Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Department of Historic Resources
(www.dhr.virginia.gov)
For Immediate Release
October 19, 2017

Contact:
Randy Jones
Department of Historic Resources
540.578-3031 (cell)
Randy.Jones@dhr.virginia.gov.

16 NEW STATE HISTORICAL HIGHWAY MARKERS APPROVED

New markers cover topics in the counties of in the counties of Amherst, Bedford, Caroline, Fairfax, Halifax, James City, Northampton, Orange (2), and Prince Edward (Farmville); and the cities of Hampton, Lexington, Norfolk (2), Portsmouth, and Roanoke—

[The full text for each marker is reproduced at the end of this release.]

RICHMOND — Among sixteen new historical markers recently approved for placement along Virginia roads will be signs that highlight two taverns dating to the colonial era, an influential Baptist preacher on the Eastern Shore, three cemeteries, a Confederate general, a folk artist who began her career at age 61, and African American education and civil rights history during the 20th century.

In James City County a marker will rise to commemorate "Doncastle's Ordinary," a popular tavern on the road from Williamsburg to New Kent, operating by 1715. Named for later owner Thomas Doncastle, the ordinary was visited by George Washington, and in 1775 Patrick Henry and Hanover County militiamen camped at the property. During the Revolutionary War, on different occasions the armies of Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Comte de Rochambeau also camped at the ordinary, which survived until the 1860s.

Halifax County will see a marker for DeJarnette's Tavern. It was built in the late 1700s on Hickey's Road, which linked settlements in southwestern Virginia to the Staunton (Roanoke) River. Owned and operated by DeJarnette family members during many generations, the tavern served as a local gathering place and a stagecoach stop. An 1802 foiled revolt by enslaved African Americans was to have begun at the tavern around Easter. The tavern building is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

In Northampton County, Baptist preacher Elijah Baker (1742-1798) will be remembered with a highway marker. As an itinerant in the 1770s, he helped found several churches in the counties along the James and York Rivers. He is credited with preaching the first Baptist sermon on the Eastern Shore, which took place at Magothy Bay Anglican Church when its minister was absent. Baker helped to found 18 Baptist churches on the Delmarva Peninsula, and in 1778 in Accomack County was the last Baptist jailed for preaching in Virginia.

Early Presbyterian history in western Virginia will be the focus of the marker "Big Lick Presbyterian Church" slated for installation in Roanoke, which was originally known as Big Lick. After Scots-Irish Presbyterians arrived in the region in the mid-1700s, those in the Big Lick community built Ebenezer Church around 1802 and established Big Lick Presbyterian Church in 1851. Between 1881 and 1923, the church founded seven new congregations, and later established two more. The church changed its name to First Presbyterian in 1891, and moved from its location in downtown Roanoke in 1929. It became First Evangelical Presbyterian in 2016.

Three historic cemeteries in the Commonwealth will be spotlighted by new highway markers including two in Norfolk, Elmwood Cemetery and West Point Cemetery.

  • Elmwood, established in 1853, is Norfolk's second-oldest municipal cemetery and boasts a rich array of monuments and statues reflecting popular funerary styles and motifs of the Victorian era. Those interred there include victims of an 1855 yellow fever epidemic, members of the Norfolk Light Artillery Blues, Confederate and Union soldiers and sailors, Gov. Littleton Waller Tazewell, renowned sculptor William Couper, and Sarah Lee Odend'hal Fain, one of the first two women to serve in the Virginia General Assembly.
     
  •  West Point Cemetery, Norfolk's historically African American burial ground, first known as Potter's Field, was established as Calvary Cemetery in 1873, and renamed West Point Cemetery in 1885. Norfolk's first African American councilman, James E. Fuller, secured a cemetery section in 1886 for the burial of black Union Civil War veterans. It contains the graves of nearly 60 soldiers and sailors. A monument completed in 1920 to mark this section of West Point Cemetery honors veterans of the Civil War and Spanish-American War. The monument is topped with a statue of Sgt. William H. Carney, a Norfolk native and the first black Medal of Honor recipient.

  •  In Prince Edward County, Farmville's Confederate Cemetery will be commemorated with a historical marker. The cemetery was established in 1862 to inter Confederate soldiers who died at the Farmville General Hospital, which operated between 1862 and 1865, when it was deeded to the Town of Farmville. In later years, an unknown number of deceased Confederates were reburied in the cemetery from temporary graves in the area. The Farmville chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy placed an enclosure around the cemetery in 1897 and dedicated a monument inscribed to the "Confederate Heroes" in May 1903.

