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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

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.

Learn About DHR Programs When Staff Visits Marion and Bristol in October: Save the Date

DHR staff will be visiting Marion on Wednesday, October 3, beginning at 8:30 a.m., and Bristol on Thursday, October 4, beginning at 1 p.m. to present and discuss DHR programs that support the recognition and preservation of Southwest Virginia’s historic resources. Both events are free, open to the public, and require no pre-registration. Please help us spread the word, and we look forward to seeing you either at the Lincoln Theater in Marion (read the agenda) or at the Bristol Train Station (agenda). On Tuesday, October 2, 5:30 to 7 p.m., DHR will hold a public meeting at the Town Hall in the Town of Appalachia in Wise County to (more…)

Public Notice: DHR’s Work Plan for 2018-2019 Available for Comment

This year’s revised Work Plan continues to improve the quality of and access to information about historic resources and ways

  • to preserve and use them effectively; and
  • to help public and private entities deal with the effects of climate change upon these resources.

The work plan also demonstrates DHR’s commitment to serving all of Virginia’s varied geographic areas and communities. DHR invites the public to review this draft and submit comments to Stephanie Williams, DHR Deputy Director, by no later than September 27 (2018).


Boxerwood Education Assoc. Donates Preservation Easement on Nature Center and Woodland Gardens

Photo shows Modernist house built in 1952
Boxerwood, Rockbridge Co.

The historic preservation easement protects in perpetuity Boxwood’s 15.46 acres of woodland and gardens and two Modernist buildings constructed in the mid-20th century: 

The Boxerwood Education Association has donated to the Virginia Board of Historic Resources a preservation and open-space easement on Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Garden, located about one mile west of Lexington in Rockbridge County. The easement, which protects the property from future subdivision and development, will be administered by DHR, which listed the historic core of the property on the Virginia Landmarks Register in 2015, when the National Park Service also placed it on the National Register of Historic Places.


Spotlight on DHR Collections

Kingsmill ‘Artillery of Virginia’ Sword:

Photo of short sword or sabre
A short sword or sabre imported to Virginia from France during the Revolutionary War.

Not all the artifacts in the DHR Collections derive from archaeological investigations at recorded sites. Some very important artifacts are the result of isolated finds. For instance, in the mid-1970s a construction worker at Kingsmill Estates—once part of the Kingsmill Plantation established in the early 1600s in present-day James City County—sat down under a tree for his lunch break and noticed protruding from the tree’s roots part of a “short sword,” the well-preserved artifact highlighted here.


DHR Outreach to Southwest Virginia: October 2 – 4

Map of Southwest VirginiaDHR staff will present programs that support the preservation and recognition of Southwest Virginia’s history and historic resources between Oct. 2 and Oct. 4 in the Towns of Marion (Smyth Co.) Appalachia (Wise Co.), and the City of Bristol:

Residents, property owners, and citizens interested in preserving historic buildings, places, and archaeological sites in Southwest Virginia are encouraged to attend these information sessions during early October in the towns of Marion and Appalachia and the City of Bristol at which staff of the Department of Historic Resources will discuss various programs including the Virginia Landmarks Register, the National Register of Historic Places, state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits, and archaeology in the region, among other topics.


17 Historic Sites Added to the Virginia Landmarks Register

four photos of historic buildings
Some buildings listed on VLR in June.

New listings cover sites in the counties of Albemarle, Bath, Campbell, Caroline, Fauquier (2), Frederick, Halifax, King George, King William, Nelson, and Rappahannock; and the cities of Fredericksburg (2) and Salem (3):

Among the 17 historic sites added to the Virginia Landmarks Register recently by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources are three historic districts located in Bath and Fauquier counties and the City of Salem, three so-called “Rosenwald” schools in Albemarle, Campbell, and Rappahannock counties, three churches in Fredericksburg, and Caroline and King William counties, and early 20th century buildings in Salem affiliated with a commercial laundry and a meatpacking operation. (more…)

10 New State Historical Markers Approved in June

New markers cover topics in the counties of Amelia, Nelson, Shenandoah, and Stafford; and the cities of Danville, Lynchburg, Richmond, Virginia Beach (2), and Williamsburg: 

Among ten new historical markers recently approved for placement along Virginia roads will be signs that highlight a Lynchburg-based football team that became known as the “Shoeless Wonders,” a World War II German prisoner of war camp in Virginia Beach, and a colonial-era school founded in Williamsburg (as suggested by Benjamin Franklin) for the education of enslaved and free black children. (The full text for each marker is provided at the end of this announcement.)


Preserving the Past, Bulding the Future: Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits at Work in Virginia

Image of report coverThe commonwealth’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (HRTC) program has played an essential role in the preservation of thousands of historic properties since its inception 20 years ago. The program has issued $1.2 billion in tax credits since 1997, reimbursing 25 percent of eligible rehabilitation expenses as tax credits. Those tax credits have stimulated $4.5 billion in private investment since 1997. Although the $1.2 billion in tax credits issued represents revenue not immediately realized by the Commonwealth, much of the $4.5 billion of private investment may not have otherwise occurred. VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs analyzed the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program to better understand its costs and benefits to Virginia, its communities, and its historic buildings. Here’s full 94-page report. No time for that? Read the Executive Summary (4 pgs) or this Illustrated Summary.

Also of note, in 2017 Preservation Virginia, in partnership with the Home Builders Association, undertook a deep-dive study into the economic benefits of the historic rehabilitation tax credit program in Virginia. Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly), a nationally recognized, full-service accounting and advisory firm, studied the economic impact of 21 projects completed in 2014. Their findings demonstrate the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program doesn’t just preserve the places that make Virginia unique. In 2014 alone it resulted in:

  • $467 million in economic output
  • supported 9,960 jobs
  • generated $3.50 for every $1 invested through the first three years

The study can be found here on the Preservation Virginia website.

Check out DHR’s new audio tour of the historical highway markers along the Virginia Capital Bike Trail and Route 5 between Richmond and Williamsburg.

Logo of DHR historical marker audio tourThis is DHR’s first attempt at making audio recordings of the texts of the 2,600+ markers erected in Virginia between 1927 and 2017. We would appreciate any feedback you would like to provide us. Intended to entertain and inform you when you drive Route 5 or bike along the Capital Trail, the audio tour can also be accessed from anywhere on any device including laptops. Take a spin and get a feel for what we are up to by visiting the tour link. To access the tour on a mobile device, visit izi.Travel and download the app, then search for tours in Virginia.

Natural Disaster Recovery Advisory