Date/Time: March 30, 2023 at 1 p.m.
Click here to register to attend this meeting virtually. Each participant must register separately. Once you register, you will receive an email with a link and telephone number.
PUBLIC COMMENT: REGISTRATION REQUIRED BY 10 A.M. MARCH 30, 2023
In order to officially register to give public comment, you must indicate on the registration form that you would like to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting. Public comment is limited to 3 minutes per speaker and 90 minutes in total; the Commission will hear from the first 30 attendees to register. Registration for public comment must be completed by 10 a.m. Thursday, March 30, 2023 and is on a first-come, first-serve basis. (Due to technical capabilities with the software, public comment can only be taken from those logged in to the website through a computer or logged in to the app with an ipad or smartphone; public comment cannot be taken from those on a mobile or land line.) Anyone who registers for public comment after this deadline will not be called on during the public comment portion of the meeting. …continue reading the story
called Commission for Historical Statues in the United States Capitol
By Joanna Wilson Green and Brad McDonald
DHR archaeologists Joanna Wilson Green and Brad McDonald recently assisted personnel from the Land Survey division of Timmons Group to map and record the boundaries and more than 260 individual graves located within the Hickory Hill Slave and African American Cemetery, located in Hanover County.
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called DHR Completes Survey Project at Hickory Hill Slave and African American Cemetery
—New listings are in the counties of Accomack, Northumberland, Pulaski, Fairfax, Loudoun, Westmoreland, Halifax, and Floyd; and in the cities of Norfolk and Newport News—
Among ten places recently added to the Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) are properties that house one of the longest-lasting blacksmith services in the Eastern Shore, a 19th-century plantation with roots dating to the state’s colonial period, a storied dwelling that once served as a rest stop for travelers along the historic Georgetown Pike, and the first school in Pulaski County to integrate following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) establishing that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. …continue reading the story
called State Adds 10 Historic Sites to the Virginia Landmarks Register
By Stephanie Williams
During the 2023 General Assembly Session, three bills were passed that affect DHR. Two of these bills were agency bills: HB 2244, sponsored by Delegate Cordoza, and SB 1062, sponsored by Senator Spruill. These bills are identical in their amendments to the African American Cemetery and Graves Fund; the legislation corrects a mistake made inadvertently in the 2022 session by once again making eligible the graves of those persons who lived prior to January 1, 1900. The legislation also expands eligibility to the graves of those born after January 1, 1900 but interred prior to January 1, 1948, acknowledging that African American citizens continued to contend with ingrained racism in state and local government as well as social and economic segregation. …continue reading the story
called Legislative Updates from the 2023 General Assembly Session
The author’s recent visit to the cemeteries around Buggs Island Lake leads to a major revelation about the circumstances surrounding the mid-20th century reservoir’s construction in Mecklenburg County.
By Tim Roberts
Identifying undocumented historic African American cultural resources is my primary job as Community Outreach Coordinator at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR). Cemeteries, alongside churches and schools, loom large among historic resources of great significance to many Black communities. Two weeks ago, DHR cemetery archaeologist, Joanna Green, and I visited five cemeteries around Buggs Island Lake in southern Mecklenburg County. All but one of these cemeteries is associated with historic African American churches. None of them had been recorded in the Virginia Cultural Resource Information System, the commonwealth’s database of historic architecture and archaeological sites. …continue reading the story
called The Historic Graves of Buggs Island Lake
How a Multiple Property Document (MPD) report helps paint a fuller picture of the contributions of African American watermen to the seafood industries of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay.
By Lena McDonald
The National Trust for Historic Preservation partnered with the the Department of Historic Resources on an ambitious project to survey and document historic resources associated with African American watermen who have worked the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries since the colonial era. The resultant report, a Multiple Property Document (MPD), describes and recognizes the contributions of African American watermen to the seafood industries of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay. The Bay’s watershed is defined as the tidal waters east of the fall line that drain into the Chesapeake Bay. …continue reading the story
called Historic Resources Associated with African American Watermen of the Virginia Chesapeake Bay
Julius Rosenwald High School in Northumberland County has been listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register since December 2022. DHR’s register historian provides a brief summary of the former school’s historical significance.
By Lena McDonald
Northumberland County has one of the largest African American schools to be built in part using a grant from the Julius Rosenwald Fund, a philanthropic effort from 1917-1932 that focused on improving educational facilities for Black students during the Jim Crow segregation era. The little-altered building that housed Julius Rosenwald High School preserves in exquisite detail the typical finishes and fixtures of a Rosenwald school in Virginia.
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called Virginia Landmarks Register Spotlight: Julius Rosenwald High School
We came in with a bang and introduced the grant program to hundreds of attendees at a webinar in early February. So, what now? Continue on to read about some of our successes so far, how we plan to improve outreach, and what to expect as far as next steps to take in the application process.
