Week of July 4, 2010

News from DHR:

New Listings Approved for National Register: Daughters of Zion Cemetery, Charlottesville; Presbyterian Orphans Home, Lynchburg;  Worsham High School,  Farmville, Prince Edward Co.;  Blackford Bridge, Russell Co.;  The George Washington Hotel, Winchester.

News from Around Virginia:

Roanoke & Southwest Region

D-Day Memorial, Bedford: Profile of  and interview with new foundation president:  The leaders of the D-Day foundation hope Robin Reed’s historical bent, and experience, will help propel the memorial through troubled times.   Roanoke Times

Wade’s Mill, Rockbridge Co.:  Still grinding:  The 260-year-old mill, situated between Staunton and Lexington, was built by a Scotsman, Captain Joseph Kennedy, in 1750 and was owned by the Kennedy family for about 100 years.  James F. Wade bought the mill in 1882, and four generations of the Wade family operated the mill successively.  The new owners sell their flours and mixes through both wholesale outlets as well as a retail outlet on the ground floor of the mill.  They are seeing an increase in their wholesale sales as a result of the local food movement and the increasing popularity of whole grains.  Lancaster Farming

Radford: Easement approved on the city’s Wildwood Park:  The Virginia Outdoors Foundation formally approved putting the park’s 54 acres under a conservation easement, which prohibits future development of the land.  Roanoke Times

Franklin, Franklin Co.July 22 and 23 “Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Downtown”: This event is designed to help communities focus the Main Street Four Point Approach to entrepreneur and local business expansion for a thriving, home-grown, downtown marketplace.  To build on the momentum of the program, at the end of day two the DHCD Project Management Office will host a Southern Virginia Downtown Interchange to bring together the region’s fruitful minds and enterprising resources.  Join the Virginia Main Street network of downtown revitalization professionals and volunteers for these fast-paced, interactive events featuring the latest in successful business development strategies and town-raising entertainment in the heart of Franklin.  More info here

Capital & Central Region

Amherst Co.:  Architectural survey completed:  Through joint funding from DHR and the county, The Antiquaries was asked to identify 275 buildings and determine their historical significance, with additional funding coming from Sweet Briar College.  “That sounds like a lot,” Scott Smith said, “but there’s more than 1,000 we could have done.”  New Era Progress

UVa, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library: A new exhibit, “Taking the Waters: 19th c. Medicinal Springs of Virginia”:  Opened concurrently in the lobby of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library and online, the exhibit is inspired by The Mineral Springs of Western Virginia by William Burke, published in 1846.  The physical exhibit will be on display July 1-October 30, 2010.  Selected information from Burke’s book is enhanced by dozens of images and transcriptions of 19th-century letters and documents from the University of Virginia’s Special Collections Library.   Moore Library News

Richmond: “Slave Burial Ground” lawsuit:  A circuit court judge denied Sa’ad El-Amin’s effort to force “state-of-the-art” test excavations to determine the boundaries of a slave burial ground under a Virginia Commonwealth University parking lot.  But Circuit Judge Clarence N. Jenkins Jr. did not dismiss El-Amin’s lawsuit, which asks the judge to order the director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to have the excavations performed.  Richmond Times-Dispatch

Richmond: Developer halts two rehab projects: Construction has stopped on two commercial renovations in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition. Contractors haven’t been paid and the buildings, which were being turned into apartments, are in foreclosure.  Times-Dispatch

Virginia Center for Architecture, Richmond: Receives restoration grant:  VCA announced that it has received a $90,000 challenge grant by the Robert G. Cabell III and Maude Morgan Cabell Foundation to restore the leaded-glass windows in its largest gallery, the Great Hall.  Age has caused the windows’ lead frames, which hold the characteristic rectangular- and diamond-shaped panes in place, to buckle.   The Center’s home is a Tudor-Revival mansion designed by John Russell Pope, a renowned architect who also designed the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art, both in Washington, D.C., as well as Richmond’s Broad Street Station, now the Science Museum of Virginia. The house was completed in 1919 for Virginia’s prominent Branch Family.   PR Web

Shirley Plantation, Charles City Co.: Seeks charter members for foundation:  Join the foundation in 2010 as a charter member to help preserve, protect and pass on the legacy of Virginia’s oldest plantation, America’s oldest family-owned business, and one of the first economic engines of the New World.  Established in 2009 the Shirley Plantation Foundation is a pioneering project due to its distinctive organizational structure and agreements with the 10th and 11th generations of the Hill Carter Family of Shirley.  Charter memberships will be available until December 31, 2010. For more information, visit www.shirleyplantation.com or call 1-800-232-1613.

