stuff to read!