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!


  1. I like how the house is tucked in behind these bright tree leaves. Fine shot of it. Interesting history and statement.

  2. I wanted to walk up there last week-end, but we were so over-heated by the time we were on that side of the lake that we just needed to get back to our air conditioned vehicle. Don't know how folks back then withstood the heat and humidity of summertime.

  3. Enjoyed your text today. Looks like a beautiful homestead.

  4. Tanya.... I've bookmarked your blog (need to learn how to "follow"). You seem to like to do the same thing we do; not just snap photos but also dig into the history of the community. You are one of the closest CDP sites to GDP.

    Love your choices for the memes, too.

    Thanks for your comments on Greensboro Daily Photo and happy exploring! Did you used to live in Greensboro?


  5. A most interesting post. Love your photo (I really like these old houses) and your historical commentary was much appreciated. I'm an old American history teacher so I especially enjoyed it!

  6. Amazing how old it is. And is such good condition. Great shot!

  7. Ah, Tanya. I see that you are starting to get "out there" and "snoop around" just like I do. This was an interesting Post, since I enjoy reading about the History of our past. Keep getting "out there". Virginia has so much to offer.

    Your Welcome for the tip on Copperheads. When you go into places that have been abandoned, always keep in mind where you are and what is around you. You never know what you'll run into. Keep your ears, eye's, and nose wide open. Remember - you are in "their" world - not yours!


  8. Interesting history. Love the photo.

  9. I like stumbling upon old homes like this. Love the peeling paint and trees in foreground.

  10. You guys sure do a lot of sight-seeing! I think that's great!

  11. WOot, woot! Quite the dream house. Love the ones which are hidden behind trees. A bit creepy and a lot calm.

    call Nepal

  12. Sorry about the storm, it seemed to be an exciting adventure! :-) Great shot.

  13. Beautiful picture with lots of history behind it. enjoyed going though the details.

    I read your water-snake adventures with your boys too :D


Hi! I'm so happy you've stopped by and always enjoy your comments :)