Quarterly Newsletter, June 2021


In this issue:
*New Listings, Virginia Landmarks Register *New Historical Markers *Ask an Archaeologist
*HTC Profile *New Easement *Other News &
Announcements *New DHR staff members
Thumbnails for VLRs_06172021
VLR listings are in the counties of Bedford (2), Brunswick, Campbell, Loudoun, Pulaski, Rockbridge, Warren, and Westmoreland.

Nine Historic Sites Added,
Virginia Landmarks Register, June 2021

Among nine places listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register are a historic district on the Northern Neck that encompasses a late-1800s resort, a house in Southside associated with a traveling preacher who helped spread Methodism in Virginia, an 18th-century house once proffered to Thomas Jefferson, and three 20th-century schools.
Read more and view photos. . .
Thumbnails of four photos
Markers cover topics in the counties of Bedford, Brunswick, Culpeper (2), Cumberland, Essex (3), Southampton; and the cities of Bristol, Falls Church, Lexington, Petersburg, Richmond (4).

17 Historical Markers Approved, June 2021

Fifteen of 17 proposed historical highway markers approved for manufacture recall people, places or events in Virginia’s African American history, including five topics submitted by students who participated in Governor Northam’s Black History Marker contest in February. Among the student suggestions are forthcoming markers about a formerly enslaved man born in Virginia who joined John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, the “Father of Black Basketball,” and a Richmond woman who was part of a racially integrated network that passed intelligence to the U.S. Army during the Civil War.
Read about the markers, their texts and view related photos. . .
Classic Amoco station design
The Gretna Amoco departs from the classic corporate design of the mid-20th century illustrated here.
Historic Tax Credits, Project Profile:
Gretna's Amoco Station
The 1940 Amoco Service Station in Pittsylvania County’s Town of Gretna was built in the tradition of “ice-box” gas station architecture and according to corporate specifications. The stuccoed, concrete-block building possesses a quasi-rectangular form adorned with delightful mid-20th century details, although it is distinct from many existing Amoco stations from that era.
Read more & see photos (before and after).
Sherds assembled into vessel
Ask an Archaeologist:
Stephen Sweeney Pottery
DHR archaeologist Mike Clem received an email with photos from a Louisa County property owner who discovered some pieces of pottery at the “old family home” off US 33 near an area historically known as Cuckoo. He wanted to know if Mike could help him learn more about the sherds. Read more . . .
Part of the Grafton Ponds tracts, which Newport News Waterworks owns.
DHR Easement Program:
Grafton Ponds Tracts Easement
In April, the Board of Historic Resources accepted a conservation and historic preservation easement over the Grafton Ponds Tracts in York County. The easement protects five parcels totaling 550 acres of largely unimproved open space. A complex easement project, it also involved collaboration with the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Newport News Waterworks owns the parcels and will maintain them to protect the rivers and reservoirs that provide drinking water for the Newport News area.
The tracts are located in the core and study area of the Battle of Yorktown (April 5–May 4, 1862), fought during Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign. Several defensive trenches, as well as an intact redoubt, are located on the tracts, which also contain multiple prehistoric and historic sites representing human use and occupation of the property from about 8000 B.C.E through the mid-20th century. Although the property is largely unimproved, a network of unsurfaced trails allows public access and passive recreational use. A $3.3 million grant from Dominion Energy's Surry-Skiffes Creek-Whealton Transmission Line mitigation fund made the easement possible. Newport News Waterworks will continue to manage the property's timber and land to promote protection of its historic and natural resources and area water quality.
Read the City's press release announcing the easement project.
Report on the Stewardship and Status of Virginia's State-Owned Historic Property: 2021--2023
In May, DHR issued this mandated report about the state's historic state-owned property. Consistent with prior reports, the 2021 report combines–
  • priority lists of sites eligible for listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register as well as those VLR sites listed or eligible that are most threatened with loss of historic integrity or functionality, and
  • a status report on historic properties previously identified in prior reports.
For more information, visit our webpages devoted to the stewardship of state-owned property. This year’s illustrated report also highlights the efforts of Central State Hospital to preserve its archival records and memorialize it Unmarked Cemetery.

