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DHR Register Program Updates

August, 2020
In this issue:
*Results, June DHR quarterly board meeting *Registers-Listed Places in the News *History News from Around Virginia & Elsewhere *Grant & Training Opportunities
We hope this August register program update finds you well.
--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!)
COVID-19 UPDATE: DHR is in Phase III of operations, as per Governor Northam’s guidance, under the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Archives will allow walk-ins only if there is an open appointment available. Please see our current Phase III Guidelines for staff and visitors. Many DHR staff continue to work remotely during our hours of operation. Staff can be reached by email using this format: first name.last name[at]dhr.virginia.gov. You can also check the staff directory for a phone number to leave a message. DHR also requires visitors conducting business at DHR to answer questions on this Covid Prevention Questionnaire. Its purpose is to protect visitors, our staff, and to prevent the further spread of the disease.

Draft Agenda for Nominations, Sept. 2020

Quarterly Joint Board Meeting

Due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, the Virginia Board of Historic Resources and State Review Board meeting on September 17, 2020, will take place online. Information to access the meeting via computer or telephone will be available at https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/boards/ in the days leading up to the meeting. The current draft agenda for nomination is as follows. (The nominations will soon be posted at this link.):

Eastern Region
  1. Occupacia-Rappahannock Historic District, Essex County, DHR No. 028-5084
  2. Port Royal Historic District 2020 Boundary Increase, Town of Port Royal, Caroline County, DHR No. 284-0047
  3. Saluda Historic District, Middlesex County, DHR No. 059-5124
  4. Chase City Warehouse and Commercial Historic District, Town of Chase City, Mecklenburg County, DHR No. 186-5005
  5. Jackson P. Burley High School, City of Charlottesville, #104-5276-0064
  6. River View Farm, Albemarle County, DHR #284-0047
Northern Region
  1. Bois Dore, Fairfax County, DHR No. 029-6641
  2. George Washington High School, City of Alexandria, DHR No. 100-0160
  3. Glebe Apartments, Arlington County, DHR No. 000-9731
Western Region
  1. Bellevue, Craig County, DHR No. 022-0002
  2. Craig County Poor Farm, Craig County, DHR No. 022-5013
  3. Depot Square Historic District, Town of Abingdon, Washington County, DHR No. 140-0038
  4. Flat Creek Rural Historic District, Campbell County, DHR No. 015-5181
  5. Oak Cliff, Halifax County, DHR No. 041-5295
  6. Schoolfield Historic District, City of Danville, DHR No. 108-5065
  7. Southwest Historic District 2020 Boundary Increase, City of Roanoke, DHR No. 128-6472

Register-Listed Places in the News

Fort Monroe, Hampton.
Fort Monroe Featured in New Documentary
A new historical documentary series, “The Future of America’s Past,” will feature Fort Monroe in its pilot episode titled Freedom’s Fortress. The first enslaved Africans arrived at the future site of Fort Monroe in 1619, viewers learn in the pilot, and on May 27, 1861, a Fort Monroe officer gave escaping slaves refuge by making what became known as the “contraband decision.” Major General Benjamin Butler said enslaved people reaching Union lines were “contraband,” meaning they would not have to be sent back to the Confederacy. After Butler made his decision, thousands in bondage fled to Fort Monroe. For its national significance, Fort Monroe is listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. A 2013 Update to the National Register nomination includes extensive discussion of the fortress’s history and its role in aiding enslaved African Americans to reach freedom.

R. Lee Monument, Richmond, with graffiti.
Richmond's R. E. Lee Monument.
Local Jurisdictions Begin Evaluating Confederate Monuments under New State Law
On July 1, 2020, amendments to Virginia Code §15.2-1812 took effect that empower localities to remove, relocate, contextualize, or cover certain monuments or memorials for war veterans, including Confederate monuments, through prescribed steps. Subsequently, Preservation Virginia convened an “interracial working group of Virginia preservation practitioners and scholars with varied backgrounds” to create a checklist of best practices to guide localities who are considering removal of war monuments and memorials. The Society for Architectural Historians recently hosted an online panel discussion about the historical and current understanding of Confederate monuments in communities. Among the jurisdictions that have decided to take action on war memorials or are deliberating options are Albemarle County, Winchester, Charles City County, Brunswick County, Caroline County, Franklin County, Loudoun County, Northampton County, and Virginia Beach.

