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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


Three State Historical Highway Markers To Be Dedicated in Town of Marion, Friday, Nov. 15

Shows the oak tree known as the "Crying Tree."
Sallie’s Crying Tree. Town of Marion website: http://www.marionva.org/play-here

The markers focus on African American history in Marion and Smyth County

The markers’ texts are reproduced below

Three state historical markers issued by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) will be dedicated this week in the Town of Marion that highlight a high school established for black students during the early 1930s, a “crying” tree that evokes the story of a young enslaved girl who was sold away from her family, and a Methodist church founded by African Americans during the Reconstruction era.

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State Historical Highway Marker “James River Steam Brewery” To Be Dedicated in Henrico Co., Sunday, Nov. 17

Cellar interior
Under ground cellar.

The brewery, built in 1866, closed by 1879, was destroyed by fire in 1891, except for extensive underground cellars

The marker text is reproduced below

A state historical marker issued by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) will be dedicated later this month that highlights the founding and brief history of James River Steam Brewery, a five-story facility and beer garden built in 1866 during a national boom in beer production.

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Slideshow: Virginia Rosenwald Schools Listed on the VLR and NRHP

Julius Rosenwald
Julius Rosenwald
Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington

One of the most successful initiatives to provide universal schooling for African American students during the long decades of segregation was the Rosenwald Fund, established in 1917.

The brainchild of Booker T. Washington, president of the Tuskegee Institute, and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck and Company, the fund provided money that was leveraged with other private gifts and public funds to construct more than 5,000 schools for African Americans in 15 states throughout the South (see map).

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Tax Credit Project Profile: Price’s Fork Elementary School

Former Price's Fork Elementary School in 2012.
Former Price’s Fork Elementary School in 2012.

Built in 1950 during an era of consolidation and modernization of Virginia’s public schools, Price’s Fork Elementary School served its rural namesake community as well as surrounding northwestern Montgomery County. The building exemplifies mid-20th century standardized plans for public school architecture. It exhibits a streamlined Moderne design characterized by its flat roof, bands of windows, and sprawling floor plan.

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DHR Welcomes New Chief Curator

Laura Galke, DHR Chief Curator, working at an archaeological site.
Laura Galke, DHR Chief Curator, working at an archaeological site.

In September, Laura Galke joined DHR as the agency’s new chief curator. Most recently, Laura served as an archaeologist for the George Washington Foundation at George Washington’s childhood home, Ferry Farm, near Fredericksburg. Additionally, she has conducted field work throughout the Chesapeake Bay region, focusing on the historical period.

Her past experience also includes stints as a field director for cultural resource management firms, as a laboratory supervisor, field director, and instructor at Washington & Lee University, and as the assistant southern regional archaeologist in the Maryland Historical Trust’s MAC Lab (Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory).

In 2012, members of the Archeological Society of Virginia recognized her as “Archaeologist of the Year.”

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Twelve New State Historical Highway Markers Approved

Bas-relief sculpture on Patriots of African Descent Monument, Valley Forge, PA
Bas-relief sculpture on Patriots of African Descent Monument, Valley Forge, PA

—New markers cover topics in the counties of Albemarle, Fairfax, New Kent, Rockingham, Smyth (3), and Stafford; and the cities of Lynchburg, Petersburg, and Portsmouth

—Full text for each marker below—
—Click on images to enlarge—

Topics covered in twelve recently approved and forthcoming state historical markers include two signs highlighting the soldiering exploits during the Revolutionary War of a “free person of color” from Albemarle County and a Pamunkey Indian, along with markers about George Mason’s Fairfax County parish and church, and the origins of Winchester’s Shenandoah University in Rockingham County.

Revolutionary War soldier Pvt. Shadrach Battles (ca. 1746-ca. 1824) “was one of at least 5,000 black soldiers who served in the Continental Line,” explains the marker, the location of which is to be determined. Battles joined a local militia unit by June 1775, and a Virginia regiment by December 1776. He fought in the battles at Brandywine and Germantown in Pennsylvania, and Monmouth in New Jersey, spent the winter at Valley Forge, and participated in the Southern Campaign. Battles returned to Albemarle County after the war, living as a carpenter and laborer.

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Eight Historic Places Added to the Virginia Landmarks Register

Eight Historic Places Added to the Virginia Landmarks Register—New VLR listings are in the counties of Albemarle, Hanover, Loudoun, New Kent, Pittsylvania, and Pulaski; and the cites of Fredericksburg and Richmond—

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

During its quarterly meeting in September, the Virginia Board of Historic Resources approved eight new listings for the Virginia Landmarks Register including a tavern visited by George Washington and French troops during the Revolutionary War, a rural village in Northern Virginia settled by African Americans before and after the Civil War, and a military academy in Southside Virginia established in 1909. Read full text »

Spotlight on Collections: Online Sources for Identifying Artifacts

For this blog penned by State Archaeologist Dr. Elizabeth Moore, we take a detour from strictly focusing on DHR Collections and move beyond to highlight online collections useful for research.

Have you ever wondered how archaeologists identify all of the many artifacts that they recover in the field?

Prehistoric vessel with incisionsLearning to identify artifacts is not a superhuman memory power, it comes from years of experience and knowing where to look for information. I’ve gathered some of my favorite online artifact identification resources below. Some of these are useful for specific types of artifacts, some are good for broader categories of materials, and some are just fun to browse to see what other people have found at their sites.

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Va. Historical African American Cemetery & Graves Fund (Revised Documents)

With the new state fiscal year (2019-2020) beginning July 1, DHR announces the availability of funds for the care and maintenance of historical African American cemeteries and graves, defined by Virginia Code (§10.1-2211.2) as “a cemetery that was established prior to January 1, 1900, for the interment of African Americans.”

Please use these revised forms:

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DHR now has two newsletters: a DHR Quarterly Newsletter, and a newsletter for Register Program Updates. We invite you to subscribe to our newsletters.  Once you have signed, you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Any questions or problems, please contact Randy Jones at DHR. We look forward to hearing from you and keeping you up to date with DHR’s register programs and other preservation news and Virginia history.

 

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