Robinson House: Manassas National Battlefield Park

Historical Significance

During the second Battle of Bull Run, the Robinson House served as a shelter and hospital for wounded Union soldiers. The house belonged to James Robinson, an African American born free in 1799, who became a prosperous farmer after the Civil War.

Robinson served a short indenture as a young man before working in a Virginia tavern where he earned the $484.94 needed to purchase 170 acres of land near Bull Run. In 1842, he built a small log cabin, which was enlarged and renovated several times over the years. Robinson died on October 16, 1875, and was buried in the family cemetery located near the present-day Fairfax County-Prince William County line. The house was inhabited by Robinson family descendants until 1936.

In 1993, the house was destroyed by fire. The family and the National Park Service decided to tear down the remaining structure and to conduct archeological and architectural studies of the material remains. Archaeologists have since conducted numerous oral history interviews with the Robinson descendants to ascertain the original structure and layout of the property, daily activities on the farm, and the living history of the site. 

Physical Description

The house was constructed in the 1840s with structural additions made through 1926. The original house is believed to have been completely destroyed during the 1926 renovations. After the 1993 fire, all that remained standing was the chimney stack, which was removed two years later.

The remains of the Robinson House are located along the Henry Hill Loop Trail in the Manassas National Battlefield Park, and can be visited on a self-guided tour. The Park is open daily from dawn until dusk and closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. 

Geographical and Contact Information

Lee Highway (formerly Warrenton Turnpike) (Virginia Route 29) east of Sudley Road (Virginia Road 234)
Manassas, Virginia