Robert Russa Moton Museum
Robert Russa Moton Museum Receives NEH Grant
The Robert Russa Moton Museum recently received a grant from the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) that will support the development of an online exhibition to aid in telling the story of how Prince Edward County was the birthplace of America’s student-led civil rights movement. The $53,000 grant will be used to develop a virtual exhibit that complements and enhances the museum’s permanent exhibition “Moton School Story: Children of Courage.” The museum was one of 300 cultural institutions across the country selected to receive $40.3 million in CARES Act economic stabilization grants from NEH. The museum is housed in the former Robert Russa Moton High School which, for its national significance in the fight to desegregate public schools, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998. The property also is permanently protected by a preservation easement held by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources and administered by DHR and is marked with a Virginia Historical Highway Marker erected in 1986.
Robert e Lee boyhood home postcard
Ca. 1930-1945 postcard of Lee home. (Collections Boston Public Library)
Robert E. Lee’s Boyhood Home in Alexandria
A dwelling associated with Robert E. Lee’s childhood is under new ownership. Built in 1795, Robert E. Lee’s boyhood home is a Georgian-style building in Alexandria that sits on one-half acre. The property was listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1985 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. The property also is permanently protected by a preservation easement held by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources and administered by DHR, and is marked with a Virginia Historical Highway Marker erected in 1968.

Reynolds Homestead 50th Logo
Reynolds Homestead in 2013.
Reynolds Homestead Celebrates 50 Years
In 1970, Virginia Tech opened a community outreach and forestry research center at the Reynolds Homestead, a historic farmstead in Patrick County. The center hosts arts and crafts classes for children, clubs for traditional crafts, a College for Older Adults, experiential education opportunities, and special exhibits. Although most activities have been curtailed during the covid-19 pandemic, a recent virtual toast commemorated the center’s 50th anniversary. Richard Joshua Reynolds (1850-1918), who founded the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in 1875, was born one of sixteen children at this Patrick County homestead. The property was listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1970 and the National Register in 1971. Since 2015, the Reynolds Homestead has been working with historian John Whitfield to gather more information on the enslaved community, with the goal of sharing the stories of the many men, women, and children who served as enslaved laborers on the plantation.
UVA memorial to enslaved photo by
Memorial to Enslaved Laborers (Photo: Sanjay Suchak)
Memorial to Enslaved Laborers Completed at the University of Virginia
The long-planned Memorial to Enslaved Laborers has been completed at the University of Virginia, although its official dedication has been postponed by the covid-19 pandemic. The design team included cultural historian Mabel O. Wilson, Boston-based firm Höweler + Yoon Architecture (H+Y), Frank Dukes, a distinguished fellow at UVA, Brooklyn-based artist Eto Otitigbe, and Charlottesville landscape architect Gregg Bleam. The project included a lengthy community engagement process, including meetings with descendants of those who were enslaved at the university. The memorial is located east of the university’s famous Rotunda and terraced lawn, closer to downtown, making it more accessible to non-university individuals and groups.

News in Virginia

Seatack neighborhood VB map
Seatack area in Virginia Beach.
Virginia Beach Receives Grant for Two Historic District Nominations
The City of Virginia Beach has received a National Park Service Underrepresented Community Grant Fund award to pursue nominations for the Seatack neighborhood and for the L & J Gardens neighborhood, both of which have been recommended eligible for the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register by Virginia’s State Review Board. Other projects selected for FY 2019 funding include a historic context study of women’s history in the District of Columbia; documentation of slavery in Massachusetts; nominations of significant tribal sites in California and Washington; and a historic context study of Asian American communities in Maryland.
Campaign for Women's Suffrage
Centennial of Women’s Suffrage
Although the covid-19 pandemic has dominated news headlines since the spring, the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage is an important anniversary being celebrated in August. August 18, 2020, is the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. The Library of Virginia’s We Demand: Women’s Suffrage in Virginia celebrates this important centennial. To commemorate the event, the Library’s Exhibition Gallery will reopen to visitors beginning Tuesday, September 1, 2020. There will be a limit of 10 people allowed in the space at one time in order to maintain safe physical distancing. Until that date, the Library offers online resources and a sneak peek video series.
Additionally, a new book, The Campaign for Woman Suffrage in Virginia, reveals how women created two statewide organizations to win the right to vote in a campaign that lasted for decades. Authors Brent Tarter and Marianne E. Julienne are editors of the Library of Virginia’s Dictionary of Virginia Biography project and Barbara C. Batson is exhibitions coordinator at the Library of Virginia. Shop online for the book at the Virginia Shop.

