The Ivy Creek Foundation maintains 6 miles of trails at the Ivy Creek Natural Area. Ivy Creek is the home place of Hugh Carr (1843-1914), who in the years following the Civil War created a 200-acre family farm know as Riverview Farm. At the end of the Civil War, the 22-year old Carr began work as a farm manager while building a farm of his own near the mill village of Hydraulic, a thriving black community (much of which now lies under the Rivanna Reservoir.) By 1889 he had amassed over 200 acres of prime farmland and married his second wife, Texie Mae Hawkins (1865-1899).
While illiterate himself, Carr placed a high priority on the value of education for his children. Having attended the segregated Union Ridge Graded School and then the Piedmont Industrial Institute, five of his seven children received a college and/or teaching training degree. Their descendants have gone on to become prominent teachers, doctors, and influential community leaders. Carr's eldest daughter, Mary Carr Greer, was Principal of the Albemarle Training School from 1931 to 1950, and Albemarle County's Greer Elementary School is named in her honor.
After Hugh Carr's death in 1914, Mary Greer and her husband Conley Greer operated River View Farm as a model farming enterprise. Under their 42-year tenure, they expanded the farm to over 230 acres. The core of the farm remained intact until her death in 1973. Two years later, the Nature Conservancy bought the remaining 80 acres of River View Farm. In 1981 the newly formed Ivy Creek Foundation, the City of Charlottesville, and Albemarle County received a federal grant to purchase the property as well as adjacent parcels. Today 215 acres are owned by the Ivy Creek Natural Area and include the historic Carr homestead as well as a barn and cemetery.
The Carr Family cemetery lies behind the historic house. In his 1913 will, Hugh Carr designated a quarter-acre plot for use as a graveyard. Hugh is commemorated along with his wife and son, Marshall Carr, on a granite marker. Mary Carr and Conly Greer each have a granite marker. In addition, there are three or five uninscribed fieldstones that may indicate additional burials. In the southeast corner two carved obelisks stand as a head and footstone to a grave. Neither stone is inscribed but Hugh's mother lived with the family for a period of time and family history suggests that this may be her grave. The most recent interment occurred in 2009.
Many of the original Carr family farm structures are still on the 200-acres farm, including the barn (which functions today as an educational center), family cemetery, the original farm house, the spring that was the water source for the farm, stone walls and fences, remnant orchard trees, and many farm roads. There are several 200+ year old oak trees that stand as a testament to the land's past. The Ivy Creek Foundation maintains more than 6 miles of hiking trails that traverse the diverse habitats and pass farm relics.
Geographical and Contact Information
1780 Earlysville Road