A 19th-century cabin at Sweet Briar College will be open to visitors for self-guided tours in November and December.

Current research suggests the cabin was built during the antebellum period to house enslaved laborers, who lived in dozens of similar dwellings on what was then Sweet Briar Plantation.

The cabin, located behind Sweet Briar House, is the only one that survives.

College founder Indiana Fletcher Williams’ overseer, Logan Anderson, likely lived in the cabin during the 1880s.

When the college was founded in 1900, Sterling Jones Sr. and his family lived there until the mid-1920s.

Over decades that followed, the cabin served as the SBC alumnae office, a theater classroom, a coffee shop, a chapel and a farm tool equipment museum.

It has been in continuous use for about 170 years.

In 2012, the college was awarded a Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grant to re-interpret the complex history of the building and to create an exhibit that highlights the history of African Americans at Sweet Briar.

In November and December, the historic structure will be open to the public on the following days:


Thursday, Nov. 15: 10 a.m. to noon

Tuesday, Nov. 27: 10:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 29: 10 a.m. to noon

Friday, Nov. 30: 1 to 5 p.m.


Tuesday, Dec. 4: 10:30 a.m. to1:15 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 7: 1 to 5 p.m.

Hours are weather-dependent. In case of freezing conditions, please check the cabin tours website at www.tusculum.sbc.edu/africanamericans.

For more information about the cabin’s history, contact Lynn Rainville, director of the Tusculum Institute, at (434) 381-6432 or lrainville@sbc.edu, or visit the institute’s website at www.tusculum.sbc.edu.

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