Pen Park

From Cvillepedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Logo-small25.jpg This article is a stub. You can help cvillepedia by expanding it.

Pen Park is the largest park in the city, comprising 280 acres. It is from this park that Park Street takes its name[1].


Pen Park offers:

  • eight tennis courts,
  • a Little-League baseball field with batting cage,
  • a volleyball court,
  • three outdoor picnic shelters,
  • a playground with tot area for children ages 2-5 years old,
  • the 18-hole Meadowcreek Golf Course with clubhouse and pro shop, and
  • an outdoor physical fitness course with 20 exercise stations winding through the natural setting toward the Rivanna River and back. This course has been adapted for the blind and handicapped, as well as non-handicapped individuals of all ages to use. There is a 1 1/2 mile long trail along the Rivanna river at the end of the nature trail[1].
  • A seasonal farmer's market on Tuesdays (May through September)[2]


Pen Park stone estate entry gates

The Lynch family once owned the Pen Park land, until they left Albemarle behind. After Lynch left, the land was later acquired by John Harvie. In 1777, Dr. George Gilmer purchased the land and his family owned it until 1800[3].

A cemetery on the current golf course has graves from several local families, the Gilmers (1777-1800), the Cravens (until the Civil War), and the Hotopps, who grew grapes on the land for their winery into the early 20th century. The Gilmers seem to have the most significant presence in the old graveyard. Dr. George Gilmer and his family owned Park Mill (later called Cochran’s Mill), the 18th-century miller’s house on Meadow Creek still standing.[4].

In 2019, an investigation uncovered unmarked burial sites outside of the Gilmer cemetery. [5]


One of the alignments for the proposed Eastern Connector was depicted as traveling through Pen Park[6].


Pen Park's southern and eastern border is the Rivanna River, and together with the northern northern border of the park form the border with Albemarle County. Opposite the river to the south sits Darden Towe Park.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Web. Pen Park, City of Charlottesville, retrieved 28 Sep 2009.
  2. Web. The Market at Pen Park, City of Charlottesville, retrieved May 1, 2012.
  3. Lancaster, Robert A. Historic VIrginia Homes and Churches. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1915. Google Books. Web. 22 Nov. 2009. <>.
  4. Web. Ask Ace: Tee to tomb, What's up with that cemetery?, C-ville Weekly, Issue #21.16 :: 04/21/2009, retrieved 28 Sep 2009.
  5. Web. City to examine possible slave graves at Pen Park, Nolan Stout, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, December 10, 2019, retrieved December 14, 2019. Print. December 10, 2019 page A1.
  6. Web. Pen Park route for Eastern Connector back on the table, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, Oct 9 2007, retrieved Sep 28 2009.