On this site, stood the outbuilding that served as the kitchen for the Stuart family. As was the custom in those days kitchens were housed in buildings separate from the main dwelling for protection against a fire that might erupt as a result of cooking. Ironically, the fire that destroyed the Stuart home at Laurel Hill was not the result of a kitchen fire. After the fire that destroyed the Laurel Hill home in the winter of 1847-48, members of the Stuart household were forced to seek accommodations elsewhere. In a letter dated March 25, 1848 from Wytheville, Virginia, J. E. B. Stuart writes to his cousin Alexander Stuart Brown that "I went to Patrick County and stayed there until that sad disaster of having our house burnt (which I expect you have heard of) happened." In that same letter he writes that his mother and his youngest sister, Victoria, have gone to Floyd County to spend the summer, and another sister, Columbia, has gone to Pittsylvania County. Further, he writes "John Stuart (his older brother) stayed with Dr. Headen studying medicine until our house was burnt and then came home and he and Pa are now keeping house in the kitchen." It is unclear how long John Dabney Stuart and his father Archibald used this kitchen as their domicile, however the Stuarts remained at Laurel Hill until 1859.
sign is a gift of
Nicholas K. & Janice Epperson of Ararat, VA
In Memory of Nathaniel Davis Hill C.S.A &
Nicholas D. Epperson, June 29, 1862, C.S.A.