North Field Trail

Barn

Photo: Piedmont Environmental Council

The Barn

"If you know nothing of agricultural history, then you cannot understand American history." Thomas Isern

In the Piedmont of Virginia, most of the land was at some point cleared for agricultural purposes. The height of deforestation in Virginia probably occurred around the time of the Civil War. In the post-war era much of this agricultural land was abandoned and has since come back as forest in a process called forest succession.

The barn at Ivy Creek stands testament to the fact that the natural area was once a thriving farm called Riverview Farm which was owned by Hugh Carr and his descendants. The barn was built in the early 1930s by Carr's son-in-law Conly Greer as a modern, up-to-date facility. It housed horses, cows, pigs, and the winter food supply necessary for successful livestock farming.

Conly Greer was Albemarle County's first African-American agricultural extension agent, and he used Riverview Farm as a model for other farmers in the area. Ivy Creek Natural Area is on the Virginia African-American Heritage Trail in recognition of its rich social and agricultural history.

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