Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Preservation Virginia's Historic Site Review 2011

2011 saw many changes within our historic properties. From natural disasters to reinterpretation and changing of the guard, our historic properties have reinvented and continue to work towards innovative and relevant interpretations.

A piece of the lighthouse from the epic Hurri-quake"!
Cape Henry Lighthouse saw the passing of the torch from light keeper to light keeper, as well as a minor upset from what Chuck Morgan, the new site coordinator at Cape Henry deemed the "hurri-quake", a rare 6.8 earthquake back in late August, immediately followed Hurricane Irene! After being closed for a month following these natural disasters, we reopened, and without missing a beat, have the lighthouse operating better than ever!

The Marshall House with our celebration banner

The John Marshall House celebrated 100 years of historic preservation this year, having been saved from demolition in 1911 by what was then known as APVA. This year we also brought on a new site coordinator, Bobbie LeVinnes. She has done a fabulous job bringing in school groups, helping to create new programming, and in general, bringing enthusiasm to the site. We also put in a brand new HVAC system, restored the house to it's original 1790's paint colors and reinstalled period wall paper n the family dinning room!

College students taking a special fieldtrip to see Bacon's Castle
Bacon's Castle was closed to the public in 2011. During this year we have asked the community what they want. They responded, and together we will be reopening the site in March 2012 while we continue to reinterpret the site. Every person that visits Bacon's Castle in 2012 will be part of our reinterpretation. The visitor experience will be analyzed as we move forward. In this way, Bacon's Castle's story will reflect what our visitors want to know, rather than what us stodgy preservationist think visitors want to know!

Kids taking part in the hands on colonial crafts at Scotchtown

Scotchtown excelled at programming and engaging the local community. Ann Reid, our site coordinator brought in so many local youngin's to help care for the site. 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, high school volunteers and local residents all helped paint out buildings, clear nature trails, care for a colonial kitchen garden and much more. Scotchtown continues to be our most family friendly and engaging site.

 In 2012 we are keeping this momentum going, so keep up with our website, and visit our sites! Welcome to 2012 and Preservation Virginia's historic properties!

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