Luxury Ivy VA Homes For Sale

Nestled in the heart of Albemarle County, Virginia, is the historic village of Ivy. Ivy is a place where time seems to stand still, and the echoes of the past reverberate through its picturesque landscapes with roots dating back to the 18th century. Ivy has evolved from a colonial settlement into a vibrant luxury Charlottesville neighborhood that seamlessly blends history with modernity.

Recently Sold Luxury Ivy VA Real Estate

Ivy luxury homes can be found in Colthurst, Greencroft, Ivy Ridge, Spring Hill, Rosemont, The Rocks, Ragged Mountain Farm, Turner Mountain Wood, Villa Deste, and Wind River.

All of which are in the Western Albemarle School District of Ivy Elementary (previously named Meriwether Lewis Elementary), Virginia Murray Elementary, Henley Middle, and Western Albemarle High.

Ivy is one of Albemarle County’s best values. And it recently seems…a lot of people would like to move to Ivy. Prices are quickly rising as people from all over the United States come to live next to Meriwether Lewis’s homestead and the wonderful public schools that western Albemarle offers.

Ivy Va luxury neighborhoods include: Beau Mont Farm, Ivy Fields, Ragged Mountain Farm, Rosemont Farm, and The Rocks.

Ivy Virginia History

No one is quite sure of the exact dates of settlers moved into the area about 7 miles west of Charlottesville. But records indicate there were farms in the early 1700s. Residents seem equally doubtful about where the community’s name came from. At one time, the area was known as Harden’s Tavern, because of a popular drinking establishment there.

The community gradually became known as Ivy Depot when the C & O Railroad came through at the turn of the century. Eventually this was dropped to just Ivy. According to residents, Ivy may have been dubbed because of the poison ivy vines once believed prevalent around the creeks but no longer a problem. Ivy is home to the fabulous Ivy Nursery.

Meriwether Lewis, the noted explorer and leader of the Lewis and Clark expedition, was born in Ivy in 1774. A historic marker denotes the site of the building.

Meriwether Lewis Locust Grove commemmorative marker

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Ivy VA, founded originally in 1838 at Mechum’s River, was moved to its present Ivy location in 1868. Its congregation has traditionally been an active one. From vestry minutes we learn there was a consistent problem with some members. A group of men regularly slipped out the back door and sneaked over to imbibe at Harden’s tavern. More than one member feared the strictness of regulations was driving many to neglect their church. The situation evidently improved, as St. Paul’s has one of the largest congregations in this area for a church this size.

The Ivy Store (now the Ivy Corner Garden Center) opened in 1883.

The foremost commercial operation, the store had also been the leading social center through the years. Toddsberry’s (now closed) is across the street is now what the Ivy Store originally was.

Toddsbury’s Before It Closed in 2021

A number of long-time Ivy residents’ miss bygone activities.

In the 1930s field hockey was a major activity at Chris Greene’s orchard for many of the local English people. Nearby residents would gather each weekend for the fun. They recruited Dr. David Wilson as a player primarily to take charge should any accidents occur. He ended up breaking his own leg.

One of the oldest swimming pools in the state was built in Ivy in the early 1900s. The pool was for Warner Wood’s private boy’s school now known as Bloomfield.

The pool is now known as The Blue Ridge Swim Club.

A more somber event occurred in October 1959. A tornado touched down in Ivy, and among the fatalities were six people in one family in the Peacock Hill area. The tornado ripped the roofs off many Ivy homes and damaged automobiles and other belongings.

Ivy has experienced considerable residential growth in the last 15 years. Subdivisions have sprung up at every chance but the houses are not atypical of the houses you would expect in a subdivision.

It’s still a wonderful place to live and raise a family and hey, I live here too!

My log home is known as The Shadows on Tilman Rd; and was built in 1753, 1840 and 1940 respectively.

Toby Beavers’ home in Ivy VA

Settlement To Society (1607-1750)and Colony To Nation (1750-1789)

The Ivy area was one of the first to be settled in Albemarle County. The Scotch-Irish settler Michael Woods crossed over the Blue Ridge Mountains to Albemarle County from the Shenandoah Valley by way of Wood’s Gap (now more commonly known as Jarman’s Gap) in the 1730’s. His sons-in-law, Andrew and William Wallace, accompanied him.