Confederate Brig. General William R. Terry (1827-1897) will be the remembered with a marker in Bedford County. A grandson of a Revolutionary War officer who built Oakwood Plantation, William R. Terry graduated from Virginia Military Institute, and became a Confederate captain in the spring of 1861. He rose to the rank of brigadier general in May 1864, and during the war led men in major battles including First and Second Manassas, Gettysburg, and Five Forks. After the war he represented Bedford County in the Virginia Senate, served as superintendent of the state penitentiary, and was commandant of the Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers' Home in Richmond, where he is buried in Hollywood Cemetery.

Folk artist Queena Stovall (1887-1980) will be the subject of a marker to rise in Amherst County, where she lived for 35 years on a farm near Lynchburg. A mother of nine, she took her first painting class at age 61 from acclaimed artist Pierre Daura, who recognized Stovall's native talent and refused to offer guidance for fear of changing her style. Stovall's folk art paintings of rural life in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains have been displayed in galleries, museums, and traveling exhibitions throughout the eastern U.S.

Three new markers will highlight African American history during the 20th century:

  • In Hampton a historical marker will commemorate a house that was the last headquarters of the Virginia State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, organized in 1907 by educator and social reformer Janie Porter Barrett and other women who attended the annual Hampton Negro Conference. The Federation fostered cooperation among many African American women's clubs in Virginia that addressed the needs of women and children and to improve education, health care, home life, and economic opportunity. In 1915 the Federation opened the Industrial School for Colored Girls, a rehabilitation center in Hanover County for girls facing legal troubles.

  • In Portsmouth a sign will rise that will recall Israel Charles Norcom and the high school whose name honors him. Norcom (1856-1916) served as an educator and administrator in Portsmouth schools for more than 30 years. The first school to bear his name opened in 1920, and then relocated to a new facility in 1937, and again in 1953, each time retaining the name Israel Charles Norcom High School. The school's academic, athletic, and cultural programs remained central to the lives of the African American community. Its students also conducted sit-ins to desegregate Portsmouth lunch counters in 1960, and many alumni became local, state, and national leaders. The school relocated most recently in 1998.

  • In Caroline County a marker will highlight the legal challenges of Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter, who were of different racial backgrounds. After the two married in 1958 in Washington D.C., they returned to reside in Caroline County, where they were arrested for violating Virginia's state laws against interracial marriage. The Lovings were convicted in 1959 at the Caroline County courthouse. Their case reached the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, which in 1966 upheld the state's laws. In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Loving v. Virginia overturned all laws prohibiting interracial marriage. A prior historical marker about the Loving case was unveiled earlier this year in Richmond in front of the building on Capitol Square that once housed the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Two historical markers with slightly different wording will be erected in Orange County to denote the Madison-Barbour Rural Historic District, which encompasses over 50 square miles of the Piedmont. Human occupation in the district traces back more than 12,000 years before settlers of European descent arrived in the early 1700s, attracted by the area's fertile soils. The district contains almost 200 identified prehistoric archaeological sites and features, among its many notable houses, Montpelier, the home of President James Madison, and Barboursville. It also boasts a deeply rich African American history represented by many rural communities such as Tibbstown.

One of the "Madison-Barbour Rural Historic District" markers will be erected along US 33 west of Gordonsville, the other along Route 20 ("Constitution Highway") near Montpelier Station.

Elsewhere, two other markers will be erected in Virginia:

  • In Fairfax County along US Route 1, near Fort Belvoir, a sign is slated about the "Alexandria, Mt. Vernon, and Accotink Turnpike." Begun around 1856, when the General Assembly incorporated the turnpike company bearing the same name, the completed road extended nine miles between Alexandria and Accotink Creek. The founders of the turnpike company consisted of local slaveholders as well as antislavery Quakers who had established a free-labor community for black and white families nearby. During World War I, the U.S. Army paved a portion of the road to accommodate the heavy traffic running to and from Camp A. A. Humphreys (later Fort Belvoir). A segment of the old turnpike also became part of U.S. Route 1.

  • In Lexington, a sign will rise to highlight Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society founded by 15 students and faculty at Washington and Lee University on December 3, 1914. The society encouraged collaboration among students, staff, faculty, and alumni, and promoted the ideals of scholarship, service, integrity, character, and fellowship. More than 400 chapters at college campuses in the U.S. were eventually founded. In 2010, the organization relocated its national headquarters to a historic railroad station in Lexington.

