Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bacon's Castle cools-down from Summer and warms-up for Autumn

Classic Car Club of Virginia visits
Springtime Bacon's Castle
Preservation Virginia’s Bacon’s Castle’s staff, interns, and volunteers had a very busy Summer with projects, group tours, and community development and prepare for a vibrant 2013.  As we cool-down from Summer here is a review and as we warm-up for Autumn here is a preview!

Summer Review


Our interns were busy undertaking cultural resource management assignments including teak wood garden benches cleaning and preservation, garden maintenance, fence post cleaning and painting, community development, marketing, exhibit and museum maintenance, special event facilitation, guided group tours, and daily museum and gift shop operations.  Enjoy this SlideShare presentation detailing many of one of our intern’s projects and accomplishments.

Group Tours

Docent Bill Murphy tours the
Colonel Joshua Fry Chapter, Daughters of the American Colonists
Over the Summer we had the pleasure of hosting classic car clubs, church groups, fellow museum operators from other historic sites, historical societies and clubs, and college & university school groups.  Enjoy this SlideShare presentation in promotion of Group Tours at Bacon’s Castle.

Community, Volunteer, and Internship Development

Site Coordinator Todd Ballance addresses the
Surry Chamber of Commerce about 2013 special events
The staff at Bacon's Castle continues to seek new community advocates, volunteers, and interns whenever possible.  We routinely-engage Surry and Isle of Wight Counties business and tourism leaders in efforts of developing new stakeholders and partnership opportunities.  We hope that through consistent participation in the Surry County Chamber of Commerce and periodically presenting before the Surry County Board of Supervisors we develop better understanding and appreciation of Bacon's Castle's new five-year plan.  We’ve also directly contacted Virginian, Washingtonian, and North Carolinian institutions of higher education in efforts to recruit interns and partner with professional volunteer administration associations and Surry County 4-H to secure more local volunteerism.  Enjoy these additional SlideShare presentations on opportunities you may wish to consider:

Membership Meeting of the Surry County
African American Heritage Society at Bacon's Castle
Volunteer Opportunities

Autumn Preview

Slave Dwelling Project

Preservation Virginia’s Bacon’s Castle is proud to work with national, regional and local partners in presenting this important and provocative presentation on the institution of American slavery and how preserving the Site’s last remaining slave quarters is an important project in preserving an African American heritage structure and educating generations to come on this part of our history.  Join us and Mr. Joe McGill at Bacon’s Castle on October 6, 2012.  Please inspect and share this flyer on the Project.  See you on the 6th!
Surry County student postcard

School Field Trips

As the 2012/2013 school season is upon us, we look towards showcasing the 40-acre historic site as a must see destination in presenting early Virginia and American history to students from all over the Country.  We have a couple school systems already booked for this Autumn and look forward to serving more systems in the near future.

Familiarization Tours

We cordially-invite government, business, and tourism leaders, school group field trip  coordinators, and tour operators to schedule complimentary private group tours of the Castle to learn more about of our exciting five-year plan and new educational offerings.  In providing these FAM tours, we hope to introduce a new generation of stakeholders and advocates to our super rare and precious historic treasures.  We have FAM tours scheduled for this Autumn with group tour operators, motor coach companies, and Virginia Tourism Corporation representatives.  Our hope is through these efforts we will enter 2013 with a more energized community and knowledgeable clientele ready to book their next, must see tours at Preservation Virginia’s Bacon’s Castle!  Give us a call, follow-us on Facebook, and keep in touch with us.  Re-familiarize yourself with your Bacon's Castle!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Danville, Virginia -Making Historic Strides

Written by Guest Blogger Sarah Latham, President of Danville Historical Society
The City of Danville is moving forward with its River District plans.  The first phase of historic downtown redevelopment will focus on widening the sidewalks to make them more pedestrian-friendly and beautiful.  The widened walkways will also accommodate outdoor seating for eateries.  Danville wins award for River District Plan.
At the same time the city government has hired firms to create master plans in portions of two historic neighborhoods: the Monument-Berryman neighborhood that contains historic mill housing in the Tobacco Warehouse District, and parts of the Old West End (OWE) National Register Historic District.  The focus of the OWE master plan is on areas where numerous historic houses have been cut up into multi-unit apartments, as well as on the “Five Forks” area that was formerly a thriving residential/retail/commercial district. 
In addition, the city is partnering with the Danville Historical Society on some initiatives.
The Danville Historical Society received a grant from the Danville Regional Foundation earlier this year to create a “gathering space” on the (city-owned) grounds of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History.  
Trail marker with brass tobacco leaf
This gathering space will have a circular patio, seating and vertical granite slabs that will serve both as sculpture and as kiosks containing visitor information.  The space will also be the starting point for the Historical Society’s guided tour of Danville’s Millionaires Row.

Fred Meder's mother, Elaine, helping create trail markers

DHS board member Joyce Wilburn and DHS member Fred Meder conceived and spearheaded the plan.  They received cooperation from the Danville Museum, the City of Danville, Pittsylvania County and Caswell County for the project.  Visitor information for the city and both counties will be available at the kiosks.
As part of this plan, Joyce Wilburn and DHS board member Paula Smith developed a self-guided walking tour of the Holbrook-Ross National Register Historic District in Danville.  Holbrook-Ross is a neighborhood created by professional African-Americans shortly after the Civil War.  The Danville Regional Foundation grant provided funds to print brochures of the walking tour.
Finally, the plan also includes placing trail markers along the routes of the Millionaires Row and Holbrook-Ross tours.  Fred Meder designed and fabricated the markers.  The City of Danville has agreed to do the necessary work to place these markers in the sidewalks.
This Historical Society initiative has led to a new collaboration with the City of Danville: the development of a Heritage Walking Trail in Danville’s historic downtown and Tobacco Warehouse District.  Local attorney R.J. Lackey conceived the idea for a heritage walking trail and soon learned that the DHS had two trails.  Working with Mr. Lackey and the City of Danville, the DHS is helping map out the overall proposed trail, linking the two existing ones with the new ones.  The DHS will also research and create content for information kiosks and signage along the routes of the trails.