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African American Hugh Carr family, Riverview Farm, and the Papers of the Ivy Creek Foundation

Identifier: MSS 10770

Scope and Contents

The papers contain correspondence, legal documents (copies), clippings, articles, research material, maps, and photographs concerning the Ivy Creek Natural Area and its history as the Riverview Farm owned by the Carr family (African Americans in late nineteenth century), including the original purchase by the Nature Conservancy, the formation of the Ivy Creek Foundation, and its administration of the property.

Included among these is a notebook titled, Ivy Creek Natural Area History and Heritage by Price Smith, and "The Rann Preserve" by Elizabeth Conant; a local conservation case study" by Patricia Farrell; an article "Legacies: Nature and History at Ivy Creek" by Bernice Grohskopf; as well as legal and financial papers of former owners Conly and Mary Carr Greer.There are also photographs of the Hugh Carr family.


  • Creation: 1916-1988

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

During the Reconstruction period of Virginia history, Hugh Carr (1843-1914), who was formerly enslaved by Richard Wingfield, began the long process of purchasing various tracts of land that eventually made up the model farm along Ivy Creek known as "Riverview" in the Union Ridge Hydraulic Mills community.

He and his wife, Texie Mae Hawkins,(1865-1899) raised seven children at River View Farm: Mary Louise Carr Greer, (1884-1973), Fannie Carr Washington (1887-?), Peachie Carr Jackson (1889-1977), Emma Clorinda Carr (1892-1974), Virginia Carr Brown (1893-1935), Ann Hazel Carr (1895-?), and one son Marshall Hubert Carr (1886-1916).The farm continued to grow and by 1890 it was over 125 acres making Carr among the largest African American landowner in Albemarle County.

In 1916, Mary Carr married Conly Greer, the first African American extension agent for Albemarle County and the last family member to farm at Riverview Farm. After his death in 1957, Mary Carr Greer continued to live there but the land was rented to local farmers to farm. When she died in 1973, she left the estate to her only child, Evangeline Greer Jones, who in turn sold it.

Following its sale, the farm was slated to become one of Charlottesville’s newest subdivisions with a projected 200 homes. Elizabeth Conant, a biology teacher at the University of Virginia, realized that the land was ideal for a nature preserve. She contacted the Nature Conservancy who bought the farm and held it until the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County were able to buy the land. The Ivy Creek Foundation was incorporated on May 23, 1979, and the future management of the land lies with them. Paul Saunier, former University of Virginia administrator, was the first president of the Foundation.

The Ivy Creek Natural Area, which currently borders the South Rivanna Reservoir of the City of Charlottesville and consists of 215 acres of forest, field, and stream, was formed from several tracts of land. These include the original tract from the Mary Carr Greer Estate of eighty acres in 1975, a thirty-eight-acre tract from the City of Charlottesville in 1979, the James Fleming tract of eighty-acres in 1981, the Flamenco tract of sixteen acres in 1981, and four tenths of an acre from Bedford Moore in 1981. The Greer property was named the Rann Preserve when purchased by the Nature Conservancy and was renamed the Ivy Creek Natural Area. The organizers of the Ivy Creek Natural Area recognized the history of the Carr family and worked to save and preserve the land as well as the family documents that were found in the farmhouse.


0.5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was placed on deposit by the President of the Ivy Creek Foundation for the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia Library on the 11 July 1988.

Related Materials

This collection is related to MSS 10176 Hugh Carr family papers and Riverview farm.

African American Hugh Carr family, River View Farm, and the Papers of the Ivy Creek Foundation
Ellen Welch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States