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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources is the State Historic Preservation Office.
Our mission is to foster, encourage, and support the stewardship of Virginia's significant historic architectural, archaeological, and cultural resources.

Historic Virginia

11 Sites Added to the Virginia Landmarks Register in September 2016
Historic sites affiliated with milling, mining and other commerce in southwest Virginia and the peanut economy in Suffolk, along with the first public lending-library in Amherst County, and the former headquarters of the Virginia Commission for the Blind are some of the places added recently to the Virginia Landmarks Register by the Department of Historic Resources.
See a slideshow of the places.
(See more slideshows here.)

Recent News and Announcements

Report of Governor McAuliffe’s Monuments Work Group (2016):Recommendations for Community Engagement Regarding Confederate Monuments": Governor McAuliffe is committed to preserving both Virginia’s historic resources and the local autonomy necessary for the legitimate discussions currently occurring throughout the Commonwealth. Recognizing her experience as a former Mayor and her leadership in Virginia’s historic preservation efforts, the governor directed Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward to convene a diverse work group to consider the issues that arose in the debate last spring over HB 587, a General Assembly bill that would have overridden the authority of city governments to remove or alter war memorials erected before 1998. The group was asked to pull together resources and best practices to help willing localities foster a constructive dialogue about their monuments. This report is the product of that effort.

Battlefield Preservation: Nearly 1,339 acres associated with Civil War battles will be protected through grants from this year’s Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund awarded by DHR to three organizations that aim to preserve the lands. The grant recipients are the Capital Region Land Conservancy, the Civil War Trust, and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. The acreage targeted for preservation is associated with the battles of Chancellorsville, Fisher’s Hill, Malvern Hill, and the Wilderness. Read this press release announcing the awards and the significance of the preserved lands and affiliated battles.

DHR 2016-2017 Work Plan: DHR is now accepting public comments on its annual Work Plan, a document that dovetails with DHR's Comprehensive Historic Preservation Plan. Please send any comments about the Work Plan to DHR Deputy Director Stephanie Williams by no later than December 13, 2016. 

Seven New Historical Markers Approved: Pamunkey Indians’ assistance to Union forces during the Civil War, the presence of a strong Italian-American community in Richmond, a Blue Ridge Turnpike, and educational advances for African Americans during the era of public school segregation are among the topics featured on seven new historical markers recently approved by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources. For more info and the full text of the seven historical markers, see this press release.  
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. Follow this link for a slideshow tour of the churches, which were listed in 2006 on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
Now Available: Virginia Indians at Werowocomoco (NPS Handbook): An established Native American settlement as early as 1200 CE, Werowocomoco—located in Gloucester County, along the York River—was a secular and sacred seat of power of the Algonquian people in present-day Virginia, whom the English would call the “Powhatan.” The site was rediscovered in 2003. Only about 1 percent of the 58-acre site has been investigated; however, based on archaeological research conducted so far, it appears to be an unprecedented archaeological find for the eastern coastal region of the nation, and its significance to Virginia Indians today and our shared history is without parallel. Generously illustrated and informed by recent scholarship, this latest addition to the National Park Service Handbook series is an engaging and concise history of the site, its rediscovery, and what recent archaeology tells us about Werowocomoco. Order the book from the University of Virginia Press or online retailers such as Amazon. Priced at $12.95, consisting of 148 pages with more than 100 color images, photographs, and maps, this book is intended for a general reader interested in Native American and Virginia history.

Natural Disaster Recovery Advisory