A memorial to suffragists is slated to be unveiled in 2021 at Lorton, which includes the former Occoquan Workhouse were activists were held after picketing the White House during Woodrow Wilson’s administration.

Also as part of the suffrage centennial, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has continued its campaign to identify 1,000 places where women made history. The crowdsourced project requests submission of a photograph and short description of a place where women made history.
First Baptist church cville wikipedia
African American Civil Rights Grant Awarded to First Baptist Church in Charlottesville
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources dispersed a sub-grant award to First Baptist Church of Charlottesville, the oldest African American religious community in the city, to allow it to make repairs to the 1877-1883 building. The $240,000 grant is part of the National Park Service’s African American Civil Rights grant program and will be used to replace the roof, repair chimneys, determining steps to stabilize the bell tower, improving surface drainage around the building, updating the electrical system, and fixing failing plaster on the interior.
jefferson school (1)
National Trust for Historic Preservation Awards Grants
On July 16, 2020, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced more than $1.6 million in grants to 27 sites and organizations through its African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. Recipients include the Mapping C’Ville project by the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center to examine racial discrimination in built environments and teach the history of African American communities in central Virginia.
LoV Uncommon wealth
Library of Virginia Reopens; New Reading List Available; New Genealogy Resources
The Library of Virginia reopened to researchers in its reading rooms on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. During this initial reopening phase, researchers will be able to use the collections by advance appointment Tuesday–Friday, 10:00 AM–4:00 PM.
To make an appointment, please call 804.692.3800. For additional information about what to expect, please refer to the Guidelines for Researchers.

Meanwhile, on the Library’s blog, “The Uncommonwealth,” the Library highlights a group of nonfiction books about Virginia’s history of race, racism, slavery, and white supremacy, including a biography of Henry “Box” Brown, who famously mailed himself to freedom, a history of the legal campaign led by Oliver Hill and Spottswood Robinson to dismantle Jim Crow segregation, and the roots of secession in Virginia.

The Library has become an affiliate library of FamilySearch, which offers the largest collection of digitized genealogical records in the world. Onsite visitors will now have access to roughly 400 million digitized records that would otherwise require a visit to a family history center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in order to view. While visiting the Library, users can access the FamilySearch database from one of eight public computers or from their own devices using our Wi-Fi. Users can set up a free FamilySearch account at the Library to access these resources from the reading rooms.
Preserve Cast image
Catherine Fleming Bruce
Preservation Activism with Catherine Fleming Bruce
Preservation Maryland’s PreserveCast recently interviewed Catherine Fleming Bruce, the author of an award-winning book on sustaining the sacred spaces of civil rights, human rights, and social movements and how this work can support the march towards greater social justice. With her book, The Sustainers: Being, Building and Doing Good through Activism in the Sacred Spaces of Civil Rights, Human Rights and Social Movements, she became the first African American winner of the annual Historic Preservation Book Prize, presented by the University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation. The popular PreserveCast series has over 100 episodes on a wide range of topics that impact historic preservation practice and theory.
Shenandoah Nat Park Brett Raeburn NPS image
Fall colors at Bearfence, Shenandoah National Park. (NPS / Brett Raeburn)
Great American Outdoors Act Includes Historical Parks
On August 4, the Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law and represents a once-in-a-generation investment in preservation of historic and cultural resources for public lands. The legislation assures that up to $9.5 billion will be made available to repair historic and other assets of the National Park Service and other federal agencies. It will also fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million annually. The LWCF’s funding comes from offshore oil and gas leases, not taxpayer dollars.
Library of Va logo
2020 Voorhees Virtual Lecture Series
The 17th Annual Voorhees Lecture Series, presented in three free virtual events hosted by the Library of Virginia, begins August 19, 2020.
Hosted by the Fry-Jefferson Map Society, this year's theme is English Impressions of “Virginia” & Its Inhabitants before Jamestown: English Mapping & Iconography of the New World. Explorations of the Albemarle Sound region and the first English settlements of the Roanoke Islands in the 1580s are the focus, with featured speakers Dr. Larry Tise, journalist Andrew Lawler, and Library of Virginia senior map archivist Cassandra Britt Farrell. Participants will receive an email closer to the event date from “Education and Outreach” with a link to join the virtual event through GoToWebinar. Events are free with registration and begin at 7:00 PM. Registration is required for each separate virtual event. For more information contact Dawn Greggs at 804-692-3813 or dawn.greggs@lva.virginia.gov.
American Civil War Museum Tredegar
New Exhibit at the American Civil War Museum
The American Civil War Museum’s Historic Tredegar location in Richmond has debuted a new exhibit. Southern Ambitions, which explores the Confederate States’ aspiration to become global players on their own terms. With the fifth-largest economy in the world prior to the Civil War, the Confederacy sought total independence.
Its goal was prominence in economic, technological, and diplomatic partnerships among the leading western nations. At the heart of its vision lay plans for the growth and expansion of slavery. Western nations, however, rejected the Confederate States’ hopes. Historic Tredegar also currently features the temporary exhibit, Greenback America, which explores how the federal government’s approach to paying off Civil War debt transformed the relationship between government, the economy, banks, and citizens. The museum’s new permanent core exhibit is A People’s Contest: Struggles for Nation and Freedom in Civil War America, which is organized chronologically as well as by topic, with each gallery within the exhibit exploring political developments, civilian experiences, and military events that occurred during the 1850s and 1860s, providing multiple perspectives in a multifaceted manner.