By Caitlin Sylvester
At DHR, we have been excited about the potential of the Virginia Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Historic Preservation Grant Fund program for over a year now – ever since the bill that established the Fund started making its way through the General Assembly session in 2022. The BIPOC Grant Program represents a long overdue effort to fund the preservation of important spaces for Virginia’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities that have been systemically overlooked, underfunded, and/or demolished. The preservation of these resources is vital to telling the whole history of our multi-faceted and diverse state. Funding for bricks-and-mortar repairs and property acquisitions is also somewhat scarce in historic preservation, so the focus of this grant on those activities as well as archaeological data recovery is very exciting. …continue reading the story
called The Launch of the Virginia BIPOC Historic Preservation Grant Program
The latest updates and what to consider when applying to this grant program.
By Joanna Wilson Green
It’s been six months since the start of the 2022-2023 season of our African American Cemetery & Graves Fund grant program, and we’ve had the pleasure of working on several great new projects. As of the first week of February this year, DHR has already disbursed a total of $75,542. To top off the good news, we are happy to report that we have several exciting projects in the pipeline that are nearly ready for funding as well. We encourage anyone who owns or cares for an African American cemetery to contact us about obtaining grants to assist you in your work.
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called Grave Matters: DHR’s African American Cemetery & Graves Fund
The author takes readers through the challenges of restoring one of the oldest known surviving log dwellings in Western Virginia after decades of neglect.
By Michael Pulice
A short time ago, I stopped by the old Rutledge place to see a remarkable restoration project in progress. Located in the beautiful North Fork of the Roanoke River Valley in Montgomery County, an area designated back in 1989 as the North Fork Valley Rural Historic District (RHD), the log dwelling perhaps best known as the Rutledge House had fallen into poor condition over many decades. Photos from the early 1970s depict the house in only fair condition. When I made my first visit to the property in 2014 with a student from nearby Virginia Tech, the house had already been vacant for years.
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called Reconstructing the Rutledge House in the Historic North Fork Valley
Whether they were made of functional iron or intricate brass, locks were the key to securing buildings and rooms in colonial-era Virginia.
By Laura Galke
During the 1700s, Virginia’s consumers were tempted by a greater variety of locks to secure their buildings and interior rooms. By the mid-1700s, the aesthetic appearance of locks became increasingly important. A lock’s style, quality and material conveyed to users an idea of what lay beyond the secured space and – importantly – who was authorized to access that space. …continue reading the story
called How did Virginians keep their spaces safe during the 1700s?
Use your mobile device or computer to learn about places listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places, read the text of local historical highway markers, and get a feel for just how much archaeology and architecture surrounds us. …continue reading the story
called Learn about history across Virginia with DHR’s Places Explorer
Do you know about a cemetery that needs attention?
Make sure that DHR knows about it, too!
Report it to us with our new online map tool and form. Using your mobile device or computer, provide DHR with some basic information about the cemetery and its location. We will check our records and connect a DHR staff member with you for follow up.
And please note: Recording a cemetery using this form will begin the process of adding it to our databases at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, but it does not guarantee protection of the burial ground.
As Virginia’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), DHR is mandated to periodically develop and publish a Statewide Comprehensive Preservation Plan (under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended). On November 10, 2021 DHR published Virginia’s Comprehensive Historic Preservation Plan, 2022–2027. The plan is far-reaching and intended both to inspire and to represent the work of the diverse stakeholders who benefit and who shape the future of Virginia’s historic landscape. The plan’s goals, objectives, and outlined strategies target DHR’s next six-year planning cycle, 2022 through 2027.
“. . . this plan envisions a time when historic places are more fully valued and recognized as assets for education, tourism, environmental sustainability, and economic vitality. It is built on the premise that everyone’s history has value and that, because historic properties are a source of connection and pride, they play an important role in building stronger communities,” writes DHR Director Julie V. Langan in her message to introduce the plan.
(See below for Special Announcements & Opportunities.)
DHR acknowledges that meaningful collaboration with African American and Virginia Indian communities towards the development and implementation of preservation agendas has been regrettably limited. Neglect and a lack of direct engagement has led to the loss of many historic properties of significance to these constituencies. Moreover, many such resources are not represented in the Virginia Cultural Resource Information System (VCRIS).
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called Community Outreach Coordination
In preservation circles and at DHR, people often refer to a “historic resources survey.” In this brief video (5 min.), DHR’s Blake McDonald, manager of the Architectural Survey & Cost Share Grant Program, explains clearly what exactly such a survey is and entails—and why it does not affect property owners or their property (beyond documenting the property’s historic character).
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 us (Choose “General Questions in the Contact Form.“). 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.