The Fine Creek Mills Historic District was developed as early as the 1730’s when a gristmill was established along a creek leading to the James River. The community flourished as a commercial center for the area well into the 20th century. With a road along Fine Creek leading to the ferry across the James River at Lee’s Landing, Fine Creek Mills served as an important link to the James, the railroad to Richmond.
The earliest evidence of permanent settlement at Fine Creek is seen in the Fine Creek Manor Site. This site is part of a tract granted to Thomas Jefferson (President Thomas Jefferson’s Grandfather) and others in 1718. Although Thomas did not live here himself, it does appear that the house was constructed by the 1730’s when his son Peter inherited the property and lived at Fine Creek with his wife, Jane Randolph, and their first two children.
The house was destroyed by fire in 1928, and what remains today is an extensive complex of archaeological features that have been minimally disturbed since the site was abandoned. The house is represented by collapsed brick chimneys and a pit likely to have been the cellar. To the rear of the house the slope has been terraced in places and contains vestiges of outbuildings represented by fragments of sheet roofing metal and large door hinges. A hand dug and stone lined well is present as is an immense, deep pit of unknown function. Overgrown plantings of wisteria and other residential plants that correspond to the descriptions of the house site and early photographs are still present at the site. All of these remains and the presumed activity and disposal areas between them are likely to contain archaeological information relevant to domestic life from 1730 onward.