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DHR Register Program Updates

October 2021
In this issue:
*Nominations approved at the September DHR quarterly meeting *DHR's One Virginia Plan
*Register-Listed Sites in the News *News Around Virginia *Grant & Training Opportunities
This is the latest in a series of updates that DHR is sending to consultants, CLG staff, university faculty, students, and other interested parties to keep everyone abreast of DHR’s Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register programs. Please forward this email to anyone you feel may be interested in our programs.
--Lena McDonald, Historian, DHR Register Program.

Nominations Approved, September 2021 Joint Board Meeting

The Virginia Board of Historic Resources and State Review Board convened in a joint meeting on September 23, 2021. The following nominations were approved at the meeting.

Eastern Region
  1. Chinn House, Town of Warsaw, Richmond County, DHR No. 321-0010, Criteria B and C
  2. Sandston Historic District, Henrico County, DHR No. 043-6271, Criteria A and C
  3. Troop 111 Boy Scout Cabin, Gloucester County, DHR No. 036-5179, Criteria A and C
Northern Region
  1. James Baptist Church and Cemetery, Fauquier County, DHR No. 030-5898, Criterion A and Criteria Consideration A
  2. Vint Hill Farms Station Historic District, Fauquier County, DHR No. 030-0020, Criterion A
Western Region
  1. Gish Mill, Town of Vinton, Roanoke County, DHR No. 149-0057, Criteria A and C
  2. Mead’s Tavern, Campbell County, DHR No. 015-0120, Criteria A, C, and D
  3. Parr, Royster C. House, Amherst County, DHR No. 005-0165, Criterion C
PIFs Approved at the September 2021 State Review Board Meeting
The Virginia State Review Board convened on September 23, 2021. The following PIFs were approved by the Board:

Western Region
  1. Ebenezer AME Church, City of Roanoke, DHR No. 128-6474, Criteria A and C and Criteria Consideration A
  2. Natural Bridge CCC Camp, Rockbridge County, DHR 081-0430, Criteria A and C
Northern Region
  1. C. L. Robinson Ice and Cold Storage Corporation, City of Winchester, DHR No. 138-5140, Criterion A,
  2. Rutledge-Mehler House, Augusta County, DHR No. 007-0180, Criterion C
  3. St. Paul’s Episcopal Cemetery, City of Alexandria, DHR No. 100-0143, Criterion C and Criteria Consideration D
  4. Snickersville Turnpike, Loudoun County, DHR No. 054-6487, Criteria A and C
  5. Staunton Steam Laundry, City of Staunton, DHR No. 132-5027, Criteria A and C
  6. Wampler Farm, Augusta County, DHR No. 007-0418, Criterion C
Eastern Region
  1. Oak Grove Baptist Church and Cemetery, York County, DHR No. 099-5091, Criteria A and C and Criteria Considerations A and D
  2. St. Clare Walker School Historic District, Middlesex County, DHR No. 059-0078, Criterion A
  3. Shuttlewood, New Kent County, DHR No. 063-0095, Criterion C
  4. Woodhurst Neighborhood Historic District, City of Virginia Beach, DHR File No. 134-5874, Criterion C
HPF Permanent Reauthorization Legislation Postponed
The National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the American Cultural Resources Association have been working for years on legislation to secure permanent reauthorization of the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The legislation, however, will not proceed until Congress works out difficult budget negotiations for the next federal fiscal year, starting October 1, and avoiding a partial federal government shutdown. Back during the last HPF reauthorization effort in 2016, the HPF was declared by the Congressional Budget Office to have a “clean” score, or no budget impact. The HPF is funded through a small portion of the royalties that energy companies pay for the right to drill for oil and natural gas on the federally owned Outer Continental Shelf, and is not reliant on taxpayer dollars. Permanent reauthorization of the HPF would remove perennial uncertainty about the amount of the federal apportionment directed to states and tribal governments for operation of historic preservation offices. In recent years, as budget negotiations often extend well into the federal fiscal year (FFY), the federal funds are not released to state and tribal governments until the FFY is more than half over, necessitating that state and tribal governments use other funds to continue preservation office operations, increasing uncertainty from year to year over what funding levels will be, and reducing preservation offices’ ability to be proactive in their operations.
White House Announces Nomination of Charles Sams as National Park Service Director
Late last month, the White House announced the nomination of Charles F. “Chuck” Sams as National Park Service director. Sams is a member of the Umatilla Tribe and served recently as their Executive Director. He also served as the President and CEO of the Indian Country Conservancy, and was the National Director of the Tribal and Native Lands Program for the Trust for Public Land. He currently serves as a Council Member to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. A date has not yet been set for his confirmation hearing.
Confirmation Hearing Set for New ACHP Chairman
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a confirmation hearing on September 21, 2021, for Sara Bronin, the nominee for Chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Bronin is both an architect and attorney and is co-author of “Historic Preservation Law in a Nutshell.” She is also a professor at Cornell Law School, a member of Latinos in Heritage Conservation, and an advisor for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Register-Listed Properties in the News

