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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

15 Historic Sites Added to the Virginia Landmarks Register

—VLR listings are in the counties of Albemarle, Arlington, Campbell, Craig (2), Essex, Fairfax, Halifax, Mecklenburg, Middlesex, Southampton, and Washington; and the cites of Alexandria, Charlottesville, and Danville—

Artifacts from the Millie Woodson-Turner Site.

Among 15 places approved in September for listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register are a site that traces back to Nottoway tribal reservation lands established in the colonial era, a historic district where one of the largest textile mill villages in the South evolved during the 20th century, and a rare surviving former “poor farm” established in the 1890s.

The Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) listings were approved by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources during its quarterly public meeting on Sept. 17, which the Department of Historic Resources convened virtually due to the covid pandemic. The VLR is the commonwealth’s official list of places of historic, architectural, archaeological, and cultural significance. Read full text »

DHR Awards Federal Historic Preservation Funds for Projects in 10 CLG Localities

Jarratt House, Petersburg

—The pass-through federal funds will support preservation projects in Alexandria, Cape Charles (Northampton Co.), Charlottesville, Clarke Co., Danville, Fairfax Co., Fairfax (City), Petersburg, Middleburg (Loudoun Co.), and Virginia Beach—

—Each locality is a Certified Local Government, eligible for federal funds earmarked for CLGs—

DHR has awarded federal historic preservation funds totaling $151,204 to support projects in ten localities in the commonwealth that are designated Certified Local Government (CLG) jurisdictions.

Read full text »

Public Notice of Intent to Relocate Interment Located on the Lister Property, Urbanna, Middlesex Co.

The skeletal remains of a single unknown individual were encountered during mechanical excavation for a planned swimming pool at the Lister property in the Town of Urbanna. Remnants of a wooden coffin as well as artifacts recovered in proximity to the remains indicate that the interment may date as early as the late 1700s or into the 1800s. For more information, see this public notice.

Comments about this project should be made in writing, preferably by email, and addressed to Dr. David Brown at DATA Investigations or to Joanna Wilson Green at DHR by the close of business on September 30, 2020. For contact information, please see the public notice.

Completing a Preliminary Information Form, The First Step toward Listing a Property on the Historic Registers

The first step toward potentially listing a property or historic district on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places begins with completing a Preliminary Information Form.

DHR register program staff created this 7+ minute video about the importance of the PIF and what DHR staff look for when evaluating a property using the PIF. The good news is that the 3-page form is relatively simple to complete. If you want some tips or just familiarize yourself with the form before beginning, this video is a great place to start.

Natural Disaster Recovery Advisory

Weather map image of projected route of Hurricane IsiasThe 2020 hurricane season has arrived. With the landfall of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaias, DHR reminds the public that we have a webpage of useful information for storm preparation and recovery. Stay safe!

Announcing Online Publication of a New Archaeological Research Report

Image of report coverDHR has a new published report in its Archaeological Research Report SeriesThe Nansemond Ghost Fleet: Archaeological Investigations of a Vessel Abandonment Area in Suffolk, Virginia (Report No. 24). This report results from an archaeological investigation funded by a 2019 Threatened Sites grant.

The Nansemond Ghost Fleet is a cluster of maritime resources in the Nansemond River and along its banks near downtown Suffolk. The site contains historic watercraft of various natures, foreshore components from industrial enterprises along the river, and a sheet midden of historic artifacts pertaining to the inhabitation and industrial background of Suffolk and historic Nansemond County. Vessel types archaeologists investigated include a planked double-ended craft, a likely crab scrape, a log-bottomed vessel, at least one bugeye, a possible buyboat, a scow schooner, barges, a small powered pleasure craft, and a number of unidentified watercraft. This assemblage is unique for the diversity of watercraft types and levels of preservation.

Next Meeting of Commission for Historical Statues in the U.S. Capitol

National Statuary Hall
National Statuary Hall. (c) Architect of the Capitol.

The next public meeting of the Commission for Historical Statues in the U.S. Capitol has yet to be announced. The last meeting convened remotely on August 7, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. For more information about the commission, visit this webpage.

DHR Guidance Regarding Confederate Monuments

R. Lee Monument, Richmond, with graffiti.
R. Lee Monument, Richmond. (Photo: Adam Dawson)

As of July 1, localities may legally remove monuments.

DHR offers these guidelines to support the removal of monuments in a manner adhering to best preservation practices, one that will also allow for input from local officials and citizenry about the ultimate fate of each monument.

Additionally, Preservation Virginia convened an “interracial working group of Virginia preservation practitioners and scholars with varied backgrounds” to create a checklist of best practices to guide localities who are considering removal of war monuments and memorials.

Update: DHR Enters Phase III of Operations Under Covid Pandemic

Molecular image of coronavirusCOVID-19 UPDATE: DHR is in Phase III of operations, as per Governor Northam’s guidance, under the Covid-19 pandemic. A major change to note is that our Archives will allow walk-ins only if there is an open appointment available. Meanwhile, guidance is literally changing daily, at times hourly, so DHR thanks the public (and our staff) for your patience as we continue our operations during this unprecedented time.

Please see our current Phase III Guidelines for staff and visitors. Many staff will work remotely during our hours of operation. Staff can be reached by email using this format: first name.last You can also check the staff directory for a phone number to leave a message.

DHR also requires visitors conducting business at DHR to answer questions on this Covid Prevention Questionnaire. Its purpose is to protect visitors, our staff, and to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.

DHR Announces Publication of “A Guidebook to Virginia’s African American Historical Markers”

Front cover of the new guidebook to African American historical markers—The book provides locations and texts to more than 300 state historical markers about people, places, and events significant in African American and Virginia history—

The Department of Historic Resources has released a new book that features the texts and locations of more than 300 state historical markers highlighting people, places, and events important to African American and Virginia history, ranging from the colonial era through the civil rights movement.

Compiled by program staff at DHR, A Guidebook to Virginia’s African American Historical Markers sells for $12.95 and is available through local bookstores and online book retailers. It is also available from the University of Virginia Press (, the book’s distributor.

Read full text »

Subscribe to DHR’s Newsletters

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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.


Natural Disaster Recovery Advisory