Teaching for Historic Places Lesson Plan

An Antebellum Plantation in Virginia

Everyday Life and the Built Environment
at the Sweet Briar Plantation

Visual Evidence

Figure 8: Slave Cabin behind Sweet Briar House [ Print Figure ]
Slave Cabin behind Sweet Briar House
  • How many rooms do you think there are in this house? Why?
  • Who lived in this house?
  • What were the jobs of the people who lived in this house?
Figure 9: Architectural Plan of the First Floor of Sweet Briar House. [ Print Figure ]
First Floor Plan of Sweet Briar House
Source: Matt Tyree, Craddock & Cunningham Architects.
  • Review the drawing of Sweet Briar House in Fig. 3 and see if you can find the
    stairs that are drawn on this plan.
  • Why do you think the walls on the plan are shaded in different colors?
  • What are the two large rooms labeled (a) and (b)? Can you find them in Fig. 2?
Figure 10: Millstone on the grounds of Sweet Briar House. [ Print Figure ]

Note: this circular object was one half of an apparatus used to grind wheat or corn.

  • What do you think the grooves were used for?
  • Why do you think this 100+ year old artifact was left behind?
  • What is it being used for today?
Figure 11: Interior of Sweet Briar House, circa 1920s [ Print Figure ]
Figure 11: Interior of Sweet Briar House
Harris & Ewing Studio, Washington DC.
  • Can you find the stairs in this photograph on the plan of the first floor (Fig. 9)?
  • What stands to the right of the stairs on the first floor?
  • How does this staircase compare to stairwells in your school?
Figure 12: Sweet Briar House, the home of Indiana Fletcher Williams [ Print Figure ]
Sweet Briar House (Postcard)
  • How many shapes can you identify on the front of the house?
  • What function did the covered porch serve?
  • Are the hedges symmetrical? Is the house?
Figure 13: Mt. San Angelo, the home of Elizabeth Fletcher Mosby (Indiana's sister). [ Print Figure ]
Mt. San Angelo (Postcard)
  • How many columns are present on the front of this building?
  • Compare this photograph to Sweet Briar House. What is similar? Different?
  • How do the landscapes in Fig. 12 and 13 compare?