Grant Opportunities

HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative
Through the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, J.M. Kaplan Fund, and The Executive Leadership Council have invested $1 million to pilot an HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative. In partnership with up to eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), this program will provide technical assistance and fund new cultural heritage stewardship plans. The partnership seeks to empower HBCUs with the resources to protect, preserve and leverage their historic campuses, buildings, and landscapes, ensuring they are preserved to inspire and educate future generations. The pilot program aims to fund up to six single-structure and two campus-wide preservation plans, as well as grow existing and establish new relationships with HBCU executive leadership; provide direct grants to HBCUs to prepare stewardship plans; provide targeted preservation expertise and establish replicable stewardship models; promote HBCU history and culture; discuss implementation of completed stewardship plans and opportunities and challenges potentially impacting HBCU cultural heritage stewardship; and encourage HBCUs to engage design and preservation students, architects, and professionals to support a more diverse and equitable field of practice.

Training Opportunities

As the Statues Fall
Webinars by the Society for Black Archaeologists
The Society for Black Archaeologists has participated in two recent online discussions focused on archaeology, culture, and current issues that transcend national boundaries. As the Statues Fall: A Conversation about Monuments and the Power of Memory is about current movements to remove monuments associated with colonialism, imperialism, and enslavement. It was co-hosted by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and SAPIENS in collaboration with the Society of Black Archaeologists and the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies.
Archaeology in the Time of Black Lives Matter was a panel discussion facilitated by Maria Franklin PhD (University of Texas) and Justin Dunnavant PhD (Vanderbilt University), with participants Alexandra Jones PhD (Archaeology in the Community Inc), Alicia Odewale PhD (University of Tulsa), and Tsione Wolde-Michael (Curator, Smithsonian), and chaired by Ayana Flewellen PhD (University of California Berkeley) Co-sponsors included the Theoretical Archaeology Group (North America) and Columbia University Center for Archaeology
Historic Richmond logo
Webinar from Historic Richmond Foundation: Guide to Researching your Historic Home
The Historic Richmond Foundation recently debuted a new DIY guide to researching historic houses. The case study is Brookbury Farm, an antebellum plantation, one of the oldest houses in Richmond, and, most recently, the home of Judge James Sheffield, the first African American judge to be appointed to a Virginia court since Reconstruction. DHR’s Eastern Region archaeologist Michael Clem and Eastern Region architectural historian Marc Wagner were among the panelists who discussed using early deeds, land records, maps, historic photographs and surveys, city directories, physical evidence, and personal recollections for research. Brookbury Farm was recommended eligible for the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register by the Virginia State Review Board at their meeting on June 18, 2020.
dismantle preservation
Dismantle Preservation Virtual UnConference
The free online #Dismantle Preservation UnConference convened on July 28 with experts in public history, historic preservation, and all facets of cultural resources management discussing the critical issues facing the preservation profession. Panelists included Virginia Board of Historic Resources member Jeffrey Harris, who discussed his experience in identifying and dealing with implicit bias in preservation work. Other topics included public service loan forgiveness, mental health awareness for persons in demanding and stressful positions, preserving communities of all types, negotiating equitable salaries, understanding community engagement, and expanding financial incentives for preservation. Links to each session’s recording are available.
Forum Webinar Series
The National Trust for Historic Preservation now offers a free webinar series available to all viewers through its Forum website. Webinar topics include managing virtual meetings, advocating for historic preservation, using historic tax credits as a tool for economic recovery, implications of the covid-19 pandemic on preservation efforts, and improving digital engagement at history organizations.
VAM logo
Call for Proposals: Virginia Association of Museums 2021 Conference
The Virginia Association of Museums has issued a call for proposals to present at the organization’s 2021 conference. Next year’s theme is Museums Facing a Changing World, a timely topic that encompasses the “new normal” imposed by the covid-19 pandemic, heightened emphasis on race relations, transitioning to digital content delivery, and finding a place for history organizations in the midst of rapidly evolving expectations and communities. The conference is scheduled to take place March 13-16, 2021, at the Hotel Madison in Harrisonburg; the conference organizers will decide in December 2020 if the meeting will have to be changed to an online platform depending on the status of the pandemic.
PV Pres videos
Preservation Virginia Debuts New Preservation in Action Video Series
In the first installment of a new Preservation in Action Video Series, Preservation Virginia’s Eric Litchford, preservation projects manager, shows recent work undertaken on the 19th-century smokehouse at Bacon’s Castle. Archaeological evidence suggests the smokehouse was built between 1820 and 1832. In the video, the smokehouse’s history and uses is reviewed along with the work being done to preserve it today. The Preservation in Action Video Series has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and through the support of Preservation Virginia Members.

