For Black History Month in 2020, DHR created this slideshow compilation of 33 state historical markers about African American women whose contributions made a difference in Virginia (and in the nation’s) history. View slides.
Photo: Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996) was born in Newport News, Va. Marker W-70-a recalls her career. The photo shows her in 1947 with Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz. (Library of Congress)
One of the most successful initiatives to provide universal schooling for African American students during the long decades of segregation was the Rosenwald Fund, established in 1917.
The brainchild of Booker T. Washington, president of the Tuskegee Institute, and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck and Company, the fund provided money that was leveraged with other private gifts and public funds to construct more than 5,000 schools for African Americans in 15 states throughout the South (see map). View slideshow.
|Month & Year Posted||Site Name (Click to start show)||Location|
|The “Childress Rock Churches”:Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Floyd, Carroll, and Patrick counties are six rock churches constructed between 1919 and the early 1950s. The churches are associated with Presbyterian minister Robert “Bob” W. Childress, Sr. and his remarkable ministry. Slideshow features a tour of the churches that were listed in 2006 on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.||Counties of Carroll, Floyd and Patrick.|
|May 2012||The Anne Spencer Garden: Poet Anne Spencer was associated with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. The cottage garden she and her husband created behind their Lynchburg home was a special sanctuary for the Spencers.This slideshow commemorates the Spencers, their garden, and its restoration||Lynchburg|
|March 2012||Pamplin Pipe Factory: Today this site is an archaeological preserve containing the remains of several periods of clay pipe manufacture. The factory was established circa 1880, although pipe-making in the area likely traces back to mid-1700s.||Appomattox Co.|
|April 2011||The Richmond Ironclads at Trent’s Reach, James River: The Confederate Navy’s Bold Gamble to Cut Off the Union Army’s Supply Base at City Point, January 23-24, 1865: Civil War photographers typically used enormous glass plate negatives to capture an image. Archaeologist Taft Kiser explores these images to create fresh views of historic photographs and illustrations as he tells the story of a little-recalled battle between the Confederate and Union navies on the James River.||Henrico and Chesterfield Cos.|
|October 2011||Vale School – Community House:This 1884 schoolhouse recalls Fairfax County’s rural history. In 1935, it began its long association with the Vale Home Demonstration Club. Today, it is still owned and operated by the community members.||Fairfax Co.|
|May 2011||Rippon Lodge: This former plantation and the oldest existing house in Prince William County is now restored and open to the public.||Prince William Co.|
|March 2011||Crenshaw House & The Equal Suffrage League of Virginia: Women’s National History Month Slideshow: Predecessor to today’s League of Women Voters, the Equal Suffrage League was founded in Richmond in 1909, in the Crenshaw House, located in the heart of the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, which now owns the house.||Richmond|
|March 2011||Gadsby’s Tavern & Ice Well: This legendary tavern and inn was visited by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other American leaders. Here patrons could order iced refreshments and ice cream (including oyster flavor!) year round.||City of Alexandria|
|February 2011||Longs Chapel: This African-American Reconstruction-era chapel, built after the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley, nearly vanished before restoration efforts reclaimed it just in a nick of time.||Rockingham Co.|
|January 2011||Historic Henry County Courthouse: See what one community has done to preserve its historic Courthouse and Courthouse Square.||Martinsville|
|December 2010||Old Thomas James Store: This is one of the oldest existing store buildings in the American South listed in the state and national registers.||Mathews Co.|
|October-November 2010||Fairfield Archaeological Site: Learn about the amazing history of this colonial-era plantation site.||Gloucester Co.|
|June 2010||Flat Gap High School: This beautiful school was constructed of stone in Southwest Virginia.||Wise Co.|
|May 2010||Foster Falls Historic District: Located in New River Trail State Park, Foster Falls is one of southwest Virginia’s “ghost towns.”||Wythe Co.|
Updated March 5, 2020