All these new markers were authorized by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources during its public quarterly meeting convened in September by the Department of Historic Resources.

The Virginia highway marker program, which began in 1927 with installation of the first historical markers along U.S. Rte. 1, is considered the oldest such program in the nation. Currently there are more than 2,500 official state markers, most of which are maintained by Virginia Department of Transportation, except in those localities outside of VDOT's authority.

The manufacturing cost of each new highway marker is covered by its sponsor.

More information about the Historical Highway Marker Program is available on the website of the Department of Historic Resources at http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/.

Full Text of Markers:

(Please note that some texts may be slightly modified before the manufacture and installation of the signs. Also locations proposed for each sign must be approved in consultation with VDOT or public works in jurisdictions outside VDOT authority.)

Virginia State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs
This house was the last headquarters of the Virginia State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, organized in 1907 by educator and social reformer Janie Porter Barrett and other women who attended the annual Hampton Negro Conference. The Federation fostered cooperation among the state's many African American women's clubs, which had emerged late in the 19th century to address the needs of women and children and to improve education, health care, home life, and economic opportunity. In 1915 the Federation opened the Industrial Home School for Colored Girls, a rehabilitation center in Hanover County for girls in legal trouble.
Sponsor: Hampton Convention & Visitor Bureau
Locality: Hampton Proposed Location: 123 Pembroke Ave.
Sponsor Contact: Mary Fugere (mary@hamptoncvb.com)

Israel Charles Norcom High School
I.C. Norcom (1856-1916) was an African American educator and administrator who served Portsmouth schools for more than 30 years. The first school to bear his name opened in 1920 three quarters of a mile southeast of here. Principal William E. Riddick and vice principal Lavinia M. Weaver led it for decades. The school moved into a new building nearby in 1937 and again relocated to a new facility, about a mile southwest of here, in 1953. The school's academic, athletic, and cultural programs were central to the community. Students conducted sit-ins to desegregate Portsmouth lunch counters in 1960, and alumni became local, state, and national leaders. Norcom High School moved here in 1998.
Sponsor: African American Historical Society of Portsmouth
Locality: Portsmouth
Proposed Location: 1801 London Blvd.
Sponsor Contact: Herman Weaver, Doc.weaver60@gmail.com

West Point Cemetery
This historically African American burial place, first known as Potter's Field, was established as Calvary Cemetery in 1873 and renamed West Point Cemetery in 1885. James E. Fuller, Norfolk's first African American councilman, secured a section for the burial of black Union Civil War veterans in 1886. Nearly 60 soldiers and sailors were interred there. Fuller led efforts to mark the site with a monument, completed in 1920, that honors African Americans who served in the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. At its top is a statue of Sgt. William H. Carney, Norfolk native and the first black Medal of Honor recipient. West Point Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sponsor: Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation
Locality: Norfolk
Proposed Location: 238 E. Princess Anne Road Sponsor Contact: Cindy Meier, cameier17@verizon.net

Queena Stovall (1887-1980)
Emma Serena Dillard "Queena" Stovall, artist, was born outside Lynchburg and for 35 years lived near here on a farm called the Wigwam. A mother of nine, she took her first painting class at the age of 61. Her instructor, the acclaimed artist Pierre Daura, recognized her distinctive talent and refused to offer guidance for fear of changing her style. Stovall's folk art paintings document rural life in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, depicting family scenes, farm chores, and community events involving African American and white neighbors. Her works have been displayed in galleries, museums, and traveling exhibitions across the eastern United States.
Sponsor: Daura Gallery, Lynchburg College
Locality: Amherst County
Proposed Location: near 2149 Elon Road, Madison Heights Sponsor Contact: Jane White, janebaberwhite@gmail.com and Barbara Rothermel, rothermel@lynchburg.edu

Richard and Mildred Loving
Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter, of different racial backgrounds, grew up near Central Point, 11 miles east of here. They fell in love and in June 1958 were married in Washington, D.C. After returning to Central Point, they were arrested for violating the state's laws against interracial marriage, which made it a felony for interracial couples to leave Virginia, marry, and resume residence in the state. The Lovings were convicted in 1959 at the Caroline County courthouse. The case reached the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, which in 1966 upheld the state's laws. In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Loving v. Virginia overturned all laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
Sponsor: Caroline County Board of Supervisors
Locality: Caroline County
Proposed Location: U.S. 301 at intersection with State Route 721 (Sparta Road)
Sponsor Contact: Floyd Thomas