Three Virginia Places Receive Grants through the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund
In July, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced $3 million in grants to places across the country, including three in Virginia. The Fort Monroe Foundation at Fort Monroe has commissioned a memorial honoring the humanity of the first captive Africans who were enslaved by the Portuguese and then taken by English privateers to the British Colonies at Point Comfort in 1619. The grant will assist Fort Monroe and its partners to design an interpretive plan that contextualizes the people and events of 1619 from a global perspective. Hampton University received a grant to install an environmental control system to aid with preserving artist Charles White's 1943 mural “The Contribution of the Negro to Democracy in America” on the second floor of Clarke Hall, a 1913 building on Hampton's campus. In Orange, Virginia, the Montpelier Descendants Committee’s grant will be put toward creating a master project plan for their “Arc of Enslaved Communities” project, a descendant-led framework for the research, interpretation, physical discovery, and promotion of sites and projects centered on the contributions of the enslaved in Virginia during the Founding era.
Cornland School Goes on the Move
The Cornland School in the City of Chesapeake recently was moved from its original location to the site of a proposed new park alongside the Dismal Swamp Canal. The school building was listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register in 2015. Built in 1903, the one-room schoolhouse served African American students in the Pleasant Grove School District until 1952. The school had stood vacant for a lengthy period but a new purpose as a museum and educational display has been proposed as part of the City’s park design. Moving a Register-listed building requires approval in advance from the Virginia State Review Board and the National Park Service in order for the property to retain its historic designation. The approval was granted by both bodies and the building was placed on a tractor trailer on August 24 to be taken to its new site. A brief video documents the effort. The proposed park is currently in the design phase.
Three Virginia Places Receive National Park Service Grants
The National Park Service awarded a total of $15 million for projects nationwide through its African American Civil Rights Grant Program. In Virginia, the St. John School in Albemarle County received a grant to advance phase III of its restoration project to facilitate the building’s continued use as a community resource. In King George County, the Ralph Bunche High School received a grant to replace the building’s roof as part of a larger preservation project. In Lynchburg, the Leonard N. Smith School of Religion (aka the Humbles House) at Virginia Union University was awarded funding to facilitate the building’s continued preservation and use.
National Park Service Awards Grants to Historically Black Colleges and Universities
The National Park Service recently announced $9.7 million in grants to assist 20 preservation projects in 10 states for historic structures on campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Projects funded by these grants will support the physical preservation of National Register-listed sites on HBCU campuses. Eligible costs include pre-preservation studies, architectural plans and specifications, historic structure reports, and the repair and rehabilitation of historic properties according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. In Virginia, Hampton University received a grant for its The Academy Building Project, while Virginia State University received a grant for rehabilitation of Vawter Hall, recently renamed Lula Johnson Hall.
St. Paul’s College Nomination Update Project Receives Grant Funding
In 1979, three buildings on the campus of St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville were listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places.
The National Park Service awarded the James Solomon Russell–Saint Paul’s College Museum and Archives nonprofit an Underrepresented Communities Grant for a project that will include comprehensive survey of the entire campus and updating the nomination to include detailed current descriptions of the historic resources and a thorough statement of significance that documents the school’s significance as a place of higher education for African American students from the Reconstruction Era to the early 21st century. The nomination for the Lawrenceville Historic District, which includes a portion of the college’s campus, recently was updated to include discussion of how St. Paul’s influenced the town’s development and the significant careers of James Solomon Russell and Nellie Pratt Russell.
Azurest South Featured by the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently published a feature article about the International Style dwelling Azurest South and its architect, Amaza Lee Meredith, one of the earliest Black female licensed architects in Virginia. The article provides biographical information about Meredith’s professional accomplishments and personal life, as well as rare photos and discussion of architectural details of the house she lived in for forty years.
Renovations of Winchester’s Douglas School Receive a Funding Boost
The historic Douglas School in Winchester was erected in 1927 for the city’s African American students and continued in that role to 1966. Later used as a community center, the building now is planned to be converted into school administration offices. A museum dedicated to the school’s history also will be located in the building. Federal COVID-19 relief funds are anticipated for the work on the roof and HVAC system, while the City of Winchester recently approved more than $9.7 million dollars in funding for the project.