Tidewater Region

Underground Railroad, Norfolk & Portsmouth: A new self-guided tour announced:  The tour highlights 15 places places along the Norfolk and Portsmouth waterfronts that were relevant to the Underground Railroad.  During the early 19th century, more than 100,000 slaves escaped from the South using the network.  No one knows how many traveled through Norfolk, but it would have been a considerable number, said Cassandra Newby-Alexander, a Norfolk State University history professor.  Although Norfolk’s waterfront, landscape and street names have changed considerably in 150 years, tourists easily can compare them in two maps provided in the guidebook – a current map and one from 1873.  Virginian-Pilot

Virginia Beach: Eastern Branch a hidden gem: The Eastern Branch was once a deep-water shipping route for early settlers who built homes in Kempsville in what was then Princess Anne County. Today the river is narrow and silted in from development that has taken place all along its shores. The shallow waterway has evolved instead into a great transportation route for nature lovers who like to get out on the water in their canoes and kayaks.  Virginian Pilot

Norfolk: Feds file suit to claim Granby Tower site:  Federal officials filed a condemnation lawsuit to claim the site of the failed Granby Tower project and will take ownership of the property as soon as today.  The federal government plans to use the site for a $104.7 million expansion of the Walter E. Hoffman Courthouse, which it hopes will open in 2013.  Granby Tower would have been at the intersection of Granby Street and Brambleton Avenue, across Granby from the courthouse.  Virginian Pilot

GloucesterNew highway marker honors WASPs:  A highway marker commemorating the contribution of a former Gloucester woman in shaping Virginia and U.S. history has been approved by DHR.  The “Women Air Force Service Pilots” marker will recall the role of women pilots during World War II, as well as former WASP and Gloucester resident Margaret Ann Hamilton Tunner.  Daily Press

HamptonHow NASA transformed city:  On Tuesday, July 6, at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Michael Cobb, curator of the Hampton History Museum, presents “NACA and the Transformation of Hampton: From Log Canoes to Outer Space” at 2 p.m. in the Reid Conference Center.  Cobb will describe how the location and building of Langley airfield and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) facility brought fortune and fame to Hampton.  PR Newswire

Fort MonroeFM Authority takes over:  The 11-member Fort Monroe Authority charged with overseeing its maintenance, preservation and rebirth “as a vibrant and thriving community” takes the reins from the Fort Monroe Federal Area Development Authority, a quasi-public agency that has been involved for several years in the planning of the military’s departure from the fort.  Planners envision a tourism destination with museums and other attractions focusing on the post’s military history, in addition to private investment to attract visitors. Washington Examiner

Richmond Co.: Writer researches his Mozingo-family origins:  “I returned to hear the tale of two clans: Rhodie Mozingo’s in Virginia and Wiley Mozingo’s in North Carolina.  Rhodie’s was white. Wiley’s was black.  I wondered how each would react to the long-buried fact that our common forefather, Edward Mozingo, was black, and that our surname was Bantu.”  Bellingham Herald

Obici House, SuffolkStill on the register — for now:  Some have expressed concern that work on the Sleepy Hole Golf Course site, which has included removing both porches and part of the kitchen on Obici House and demolishing the Carriage House, would threaten its place on the lists. The home is the estate of Suffolk benefactor and Planters Peanuts founder Amedeo Obici.  Upon his death, Obici left nearly his entire estate to Suffolk residents for the improvement of health care in the city.  News-Herald

