13. Catherine Foster Site

Home Screen

(434) 326 - 4111 stop 13#

During the expansion of a parking lot east of and adjacent to Venable Lane in 1993, University staff discovered several grave shafts. Archival research identified the historic parcel containing the graves as belonging to Catherine Foster, a free black woman who purchased the property in 1833. Subsequent archaeological research conducted on the property identified a total of thirty-two graves as well as an early nineteenth century house and landscaped yard. As free laundresses and seamstresses, owning property adjacent to the University during the antebellum period was a significant asset for "Kitty" Foster and her daughters and grand-daughters. During the postbellum period the area surrounding the Foster residence became known as Canada, a predominantly African American owner-occupied neighborhood. The 2 1/8 acre historic parcel remained in the Foster family until 1906. The memorial adjacent to the South Lawn complex commemorates the Foster residence, the larger landscape, and the cemetery believed to contain members of the Foster family and adjacent Canada community.

Historic location only | historic marker

Historic location only | Historic marker