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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources is the State Historic Preservation Office.
DHR fosters, encourages, and supports the stewardship and use of Virginia’s significant architectural, archaeological, and historic resources as valuable assets for the economic, educational, social, and cultural benefit of citizens and communities.

Historic Virginia

Six Historic Sites Added to the Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR): A Revolutionary War–era militia mustering ground in southwest Virginia, a commercial corridor that became a hub for tobacco-related enterprises in Lynchburg, and two sites in the Shenandoah Valley are among the six places added last week to the Virginia Landmarks Register by the Department of Historic Resources.
  • New VLR listings in counties of Augusta, Shenandoah, and Washington (Abingdon); and the cities of Lynchburg, Richmond, and Roanoke.
  • Also, an expanded boundary for previously-listed Wytheville Historic District.
Read this press release (PDF) with photos and descriptions of the properterties and historic districts. See this webpage for individual nomination forms and photographs of each listing.
Images of four sites listed on VLR
Sites added to the VLR in March, clockwise from top right: (1) Oliver Chilled Plow Branch House, Richmond, (2) Carpenter Building, Wytheville Historic District, (3) Villa Heights, Roanoke, and (4) Retirement and Muster Grounds, Abindgon (Washington Co.)

Recent News and Announcements


A workshop at a cemetery in Harrisonburg
Register Now for a Cemetery Workshop in May in Lexington: DHR will present a day-long workshop on the symbols and iconography of historic graveyards, as well as the proper stewardship and documentation of these special places on Saturday, May 12 in Lexington. Sponsored by the Historic Lexington Foundation, the workshop runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature presentations about burial laws, and cemetery conservation, documentation, iconography, and archaeology. Participants will also visit the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery for additional training and discussions. The classroom part of the workshop will be held at Brady Chapel in Murray Hall, the annex to the Lexington Presbyterian Church, at the corner of S. Main and E. Nelson Streets. Following classroom presentations, the workshop continues at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, two blocks south of the church, where DHR staff will highlight general cemetery stewardship issues including the proper cleaning and conservation of stone and masonry and identifying and interpreting symbols used on grave markers. All presentations will allow ample time for discussion and questions. Fee for the workshop is $50. If you are interested, please sign up early, as space is limited. Lunch will be provided by the Historic Lexington Foundation. Registration closes on May 8. For more information about the event, please contact Dee DeRoche, chief curator at DHR (804) 482-6441. See the agenda; download the register form.
  
Highway marker sign outline
Eleven New State Historical Highway Markers Approved in March: Among the eleven markers recently approved for placement along Virginia roads will be signs that highlight a diplomat who helped 1,200 Jews escape the Holocaust, a top-secret Army post that intercepted radio transmissions during World War II, the church where George Washington served on the vestry, and a 19th-century educator and reformer, Margaret Mercer. Read this press release (PDF) about the markers and the text for each one. 

Image of report cover
Preserving the Past, Bulding the Future: Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits at Work in Virginia: The commonwealth's Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (HRTC) program has played an essential role in the preservation of thousands of historic properties since its inception 20 years ago. The program has issued $1.2 billion in tax credits since 1997, reimbursing 25 percent of eligible rehabilitation expenses as tax credits. Those tax credits have stimulated $4.5 billion in private investment since 1997. Although the $1.2 billion in tax credits issued represents revenue not immediately realized by the Commonwealth, much of the $4.5 billion of private investment may not have otherwise occurred. VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs analyzed the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program to better understand its costs and benefits to Virginia, its communities, and its historic buildings. Here's full 94-page report. No time for that? Read the Executive Summary (4 pgs) or this Illustrated Summary

Also of note, in 2017 Preservation Virginia, in partnership with the Home Builders Association, undertook a deep-dive study into the economic benefits of the historic rehabilitation tax credit program in Virginia. Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly), a nationally recognized, full-service accounting and advisory firm, studied the economic impact of 21 projects completed in 2014. Their findings demonstrate the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program doesn't just preserve the places that make Virginia unique. In 2014 alone it resulted in:
  • $467 million in economic output
  • supported 9,960 jobs
  • generated $3.50 for every $1 invested through the first three years
The study can be found here on the Preservation Virginia website.
Logo of DHR historical marker audio tour
Check out DHR’s new audio tour of the historical highway markers along the Virginia Capital Bike Trail and Route 5 between Richmond and Williamsburg.
This is DHR's first attempt at making audio recordings of the texts of the 2,600+ markers erected in Virginia between 1927 and 2017. We would appreciate any feedback you would like to provide us. Intended to entertain and inform you when you drive Route 5 or bike along the Capital Trail, the audio tour can also be accessed from anywhere on any device including laptops. Take a spin and get a feel for what we are up to by visiting the tour link. To access the tour on a mobile device, visit izi.Travel and download the app, then search for tours in Virginia.

Book cover
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