Samuel Pleasants Parsons House

The Samuel Pleasants Parsons House is a historic dwelling located at 601 Spring Street in Richmond, Virginia. It is best known for being the home of quaker, abolitionist, and prison superintendent Samuel Pleasants Parsons. It is likely that this house was once a stop on the Underground Railroad.[2] It is the oldest remaining building within the Oregon Hill neighborhood.[1]

Samuel Pleasants Parsons House
A historic home in Richmond, Virginia. The picture is taken from the front of the residence facing south. The house is federalist style, with red painted brick and a gabled roof.
Samuel Pleasants Parsons House, 2020
Location601 Spring Street
Richmond, Virginia
Coordinates37°32′20.4″N 77°26′59.2″W / 37.539000°N 77.449778°W / 37.539000; -77.449778Coordinates: 37°32′20.4″N 77°26′59.2″W / 37.539000°N 77.449778°W / 37.539000; -77.449778
Architectural styleFederal-Style,[1] Greek Revival[1]
Part ofOregon Hill Historic District (ID91000022)
Designated CPFebruary 5, 1991


A picture taken in 1986, while the dwelling was being used by Virginia Department of Corrections for a work program.

Samuel Parsons had his residence built in 1818 around his time as the superintendent at the Virginia State Penitentiary which too stood on spring street across Belvedere Street.[3][1] The dwelling is the only surviving building of "Harvie's Plan" of 1817.[1] Beginning in the 1870s, the dwelling was used to house unwed mothers and later served the Virginia Department of Corrections as a refuge for young female offenders in their work release program.[1][2]

By the turn of the 21st century, the house had fallen into despair, graffiti covered the walls, and a decade had passed since the dwelling had been inhabited.[2] In 2000, local developer Robin Miller renovated the dwelling and now it serves as apartments.[2]


The Federalist-Style house was originally built in 1818 with additions being added in later years.[1] It has a gabled roof and a Greek Revival portico on each of its front entrances. Important interior details survive, such as fireplace mantels and some woodwork.[2][1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Buckingham, Carol. "NRHP nomination form" (PDF). National Archives. National Park Service. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e Toivonen, John. "The home of a 19th-century abolitionist soon will get new life in Oregon Hill". Style Weekly. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  3. ^ Pool, Charles. "Historical Documentation of the Site of Venture Richmond's Proposed Amphitheater" (PDF). Oregon Hill Home Improvement Council. Retrieved 16 March 2020.