Northern & Shenandoah Valley

Fairfax Co., Mount Vernon Area Aviation history:   By the 1930s, two airports had opened on the Route 1 corridor between Alexandria and the Mount Vernon estate.  Only one other airport, located on the site of the current Pentagon building, was fully operational in the region.  “Hybla Valley was the first licensed airport in Virginia,” said Anna Marie Hicks, who has researched the local history of airports with her husband Harry Lehman. The other, Beacon Field, was initially used for air mail and recreational flying in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The facility, located at one of the highest points in Fairfax County, featured a beacon, which emitted a light that helped guide airplane pilots traveling up and down the east coast before radar technology was invented, according to the couple.  Mount Vernon Gazette

Mount Vernon DistillerySells a limited-edition rye whiskey: Made from George Washington’s original recipe, the whiskey went on sale last week.  Following the original grain recipe of 60 percent rye, 35 percent corn and 5 percent malted barley, George Washington’s Rye was distilled by Dave Pickerell, who is the former master distiller of Maker’s Mark bourbon.  This rye is an unaged white whiskey.  There’s a soft kiss of sweetness on the tongue and the finish is smooth.  Washington Post

Loudoun Co.: Hibbs Bridge listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register:   Washington Post

Clifton, Fairfax Co.: Profile of historic village:  About 25 miles west of downtown Washington near the Prince William County line, Clifton oozes with history.  In its early days, it served as an Orange and Alexandria Railroad depot called Devereux Station, and as a southern outpost for the Union Army during the Civil War. Its historic district was added to the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.  Washington Post

Chapman-Beverley Mill, Fauquier Co. July 24 event:  There will be an evening of family fun and entertainment at the mill on Saturday, July 24 from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m. Visitors will experience the First Virginia Cavalry Confederate re-enactors, plus artillery and infantry re-enactors. The 1st Virginia Cavalry will depict Civil War camp life and describe the role of cavalry units in the Civil War. Chapman/Beverley Mill is a 268-years old architectural, industrial and Civil War history site and a popular visitors’ destination.  Admission for Family Night at Chapman/Beverley Mill is only $15.00 per family.  For more information, visit http://www.chapmansmill.org.or email: Mill@chapmansmill.org

23rd Annual Bike Virginia: Comes to the Shenandoah Valley:  Thousands of bicyclists are expected to pump millions of dollars into the local economy.  An estimated 2,000 cyclists from around the country began arriving by vehicle June 25 in Staunton.  Kim Perry, executive director of BikeWalk and an organizer of the event, said the economic impact should be about $3.1 million as money is spent at restaurants, hotels, shops and tourist attractions.  News-Leader

Winchester: Washington Hotel listed in National Register:  Built in 1924, the George Washington Hotel features Colonial Revival-style and Neoclassical Revival-style architecture.  NBC 12

WaynesboroSouth River Complex rehab launched:  Spiderwebs, dirt and broken glass still fill many of the cracked windows in the lifeless buildings of the old South River Complex.  But as construction equipment began operating on the site, the $50-million plan to convert the decrepit facilities into a thriving mixed-use development was kicked into a new gear.  The project illustrates a growing regional and national trend to overhaul old, abandoned buildings so they can be used for new purposes. The project is designed to maintain the historic quality of the former textile plant while updating and refurbishing the buildings for business, commercial, tourism and research purposes.  News-Leader

WaynesboroMarker dedication scheduled:  Waynesboro will host a dedication for the “Port Republic Road Historic District” historical marker at 10 a.m. July 23 at the Rosenwald Community Center on Port Republic Road.  Calder Loth, a retired DHR architectural historian and Del. Steve Landes will speak alongside city officials.  News-Virginian.com

Augusta Co.Maple Font Farm added to VLR:  Nestled in the hilly pasture lands outside Middlebrook, John and Maggie Miller of Charlotte, N.C., have spent the past 10 years restoring the large, white Victorian house and cluster of matching outbuildings around it. The farm last belonged to John’s great-aunt, Cornelia Clemmer, whose family built Maple Front, and he visited there as a child on holidays.  Staunton News-Leader