Alexandria, Mt. Vernon, and Accotink Turnpike
The Virginia General Assembly incorporated the Alexandria, Mt. Vernon, and Accotink Turnpike Company in March 1856. The road passed here on its roughly nine-mile route from Alexandria to Accotink Creek. Its founders included local slaveholders as well as antislavery Quakers who had established a free-labor community for black and white families nearby. The turnpike facilitated travel to Mount Vernon and improved farmers' access to urban markets. During World War I the U.S. Army paved a portion of the road to accommodate heavy traffic to Camp A. A. Humphreys (later Fort Belvoir). A segment of the old turnpike became part of U.S Route 1.
Sponsor: Federal Highway Administration
Locality: Fairfax County
Proposed Location: U.S. Route 1, within Fort Belvoir
Sponsor Contact: Jack VanDop, Jack.Vandop@dot.gov

Big Lick Presbyterian Church
Scots-Irish Presbyterians arrived in this region in the mid-18th century. Those in the Big Lick community (later the City of Roanoke) built Ebenezer Church ca. 1802 and established Big Lick Presbyterian Church in 1851. Under the leadership of the Rev. William C. Campbell, pastor from 1881 to 1923, the church planted seven new congregations during a period of tremendous population growth, and later founded two more. The church changed its name to First Presbyterian in 1891. After meeting for 50 years at Church St. and Third Ave. downtown, the congregation moved to its Gothic Revival sanctuary here in 1929. The church became known as First Evangelical Presbyterian in 2016.
Sponsor: First Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Locality: Roanoke
Proposed Location: McClanahan Street (side of building at 2101 S. Jefferson St.)
Sponsor Contact: Sally Bain, gizpetto@gmail.com

Brig. Gen. William R. Terry (1827-1897)
Oakwood Plantation was built here ca. 1780 for Capt. William Terry, a Revolutionary War officer. His grandson William R. Terry was born at Oakwood, graduated from the Virginia Military Institute, and became a Confederate captain in the spring of 1861. Promoted to colonel in Sept. 1861 and brigadier general in May 1864, he led his men in several major battles, including First Manassas, Second Manassas, Gettysburg, and Five Forks. He later represented Bedford County in the Senate of Virginia (1869-1877), served as superintendent of the state penitentiary, and was commandant of the Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers' Home in Richmond. He is buried at Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery.
Sponsor: United Daughters of the Confederacy, General William R. Terry Chapter
Locality: Bedford County
Proposed Location: 1230 Oakwood Street, Bedford
Sponsor Contact: Jennifer Thomson, gengirl76@gmail.com

Confederate Cemetery
The cemetery just east of here was established in 1862 to inter Confederate soldiers who died at the Farmville General Hospital. The hospital, open from 1862 to 1865, could accommodate 1,500 patients, many of whom suffered from contagious diseases or complications from battle wounds. The cemetery was deeded to the Town of Farmville in Dec. 1865. In subsequent years an unknown number of deceased Confederates were reinterred here from temporary graves in the vicinity. The Farmville chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy placed an enclosure around the cemetery in 1897 and dedicated a monument inscribed to the "Confederate Heroes" in May 1903.
Sponsor: Town of Farmville
Locality: Farmville
Proposed Location: southeast corner of North Main St. and Early St.
Sponsor Contact: Cindy Morris (cmorris@farmvilleva.com)

Doncastle's Ordinary
Here, on the road from Williamsburg to New Kent, Stephen Forneau operated a popular tavern by 1715. Col. John Chiswell had acquired the property by 1755, and George Washington visited several times. On 3 May 1775, Patrick Henry and Hanover County militiamen camped at the ordinary, then owned by Thomas Doncastle. Henry and his men, marching on Williamsburg after royal governor Lord Dunmore removed gunpowder from the public magazine, turned back here after extracting compensation for the powder. The armies of Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Comte de Rochambeau camped at the ordinary, then owned by Adam Byrd, in 1781. The tavern survived until the early 1860s.
Sponsor: James City County Historical Commission
Locality: James City County
Proposed Location: 9686 Old Stage Road, Toano
Sponsor Contact: Lauren White, Lauren.White@jamescitycountyva.gov

