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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources is the State Historic Preservation Office.
Our mission is to foster, encourage, and support the stewardship of Virginia's significant historic architectural, archaeological, and cultural resources.

Historic Virginia

13 Sites Added to the Virginia Landmarks Register in December

—New listings are in the counties of Amherst, Bath, Botetourt, Clarke, Culpeper, James City, and Nelson; and cities of Newport News, Richmond (3), Roanoke, and Virginia Beach —

 —VLR listings will be forwarded for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places—

Among 13 places approved for listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register by the Department of Historic Resources are districts in Roanoke and James City County that highlight the economic impact of railroads in the late 1800s, a municipal electric power plant and waterworks in Culpeper, a mill from the 1700s in the northern Shenandoah Valley, and a 101-year old theater in Botetourt County.

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Spotlight on the DHR Conservation Lab:

Welcome to the Betsy Project!

Image of sign for Yorktown Shipwreck Project
Sign from 1980s announcing the DHR-led excavations of the Betsy off the shore of Yorktown.

This fall of 2018 the conservation lab at DHR started an exciting new project thanks to a Maritime Heritage grant from the National Park Service. Conservator Chelsea Blake has joined the DHR team and will be dedicated during the next two years to preserving artifacts recovered from underwater excavations conducted in the early 1980s on the Betsy, a ship constructed in 1772 in Whitehaven, England.

Originally, the Betsy served as a collier, a ship used to transport coal from Britain. But during the Revolutionary War, the Betsy was one of many ships scuttled by the British Navy in the York River in an attempt to prevent the French navy, a key ally of the Patriot cause, from drawing close to Yorktown. Fortunately for the Patriots, the British had miscalculated the range of the French guns and the French ships were still able to fire on the coast during the Siege of Yorktown, the final battle of the American Revolution.

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DHR Announces $1.1 Million in 2018 Va. Battlefield Preservation Grants

State grants will help protect over 562 acres of battlefield across Virginia
           Battlefield tracts are in the counties of Culpeper, Dinwiddie, Frederick, Hanover, Henrico, Shenandoah, and York; and the City of Petersburg–

Kurz & Allison illustration of the Battle of Cold Harbor (Library of Congress)
Kurz & Allison illustration of the Battle of Cold Harbor (Library of Congress)

RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Historic Resources today announced over 562 acres of battlefield will be placed under protection through grants from this year’s Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund. The awards totaling $1.15 million will be disbursed by the Department of Historic Resources (DHR) to the American Battlefield Trust and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. These nonprofit organizations will use the state funds awards to secure matching private donations with the goal of preserving targeted acreage.

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Preservation Easement Donated on Bly Tract at Brandy Station Battlefield

–Easement will protect more than 29 acres in Culpeper County directly impacted by the Battle of Brandy Station and within the boundaries of the Rapphannock I Battlefield–

Photo shows open pasture
Bly Tract in Culpeper Co.

The American Battlefield Trust—formerly the Civil War Trust—has donated to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources (VBHR) a preservation easement over the Bly Tract, comprising more than 29 acres of open pasture in Culpeper County that is directly connected with fighting during the Battle of Brandy Station (1863) and located within the boundary of the Rappahannock I Battlefield (1862), also known as the Battle of Waterloo Bridge, White Sulphur Springs or Freeman’s Ford. Read full text »

Post-Hurricane Clean Up

If you have experienced flooding or other damage to your historic property in the aftermath of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Florence, please know that DHR staff can assist you. Reports of damage and requests for technical assistance for owners of historic properties can be sent to Randy Jones (; for properties under easement with DHR, please contact Megan Melinat (, 804-482-6455). You can also contact DHR staff in our Regional Offices (and listed on the last page of the linked document).  You may also wish to visit our webpage for Natural Disaster Recovery Advisory where there are tips for cleaning up after flooding.

Two Audio Tours of Historical Highway Markers Available

Logo of DHR historical marker audio tourDHR has produced two audio tours of state historical markers, available on any device including laptops. One tour follows the I-95 corridor through Virginia, another stretches along Route 5 and the Capital (Hike and Bike) Trail between Richmond, Williamsburg, and Jamestown. The tours are the start of an ambitious project to record for online listening the texts of the more than 2,600 markers erected in Virginia between 1927 and 2018. Visit our audio tours homepage to download the app and to give the tours a spin.

Natural Disaster Recovery Advisory