Beyond Virginia

Manteo, North CarolinaAncient grape vine nearly killed by power-line herbicide:  A large, old grape vine possibly growing here before the Lost Colony disappeared is on the mend after getting an accidental dose of a powerful herbicide.  The vine is known worldwide for its age. Oral history and recorded memories say it was large and old in the early 1700s and was probably there when the first Englishmen explored Roanoke Island in the late 1500s.  Sir Walter Raleigh’s company wrote about the abundance of grapes there cultivated by the Native Americans.  Virginian Pilot

Negro Leagues Grave Marker Project: Marks 19th player’s grave:  The project volunteers track down unmarked graves, raise money for headstones and install them, often with their own hands.Since 2004, the remains of Highpockets Trent (Burr Oak Cemetery outside Chicago), Steel Arm Taylor (Springdale Cemetery, Peoria), Gable Patterson (Greenwood Cemetery, Pittsburgh) and other baseball pioneers have been tracked down and memorialized by the group, which raises money for the $700 headstones primarily through members of the Society for American Baseball Research.  NY Times

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia: Former black landowners fight to reclaim land: When the managers from the federal Fish and Wildlife Service talk about this 2,800-acre preserve of moss-draped cypress, palmetto and marsh, they speak of endangered wood stork rookeries and disappearing marsh habitat, dike maintenance and interpretive kiosks. But when the members of the Harris Neck Land Trust talk about it, they speak of injustice, racism and a place they used to call home until 1942.  Harris Neck was deeded by a plantation owner to a former slave in 1865.  Black families who settled there built houses and boats and started crab and oyster factories. But the community, many descendants suspect, was too independent for the comfort of McIntosh County’s whites.  NY Times

Historic Wade’s Mill Keeps Grinding Away

Jennifer Merritt
Virginia CorrespondentRAPHINE, Va. – When Jim and Georgie Young saw Wade’s Mill in Raphine, Virginia it was love at first sight.”We saw it, and we loved it,” said Georgie Young.  “I’m from Colorado.  The idea of owning something 200 years old was beyond my ken.”The 260-year-old mill sits between Staunton and Lexington in the Shenandoah Valley.  It was built by  a Scotsman, Captain Joseph Kennedy, in 1750 and was owned by the Kennedy family for about 100 years.  James F. Wade bought the mill in 1882, and four generations of the Wade family operated the mill successively. Young estimates that since its construction Wade’s Mill has been functioning as a flour mill for all but about 20 years.A stream, formerly known as Captain Joseph Kennedy’s Mill Creek, powers the 21-foot water wheel that turns the millstones.  Wade’s Mill is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the few mills still grinding flour on millstones.  The Young’s sell their flours and mixes through both wholesale outlets as well as a retail outlet on the ground floor of the mill.  They are seeing an increase in their wholesale sales as a result of the local food movement and the increasing popularity of whole grains.Georgie Young teaches cooking classes, and in addition to selling flour and mixes in their trademark paper sacks, the mill’s retail outlet houses a small kitchen store.  The Young’s also host several special events at the mill through out the year.  Georgie Young has taken several trips to France and attributes the French with starting the local foods movement.”They (the French) put the name of the farm the animal came from on the packages of beef.  When I was at the Beef Institute, they asked if that was the way we did it here,” chuckled Young.In honor of all things French, the Young’s are hosting a Bastille Day celebration at Wade’s Mill on July 17th.  Virginia wines and bouillabaisse made from Virginia fish will round out the festivities.On August 8th, the chef and owner of the Southern Inn in Lexington will present a cooking demonstration using neighboring Rockbridge Vineyard’s wines. When the leaves in the Shenandoah Valley near their peak color, the third Saturday in October, Wade’s Mill will host an Apple Butter Festival.”Our neighbor makes apple butter from Virginia apples, and we’ll be baking bread in our outdoor bread oven,” said Young.

The Young’s have many talented neighbors.  The mill is only four miles from Interstate 81, but it is well off the beaten path.  The country road to Wade’s Mill winds through Raphine past antique shops, the vineyard and a yarn shop.  It is well worth the trip to visit “the miller and his wife.”

More information on Wade’s Mill can be found at wadesmill.com or by calling 800-290-1400.  The Young’s are interested in finding farmers who grow and dry white corn.

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