Elijah Baker (1742-1798)
Elijah Baker, Baptist preacher, began his ministry in Lunenburg County. As an itinerant in the 1770s, he helped found several churches in the counties along the James and York Rivers. He arrived in this area on Easter Sunday 1776 and traveled to nearby Magothy Bay Anglican Church. The minister was absent, and Baker, atop a horse block near the churchyard, preached the first Baptist sermon on the Eastern Shore. He is credited with helping to found 18 Baptist churches on the Delmarva Peninsula. Detained in Accomack County in 1778, he was the last Baptist jailed for preaching in Virginia. Baker was the pastor of nearby Lower Northampton Baptist Church when he died in 1798.
Sponsor: The Bridge Network of Churches
Locality: Northampton County
Proposed Location: U.S. 13 near intersection with Holly Dale Drive
Sponsor Contact: Dr. Donald Lynn Hardaway, lhardaway@thebridgenet.org

Elmwood Cemetery
Elmwood Cemetery, established in 1853, is Norfolk's second-oldest municipal cemetery. Its monuments and statues, some crafted by nationally prominent artisans, bear the motifs of Victorian funerary art and reflect the Egyptian, Gothic, Greek, Neo-Classical, and Romanesque Revival styles. Victims of the 1855 yellow fever epidemic, members of the Norfolk Light Artillery Blues, and Confederate and Union soldiers and sailors are interred here. Also buried here are Gov. Littleton Waller Tazewell, renowned sculptor William Couper, and Sarah Lee Odend'hal Fain, one of the first two women to serve in the Virginia General Assembly. Elmwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Sponsor: Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation
Locality: Norfolk
Proposed Location: 238 E. Princess Anne Road Sponsor
Contact: Cindy Meier, cameier17@verizon.net

Madison-Barbour Rural Historic District
This rural historic district encompasses 50 square miles of the Piedmont. Native Americans lived here for more than 12,000 years before settlers of European descent, drawn to the fertile soil, arrived early in the 1700s. Several notable houses, including Montpelier and Barboursville, were built by the mid-1800s. Communities such as Tibbstown were established by emancipated African Americans, and Somerset emerged to serve local farmers. The architectural styles of the district's more than 700 buildings range from Georgian to Colonial Revival to simple vernacular, reflecting a broad socioeconomic spectrum. Old Blue Run Baptist Church (ca. 1769) is the oldest of several churches.
Sponsor: Orange County Historical Society
Locality: Orange County
Proposed Location: 11350 Constitution Highway (Route 20)
Sponsor Contact: Bill Speiden, oxpwr@yahoo.com

Madison-Barbour Rural Historic District
The Madison-Barbour Rural Historic District, encompassing 32,520 acres of the Piedmont, has been inhabited for more than 12,000 years and contains almost 200 identified prehistoric archaeological sites. Nearby was the likely location of Stegara, a ca. 1600 Siouan-speaking Manahoac village on the Rapidan River. The rich soil that drew colonists by the 1720s is well suited for diversified agriculture, including grains, vineyards, livestock, and forestry. This land, and the free and enslaved laborers who cultivated it, fostered the prosperity of families such as the Madisons and Barbours, who contributed state and national leaders to the fledgling United States.
Sponsor: Orange County Historical Society
Locality: Orange County
Proposed Location: Route 33 (1.9 miles west of Gordonsville circle)
Sponsor Contact: Bill Speiden, oxpwr@yahoo.com

Omicron Delta Kappa
Fifteen students and faculty members at nearby Washington and Lee University founded Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society, on 3 Dec. 1914. The society brought together students who had attained prominence in diverse facets of campus life, encouraged collaboration among students, staff, faculty, and alumni, and promoted ideals of scholarship, service, integrity, character, and fellowship. Circles (chapters) were later established on more than 400 college campuses in the United States. In 2010, Omicron Delta Kappa relocated its national headquarters from Lexington, Kentucky, to this historic railroad station.
Sponsor: Omicron Delta Kappa
Locality: Lexington
Proposed Location: 224 McLaughlin St.
Sponsor Contact: Tim Reed, tim@odk.org.

DeJarnette's Tavern
This tavern was built late in the 18th century on Hickey's Road, laid out in 1749 to link settlements in southwestern Virginia to the Staunton (Roanoke) River. Owned and operated by Thomas DeJarnette, the tavern was later acquired by Daniel DeJarnette and remained in the family for many generations. During the 19th century it served as a gathering place for local residents and as a stagecoach stop. Late in 1801 enslaved African Americans began planning a large-scale revolt, later foiled, that was to begin here just before or after Easter in 1802. DeJarnette's Tavern was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
Sponsor: Mark Hubina
Locality: Halifax County
Proposed Location: 4080 Stagecoach Road, Nathalie
Sponsor Contact: Mark Hubina, Mark.Hubina@gmail.com

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