10 Historic Sites Added to the Virginia Landmarks Register

Published March 22, 2024
March 2024 new VLR listings

Virginia Department of Historic Resources
(dhr.virginia.gov)
For Immediate Release
March 22, 2024

Contact:
Ivy Tan
Department of Historic Resources
Marketing & Communications Manager
ivy.tan@dhr.virginia.gov
804-482-6445

—New listings are in the cities of Buena Vista, Staunton, and Virginia Beach; in the counties of Campbell, Middlesex, Pittsylvania, and Rockbridge; and in the Essex County town of Tappahannock, the Fauquier County town of Warrenton, and the Roanoke County town of Vinton—

RICHMOND – Among the 10 places newly listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register are an entertainment center that served Black and White patrons during 20th-century segregation; a local landmark symbolizing the regional growth of one of the most iconic brands in the nation; and a property that represents the history of plantation agriculture in Southside Virginia before, during, and after the Civil War.

The Commonwealth’s Board of Historic Resources approved the Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) listings during its quarterly public meeting on March 21, 2024, in Richmond, Virginia. The VLR is the commonwealth’s official list of places of historic, architectural, archaeological, and cultural significance.

At the conclusion of its meeting, the Board approved the following places for listing in the VLR:

In the state’s Eastern Region,

  • Constructed by local builders in 1967-68 and operated by local citizens, the Beach Carousel Motel embodies the homegrown quality of the hospitality industry in the oceanfront resort area of Virginia Beach during the 1960s. The architecture of the motel, best described as a Midcentury Modern style featuring a large parking lot and a swimming pool in the front as well as a floorplan that includes two-room suites with kitchenettes and standard motel rooms, contrasts with the large national franchises of the 1970s.

 

  • The Clare Walker School District in Middlesex County comprises the campuses of two historic schools that served Black students during Jim Crow segregation in Virginia’s public education system. The local Black community’s grassroots movement to create better educational opportunities for their children—an initiative shepherded by prominent local educator John Henry St. Clare Walker—led to the establishment of St. Clare Walker High School, which operated from 1939 to 1969, and Rappahannock Central Elementary School, active from 1962 through 2002.

 

  • Built in 1938-39 in the Tappahannock Historic District in Essex County, the DAW Theatre exemplifies a movie and live-performance venue from the pre-World War II era in a rural courthouse town. The second theater in the town’s 400-year history, it served as the community entertainment center for Black and White customers during segregation in the 20th century.

 

In Virginia’s Northern Region,

  • Constructed in three phases starting in 1927, the Staunton Coca-Cola Bottling Works building is a local landmark located on a major thoroughfare in the City of Staunton. While the bottling business moved to a larger facility in the 1970s, the building represents the regional growth of the Coca-Cola Company in Virginia during its years of operation by producing soda, serving as a steady source of employment for local citizens, and playing an active role in the Staunton community.

 

  • The Warrenton Historic District in the Fauquier County Town of Warrenton has been home to famous Virginia lawyers and politicians since its beginnings as a colonial village. The district’s 2024 Boundary Increase expands the original district to include primarily residential properties located along key arterial roads, which were brought into Warrenton after the town’s 1959-1960 annexation of more than six times its previous acreage. This expansion doubled the town’s population and was representative of Warrenton’s growth in the mid-20th century within the county and the Northern Virginia region and its investment in public infrastructure and utility services after World War II.

 

In the state’s Western Region,

  • Located on the banks of the Maury River in Buena Vista, the water-powered Columbian Paper Company mill serves as a rare, well-preserved example of a historic complex associated with paper production, one of the city’s leading industries from the late 19th to mid-20th century.

 

  • Established between 1752 and 1756, Dixon Cemetery in Campbell County contains the graves of some of the earliest settlers in the west-central piedmont, with the unusual distinction of including both African Americans, enslaved and freed, and white persons, some of whom were soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary and Civil wars; as well as many others who made historical contributions to Virginia and the nation.

 

  • The Oak Hill property, located west of Danville in Pittsylvania County, is representative of the history of plantation agriculture in Southside Virginia, starting from the antebellum period through the Civil War. As one of many plantations owned by the wealthy Hairston family, Oak Hill provides a rare opportunity to study the lives of enslaved and free individuals who lived and worked on the property, as well as the rise and decline of the planter class from the 18th and 19th centuries.

 

  • Built in ca. 1820, the Paxton House in Rockbridge County is a notable example of the Federal architectural style, a design that was popular in the region during the early years of the American republic. The house embodies the characteristics of a significant period of construction in American architectural history through its layout, materials, and stylistic touches.

 

  • The Vinton Downtown Historic District encompasses the commercial core of the Town of Vinton in Roanoke County. The district, which features a collection of commercial and municipal buildings from the early to mid-20th century, typifies a rural community in Southwest Virginia that developed into a downtown business hub over the course of the 20th century, after the establishment of railway transportation in the region.

 

DHR will forward the documentation for these newly listed VLR sites to the National Park Service for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Listing a property in the state or national registers is honorary and sets no restrictions on what owners may do with their property. The designation is foremost an invitation to learn about and experience authentic and significant places in Virginia’s history. Designating a property to the state or national registers—either individually or as a contributing building in a historic district—provides an owner the opportunity to pursue historic rehabilitation tax credit improvements to the building. Tax credit projects must comply with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

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