Press Release


Slave Dwelling Project to Come to Bacon’s Castle

June 5, 2012

Slave Dwelling Project to Come to Bacon’s Castle


Slave Dwelling Project to come to Bacon’s Castle

Preservation Virginia is pleased to announce the Slave Dwelling Project is coming to Bacon’s Castle in Surry County, VA on October 5th and 6th. The project was created by Joe McGill, a descendent of slaves who travels to and sleeps in slave dwellings across the country to raise awareness of the need to preserve these structures so important to our history.

Bacon’s Castle is hosting a two day event, complete with school programming on Friday, an overnight in the slave dwelling and a Saturday free open house for the public. Saturday’s open house will have artisans, vendors, food, lectures and tours of Bacon’s Castle, the garden and the slave dwelling.

Slave Dwelling Project Overview of Events:

900 Surry County students will attend a fieldtrip related to the Slave Dwelling Project at Bacon’s Castle the week of the event as well as an in school presentation by Joe McGill on Friday, October 5th. Mr. McGill will speak to the students about black history, the need to preserve slave dwellings and his experiences with the Slave Dwelling Project.

Friday evening, October 5th, Joe McGill will sleep inside the slave quarter along with Preservation Virginia staff members, two media representatives, two scholarship sponsored university students, one member of the Surry County African American Heritage Society and seven members of the general public who will have purchased $50 tickets for the event.

On Saturday, October 6th, Preservation Virginia is partnering with the Surry County African-American Heritage Society and Dominion to sponsor a free, presentation for the public by Mr. McGill.  He will speak to the need to stabilize the slave quarters and educate people about the lives of slaves in Surry County in the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries. Dr. Lauranett Lee of VHS’s Unknown No Longer project will also present inside of Bacon’s Castle several times during the day.

Here is a link to a YouTube video explaining Unknown No Longer:

The Saturday event will feature local craftsmen and vendors, local church choirs, black history story tellers, living-history cooking demonstrations, and tours of Bacon’s Castle and the garden.

Local community groups are who are interested in participating by setting up tables to promote history-related programs and organizations should contact Jennifer Hurst at  or 804-648-1889 extension 315.

Participating organizations include:

  • Surry County African-American Heritage Society
  • Contraband Historical Society
  • Coming to the Table
  • Remembering Slavery Resistance and Freedom project
  • VHS’s Unknown No Longer project.


The mission of Preservation Virginia is to preserve, promote and serve as an advocate for the
state’s irreplaceable historic places for cultural, economic and educational benefits of everyone.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Hurst, Associate Director of Museum Operations and Education at or by phone at (804) 314-7530

Press Contact: Elizabeth Kostelny, Executive Director, Preservation Virginia, 804-648-1889, x306 or

Press Contact

Elizabeth Kostelny,  Executive Director,, 804-648-1889, x306