News From Around Virginia

Emancipation & Freedom Monument Unveiled at Brown’s Island in Richmond
On September 22, 2021, the Emancipation & Freedom Monument was unveiled at Brown’s Island in Richmond. The monument project began as part of the Virginia Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation during the Civil War and the beginning of abolition of slavery in the then-Confederate states. Designed by artist Thomas Jay Warren, the monument features two 12-foot bronze figures representing a man, woman, and infant newly freed from slavery. Dedicated to the contributions of African American Virginians in the centuries-long fight for emancipation and freedom, the monument highlights notable persons who made significant contributions to the emancipation and freedom of formerly enslaved persons and/or descendants. The base of the monument features names, images, and biographical information of ten African American Virginians whose lives were dedicated to emancipation and freedom – five individuals from the period before emancipation through 1865 and five individuals who continued to work for freedom from 1866 to 1970.
Fauquier County’s New Interactive Story Map
Over the summer, the Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County and The Piedmont Environmental Council debuted a new interactive story map that tells the stories of Fauquier County’s historic African American communities. Created with funding support by The PATH Foundation, the story map provides digital access to information about the history and contributions of Fauquier’s African American communities, schools and churches established before and after the Civil War. Visitors can click on each point to see a photo and read a short description. A “read more” cue takes visitors to an interactive webpage with additional history and photographs. The project is the result of many years of research by local historians and community residents, with important contributions provided by County staff, especially to support the website’s GIS functionality, and by Piedmont Environmental Council.
Swan Island Restoration Begins in Chesapeake Bay
Coastal islands and marshes in Chesapeake Bay are disappearing, along with the ecosystem services and shoreline protection benefits they provide. Within the last 50 years, the cumulative effects of shoreline erosion, land subsidence, inadequate sediment supply, and sea level rise have accelerated the rate of island submergence. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and their partners are working to reverse this trend on Swan Island. An informative article and 90-minute video about the ambitious project provides a summary of the work that has been undertaken to date and plans for future work. The project has potential to guide future work on other islands in the bay, including Tangier Island, home of a Register-listed historic district that includes a now-submerged archaeological site and most of the Town of Tangier.
History of U.S. Army Soldiers at Northern Virginia Museum
The National Museum of the United States Army at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, serves as the first comprehensive display of the Army’s more than 245-year history and represents a joint initiative of the U.S. Army and the Army Historical Foundation.
The Foundation secured privately donated funds toward the building’s construction while the U.S. Army provided the infrastructure, roads, utilities and exhibit works. Admission to the museum is free, but timed-entry tickets are required. The museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Reclaimed Mine Lands in Buchanan County Slated for Ecotourism Project
The Southwest Virginia Sportsmen and Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) are partnering through the Ecotourism in Nature’s Wonderland project at a Buchanan County site. The project received $2.25 million from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy’s Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization program to help establish a healthy habitat on 2,500 acres in Buchanan County. The project will turn 350 acres of an historic surface coalmine into an ideal habitat for area wildlife with plants and grasses beneficial to all species that live in this area of Buchanan County. Provisions for public access are part of the ambitious project.
Historic Artifacts Repatriated to the Monacan Nation
The Fluvanna Historical Society recently returned a collection of artifacts associated with the Monacan Nation to the tribe. Society members traveled to the Monacan Ancestral Museum in Amherst County on Aug. 19 to deliver to the tribe a large collection of Monacan artifacts. From points to scrapers to pestles and a rare bannerstone, the artifacts are associated with the Monacans’ history across generations. The collection was amassed by the late Ann Holt and her children approved its repatriation, with staff at Rivanna Archaeology guiding and advising the society through the repatriation process. The collection will be cataloged and stored at the Monacan museum and cultural center at Bear Mountain in Augusta County.
Newtown School Restoration Project Begins
