This land was first patented in 1742 by Pocahontas’ great great grandson. Historic Riverview was part of a large plantation on both sides of the James River. Historic Riverview remains the center of a family farm operation and four generations of the same family have lived on this Century Farm.
Two buildings were built by 1845 of bricks handmade from the farm’s red clay. One building in particular, the Brick Barn seems to whisper the tales of our ancestors. These building still remain, as does the history, the beauty, the possibility and allure of Historic Riverview on the James.
The historic character of Historic Riverview on the James is influenced by the two Virginia Historic Landmarks, also on the National Register, situated on the adjoining family farm. Traversing the rolling James River is Six Mile Bridge. Above it, on the crest of a hill, sits a Civil War redoubt, Fort Riverview, built to protect the surrounding area. These two landmarks sit undisturbed in their natural setting as the seasons change through the year.
The Riverview House
Riverview House, built in 1873, is a large Georgian style clapboard building exuding southern comfort and charm. This beautiful home overlooks the James River, and from its upper story “widow’s walk” family could observe and wave to busy river traffic during the Kanawha Canal days of the mid-1800s. You can enjoy the same delight and relaxation watching the river from the front porch or strolling along the boxwood walk or on the lawn – taking in the gorgeous mountain view and seemingly endless farmland stretches below, accompanied by the tranquil sounds of the James rolling by.
Attached to the house by a breezeway is a Smokehouse used for many years for curing hams and other meats. This building has since been renovated especially now for serving Southern hospitality. It is the perfect unique space from which to serve guests beverages during your special event at Historic Riverview.
Adjacent to the Riverview house stand two original barns, one complete with a silo and corncrib, and a brick cottage built in 1845. These unique buildings are still used on this working farm.
Historic Riverview Lawn and Surroundings
The Fireplace and Grill
At the bottom of the gently sloping lawn lies an inviting fireplace and terrace perched in the lawn overlooking the James. The fireplace was built in the 1950s from “riverjacks” or stones found on the property and made smooth by the waters of the river. The fireplace was originally used for family barbeques and has been updated with a top-of-the-line grill. Relax on the terrace, enjoy a cocktail and take in the views as you dine on grilled delights by the fire. Watch the moon rise over the James when the sun sets or see the stars come out to sparkle in your special evening. Morning events capture the sun making the James sparkle silver and the fields below new and fresh from the morning sun. Your day/event will be unique, original, and beautiful as nature is always showing off her beauty here.
The Fox Den (Formerly the Bedford House)
The 19th century Fox Den (Groom’s cottage) was once a minister’s study. It is adjacent to the main house and is a perfect location for the groom and his groomsmen to relax and enjoy a bit of brotherhood. There is adequate space and a restroom to change attire and organize the grooms’ procession to the guest/party location or ceremony area.
The Brick Barn
The brick barn was built before the Civil War, possibly by 1845. The bricks used to create the building were handmade on the property. In the heyday of tobacco growing this barn was used for “ordering” tobacco and has always stood as if a sentinel located prominently where farming activities always passed it.
The Brick Barn can be viewed in the distance from the lawn of Historic Riverview on the James lending its special ambiance to an event.
The James River Riverside Setting
The mighty James River winds serenely around Historic Riverview and is the reason Historic Riverview was settled here. The James River has arguably been one of the most important rivers in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the entire country itself. Starting as a trickle high in the Appalachian Mountains it winds sometimes serenely and sometimes as a torrent 340 miles to its mouth at the Atlantic Ocean. In 1607 Jamestown was built on its banks, before then, Pocahontas and her tribe lived off of the James for a millennia. Historic Riverview used the James to transport its most important crop, tobacco. Lynchburg grew to be the wealthiest city in the nation in the 1800s due to its proximity to the James. Today, you and your guests can enjoy one of Virginia’s most incredible natural features as the backdrop for your special day or event.
Fort Riverview and Six Mile Bridge- Historic Landmarks
There are two Virginia Historic Landmarks, also on the National Register, located on the adjoining family farm. Along the banks of the James River is Fort Riverview. It is a Civil War redoubt built by 1863 to protect Six Mile Bridge and the Kanawha Canal system along the James which it overlooks.
Fort Riverview served as part of the outer defense system for Lynchburg. The Southside Railroad was the only direct route to the western part of Virginia. The protection of this bridge was vital to the Confederacy as it carried supplies for General Lee. Since Lynchburg served as a major supply, staging, and hospital center, Fort Riverview was strategically located to protect this critical center.
Historic Riverview on the James is proud to recognize and help preserve these two historic landmarks and the important history they have.