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1870s: Ex-slaves John Coles and Benjamin Brown purchase land in area from ex-slaveowner W.G. Carr.


1876: Ned Brown purchases seventy-five acres, which he subdivides into small lots, laying foundation for village of Proffit.

"This land was once part of two large estates. One of the men, who owned the land on one side of the road, failed and his land was sold. The man who bought from the original owner sold to another man who still owns a large estate. About six years after the flood of 1870, a colored man bought seventy-five acres from the man who had bought it at auction when the first owner failed. This Negro sold ten acres to a white man and the rest in small lots to colored people. These people were the original settlers of the town which was then called Egypt, later Bethel, and still later was named Proffit by the railroad people who bought their right of way from a man of that name." [Irwin, 1929]

"Newly freed slaves from the Carr family plantations remained in the area and either worked as tenant farmers or purchased small farms carved from the former Carr family lands. Among these former slaves was Ned Brown, who purchased seventy-five acres along Route 649 in 1876. His land lay mostly on the west side of the road and was bounded by Bethel Church on the north, and Red Hills plantation on the south. Brown laid out lots for a town on either side of the road and named it Egypt. Early residents of Egypt included other former slaves, mostly members of the Brown and Flanagan families. The Brown family settled mostly along the west side of Route 649, while the Flanagan family settled along the east side. The land on the east side of the road is still owned by members of the Flanagan family." [Dames & Moore, 1995]


1880: Winemaker Adolph Russow purchases Red Hills farm from the Carr family. Russow was the superintendent of the Monticello Wine Company, which produced award-winning wines using grapes from a number of Albemarle County growers. Russow sold Red Hills in 1891 and moved to a company-owned house near the winery off Park Street in Charlottesville. [Dames & Moore, 1995]


March 1881: Proffit's Station opens on the Virginia Midland Rail Road line, attrracting white residents to the village. "Until the railroad was built this town had no white inhabitants. There were white people on the outlying farms, of course, but none in town. When the railroad was built there the white people came and now have a pleasant little village." [Irwin, 1929]

"Samuel Proffit was an early white landowner in the Egypt community. He sold part of his property to the Virginia Midland (later Southern and now Norfolk-Southern) railroad for a right-of-way. When the railroad line opened between Charlottesville and Orange in 1881, the depot at this location was named Proffit in his honor." [Dames & Moore, 1995] "


June 1887: Laurel Hill Baptist Church is established near Proffit's Station. [C'ville Chronicle, 6/31/87)


January 1890: Proffit man, James Flannagan, is killed. [C'ville Chronicle, 1-31-90]


May 1892: Mr. Wheeler, "who teaches at Proffits," speaks at commencement exercises for Mr. B. F. Brown's school in nearby Eastham. "The school house was crowded. After the programme of the pupils was carried out, Miss N.L. Brown sang a solo, 'Flee aas a Bird to your Mountain.'" [Rich. Planet, 5-21-92]


June 1892: Children's Day is celebrated at Bethel Church with a special missionary service. "An instructive excercise by the Sunday-school pertaining to the Korean mission was followed by an excellent practical address on general missions, by Rev. P. H. Gwinn." [C'ville Chronicle, 6-17-92]


July 1892: Proffit residents bemoan lack of "suitable reception room for travlers" at railway station." "The depot is divided into two compartments, one for the reception of freight and the other an official room entirely occupied by the ticket and telegraph offices, and affording no accommodation whatever to the public. No matter what the state of the weather is, travelers have no waiting place but a coal-dust covered passway between two rail tracks,. The daily sale of tickets averages well, and the erection of a suitable reception room should not be delayed" [C'ville Chronicle, 7-22-92]

"The railroad continues to ingorne our claim to a reception room at this place, although complaints are frequent and an appeal for a suitable building was made to headquarters some time ago." [C'ville Chronicle, 9-16-92]


July 1890: "Old Aunt Jane Vandergrift" is eulogized by white residents of Proffit. "Many will hear with regret of the death of old Aunt Jane Vandergrift. She was attacked with paralysis on the 11th inst., and died the following Thursday. Frugal and industrious she maintained herself by the labor of her own hands until stricken down by the fatal disease. Faithful and respectful, she was a type of 'ye olden time servant.' May she rest in peace." [C'ville Chronicle, 7-22-92]


September 1892: Proffit correspondent reports that grape-growing has been "very profitable" for farmers in area. "Mr. T. J. Smith, living near Proffit, has a vineyard of twenty-one acres. He has shipped to Boston about nine thousand pounds of choice varieties, netting over four hundred dollars." [C'ville Chronicle, 9-2-92]

"Mr. Wm. Hotopp is another very successful grape grower in this section, and the vineyard of Mr. Buck is justly noted for its yield, both as to quality and quantity." [C'ville Chronicle, 9-16-22]


Fall 1892: Big-city entertainment comes to Proffit. "Our little place was enlivened by Monday evening by a magic lantern exhibition in the public school. Mr. George Deal, the manager, was assisted by an Indian, who entertained the crowd with music." [C'ville Chronicle, 9-23-92]

