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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


Virginia News Network Broadcast: Listen and Learn about DHR’s Mission and Programs:

Image shows a portable radio in a windowThe Virginia News Network recently interviewed DHR Director Julie Langan and DHR division directors James Hare (Survey and Register Division) and Elizabeth Tune (Preservation Incentives Division) to discuss the agency’s many programs. Listen to Langan, Hare, and Tune, discuss with Virginia Focus radio program host John Clark DHR’s mission, Virginia archaeology, state historical markers, historic rehabilitation tax credits, easements, and the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places, among other topics.


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. (more…)

Spotlight on the DHR Conservation Lab:

Corroded bayonet
Conserving this artifact, a bayonet (shown here in its scabbard), will enable VDMA to exhibit it, tell about its history, and how it came into the Fort Lee museum’s collections.

Fiberglass and a WW II Bayonet

One of among a network of archaeological labs in Virginia, DHR’s Conservation Lab in Richmond offers its services to museums and other venues in the Commonwealth, as time, staffing, and funding allow.

In 2018 Christopher Parr, archaeologist and collections manager for the Virginia Department of Military Affairs (VDMA), visited the DHR Lab to ask me—since I am DHR’s conservator—about the best way to store a World War II bayonet. Chris mentioned, while I examined it, that the scabbard was fiberglass.

For a conservator looking for a new thrill, artifacts from the recent past, the 20th century in particular, represent an opportunity to learn about best practices for conserving modern materials.

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10 New State Historical Highway Markers Approved (Sept. 2018)

Highway marker sign outlineNew markers will rise in the counties of Charles City, Fauquier (3), King and Queen, and Mathews; and the cities of Alexandria, Bristol, Lynchburg, and Norfolk—

RICHMOND – Among ten new historical markers recently approved for placement along Virginia roads will be the first one to recall the lynching of an African American. Other new markers will highlight a boarding school in King and Queen County where a young James Madison received a classical education, the Union Railway Station, completed in 1903 in the City of Bristol, the philanthropy of Paul and Mary Elizabeth Conover Mellon, and the Rokeby Stables, where Paul Mellon bred and raised champion racehorses.

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DHR Adds Six Places to Virginia Landmarks Register in September

Image
Photos of four properties discussed at the Sept. 20 meeting of DHR’s two boards.

—New listings cover sites in the counties of Amherst, Carroll, Fairfax, King and Queen, Loudoun, and Wise, and a Boundary Increase for the Norfolk Auto Row Historic District— 

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

A plantation once owned by George Washington, a town in Southwest Virginia’s Wise County that boomed during the era of King Coal, and a public school in Carroll County that established the state’s first agricultural curriculum in 1917 are among the six historic places added to the Virginia Landmarks Register by the Department of Historic Resources on September 20 during the quarterly meeting of DHR’s two boards.

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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 (randy.jones@dhr.virginia.gov); for properties under easement with DHR, please contact Megan Melinat (megan.melinat@dhr.virginia.gov, 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