House Tours

Antebellum: what does that mean?

April 13, 2018

We get that question a lot over here! Not only that, but I often see in listings where a house is being called “antebellum” when it’s about 50 plus years off in the date to be considered true antebellum. In basic terms, antebellum means prewar, most notably the Civil War. Ante (before), bellum (war). Most people think about antebellum structures in the deep south. Antebellum architecture is usually characterized by Georgian, Neo-Classical and Greek Revival mansions or plantation homes.

A perfect example of a Greek Revival antebellum home is Berry Hill Plantation and Resort in South Boston, Va. I’m including my pictures of that amazing house from an old post of mine on Facebook. I’ve also included an old video tour up above that I did there over the summer. It is an amazing house and grounds! And anyone can go and visit it, you don’t have to be guests.

I recommend taking the hike out behind it. It will take you to slave house ruins and the cemetery of the enslaved. It is always an emotional experience for me, so prepare yourself for that. After hiking, you can look around the main house and then grab lunch at Darby’s Tavern. Some of the recipes are the actual recipes used for the Bruce family. And the Tavern itself is the old kitchen that dates back to 1790!