The Newtown School in Albemarle County is a former Rosenwald school that provided educational opportunities to African American children during the Jim Crow era of segregation. Also historically known as the Greenwood School, the building served multiple other community uses over the years. More recently, the vacant building began to deteriorate, and school alumni, local residents, Mt. Zion Church, and volunteers have launched an effort to restore the building and return it to use. Jody Lahendro, recently retired preservation architect for the University of Virginia and chair of the Virginia State Review Board, is providing architectural services and noted that the Newtown School is a model example of a two-teacher, south-facing Rosenwald school.
Lower Appomattox River Trail Project Receives Funding Boost from Cameron Foundation
The Petersburg-based Cameron Foundation recently awarded a $1 million grant to the Friends of the Lower Appomattox River to develop the trail’s western entrance spanning Dinwiddie and Chesterfield counties and the City of Petersburg. The award supports design development, pre-construction engineering, and construction of the Appomattox River Trail along the western corridor; planning and design of a brand-new bicycle-pedestrian bridge; and, the reimagining and renovation of the historic Ferndale Appomattox Riverside Park, located at 24909 Ferndale Road, Dinwiddie, VA. The full area to be developed, from the John J. Radcliffe Conservation Area in Chesterfield County across the river to Dinwiddie, along the historic 1.4-mile Canal Trail and one mile of riverside trail east toward Petersburg, creates a destination-level, regional western entrance, and connection to the developing 25-mile Appomattox River Trail system.
The American Soldier in World War II Digitizing Project
At Virginia Tech, The American Soldier in World War II is a project to make available to scholars and to the public a remarkable collection of written reflections on war and military service by American soldiers who served during the Second World War. In its efforts to mobilize, train, equip, and lead the largest fighting force in the nation's history, the US War Department created an in-house Army Research Branch (ARB) staffed and advised by the country's leading social and behavioral scientists. To help create a more efficient and effective fighting force, the Branch surveyed approximately half a million individuals over the course of the war. The American Soldier in World War II project is rendering these rich, untapped sources accessible to the public for the first time. The years-long project includes use of cutting-edge digital tools, including virtual reality that allows immersive visualization and artificial intelligence analysis of records and images, as well as thousands of hours of work by students, researchers, and volunteers to create easily searchable online collections available to the public.
Virginia Forum Issues Call for Proposals for 2022 Conference
The Virginia Forum will hold its seventeenth annual conference April 7–9, 2022, at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond. The Virginia Forum is interdisciplinary, welcoming work in history, economics, politics, geography, law, literature, education, politics, environmental studies, archaeology, and anthropology. Moreover, the Virginia Forum welcomes proposals from teachers, students, and professionals outside of the academy, as well as from scholars in the early stages of their academic careers. While proposals on any Virginia topic are welcome, each year a theme is selected to inspire proposals and prompt reflection. This year’s theme, “History Unmasked,” encourages submissions regarding the dual theme of medical pandemic and social justice, including those that spark conversations about public commemorations, monumental representations, changing meanings of past and current iconography, the contested interpretations of liberties and justice in Virginia, and how past and present Virginians have experienced or endured medical, social, and racial crises. For individual paper proposals, please submit a one-page paper proposal and one-page curriculum vitae, including your contact information, in a single Word/PDF document to VaForum@rmc.edu by October 15, 2021. Proposals for complete panel sessions, workshops, or any other presentation formats should include: 1) a one-page description of the whole panel or session; 2) a separate, one-page description for each individual presentation in the session; and 3) a one-page curriculum vitae for each participant, including the chairperson, and contact information. Please include all the above in a single Word/PDF document submitted to VaForum@rmc.edu by October 15, 2021.
Arlington County Community Featured in New Library of Virginia Exhibit
“Columbia Pike: Through the Lens of Community” is a new photography exhibition that explores an Arlington community so diverse that it’s been described as a “World in a Zip Code.”
Columbia Pike originated in the 19th century as a toll road connecting rural Virginia with the nation's capital. Today, the corridor is one of the most culturally diverse communities in the nation. Unlike in many other parts of the country or the world, however, the stunningly diverse group of people—representing every continent—who live and work there do so in relative harmony. More than 70 of the thousands of Columbia Pike Documentary Project photographs in the Library of Virginia’s collections are highlighted in the new exhibit, which will continue through January 8, 2022. Photographer Lloyd Wolf discusses several of the photographic works in a video about the exhibit.

