Pleasant View is a home in southeastern Madison County built by Joseph Barnett, a large landowner and Madison County magistrate, in approx. 1825. The two story, Federal style brick house is laid in Flemish bond. The name, Pleasant View, comes from the name of a creek (aka Mound or Mount Branch) which runs thru the property, and also to the beautiful, or pleasant, view the home has to the south. The outside walls are four brick thick, with most of the original interior walls being three brick thick.
The home originally consisted of two stories and a total of six rooms with pine flooring. The original home faced south with three slave quarters lining the western side of the drive, connected to the house by brick pathways. Only one slave quarters remain. The kitchen was detached, as was common for the era, but future additions joined the kitchen to the rest of the home. Around the back of the house, the original kitchen area and its attaching arrangement can be viewed. Other outbuildings include a smokehouse, ice house, privies and barns.
The original owner, Joseph Barnett, according to census records, owned 578 acres and twenty slaves in 1825. Kavanaugh Armstrong purchased the property in 1856, and was the owner during the Battle of Richmond. The Armstrong’s had about 200 acres and two slaves in 1860. The Armstrongs raised several different kinds of livestock and crops, and was the only landowner in the area to raise tobacco in small quantities.
During the Battle of Richmond, Elizabeth Armstrong and her children left for the Palmer House, and the home was vacant. Confederate forces moved through the property to outflank the Federal forces approximately 150/200 yards north and west of the home. Afterwards, the home was used as a hospital, and the home still bears scars of artillery damage.
The Armstrongs sold the home and property in 1875, and subsequent owners renovated and enlarged the structure to what is seen today. It was a private residence and farm until late 2001 when the Madison County Historical Society purchased the home and 62 acres at public auction for $564,764.00. The Society sold the property to the Madison County Fiscal Court and it has since been developed as a Civil War Battlefield Park.
In 2007, the Madison County Fiscal Court purchased an additional 300 acres, which included a hidden ravine the Confederates used to flank the Federals, now known as Churchill’s Draw, and in time some of that acreage will be incorporated into Richmond Battlefield Park. In 2008, nearly two miles of walking trails lined with interpretive signs were installed in the park. With the addition of the Battlefield Golf Course, total battlefield land saved in Richmond since 2001 is nearly 600 acres.