Hardin Tavern Slave Cemetery

Association: None
No. of Markers: 8 (View)
No. of Individuals: 0 (View)
Location: Ivy, Albemarle Co.

This Cemetery is named after a nearby Tavern, the Hardin Tavern. Oral tradition maintains that the cemetery contains slaves who once worked for the Hardin family. The Tavern opened in 1805 and was originally called the Albemarle Hotel. The owner, Benjamin Hardin, fell into debt and sold the establishment around 1827. Next, Francis McGee operated a tavern at the site (his family is buried adjacent to a 20th Century house located on the property today). The "slave cemetery" is located several hundred feet from the original tavern, across Morgantown Road, at the edge of a field.

Only seven stones were visible in the ground, but several more had been removed over the decades (including several that were disturbed during a storm that uprooted a tree which held the stones within its root system). None of the stones were inscribed with names or dates. Instead, they were carved fieldstones of various sizes and a handful of quartz stones. One woman in the community remembers her mother gesturing towards the cemetery and saying that her enslaved mother was buried there. While there is no way to prove that the stones mark slave burials, it seems likely that the cemetery was used by either the individuals enslaved by either the Hardin or McGee family.

The house pictured below is a modern structure. The tavern would have stood in front of it, while the McGee cemetery is to the left of the house and the slave cemetery is across the street (behind the photographer) and at the edge of the pasture.