The Wallace brothers purchased 2,000 acres on the headwaters of Ivy Creek shortly thereafter. Charles Hudson had patented this land in the early 1730’s, although Hudson probably never lived on his land. In 1737 Michael Woods patented 1,300 acres along Meechum’s River and Lickinghole Creek; he also bought the former Hudson lands from his Wallace sons-in-law. Woods is generally acknowledged to be the first settler in Albemarle County.

Andrew Wallace remained on part of the property acquired from Hudson. This farm is now known as Spring Hill Farm and is located at the southern end of the present village of Ivy.

William Wallace built a house near Piedmont, his family farm near Greenwood, at the eastern foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Lewis family was another early prominent family in the Ivy area. Robert Lewis, owner of Belmont Plantation near Keswick, patented 6,500 acres in the Ivy area in 1740. At the time, Lewis was one of the largest landowners in Albemarle County.

His son, William Lewis, married Lucy Meriwether and lived at a house on this property known as Locust Hill. It was located just north of the present village of Ivy.

Their son, Meriwether Lewis, was born in 1774 at Locust Hill. He achieved lasting fame as president Thomas Jefferson’s private secretary and leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Lewis house at Locust Hill burned around 1838. The present house on the property is of a later date.

Meriwether Lewis Birthplace Commemorative

Other families lived on mostly medium-sized farms, growing tobacco in the rich Piedmont soil. By the end of the eighteenth century, wheat and other cereal grains had become the dominant crops in Albemarle County.

Population growth in many parts of Albemarle County was tied to the existing road system. One of the most important colonial-era roads was the Three Notched (or Three Notch’d) Road, which generally followed the route of present U.S. 250 or Route 240 between Richmond and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The road passed through the Ivy area and encouraged the established of several taverns and way stations.

Probably the best known was the so-called D.S. Tavern, located to the east of Ivy.

Although the Anglican faith was the official religion in Virginia during the colonial era, there were sufficient numbers of Presbyterians living in the Ivy area that they issued a call to the Rev. Samuel Black of Pennsylvania to be minister of a Presbyterian meetinghouse near Ivy, a charge he shared with Mountains Plains Presbyterian Church.

Early National Period (1789-1830)

William Lewis of Locust Hill died in 1780. His wife Lucy remarried and moved to Georgia in 1787. After her second husband’s death, she returned to Locust Hill where she died in 1836.

One of her sons, Reuben Lewis, was trained in medicine. He lived on part of the Locust Hill property now known as Valley Point Farm. The two story brick Federal style house on this farm is significant as one of the earliest houses still standing in Ivy. Dating from the early 1800’s, it is located north of Route 250 about a half mile east of the railroad crossing.

Another house from the early 1800’s is Home Tract (sold for $880,000 in 2023) is a brick Federal style dwelling.

Home Tract circa 1790, Ivy VA

In 1805, Benjamin Hardin, son of Isaac Hardin of Greenwood Farm in western Albemarle County, bought a brick house about a mile west of Ivy. This house, renamed Hardendale, was the only house built in the abortive community of Morgantown. Hardin operated a tavern at Hardendale known as the Albemarle Hotel until 1826.

Morgantown is a a two-lane country road that runs parallel with Rt 29. It became an African American community as the land was more or less unfarmable and next to the railroad tracks. The two major plantations were Hardendale and Grassmere now a neighborhood.

Grassmere Farm in Ivy VA

As of 2024, the few homes that come on the market are snapped up by investors since Virginia Murray Elementary is here and it’s an excellent elementary school.

Charles Harper, a farmer from Culpeper, located an hour north by car, bought 800 hundred acres of the Spring Hill tract south of Ivy village from Thomas Wells in 1814.

Spring Hill Farm in Ivy VA

Harper eventually owned 1,200 acres. In 1817, he sold 300 acres and a half interest in a mill on Ivy Creek to his son Joseph. Joseph Harper in turn sold a fifty-acre tract in 1826 to Benjamin Wood.

Spring Hill Farm is a luxury neighborhood today when the farm was subdivided.

Wood, or his nephew John Wood Jr. built a store just south of the present railroad tracts. The community that grew up around this store became known as Woodville. The oldest section of a two-part brick store located south of the railroad tracts near Home Tract in Ivy may have also belonged to the Wood family. Architectural evidence, including its brick bond and mouse tooth cornice, indicates an 1810-1825 date of construction.

Antebellum Period (1830-1860)

The Three Notch’d Road was an important transportation route during the antebellum period for goods and passengers traveling between Richmond and Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

Wood’s Store was an important stop along this route and was the commercial heart of the surrounding community.

By the 1850s the railroad had arrived in Albemarle County. It spurred further commercial development in several communities including Woodville.