Other News

Molecular image of coronavirus
Covid-19 Imperils Historical and Cultural Organizations
The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the only organization representing the entire scope of the museum community, has released findings warning that one out of every three museums may shut down permanently as the covid-19 pandemic and associated economic crisis have caused funding sources and financial reserves to evaporate. Without near-term assistance from governments and private donors, hundreds of directors reported their museums may not survive the financial crisis brought on by the pandemic. The recent survey of more than 750 museum directors provides detailed insight into the financial distress being experienced at organizations nationwide.
map of US counties
Animated Map of U.S. Counties
The History of U. S. Counties has been captured in an animated map. James City County has the distinction of being the nation’s first county, established in 1634 – over a century before the first census was taken and almost 150 years before the American Revolution. A look at the nationwide map demonstrates the vastly different settlement patterns from the east coast to the west, including Alaska and Hawaii. Clicking anywhere on the map starts an animation and timeline of the history of counties’ establishment nationwide.
National Council for History Education
Critical Conversations on Race, Ethnicity, and History
The National Council for History Education (NCHE) has made available a new series of free webinars. This series engaged participants in important conversations about issues of race, ethnicity, equity, and history. Webinar recordings are available, along with related documents. This series was sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program. Additional webinars will be added to the series in upcoming weeks.
AASLH Report on 250th Anniversary cover
Planning for the U.S. 250th Anniversary
Planning is under way for the 250th Anniversary of the United States in 2026. The semiquincentennial is a once-in-a-generation event with numerous interested parties and stakeholders. The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) has released a report on planning activities, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop resources that will help historical organizations prepare for the 250th. The grant will enable AASLH to join partners throughout the nation’ s history community to develop guiding themes for the commemoration, gather and share new data on the state of the field, and create new planning tools to support local historical organizations. In addition, AASLH will continue to convene partners at fellow associations, federal agencies, and other prominent scholarly and public history organizations to strengthen communication and collaboration
USDA Organic logo
History of the Natural and Organic Foods Movement
Virginia’s agricultural economy contributes more than $70 billion each year to the commonwealth’s economy and supports more than 334,000 jobs. A growing sector of the agricultural economy is the certified organic program. Although organic foods are often thought to be a fairly recent development in agricultural practices, a new timeline by the Soy Info Center highlights major points in human understanding of organic growing practices and establishment of influential organic farms and businesses. A detailed annotated bibliography is available for download as well.
NPI Preservation Profiles
National Preservation Institute Debuts New Preservation Profiles Podcast Series
The National Preservation Institute is in the midst of a six-episode Preservation Profiles podcast series as part of celebrating NPI’s 40th anniversary. Episodes offer an insider’s look at the historic preservation and cultural resource management community. Topics include advocacy, laws and regulations, preservation planning, and intangible aspects of historic preservation stewardship. The most recent episode features Robert G. Stanton, who joined the National Park Service as a seasonal ranger and rose through the ranks to become the agency’s first African American Director and now is an expert member of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. He speaks about the need for honest and inclusive history to be part of the national discourse as well as his work for the Preservation in Practice program that brings young African American professionals into historic preservation. The podcast series is hosted by Jane I. Seiter, PhD and produced by Hannah Hethmon for Better Lemon Creative Audio.