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DHR Register Program Updates

March, 2020
In this issue:
*DHR response to coronavirus * *Registers-Listed Places in the News *History News from Around Virginia & Elsewhere *Grant & Training Opportunities
We hope during this extraordinary and challenging time, you are well and adapting to work and life during this coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, to keep everyone abreast of DHR’s Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register programs, as well as related news and history, here is our latest update from Lena McDonald, Historian, DHR Register Program.

*Consultants, CLG staff, university faculty, students, and anyone interested in Virginia's landmark register programs and history. (Please share this newsletter with others!)
The Department of Historic Resources Office in Richmond is Open on a Limited Basis:
DHR’s main office in Richmond remains open despite the coronavirus pandemic. Many DHR staff are teleworking in compliance with guidance received from Governor Ralph Northam’s office and in response to the Governor’s declaration of emergency. DHR staff are still available by telephone or email (first name.last name@dhr.virginia.gov) to answer questions and provide technical guidance and assistance. Meetings may be conducted by teleconference as needed and feasible. DHR’s Archives is open by appointment only, and Archives staff can be reached via telephone, (804) 482-6102, or email.

Public use of our Collections and Collections Room for research, loan transfers or processing of artifacts by members of the public is suspended through the end of March. Additionally, any public meeting scheduled in the Collections Room during March must be cancelled and rescheduled. For questions about Collections, contact (804) 482-6441 or email.

Also, please note that the National Park Service has suspended receipt of new nominations and tax credit applications. You can read the NPS announcement here.

Cancelled: March's Joint Quarterly Board Meeting

DHR cancelled the March 19 scheduled quarterly meetings of the Virginia Board of Historic Resources and State Review Board, due to the current state of emergency regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting will be rescheduled as soon as possible. The nominations and Preliminary Information Forms that were to be presented at the meeting remain posted on the DHR website for public review.

Register-Listed Places in the News

Great Dismal Swamp Proposed for National Heritage Area Designation
Image of Great Dismal Swamp
Bald cypress in Lake Drummond, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia. (USFWS photo / Wikipedia)
Painting by David Edward Cronin, Fugitive Slaves in the Great Dismal Swamp, Virginia, 1888. Original in the collections of New York Historical Society (Wikipedia).
Last month, Virginia Congress member A. Donald McEachin, along with several cosponsors, including Virginia Congress member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, introduced a bill to designate the Great Dismal Swamp as a National Heritage Area. The area already is a National Wildlife Refuge and the Dismal Swamp Canal is listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places, while the Dismal Swamp Canal and Associated Development Multiple Property Documentation Form provides additional contextual information about the area.

The Great Dismal Swamp is
  • home to the ancestral lands of the Nansemond Indian Nation and the historic lands of the Haliwa-Saponi and Meherrin Tribes;
  • the largest known collection of archaeological artifacts from “maroon” colonies made up of people who had escaped slavery;
  • one of the only known water-based stops on the Underground Railroad to freedom; and
  • a thriving community descending from early colonial free people of color whose families resisted American slavery, finding refuge within the Swamp.
National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are not the same as national parks. Private property is not acquired to create a NHA. Instead, NHAs are areas designated by Congress in recognition of their historical, cultural, and environmental significance to the American people. As a grassroots, community-driven approach to heritage conservation and economic development through public-private partnerships, NHAs support historic and natural resource preservation, recreation, heritage tourism and educational projects.
Image of bath houses
Warm Springs Bath Houses
Warm Springs Bath Houses, Bath Co.
In late February, the Omni Homestead announced plans to rehabilitate the "Jefferson Pools" in Warm Springs, which became part of the Homestead in 1925. Deteriorating structural and foundation elements forced Bath County to order closure of the complex in October 2017. Under the leadership of DHR director Julie V. Langan in partnership with preservationists in Bath County and beyond, DHR steadfastly encouraged the Omni to rehabilitate the structures. The Richmond architectural firm 3North will oversee the project, which aims to restore "the baths to their condition in 1925, when all of the current structures and additions had been built," the Roanoke Times reports.s had been built," the Roanoke Times reports. Read more.

