Quarterly Newsletter, September 2019


In this issue:
*New Listings on Virginia Landmarks Register *Forthcoming New Historical Markers *A New Chief Curator at DHR *Price's Fork School, Tax Credit Project Profile *Online Sources for Identifying Artifacts *Announcements & Calendar of Events
Sept 2019 Thumbnails

Eight Sites Listed on the

Va. Landmarks Register

The Virginia Board of Historic Resources approved eight new listings for the Virginia Landmarks Register including a tavern visited by George Washington and French troops during the Revolutionary War, a rural village in Northern Virginia settled by African Americans before and after the Civil War, and a military academy in Southside Virginia established in 1909. Read more and view photos of each place.

12 New State Historical Highway Markers

Twelve recently approved and forthcoming state historical markers include two signs highlighting the soldiering exploits during the Revolutionary War of a “free person of color” from Albemarle County and a Pamunkey Indian, along with markers about George Mason’s Fairfax County parish and church, and the origins of Winchester’s Shenandoah University in Rockingham County. Read more including text of each sign.
LGalke Pic 1

DHR Welcomes New

Chief Curator

In September, Laura Galke joined DHR as the agency’s new chief curator. Most recently, Laura served as an archaeologist for the George Washington Foundation at George Washington’s childhood home, Ferry Farm, near Fredericksburg. Additionally, she has conducted field work throughout the Chesapeake Bay region, focusing on the historical period. Read more . . .
culture embossed website
Have you ever wondered how archaeologists identify all of the many artifacts that they recover in the field?

Online Sources for Identifying Artifacts

Learning to identify artifacts is not a superhuman memory power, it comes from years of experience and knowing where to look for information. Read more . . .

Historical Reynolds Arcade building.
Rehabilitation Tax Credits, Project Profile:

Price's Fork Elementary School

After Montgomery County closed the school in 2012, a vision for re-purposing it and retaining it as a community resource became the mission of current owner Joe Fortier. Through the application of state and federal tax credits, the historic school building has been rehabilitated and continues to support its community . . . Read more
Grammy Award winning banjoist and multi-instrumentalist Dom Flemons with Vania Kinard and their daughter, Cheyanne Love.
He has a new album, “Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys”
At the Sept. 7 public dedication ceremony for a new state historical marker in Appomattox County, "African American Banjoists," attendees had the pleasure of hearing Dom Flemons, "The American Songster," perform. The new marker complements an older, neighboring marker for Joel Walker Sweeney, who popularized the five-string banjo on the minstrel circuit before the Civil War.
The new marker reads:
West Africans developed the forerunners of the modern banjo. Free and enslaved Africans in the Americas later made similar stringed instruments, typically of animal hides, gourds, wood, and gut or horsehair. Black musicians who lived near here, whose identities are now unknown, taught the banjo to Joel Walker Sweeney (ca. 1810-1860), a local white musician who brought international fame to the banjo and himself. The banjo, in modified form, became a mainstay of American popular culture by the end of the 19th century. By drawing on their musical traditions, this region’s African American banjoists shaped the diverse world of American music.
On a related note to the abovementioned marker, DHR is pleased to announce that our new book publication, A Guidebook to Virginia's African American Historical Markers ($12.95), is now available through bookstores and online venues including through the book's distributor the University of Virginia Press. Pick up a copy today while the supply lasts!

These markers reveal broad patterns about the history of Virginia, where, in the words of scholar Armstead L. Robinson, “this nation’s longest continuous experience of Afro-American life and culture” has unfolded.
--from the back cover
The National Park Service has awarded DHR a $400,000 African American Civil Rights grant to support the Third Street Bethel AME Church in Richmond with the next phase of an ongoing rehabilitation project. The funding will allow for numerous repairs to the interior of the historic church. DHR joined three other Virginia entities also awarded NPS African American Civil Rights grants totaling more than $1.162 million to preserve and highlight stories related to the African American struggle for equality in the 20th century. Read more . . .

Other Announcements:

  • Cost Share and Planning Grant Awards for 2019-2020 Announced
  • Help Us Celebrate Virginia Archaeology Month in October:
    Every October, Virginia celebrates archaeology at libraries, museums, historical societies, clubs, and at active archaeological sites. For more information about archaeology month, please contact DHR Chief Curator Laura Galke (804 /482-6441). If you are the representative of a venue that is scheduling an archaeology-related event in October, let Laura know so that DHR can list your organization’s event on our Calendar of Events for distribution and posting on our website. Archaeology Month posters are free to the public. You can pick one up at our office in Richmond. (See obverse side of 2019 poster.)

See forthcoming DHR-sponsored workshops and other events.