Harris, Public Information Officer, 804-365-6402
Memorial Recognizes Polegreen Church Site
South's first Presbyterians met at Polegreen Church, next to what
is now the Heatherwood subdivision off Rural Point Road. Built in
1748 and named for a landowner in the area, the oratory of religious
liberty resounded off its walls, inspiring none other than a young
Patrick Henry, who lived four miles to the east and attended the
church as a young man.
Samuel Davies, the young pastor, had come to Polegreen from Delaware.
"He was a revolutionary in the grandest American tradition,"
said Dr. Robert Bluford Jr., founder of the Historic Polegreen Church
On June 1, 1864, the church found itself between the lines of the Union
and Confederate armies. It was set afire by Confederate artillery and
burned to the ground, never to be rebuilt. Ironically, the soldier who
fired the fateful shot was a member of the church's congregation.
Bluford found remnants of the old church in 1989 and created the non-profit
Foundation to enhance the archaeological site. Last year the Hanover Board
of Supervisors approved a conditional use permit allowing a Memorial to
Religious Freedom to be erected on the property. A memorial park had been
approved in 1996.
Carlton Abbott, a nationally-renowned landscape architect, is designing
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on the site in October 2000. Special
guests were Roxanne Gilmore, First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia,
and Anne Petera, Secretary of the Commonwealth.
For more information about the Foundation, call Bluford at 266-6186 or
write: Historic Polegreen Church Foundation, Box 522, Hanover VA 23069.