News From Elsewhere

The Continuing Destruction of Archaeological Sites
In July 2021, the Washington Post Magazine published a feature article, “The Desecrators,” that discusses looting and desecration of archaeological sites, including sites with human burials. Sites associated with Native Americans tribes have been among those most heavily targeted by relic hunters. This article provides a historical overview of the types of looting activities that have occurred especially during the twentieth century and more recent efforts to repatriate looted objects to the tribes with whom they belong.
More Freedmen’s Bureau Records Available Online
More than 3.5 million records documenting the lives of free Black people during the Reconstruction period have been digitized and placed online. The searchable database at the new website offers a new level of accessibility by making it possible to search thousands of records at a time. Researchers, genealogists, and descendants now can access records previously available only at the National Archives and other repositories.
Digitized “Confederate Slave Payrolls” Now Available
During the U.S. Civil War, the Confederate Army required enslavers to loan their enslaved people to the military. Throughout the Confederacy from Florida to Virginia, these enslaved people served as cooks and laundresses, labored in deadly conditions to mine potassium nitrate to create gunpowder, worked in ordnance factories, and dug the extensive defensive trench networks that defended cities such as Petersburg, Virginia.
To track this extensive network of thousands of enslaved people and the pay their enslavers received for their lease, the Confederate Quartermaster Department created the record series now called the “Confederate Slave Payrolls.” This series is fully digitized and available to view in the National Archives Catalog. The records shed light on the lives of enslaved people hired out by enslavers to the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and may provide a wealth of genealogical information relating to the names and home counties of African Americans. The payrolls show the time period covered, the Confederate officer under whom the enslaved people worked, the place of service, names of the enslaver, names and occupations of the enslaved person, number of days employed, daily rate of wages, amount paid (to the enslaver, not the enslaved person), and the signature of the person receiving the payment.
Online Mapping Inequality Project Receives Grant to Expand Reach
The Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America project has been online since 2016. A recent Digital Extension Grant from the American Council of Learned Societies provides funding to expand the geographic reach of Mapping Inequality, to create visualization tools that will augment the existing textual tools, add essays from scholars describing the story of redlining in individual communities, and new curricular materials for use in secondary schools and universities.
Disaster Recovery Assistance for Historic Papers, Photos, and Other Materials
Both private individuals and cultural institutions must contend with disaster recovery on an increasingly frequent basis. While protection of life and property are the top priorities during and immediately after a disaster, people soon turn to recovering the belongings that matter most to them. Three organizations are available to assist with recovery and preservation of historic papers and photos through direct work and technical guidance. The Heritage Emergency National Task Force offers resources for libraries, archives, museums, Native American tribes, emergency managers, artists, and other entities. The National Heritage Responders is a nationwide team that includes conservators, archivists, collections managers, and other professionals trained to provide free salvage guidance over the phone to cultural stewards. For the general public, the email hotline is NHRpublichelpline@culturalheritage.org. Also for the public, the website Save Your Family Treasures provides guidance for salvaging photo albums, letters, documents and papers, and other treasured belongings.

