The Enslaved People Of Louisville And Their Stories Come To Light This Weekend In A Special Series Of Events

The Slave Dwelling Project and the Louisville Coalition on the History of the Enslaved, which includes Farmington Historic Plantation, Locust Grove, Oxmoor Farms and Riverside: The Farnsley Moreman Landing, are coming together for a weekend of projects designed to retell the story of the people who actually worked the land on these plantations. 

The Slave Dwelling Project is sending educator Joe McGill, who is a Civil War reenactor and descendant of enslaved people, to Louisville for the weekend. All of these historic sites have committed to reframing and telling more appropriate and accurate stories of the people who lived and were enslaved there. 

The project began on Magnolia Plantation & Gardens in Charlestown and is now in 25 states and climbing. McGill has been working to tell the real stories of the enslaved, one small dwelling at a time. In fact, he is on a mission to spend the night in each slave dwelling left standing in America. He will be joined with fellow historians Jerome Bias and Rodney Prioleau for help with programming for the event. There will be programming activated at all events. 

From a press release: 

Friday, Oct. 22

10 a.m.  – Unfolding the Story. Experience the other side of Locust Grove in this tour with the Croghan family’s enslaved laundress, Louisa, and enslaved distillery assistant, Alfred, as they go about their daily routines. You will be immersed in the year 1816 as you witness the sights, smells, and sounds of a 19th century farm, all while learning about the lives and stories of the enslaved.

6 p.m.  – Tour Historic Oxmoor Farm then join a campfire discussion outside of Oxmoor’s four existing slave dwellings led by the Slave Dwelling Project’s Joe McGill. Participants can add-on a ticket for an overnight camp stay. Tickets are limited.

Saturday, Oct. 23

10 a.m.  – We kick off with a tour of Historic Farmington Plantation and then join experts and historians as they discuss changes that historic sites are making to shift the narrative during tours about the enslaved who lived at each site. The discussion will be moderated by NPR contributor, Dan Gediman, whose recent podcast The Reckoning delved into Kentucky’s history of slavery. A food truck will be onsite with lunch options.

1:30 p.m.  – The weekend concludes at Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing with the Slave Dwelling Project living presentations. Jerome Bias will lead a cooking demonstration in the detached kitchen with food tasting and Rodney Prioleau will demonstrate the craft of brickmaking, a skill many enslaved people practiced. You will also tour the Farnsley-Moremen House and interact with archaeologists from the Kentucky Archaeological Survey who have been investigating the lives of the enslaved at Riverside for almost two decades. (Regular morning tours of the House are available through Riverside’s website:

For Tickets

Full Weekend Passes are available by clicking the link below. A Weekend Pass is $60, a savings of $15, with a limited number available.

Single tickets for Friday’s tour at Locust Grove are $10 per person. Tour times are 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Tickets for Saturday’s programs at Farmington and Riverside are $25 per person.

Please note —  most of the programs will take place outdoors to better adhere to COVID safety guidelines. Masks are recommended for any portion of the programs that take place indoors. We will be in touch with ticket buyers if any programming has to be altered due to the weather.

Tickets are for sale here.

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