News in Virginia

Segregation History at Longdale Recreation Area, George Washington National Forest
Longdale Recreation Area.
Located in the James River Ranger District near Covington, Virginia, the historic Longdale Recreation Area dates to Virginia’s Jim Crow era of segregation. In 1936, the Clifton Forge Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) lobbied President Franklin D. Roosevelt to have the site established in the George Washington National Forest. Roosevelt directed the Forest Service to designate a recreation site open to African Americans. After approval of a plan, in 1938 the Dolly Ann Civilian Conservation Corps Camp F24 swiftly started construction.
The park was built in response to the nearby whites-only Douthat State Park. Dubbed Green Pastures, the site officially opened to the public on June 15, 1940. Green Pastures became the most popular recreation spot for African American communities as far away as Northern Virginia and Maryland. The park was equipped with a small man-made lake, the original Civilian Conservation Corps’ built bathhouse and picnic shelter, barbeque grills, hiking trails, horseshoe pits and even a softball field. Green Pastures became an integrated facility in 1963, at which time it was renamed Longdale in reference to the surrounding community. Since the early 2000s, a group of volunteers have worked closely with local advocates, including long-time residents, the Alleghany Historical Society, and the Forest Service to help maintain and preserve the site. The facility closed in 2017, but in January 2020, Gov. Ralph Northam announced proposed funding to restore the site, including its original name of Green Pastures, and reopen it to the public. Additional information about this historic site is available at the USDA Forest Service’s blog and the Alleghany Historical Society.
Image of a segregated tour bus.
African American visitors to Shenandoah National Park experienced segregation in the Park until 1950. (NPS Archives)
New Study Documents
Segregation at National Parks
The regional office of the National Park Service has undertaken with the Organization of American Historians a study on segregation in the national park system. Erin Devlin, a history professor at the University of Mary Washington, is a lead researcher for the project. In addition to documenting how segregation played out during the Jim Crow years, the study examines the lingering effects today, especially as regards the diversity, or lack thereof, among visitors to parks. For example, a 2011 survey at Shenandoah National Park revealed that just one percent of the park’s visitors were African Americans. Additional information about segregation and desegregation at Shenandoah National Park is available in an online article.
Screenshot of website for Edwin Washington Project
Screenshot of Edwin Washington Project website.
Loudoun County Rediscovers a
Trove of Historic Records
Since 2016, an all-volunteer team of Loudoun residents, historians, and high school students has sifted through a collection of more than 10,000 pages of records dating to the county’s era of school segregation. At the end of 2020, the volunteers, called the Edwin Washington Project, plan to publish two books, a dozen articles, an online database and a digital map summarizing its findings.
The volunteers will focus on the little-recognized efforts of black parents and educators to demand a quality education for their children, despite substantial risk. After school segregation ended during the 1960s and '70s, retention of records that documented school conditions was haphazard at best in most parts of the country. Loudoun County’s collection stands out as being among the most complete sets identified in recent years; and it appears that even these records were retained as much by happenstance as deliberate intent. A former school for African American students, Union Street School, became the repository for numerous boxes of records and remained undisturbed for decades until County staff went looking for them in 2004. The story of what the staff did next, and how local residents and County officials stepped up, demonstrates the importance of community collaboration in preserving historic records for future generations.

Grant Opportunities

ESHPF Disaster Assistance Grants for Historic Resources
The National Park Service (NPS) has awarded DHR $4.7 million in funding to provide recovery assistance to historic resources damaged by hurricanes Florence and/or Michael in September and October 2018 that are listed or are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
The award from the Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation Fund (ESHPF) administered by the NPS enables DHR to make sub-awards to historic resources located in the 52 eligible counties and cities in Virginia that were identified in FEMA major disaster declarations 4401 and 4411. More information at this DHR webpage.
Grant Opportunities from DHR & Extended Deadlines
CLG participants in a workshop
Certified Local Government (CLG)
DHR has issued a Request for Applications for 2020-2021 grants to be made available through the CLG program. DHR has extended the deadline for applications to Friday, May 1, 2020. DHR is monitoring the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and may have to alter the application schedule. Please direct all questions about the CLG grant opportunity to Aubrey Von Lindern at (540) 868-7029 or by email.
Grigg’s Store, ca. 1930, was documented during a 2016-2017 Cost Share grant-supported survey of buildings in the proposed Bruington Rural Historic District.
A Cost Share survey in King and Queen County documented the ca.-1930 Grigg’s Store in the proposed Bruington Rural Historic District in King and Queen County.
Cost Share Program
DHR also has issued a Request for Applications for 2020-2021 grants to be made available through the Cost Share Program. DHR has extended the deadline for applications to Friday, May 1, 2020. DHR is monitoring the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and may have to alter the application schedule.