Training Opportunities

NPI Offers New Free Training Module for Identifying New Funding Opportunities
The National Preservation Institute has made available a 45-minute introduction to Finding New Sources of Funding in Challenging Times. Topics include learning how to evaluate a cultural resource project for its value in serving broader community needs; reviewing traditional funding types vs. alternative sources that can be redirected to meet project goals; and considering new partnerships that can expand the universe of support.
NPI also offers a free on demand webinar, The Importance of Mapping Cultural Resources, which reviews why the use of geographic information systems (GIS) is important to cultural resource management, inventory creation, and compliance with historic preservation legislation. GIS tools that assist in historic preservation work also are reviewed, including story maps, mobile GIS applications, and integrating historic maps, LiDAR, and GPS.
Preserving and Sustaining Civil Rights Virtual Symposium
The Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Sites will host an online, free symposium on November 18-19, 2021. The heritage of civil rights includes iconic sites already recognized as heritage places as well as vernacular buildings, cultural landscapes, and other ordinary places shaped by civil rights struggles and triumphs. Civil rights preservation efforts challenge existing conceptions of “site” and are inspiring change in the practices acknowledging, interpreting and preserving heritage places. By convening a number of scholars and practitioners deeply engaged in different aspects of preservation work, this symposium will address the varied needs for advancing the urgency of preserving sites, stories and organizations representing the heritage of civil rights in the U.S. Information about the event, including a link to online registration, is at https://cpcrs.upenn.edu/symposium.
SAH Webinar and Book Project Focus on Race and the Historiography of American Architecture
The Society for Architectural Historians has posted a recording of a recent webinar about Race and the Historiography of American Architecture. The workshop examines the role of race in the construction of historical narratives of “American architecture” during the long nineteenth century. The webinar includes a set of presentations that outline the general scope of the research project, and a panel of respondents who discuss the key conceptual rubrics, theoretical lenses, and potential case studies that are necessary to construct new histories of American architecture. An accompanying book project is being developed that will include chapters that examine these topics in greater depth.
National Trust Webinars Available to the Public
As part of this year’s National Trust PastForward conference, two post-conference webinars will be available free to the public.
On November 9 at 2:00 p.m., the Replacement Windows for Historic Buildings: Managing Compromise When Perfection Is Out of Reach webinar will look at replacement of historic window sash when repair and retention are not possible. The session will consider different levels of replacement and the effect of the materials used and provide guidance on what aspects are most critical for conveying an appropriate historic character when choosing the best replacement for each unique application. On November 16 at 2:00 p.m., the Amending National Register Nominations workshop will provide guidance on adding new criteria and new areas of significance to existing nominations, especially for addressing untold stories and underrepresented communities. Examples of different successful amendments will be featured, followed by an open discussion and Q&A. DHR staff will be presenting recent nomination amendments for properties here in Virginia.