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Two buildings at Pleasant Shade richly illustrate the evolutionary nature of much traditional Virginia housing from the mid-eighteenth through the nineteenth century. The main house, built by the Goode family, began as a small frame one-and-a-half-story structure. As the family's size and fortunes grew, the length of the house was expanded with a c. 1800 west room and a c. 1835 east room. After the Civil War, African American educator Robert Russa Moton (see PE12) lived here as a child with his family in the two-room, frame kitchen quarters east of the main house. This structure probably began as a small frame mid-eighteenth-century landowner's house and was converted, probably c. 1800, into traditional two-family slave housing with a large shared central chimney and one room and a loft for each household. The roughly chopped-out door giving access between the two sections is a poignant symbol of the modestly improved condition of post-Civil War African American families who finally obtained better and larger living quarters.
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