“Growing up in Varina in the 1940s and ‘50s, Howard Eberly played on his family’s farm, swam in the creek and found “treasures” on the land. Turns out, some of those treasures are significant historic artifacts.
The Eberly family moved from Pennsylvania to Henrico County in the 1880s and established Four Mile Creek Farm in Varina. Howard Eberly, 79, is a fourth-generation owner of the land and lives in the family home off Route 5.
Four Mile Creek Farm is a core part of the New Market Heights Battlefield and the scene of the battle on Sept. 29, 1864, when the U.S. Colored Troops broke through Confederate defenses for their greatest victory of the Civil War. The battle directly led to the fall of Petersburg, and then Richmond. The National Park Service has deemed the property among the highest priorities for preservation.
That’s why Eberly decided to donate 28 acres to the Capital Region Land Conservancy to ensure that the land will be preserved forever.
“I feel very at peace with myself knowing what’s going to happen” to the land, Eberly said. “I think my family would believe I’m doing the right thing.”
The Four Mile Creek area has a number of archaeological sites that show it was an important early settlement for Native peoples.
The 28-acre tract that Eberly donated to the CRLC is one of two that make up Eberly’s 73-acre farm. A second 45-acre tract, owned by Eberly and his sister, will be transferred to the land trust at a future date. The agreement with CRLC ensures that the property will be protected while Eberly continues to live on the farm. CRLC has also committed to keep the Eberly name associated with the land and to open the site for future public access.”
This article was shared from an article by Anna Bryson published by The Virginia Pilot on July 31, 2022. Continue reading at The Virginia Pilot.