"The Slave Dwelling Project" Visits Belle Grove
As part of its commemoration of the 152nd Anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek, Belle Grove Plantation included a visit from The Slave Dwelling Project. Founder Joseph McGill's organization works to document and preserve extant slave dwellings and they raise awareness by spending the night in these buildings and places. To date, Mr. McGill and his team have spent the night in dwellings in 17 states and Washington, D.C.
Belle Grove has no extant slave quarters so the private, overnight stay took place on the lower level of the Manor House where enslaved persons worked and may have slept to tend the kitchen fireplace or be available to serve the family. Mr. McGill, his colleagues, staff from Belle Grove and the National Trust as well as a group from Bloomsburg University's Frederick Douglass Institute for Academic Excellence spent the night after a day of tours, talks, and a hearth cooked meal. The next morning, Mr. McGill gave a lecture about his experiences, including his previous night’s stay at Belle Grove and documented it on the Slave Dwelling Project Blog. Additional blogs posts were written by Bloomsburg University and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.