A Hermitage Slave Dwelling:
This log cabin is an example of the housing provided for the Hermitage slave community. This building is arranged as a duplex, with each 20x20 foot half intended as the home of one family. Most slave husbands and wives at The Hermitage had more than five and sometimes as many as ten children, guaranteeing crowded conditions within these buildings. Use of the attic loft as a sleeping space and the outside as the primary living area in good weather lessened the cramped conditions to some degree. There were at least ten similar dwellings, many made of brick, scattered around The Hermitage property during the 1820s through the 1840s.
By undocumented tradition, this building was moved here from another site on the Hermitage property in the 1850s. At some point after emancipation, it became the home of a freedman, Alfred Jackson, who had been born into slavery at The Hermitage about 1812. Alfred stayed on as caretaker and tour guide after The Ladies' Hermitage Association took over administration of the property in 1889. Upon his death in 1901, he was buried, at his request, in the garden beside the Jackson tomb.