In 2003 archaeologists uncovered evidence of an antebellum slave cabin located 100 yards southeast of the main house, which was occupied from around 1833 until the eve of emancipation. Excavations revealed that this cabin was most likely a log structure with a stone and brick chimney and a small interior storage pit. Artifacts recovered from the cabin include a nearly intact egg, animal bones, coins, marbles, tools, plant remains, ceramics, and parts from a pair of scissors. These artifacts are being analyzed, reported, and displayed with funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Prior to the Civil War, the Site A cabin adjoined two brick buildings known today as the North and South Tenant houses. These structures were built in 1857 as part of the larger slave quarters that existed at Poplar Forest while the Cobbs/Hutter family owned the property. According to oral history, the southern structure housed slaves, while the northern one was used to shelter the overseer and his family. Following emancipation, these structures were converted into tenant housing for both black and white farm laborers and their families who lived on the property well into the mid 20th-century.