Please direct all questions about the CLG grant opportunity to Blake McDonald at 804-482-6086 or by email.

Training Opportunities

DHR Cancels First Two 2020 CLG Workshops

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, DHR cancelled the first two previously scheduled CLG workshops for 2020. The workshops were scheduled to take place March 23 in Arlington and March 24 in Fredericksburg. For more information about the workshops, contact Aubrey Von Lindern at (540) 868-7029 or by email. At this date, the CLG Workshop on May 15 in Williamsburg remains scheduled as planned. . . circumstances pending.
2020 Virginia Forum in Richmond Postponed
VA Forum
This year’s Virginia Forum was scheduled to take place in March 2020, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is now scheduled for September 17-19, 2020, and is still planned to take place at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond.
The conference offers an opportunity for scholars, teachers, writers, museum curators, historic site interpreters, archivists, librarians, and all those interested in Virginia history and culture to share their knowledge, research, and experiences.

A few points about the cancellation to highlight from the Virginia War Memorial (VWM) staff:
1) Registration:
  • VWM will “roll-over” registrations from March to September (the default process)
  • If you registered and cannot attend the rescheduled September Virginia Forum and would like a refund, please contact the VWM (vaforum2020@gmail.com).
  • If you cannot attend but would like to donate your registration fee to the Virginia War Memorial Foundation, please also contact the VWM at vaforum2020@gmail.com.
  • If you registered multiple people from a single organization, you can contact the VWM at vaforum2020@gmail.com to either “roll-over” the number of registrations, request a partial refund (listing names of those who will NOT be attending), or request a full refund for each of those you registered
  • VWM will begin processing these requests next week
2) Hotels:
  • Hampton Inn & Suites, Richmond has already cancelled ALL registrations at no cost to the individual
  • Hilton, Richmond – if you reserved with Hilton, please contact them individually for a refund at 804-344-4300
The updated Virginia Forum 2020 website for the September dates will be posted this summer at this link. If you have a question related to any of the above, please contact the VWM.

News Beyond Virginia

Preservation Leadership Forum’s
Online Collection of African American and Women’s History Resources

In honor of African American History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March), Preservation Leadership Forum staff has pulled together a variety of online resources that cover a range of current topics.

African American History
Women’s History
2019 (FFY) Report on the Historic Tax Credit Program
The National Park Service’s Technical Preservation Services (TPS) has published the Federal Tax Incentives for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2019. Program activity remained high, and nearly half (49%) of all certified rehabilitations were under $1 million in Fiscal Year 2019. Estimated rehabilitation costs totaled $7.44 billion for preliminary certifications and $5.77 billion for final certifications. Since 1977, the historic preservation tax incentives have generated a total of $102.64 billion in estimated rehabilitation investment in 45,383 rehabilitation projects.
The historic preservation tax incentives continue to be one of the most effective means of encouraging investments in historic preservation and revitalization of communities small and large across the country.

Regarding national rankings, Virginia had 82 approved Part 3 rehabilitation tax credit (RTC) project applications during Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2019, placing fourth nationally, just behind New York (with 85), and Louisiana (95) and Missouri (118). Virginia's estimated Qualified Rehabilitation Expenses (QREs) for Completed (Part 3) applications during FFY 2019 totaled more than $302 million, ranking the commonwealth seventh nationally. For QREs between FFYs 2015 and 2019, Virginia's cumulative five-year total is more than $1.630 billion for 435 RTC projects. In that category, Virginia ranked fifth among states for expenditures, but second for the five-year total number of projects. Read or download the report at the TPS website.