Born into a prominent Virginia family, Mary Tinsley Greenhow was just a teenager when she fell from a horse in the mid-1800s. The split second catch of her horse’s hoof on a wooden bridge left the young woman with a paralyzing back injury from which she would never recover.

Mary was fortunate, in one sense, to have a family able to provide long-term care for her. She soon realized that not everyone was so blessed, and over the years, became increasingly concerned for people less fortunate and more seriously disabled than herself. Mary envisioned a place where people with physical disabilities could receive the care and companionship they needed and where their security and welfare would never be compromised… for the rest of their lives.

Through her dedication and perseverance, The Virginia Home for Incurables was chartered and opened on March 1, 1894. Since then, The Home has undergone three changes of locale, one name change, several expansions and numerous improvements.

Today, Miss Greenhow’s legacy is a modern, thriving facility… home to 130 men and women from every corner of the Commonwealth. More than a century after its inception, The Home remains the only facility of its kind in Virginia, a unique model for residential care of adults with disabilities.

The First Virginia Home

The first location of The Virginia Home was located at 1315 Ross Street (now Governor Street) in downtown Richmond. The Home opened in 1894, and quickly filled to capacity with eight residents.