• History

  • In 1761, the Free Union area was added to Albemarle County. Two of the earliest families settling here were James Harris and Daniel and Gabriel Maupin. Daniel Maupin I, lived from 1748 until his death in 1788 in White Hall area on the Maupin Homeplace. Gabriel his son lived on what is now called "Brakeheart Road" in Sugar Hollow until his death in 1794. Gabriel's son Thomas Maupin was the first of the Maupin family to live in the Free Union area. He lived just north of Wesley Chapel Church. He is believed to be buried in the Maupin Cemetery on Pea Vine Road. There are many fieldstones and Ora Maupin and her cousin Marvin Maupin took care of the cemetery for many years. They were not sure of the names for the many fieldstone graves in the cemetery.

    No military action occurred in Free Union during the Civil War, and the village emerged unscathed.

    Thirty-one families lived within two miles of Free Union in 1847. By 1884-85, Free Union contained two coach and wagon builders, two distillers, three general merchants, two liquor dealers, one corn and one flour mill, two physicians, one undertaker and twenty-one principal farmers. By 1911, Free Union had an estimated population of sixty and included several businesses.

  • Free Union Baptist Church

    Built in 1837

    Classical-revival, small scale with gable-end entrance, and some Flemish bond brickwork.

    The church was built during a time when many rural sects of religion did not have the funds to build individual houses of Worship; so four denominations (Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, and Presbyterian) built this 'union' church. It was "free" to all races. Dickinson and Sarah Burruss, of the nearby old Homestead estate, gave the land (deeded November 25,1837) to be used "for a Place of worship ... for the different denominations of Christians...one Sabbath or Lord day in every month..," The brick for its construction was made on the Burruss' plantation. James Ferguson taught school in this Church to black students following the Civil War and is purportedly the first of its kind in Albemarle County.

    The village was named after the church-originally called Nicksville after a free slave blacksmith named Nick. In 1847 a Post Office was established in this village and in order to avoid confusion with a nearby town called Nixville, the name Free Union was adopted.

  • Huckstep's Garage (Free Union Store)

    Estimated date of construction - 1925

    Building consists of three parts:

    1-story with gabled roof store of rusticated concrete with pedimented porte cohered large display windows Attached to the West is a 2-story stucco house with hipped roof and one story porch. On the north is a gable roofed frame garage with concrete block hyphen.

    A store stood on this site since the mid-1800's and at one time included a mill. Owned by the Maupin family for ( ?? ) years, the store burned many times and Was replaced by the current building in 1919.

  • Old Maupin Store (White's Store)

    Estimated construction 1915 by A.M. Elliott

    2-Story , 3-bay, gable roof frame store with bracketed eaves; shed roofed porch and gabled entrance. Original windows are 2/2 sash and there is original double screen door on front. Concrete block wings on either side (one is a garage) are later additions. Building is now a residence.

    At least two other stores stood on this site at the corner of Buck Mountain Road and route 601. One of these was the site of a sensational murder and arson on January 6,1806. Thomas W. Thompson, a twenty-five year old chief clerk at White's store and nephew of Dr. Thomas M. Dunn, was murdered and his burned, decapitated body recovered from the ashes the following day. Taylor Harman, a Free Union resident was charged and convicted of the crime, and was later hanged.

    The Maupin Brothers operated a store here from 1928-1961. This building also served as the Village Post Office from ??. For six years during the fifties a community newspaper called The Dope Street was produced from this store written by Vera V. Via, It featured local history, events, and store ads. The store ceased operation in 1961 when Maupin Brothers moved across the street.

     

  • Maupin House

    Estimated date of construction-1850

    Single dwelling, 2-story, 3-bay frame house with uncertain building history. The beaded wide board siding on center bay, two front doors and window sash point to mid-19th century date of construction. Rubble stone chimney has brick stack; other completely obscured by ivy. One-room Visible; has pine floors and ca 1850-mantle piece.

    One, frame, gabled roof shed may have been a corncrib.

    1 story porch with turned posts is not original, neither is the 1-story rear wing. Several windows are new. Current owner is the Maupin family who owns the local store. The second story was used by Shelter and Associates around 1994-99 as office space. 

  • Harris Store (Free Union Community Hall)

    Estimated Date of Construction-1850.

    2-story, 3-bay wide 4-bay long, gable roofed frame building with gabled-roofed end - entrance with small 1-story porch. North gable has decorative louvered vent. Enclosed stair rises to the South gable-end. Some windows have Original shutters.

    One of the oldest buildings in Free Union, it served a number of functions during its history. Long owned by the James Harris (d,1797) family, it was originally built as a dwelling house on the corner of their plantation. It also served Ned Harris as a cabinet maker/coffin and wheelright's shop. Additionally a Post Office, stores run by John Wyant and John and Charles Bing, a polling house, community hall, lodge hall, library, church social and supper hall, all once occupied this space. Since 1961 this place has been used as Storage. It is currently owned by Dr. Bruce Campbell.

  • Dr. W.A. Kyger House and Office

    Estimated date of construction 1910.

    Dr. Kyger House

    2-story, three bay, hipped roofed frame house with cross-gables at the north and west elevations. 1-Story Wrap around Porch has turned posts, bracketed eaves, and plain railings. 2 story hip-roof wing is on the south.

    Dr. Kyger Office

    2-story, gable roofed, stucco frame building with an L-plan and below grade garage, Was formally used as a doctor's office. This is a rare example of a rare historic medical office in Albemarle County.

    Dr. W.A. Kyger operated his medical practice in the small gable-roofed building on this property. This office is now used as a guest house and office. 

    Both structures are owned and occupied by Mark and Mary-Scott Neisser and their family.

     
    Dr. Kyger House circa 1930


    Dr. Kyger Office

  • Twin Orchard

    Single Greek revival dwelling- estimated construction 1870 although numerous additions since then. Renovated in 1995. 

    Two story, three bay-hipped roofed main section with two interior chimneys, 1-story front porch and 2/2 sash windows. 2-bay gable-roofed wing on the rear has 6/6 sash windows with Greek revival trim and ramped lintels. Gable roof frame kitchen with stone and brick chimney and gable-roofed frame shed. Both are 19 th century.

    The Harris family may have owned this house.

  • Crozet Gazette Article - The Secrets of the Blue Ridge

    by Phil James Why has Free Union, Virginia, so captured the attention of historians and writers through the years? Perhaps because this rural crossroads town embodies certain gentleness; the architecture along its principal travel routes harkens to the pleasant memories of an earlier time. Most of[...]

    Read more

    How'd Free Union Get it Name?

    We could be talking about our Nicksville from The Daily Progress Written by David A. Maurer If a visitor asked who Charlottesville was named for, he might get a quick reply from a knowledgeable resident. "Why, that would be Queen Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenberg-Strelitz, wife of King George III," [...]

    Read more

    Losing Ground

    July 15, 2003
    Losing Ground

    Cville Weekly Article LOSING GROUND "It's gone from cows to horses." That's how Kate Steers, longtime resident of Free Union, describes the growth in her area. "It's a telling point," says Steers, "because people who own cows wouldn't own horses. "In other words, things around here have gotten very [...]

    Read more

    Free Union, Once Called Nicksville, Officially Was Put on Map as Post Office 112 Years Ago

    The following article was read at the Free Union Post Office dedication 1968 By Vera V. Via One hundred and twelve years ago residents of what is now Free Union were looking forward to an event which would put them on the map. A movement was afoot to establish a post office in the Albemarle County [...]

    Read more