Quarterly Newsletter, March 2020


In this issue:
*Pending Listings on Virginia Landmarks Register *Pending New Historical Markers *Tax Credit Project Profile *Ask an Archaeologist *Spotlight on Collections *Announcements
Molecular image of coronavirus
Like everyone else during this unprecedented time, DHR staff members are adjusting and doing their best to carry on—and continue with the mission and work of our agency. Overall, I can report that DHR has been incredibly nimble and resilient in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Earlier this month, we canceled our regularly scheduled quarterly meeting of the Board of Historic Resources and State Review Board. Though we closed our Richmond and regional offices to the public, we remain “open for business.” Teleworking, conference calls and online meetings allow us to remain responsive and productive.
Meanwhile, we are thinking creatively to pursue ways in which we can share our programs and the history of the Commonwealth with the public and especially with parents and children cooped up at home. Please check our website ( as we will soon be posting ideas for activities related to historic sites in Virginia and beyond.

It will take time, but DHR and all Virginians will get through this historic moment in time. . Expecting that more change may be required of us, we are busy making plans for how we will quickly adapt to changing circumstances, so that the important work of DHR can continue. In the meantime, we hope you stay healthy and hopeful.
Julie V. Langan, Director, DHR
Images of four buildings that will be considered for listing on the registers
Clockwise, top right: Walker-Wilkins-Bloxom Warehouse HD, Newport News; Brown Swisher Barn, Rockbridge Co.; Carnegie Hall, Lynchburg; and Armistead House, Williamsburg.

Nine Historic Sites Pending Nomination to the
Virginia Landmarks Register

—Pending listings in the counties of Bath, Hanover, Page, Rockbridge, and Rockingham; and the cites of Lynchburg, Newport News, Roanoke, and Williamsburg—

A former plantation cemetery for enslaved African Americans, and a one-time rural town hall and a Pennsylvania-style barn in the Shenandoah Valley are among nine sites pending nomination to the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. Read more and see photos . . .
Anti-lynching illustration, circa 1912
Markers proposed for the counties of Campbell, Clarke, Fauquier, Greene, Hanover, King George, Montgomery, New Kent, Scott, and Shenandoah; and cities of Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Roanoke, and Suffolk

16 Historical Highway Markers Pending Approval

—Related photos and text
of each sign at link below—

Topics covered in sixteen proposed historical markers currently pending approval include the lynching of an African American woman in the Shenandoah Valley, a nationally noteworthy rescue squad in Roanoke, and early 20th-century initiatives to improve educational opportunities in African American and in isolated Blue Ridge Mountain communities. Read more . . .
Historical jugs and pipes in the DHR Collections
Curated wine bottles with seals. A 1770 wine bottle seal leans against one of the smoking pipes, all part of DHR’s Study Collections.
Spotlight on DHR Collections:

3-D Scanning and

Printing of Artifacts

DHR Chief Curator Laura J. Galke writes about the benefits of the 3-D scanned artifacts and provides links to online 3-D galleries.

One of the privileges I enjoy as the Chief Curator for DHR is my role as steward of a number of Virginia’s artifacts. DHR provides a stable, secure climate for over a million objects, ensuring that they will remain available for future generations. We also care for the associated, original field records associated with these precious resources. I enjoy facilitating access to these irreplaceable objects for exhibits, analysis, and scholarly research. Read more . . .
Rehabilitation Tax Credits, Project Profile:
A 2014 photo of a block in the Norfolk & Western Railroad Historic District.

Railroad District
in Park Place, Norfolk

A recent article in Norfolk’s Virginian-Pilot discusses how rehabilitation tax credits (RTCs), among other revitalization tools, are transforming a once-neglected historic industrial district into a vibrant residential community. One real estate developer compares the area to “other up-and-coming” historic neighborhoods gaining national prominence such as Deep Ellum in Dallas.
Using state and federal RTCs, a Richmond-based developer “has bought several former factories, a school and even a salvage yard and converted them into bright apartments with pools and gyms.The company has also ensured that the new residents living in those buildings have places they can visit on foot — such as breweries, bars and restaurants,” writes reporter Kimberly Pierceall. Read the article.
A bowl made from soapstone.
Steatite bowl found in Southampton Co.
Three sherds with decorative patterns.
Sherds recovered in Fauquier Co.

Ask an Archaeologist

We launched a new online feature with DHR archaeologist Mike Clem. He is answering questions about photos of artifacts submitted to him.

A Steatite (Soapstone) Bowl
A property owner plowing a field in the Southampton County area found broken pieces of a bowl (photo). He glued it together and asked Mike about it. Read Mike's response . . .

Ceramic Artifacts (Sherds)
Kristie Kendall, Historic Preservation Coordinator, Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC), submitted photos of sherds to Mike. She was curious about the timeline for the artifacts. Read Mike's response. . .

Do you have an artifact you’ve found in Virginia that you would like to know about?
Send Mike Clem a photo or several of good quality and focus (ideally with a scale – a ruler or a coin or next to the object.)
Map showing positions of Hurricanes Michael and Florence in 2018
Image shows landfalls of Hurricanes Florence and Michael in September and October of 2018.

RFAs for Post-Storm Disaster Grants from Hurricanes Florence and Michael

The National Park Service has awarded DHR more than $4.7 million in funding to provide recovery assistance to historic properties including archaeological sites 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. Historic properties in 52 counties and cities in Virginia are eligible for the federal grants. Read more. . .
Ella Fitzgerald singing with band.
Ella Fitzgerald was born in Newport News on April 25, 1917. (Photo: Library of Congress)

Historical Markers About

African American Women

Who Made a Difference

For Black History Month, DHR compiled a slideshow based on 33 historical markers about African American women who made a difference (or places where they did so) in the history of Virginia or the nation. The slideshow includes photos of the women (or places) and reproduces each marker's text.

Other Announcements:

  • 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.
  • 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 Cost Share grant opportunity to Blake McDonald at 804-482-6086 or by email.