North Field Trail
"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 River View Farm which was owned by Hugh Carr and his descendants. The barn was built around 1937 by Carr's son-in-law Conly Greer as a modern, up-to-date facility. During his time, it housed horses, cows, and the winter food supply necessary for successful livestock farming. After his death, the barn was rented to a farmer who housed his farrowing pigs there.
Conly Greer was Albemarle County's first African-American agricultural extension agent, and he used River View 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.