Green Springs National Historic Landmark District

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This article is about the National Park Service-managed district in Louisa County, Virginia. For the National Park Service site in James City County, Virginia, see Green Spring Plantation.
Green Springs Historic District
Green-Springs-NHL-District.jpg
"Bracketts," located in the Green Springs District
Green Springs National Historic Landmark District is located in Virginia
Green Springs National Historic Landmark District
Location Louisa County, Virginia, USA
Nearest city Zion Crossroads, Virginia
Coordinates 38°1′23″N 78°9′55″W / 38.02306°N 78.16528°W / 38.02306; -78.16528Coordinates: 38°1′23″N 78°9′55″W / 38.02306°N 78.16528°W / 38.02306; -78.16528
Area 14,004 acres (5,667 ha)
5,766.04 federal easements

56.67 km²
Architect Multiple
Architectural style Greek Revival, Italianate, Federal
Governing body National Park Service
(affiliated area of Shenandoah NP)
NRHP Reference # 73002036[1]
VLR # 054-0111
Significant dates
Added to NRHP March 07, 1973
Designated VLR February 20, 1973[2]

Green Springs National Historic Landmark District is a national historic district in Louisa County, Virginia noted for its concentration of fine rural manor houses and related buildings in an intact agricultural landscape. The district comprises 14,000 acres (5,700 ha) of fertile land, contrasting with the more typical poor soil and scrub pinelands surrounding it.

Description[edit]

The district is located 1.5 miles (2 km) north of Interstate 64 from exit No. 136, "Zion Crossroads." The district is roughly bounded by U.S. Route 15 and Virginia Routes 22 and 613. The area is named for a natural spring noted by Thomas Jefferson as possessing "some medicinal virtue." The district features a mixture of wooded and farmed lands. Its distinguishing geological feature is the presence of a heavy clay soil that retains plant nutrients and moisture, creating an open landscape suitable for farming. The area is noted for its park-like views, particularly from U.S. Route 15.[3]

Preservation[edit]

The district was preserved following attempts by the state of Virginia to build a prison there, and after a strip mine was proposed in the area to mine clay for cat litter.[4]

The strip mine happened anyway (Google Earth maps of the area clearly show the destruction caused by the mine) but not on the scale that was intended originally and a great many significant houses and lands continue to be preserved and excluded from the development that is transforming some of the area around the district.

National Register properties[edit]

Significant places listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places include:

Major historic properties[edit]

Major historic properties in the district include:

  • Barton House is an early 19th-century 1-1/2-story frame house built by the Barton family.
  • Belle Monte is a Federal style two-story house built in the early 18th** century and enlarged in both the 19th and 20th century. (**The Historic American Buildings Survey listed the house built in the 19th century but pulled that data from a National Historic Register Nomination Form filled out in error) There are multiple historic references to the original builder of the house and family being born at the residence prior to the 1790s as well as land transfers predating the 1780s and a reference to Belle Monte in a letter from Thomas Jefferson. Lafayette stayed at and used the house as a recuperative hospital for his soldiers. There is definite precedence that places the original structure in the early to mid-1700s. Belle Monte is in close proximity to Boswell's Tavern and built in the same era.
  • Berea Baptist Church is an 1857 Gothic Revival church established in 1795.
  • Brackets is a two-story frame house built about 1800.
  • Corduroy is a circa 1850 two-story frame house with a hipped roof and a single-story entrance portico.
  • East View is a two-story frame house with a hipped roof and Moorish-style porches, built in 1856.
  • Galway is a two-story frame house with a hipped roof and a balustraded Tuscan porch. Its eaves feature a scalloped cornice.
  • Kenmuir is a 2-1/2-story frame house built about 1855. The house shows Gothic Revival influence with its lancet windows in the gables.
  • Oakleigh is a two-story late 19th century frame house with a bracketed cornice and a full-width veranda on the front featuring sawn detailing.
  • Prospect Hill is an 18th-century house that was progressively enlarged in the 19th and 20th centuries. The two-story frame house features a two-level porch on two sides, along with dependent structures.
  • Quaker Hill is a small one-story frame house dating to circa 1820.
  • St. John's Chapel located at the intersection of Route 640 (East Jack Jouett Road) and Route 617 (East Green Springs Road) in Louisa County. The chapel was completed in 1888.
  • Sylvania was built in 1746 by the Morris family. The two-story frame house has a hipped roof with a cross gable, with wings to either side and an ell to the rear. Sylvania was extensively damaged by a tornado on October 13, 2011, which blew the roof off the house.[3][12]
  • Westlands is an Italianate two-story brick house, built around 1856.[3]

Other properties[edit]

Other historic properties include:

  • Ashleigh is a 1900 frame house of two stories with a large veranda.
  • Aspen Hill is a two-story late-19th century frame house with a lancet gable window.
  • Fair Oaks is a two-story frame house built about 1900 with an Ionic Classical Revival veranda.
  • Green "K" Acres (Oakleigh) is a late-19th century two-story frame house with a veranda.
  • Hard Bargain is a Stick Style two-story frame house with an irregular plan and a veranda.
  • Hill House is a 1918 two-story frame house.
  • Midloch is a circa 1900 two-story frame house with paneled chimneys and a large veranda.
  • Mill View is a 1-1/2-story frame house dating to the late 18th century, with a two-story addition.
  • Peers House is an 1857 two-story frame house with a hipped roof and a cross gable. A second Peers House was built in the late 19th century with sawn ornament on its two-story porch.
  • Sunny Banks is a circa 1900 two-story frame house.
  • Sunny View was built about 1900. It is a two-story frame house with a large veranda.[3]

The district also includes the village of Poindexter at the intersection of Virginia Routes 613 and 640.[3]

Status[edit]

On May 30, 1974 the district was declared a National Historic Landmark.[13] On December 12, 1977, the United States Secretary of the Interior agreed to accept preservation easements for nearly half of the 14,004 acres (57 km2) in the district. These allow the NPS to own development rights to the land, and to ensure its continuing rural and agricultural nature. The district is an affiliated area of Shenandoah National Park. The National Park Service does not provide any facilities in the district.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (February 1973). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Green Springs Historic District". Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Richard Guy, ed. (2002). The Buildings of Virginia:Tidewater and Piedmont. Oxford Press. pp. 135–136. ISBN 0-19-515206-9. 
  5. ^ Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (April 28, 1969). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Boswell's Tavern". National Park Service. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (December 1972). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Grassdale". National Park Service. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (May 1972). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Green Springs". National Park Service. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (July 16, 1970). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Hawkwood". National Park Service. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Hawkwood". Journey Through Hallowed Ground. National Park Service. 
  10. ^ Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (May 1972). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Ionia". National Park Service. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Staff (July 17, 1970). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Westend". National Park Service. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Suspected twister damages historic home in Va. county that was epicenter of August earthquake". Washington Post (via AP). October 13, 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Green Springs Historic District". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 

External links[edit]