The Virginia Central Railroad (until 1850 known as the Louisa railroad) line ran west from Charlottesville and reached Woodville by 1851-1852.

The Blue Ridge Railroad Company built a series of tunnels and cuts near Greenwood that extended rail service through the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Shenandoah Valley. The Virginia Central completed its track beyond Woodville as far as Mechum’s River by October 1852. There it joined the route of the Blue Ridge Railroad.

Two years later, temporary tracks were laid around the tunnel construction, which allowed Virginia Central trains to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains. The provision of dependable east-west rail service through western Albemarle County greatly stimulated the area’s economic development in the pre-war period.

The rail stop and post office at Woodville were known as Woodville Depot in postal directories between 1853 and 1857. In 1859 the name of the post office was changed to Ivy Depot, probably after Ivy Creek. In 1859, Woodville/Ivy Depot was one of twenty election precincts in Albemarle County.

The Old Ivy Depot (Now a residence)

Ivy VA During The Civil War

Relatively little military action occurred in Albemarle County during the Civil War. Nonetheless, Ivy Depot’s location along an important rail line made it a natural target for Union forces when they passed through the area in 1865. Union forces under General Philip Sheridan stopped at Ivy Depot on their way to Charlottesville from the Shenandoah Valley on March 2-3, 1865. General Sheridan ordered destruction of “government property and subsistence” at Ivy Depot. The original railroad station was burned by the troops. A second railroad station, built of brick, was built soon after. This station stood until demolished by the C & O Railroad in 1977.

Reconstruction and Growth

Ivy Depot is clearly indicated on both the Hotchkiss map and the 1875 Peyton map of Albemarle County. Among the businesses shown on the map is Ivy Mills. It was located near the bend of Ivy Creek where it is crossed by present 637 just southeast of the village. This mill was once part of the Spring Hill estate owned by the Harper family in 1810. By 1875 the mill was owned by J. Wood. The mill building dated from the early 1800s and stood until demolished in 1979.

Ivy Mill’s Ruins

There were also a number of churches standing in Ivy by this time. The Peyton map showed St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, built in the 1850s, at its present location north of Rt. 250.

Its present appearance is the result of numerous remodeling carried out in the twentieth century. An unnamed church is marked on the 1875 map on the south side of the present Rt. 738. It is likely the forerunner to Calvary Baptist Church.

Calvary Baptist, Morgantown Road circa 1880

The present church was built for a black Baptist congregation in the 1880s. With its ornate steeple, decorated with a jig-sawn carving of a man’s head in profile, it is one of the most unusual churches from its period in Albemarle County.

Shiloh Church was located on the north side just to the west. It is no longer standing today.

Shiloh Cemetery

Estates and landowners marked on the Peyton map in the immediate vicinity of the village in 1875 included Dr. Anderson at Locust Hill; the Greaves family; J. W. Woods; Dr. Taylor; and J. Woods at Spring Hill. About fourteen buildings are shown clustered along the intersection of today’s Rt. 738 and 637 with the railroad.

In the 1870s, the village also had a sassafras oil works, which produced oil for perfumes and medicines. A Dr. Taylor manufactured and packaged horse powders that were ” a sure cure for bots in horses.” Ivy Depot was also a major shipping point for tanbark and farm products. For a brief time, general merchants White and Via produced their own newspaper, primarily to advertise their goods.

In the late 1880s, a one-room post office was built on the corner of Rt. 637 near the Home Tract property. It served the village until the late 1930s when the post office moved to its present location. The one room building was then demolished, although the letterboxes were salvaged and used in the new one.

A one-story frame community center known as Ivy Hall, was constructed in the 1880s and hosted dances, theatrical events, and social gatherings in the village until the late 1930s when it burned. It stood on the site now known as Ivy Corner Nursery and the post office, just east of the train trestle on the south side of Rt. 250. The nursery occupies a building constructed to house the Ivy Store. The forerunner of this store was located closer to the depot and was founded in 1883.

St. Paul’s Ivy

In 1888, a British clergyman, the Rev. Frederick William Neve, was appointed rector of both St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Ivy and Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Greenwood. He held both of these positions for many years. When Neve first arrived in Ivy, he boarded with the Alexander Small family, who lived at Locust Hill. Neve conducted missionary work in the remote mountain areas of Albemarle and Greene Counties.

In 1904, he was appointed to the newly created post of Archdeacon of The Blue Ridge. This raised his work to an official position within Episcopal Church government and allowed him to cross diocesan boundaries.