Other Announcements:

Introducing DHR's New Full-Time Staff Members & Positions:
Effective April 10, Chelsea Blake accepted a full-time position as Conservator and Project Manager for the Skiffes Creek Curation and Conservation Project. The grant-funded project is for two years and will focus on collections from sites related to underrepresented populations in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chelsea was a conservator on the NPS funded Betsy project at DHR. Chelsea attended Christopher Newport University where she received a B.A. in History and then a B.A. in Classical Studies before receiving her M.A. in Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Artifacts from the University of Durham in the United Kingdom, with a professional placement at the York Archaeological Trust. Her knowledge and skills in Archaeological Conservation will help preserve Virginia's rich and diverse history.
Effective April 25, Dhaval Patel came onboard as DHR’s new Finance & Grants Manager. In 2008, Dhaval earned a bachelor’s degree in Advanced Accounting & Auditing and a master’s in Business Administration specializing in Finance in 2011. He also has certifications in U.S. Federal Taxation & Project Management. His last position was as Senior Accountant with the Virginia State Police. At VSP, he monitored several Federal and State grants, Asset Forfeiture Program, General Accounting, Financial reports and support to other divisions. Currently, he and his wife and baby girl reside in Henrico County.
Also effective April 25, Sean Tennant became DHR’s new Archaeology Data Manager. A native of Chesapeake, VA, Sean holds a B.A. in History from George Mason University and an M.A. and Ph.D in Ancient Mediterranean Archaeology from the University of Virginia. He has worked in CRM archaeology for the Fairfax County Park Authority, and with the Flowerdew Hundred Collection at UVA.
Sarah Ellis
Sarah Ellis has joined DHR as a Curation Assistant within the Division of State Archaeology. In 2009, she earned a B.S. from James Madison University and an M.A. in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins. She has worked for the Southeast Archaeological Center of the National Park Service and for the firm Cultural Resource Analysts (CRA) in its West Virginia office as the Laboratory Director and the CRA Virginia office where she became the Laboratory Director and Office Manager. Sarah also has a background in geology and geography, and having attended field school at James Madison’s Montpelier and conducted fieldwork at 17th- to 20th-century historic component sites, she is highly proficient in historic and prehistoric analysis. Sarah is from Fluvanna County’s Lake Monticello, where she currently resides.
DHR is also thrilled to announce two (much needed) entirely new positions we recently filled:
Joanna Wilson Green, an archaeologist with DHR since 2003 and DHR’s in-house specialist on funerary iconography and the analysis of human remains, has been hired as the agency’s first Cemetery Preservationist. A native of Colorado, Joanna earned her bachelor's degree in Anthropology from the University of Wyoming, and her master's degree in Physical Anthropology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Most recently, the easement program archaeologist, Joanna will now join DHR’s Community Services Division.
Burke 002HS
Effective July 12, Brendan Burke joins DHR in the newly created position of Underwater Archaeologist to launch and manage DHR’s Underwater Archaeology program. Brendan’s maritime background includes childhood experiences around the Chesapeake Bay and the wild Atlantic coastline of southwest Ireland. He earned his B.S. at Longwood University and an M.A. at William and Mary, where he did field work at Werowocomoco and participated in the Great Dismal Swamp Landscape Study. After brief stints in Wyoming and Utah in the CRM field, he moved to St. Augustine, FL, and took a research position with the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP), the research division of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. From 2007-2019 he conducted research to locate, identify, and excavate historic shipwrecks around the nation’s oldest port. He recently researched and documented a vessel abandonment area in the Nansemond River, a study of maritime sites along the upper Appomattox River, and work with the Maritime Heritage Chapter of the Archeological Society of Virginia. He resides in Amelia Co., with his wife, Lillian Azevedo, who is also a maritime archaeologist.
Have a great summer! We will report back to you at the beginning of the Fall after DHR's next joint quarterly meeting of the Virginia Board of Historic Resources and the State Review Board, scheduled for Thursday, September 23.