"Proffit is advancing towards the dignity of a city -- a magic lantern exhibition and a circus within the last three weeks. The latter gave a performance on the the 3rd inst., and was well-attended, the majority of the audience being children." [C'ville Chronicle, 10-7-92]

"The hearts of the Proffit children were gladened by the visit of a bear and three monkeys, attended by their keepers last week". [C'ville Chronicle, 10-28-92]


November 1892: A "large number of persons" from the Proffit area attend the Democratic jubilee in Charlottesville. "The illumination was distinctly visible several miles beyond this place and the noise made by the 'big gun' was sufficient to startle those who were ignorant of its source." [C'ville Chronicle, 11-18-92]


November 1892: Proffit man, Ned Thomas, murdered by unknown assailant. "Mr. Ned Thomas who lives near Proffits, on the V.M.R.R., was killed last Tuesday evening, the 8th inst. His throat was cut and he was covered with corn shucks. The assassin is yet undiscovered. [Rich. Planet, 11-19-92]


December 1892: Profitt woman, Rosa Walker, dies of burns. "Miss Rosa Walker, who was burned week before last near Fry Springs died last week from the effects of the burns. Her home is near Proffit, Va., on the V.M.R.R. She was engaged to be married, Xmas. Her friends have our sympathy. [Rich. Planet, 12-10-92]


February 1893: Train kills boy near Proffit Station. "Reeves Carroll, a boy about sixteen years old, was killed by the cars on the Virginia Midland Railroad, on the 11th inst. near Proffit Station. He was the sole support of his mother. [Rich. Planet, 2-25-93]


December 1894: Proffit girl dies in fire. "The four-year-old daughter of George and Alice Brown, colored, was burned to death last night. Both parents were away from home at the time of the accident, which was caused by the child playing too near an open fire. [C'ville Chronicle, 12-14-94]


1907: Massie map of Albemarle County is first to show village of Proffit. [Dames & Moore, 1995]

1910s 1911: Maggie Lilly (Carr) Brown is born. Ms. Brown, who has lived in Proffit her entire life, still grows her own vegetables, is the mother of 7, the grandmother of 32, and great-grandmother of over thirty children. [see interview transcript]
  June 13, 1913: James E. (Jim) Payne is born in Proffit. Mr. Payne, who has lived in Proffit his entire life, worked as a barber for over 50 years at the Joker's Barbershop in Charlottesville, and is still something of a celebrity among old-timers. [See interview transcript]


1916: A double track is laid along the rail route that passes through Proffit. By the 1920s five passenger trains stopped daily at Proffit. [Dames & Moore, 1995]


December 1917: Ohio Sulphur Mine Company leases tracts of land northwest of Proffit. The company opened a 150-foot deep shaft mine to extract pyrite in the area's slate belt. There was also a 3/4 -mile spur rail line connecting the mine to the main track at Proffit depot. After about a year's operation, the company abandoned the property. Foundations of the refining mills, a tool shed, and water tank are still visible at the mine site. [Dames and Moore, 1995]

1920s May 28, 1928: Ms. Marion Alene (Coles) Martin is born. Ms. Martin, who has lived in Proffit since she was about 3 years old, worked as a nurse at UVa hospital for over 35 years and is an active member in the Church as well as the Community Association. [See interview transcript]


1929: Marjorie Felice Irwin describes the village of Proffit in her U.Va. master's thesis, "The Negro in Charlottesville and Albemarle County." "There are about fifteen or twenty colored families in the town. These people do not own farms, but they have little truck gardens which supply their own needs. they do not altogether depend upon this for their living, however; they work in Charlottesville and go back and forth to their homes. This custom of working in town and living in the country or in small villages seems to be a common practice among the colored population of the county." [Irwin, 1929]


1932: Route 29 is constructed two miles west of Proffit. The highway replaced the railroad as the principal route of commerce between Proffit and Charlottesville. [Dames & Moore, 1995]

  1937: Pauline Louise (Flannagan) Johnson is born. Ms. Johnson, who has lived in Proffit for most of her life, lives on the same land her family has owned since the 1870s. [See interview transcript]


1940s: Rail passenger service to Proffit is discontinued. [Dames & Moore, 1995]



1960s: Proffit Post Office is closed. [Dames and Moore, 1995]




1995: Dames and Moore include section on Proffit in their "Historical Architectural Survey of Albemarle County Villages." The report was prepared for the Albemarle County Department of Planning and Community Development and submitted to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

1998: Proffit Historic District is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register.


1999: Proffit Historic District is listed in National Register of Historic Places.


April 2000: Virginia Foundation for the Humanities awards grant to Carter G. Woodson Institute to create on-line resource archive for Proffit Historic District.

June 2000: Proffit residents gather at Evergreen Baptist Church for unveiling of new Proffit Historic District highway marker. [6-24-00]