About 1896, Neve built is home Kirklea, adjacent to St. Paul’s in Ivy. The house is a fine example of the Queen Anne style and includes a detached kitchen as well.

Kirklea

By 1890, the white graded school at Ivy had two teachers, as did the black school at Ivy Creek. Both schools were rather unusual for their time, as most other schools were still one-room buildings.

Anna Barringer, daughter of Paul B. Barringer, the late chairman of the faculty at the University of Virginia, described one segment of Ivy society at the turn of the century in her memoirs:

“The Ivy community, while basically Southern, had been filled for years with English ‘younger sons and remittance men’ who liked horses and the outdoors. The stable crops were training hunters and raising apples or peaches as the land decided. That took up the morning; afternoons were given to tea, tennis, croquet or hockey. Of course a foxhunt took precedence over everything.

St. Paul’s Church, Ivy, was assiduously attended, and followed the Anglican rather than the Virginia low-church ritual.”

In 1911, Ivy Depot had an estimated population of one hundred. Most residential buildings standing in Ivy today date from the period between 1890 and 1915, indicative of the area’s economic prosperity.

Houses are concentrated along Rt. 637 (Dick Woods Road) and Rt. 738 (Morgantown Road). They are typically two-story, three-bay gable-roofed frame buildings. One of the best preserved from this period is the Velimirovic House.

World War I to World War II (1914-1945)

Around 1918, Ivy Depot was considered briefly as the site for Meriwether Lewis College for Women as a companion institution to the all-male University of Virginia.

The Rev. Neve was one of the chief proponents of the short-lived idea. In 1920, Meriwether Lewis School was built near Ivy.

By 1928, as public schools began to consolidate and more advanced courses were offered, the school at Ivy was one of seven accredited high schools in the county. Lynchburg architect Stanhope Johnson prepared plans for the school, although his designs were not used.

In 1923, Rev. Neve resigned as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church after 35 years of service. Thereafter, he devoted his full attention to his mission work in the mountains until his death in 1945.

The construction of modern automobile highways in the 1920s and 1930s changed the character of many communities in Albemarle County, including Ivy Depot. During the first half of the 1930s the present U.S. Rt. 250 was laid out running north of Rt. 738. The economic and transportation focus of the Ivy Depot community shifted away from the old railway depot and Rt. 738 and towards Rt. 250.

Rail passenger traffic declined steeply during the interwar period and ceased in the 1940s. In 1939 the Ivy Store moved to the building it occupied adjacent to the post office until it closed in 1992.

The Old Ivy Store now Ivy Corner Nursery

Ivy Corner Nursery now occupies the building. In recognition of the fact that it was no longer an important rail stop, the name of the community was changed for postal purposes from Ivy Depot to Ivy in 1951.

Another important result of the new highways in Albemarle County was the construction of several tourist hotels in the 1920s and 1930s. The Sunset Lodge, Albemarle County’s first motel, opened about a mile west of Ivy in 1938.

Another motel, called the Siesta Motor Lodge, opened between 1951 and 1953 on Rt. 250 at Ivy. Its buildings have been adaptively reused today to house the Ivy Commons Shops and Duner’s Restaurant.

Duners Restaurant (once the check-in for the Siesta Motor Lodge)

Siesta Motor Lodge (now shops and businesses)

In the post World War II period, Ivy lost numerous historic buildings to fire and demolition. The former Ivy Depot, Woods Store, Ivy Hall and the Ivy Mill are no longer existent, depriving Ivy of much of its historically commercial character. Newer commercial and service buildings have been built along U.S. Rt. 250, completing the shift of economic center from the railroad and Rt. 738 to the highway.

Architectural Description of Ivy

Ivy is a dispersed settlement consisting of several farms, commercial and religious buildings, and a large collection of single-family residences. Buildings range in date from late eighteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries and represent a wide variety of building types, materials and styles.

The predominant building type is the two-story frame residence dating from the turn of the century. The two church buildings are significant as examples of rural religious architecture of the late nineteenth century.

The historic buildings in Ivy reflect the village’s different periods of prosperity and expansion as the community evolved from a crossroads hamlet to a rail stop and commercial center.

Greencroft Country Club

The oldest buildings in Ivy date from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries when Ivy was a primarily agricultural area.

Homes of historic and architectural interest include: Valley Point farm, Spring Hill, Woodstock Hall, Malvern, Verulum, Cherry Hill Farm, Orchard Hill, Locust Hill and Bloomfield.