A 56-year-old Air Force veteran Fred Miller was looking to buy property in his Virginia hometown for his large family’s frequent get-togethers. Here’s how he discovered his new house was the seat of a plantation where his ancestors were subjugated.
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When an Air Force veteran, Fred Miller bought the white, Gothic Revival-style house with a green roof near his childhood house in southern Virginia, he wanted a large area to host meetings for his close elongate family.
Miller was not hoping to open hidden chapters from his family’s past. So, in the recent episode of 60 Minutes, correspondent Lesley Stahl interviewed Miller and his family members at Sharswood, talking about what they excavated concerning the property and its previous occupants.
Explore 60 Minutes Sharswood Plantation Story Of Fred Miller
As mentioned above, CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl interviewed Fred Miller and his family members at Sharswood, discussing what they burrowed concerning the property and its previous occupants. The Air Force veteran was not expecting to unlock hidden chapters from his family’s past.
“I want the story of slavery told. It’s important.”
Fred Miller is dedicated to preserving the history of Sharswood, telling Lesley Stahl, “This place will be open to anyone who wants to learn.” https://t.co/XswDpGbrMp pic.twitter.com/FpGxMdDrV4
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) May 15, 2022
Fred did not know it at the time, but his new house was once a farm or plantation. Named Sharswood was constructed in the 1850s by a slave-owning uncle and nephew who shared his last name. His sister named, Karen Dixon-Rexroth, who initially persuaded her older brother to purchase the property, and their cousins Dexter Miller and Sonya Womack-Miranda, did most of the investigation into Sharswood’s past.
With the help of Karice Luck-Brimmer, a local historian and genealogist, the Millers uncovered records that proved that their ancestors were once subjugated at Sharswood.
When Shari Finkelstein and Braden Cleveland Bergan first went to Sharswood to meet the family and look around, they were part of a conversation between Dexter Miller and his former coworker Bill Thompson. Their family bought the property in 1917 and has owned it for over a century.
As per a source, Thompson’s sister sold it to Miller in May of 2020. During this discussion, Miller asked Thompson the one question that had been on his mind for many years. Miller asked about the slave cemetery, and Thompson showed it to him.
After that disclosure, the 60 Minutes team chaperoned the Millers to a cluster of trees just beyond Miller’s property line, where for the first time, they saw the alleged burial site of their enslaved forebears. Several weeks later, Lesley Stahl visited the site with Miller, who lives in California, and his sister Karen. So now, Miller has said that he will clean up the cemetery. He plans to create a non-profit foundation to repair the slave quarters on the property to educate people interested in the history of slavery.
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Personal life – Fred Miller Now Lives In California
Moving onwards, Fred Miller is 56 years old now, and he resides in California. The Air Force veteran works as a civil engineer for the Air Force, but he often visits the family in Virginia.
“It’s God’s work,” Fred Miller tells Lesley Stahl about learning that his ancestors had been enslaved on the plantation he’d bought in Virginia. His aunt Brenda says, “It’s like a full circle, like it was meant to happen.” https://t.co/b4wlHU6HcJ pic.twitter.com/fvoiN8Z8wv
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) May 15, 2022
Miller recently got into media prominence when he bought a historic house in Virginia. The moment got more exciting when Miller found the resident had his family history. We can watch that episode on CBS, which aired on May 12, 2022.