I travel as much as possible at home and abroad. I'm always ready for new experiences
Published May 24th 2020
Walking trails and a remnant of antebellum buildings
Stagville Plantation is a state historic site which includes a few remaining buildings from one of the largest plantations in North Carolina. By 1860, the plantation comprised around 30,000 acres and around 900 people were enslaved on the property. Stagville is 'dedicated to teaching about the lives and work of enslaved people on the plantation.' More information on the ethos of the site is available in a series of articles and video links provided by the website.
Normally, guided tours are available Tuesday through Saturday, departing at 11, 1, and 3. To tour Stagville, you must have a vehicle. Tours begin at the visitors centre and then follow the guide by car a few miles away to the area containing remnant buildings.
At the moment (May 2020), the visitors centre and tours are closed. However, self-guided tours of the buildings (outside only) and the nature trails are still available. Check the Facebook page for the most up to date information.
Antebellum areas to tour on the property include enslaved family quarters (1851), the Great Barn (1860), Bennehan family house (1787-1799), and Bennehan family cemetery. In trying to uncover lived experiences of unrecorded individuals, archaeological excavation has uncovered many objects left behind by the enslaved community on the property. Some of the most poignant finds are fingerprints and the footprint of a child pressed into the bricks of the enslaved family quarters.
The Horton Grove Nature Preserve is just down the road from the historical area of the site. Currently, the Preserve has eight miles of hiking trails through forests, native plant meadows and a 20-acre grassland.
The site is a peaceful, quiet place at the moment as nature has mostly taken over and there are no vivid reminders of the property's dark and terrible history on a self-guided tour. Once everything reopens properly, it would certainly be worthwhile to attend a professional tour to more fully understand the property and its place in history.