I’ll soon have a new post about my recent trip to Baltimore; but, in the interim here are some news stories on a variety of issues:
The disgusting news that part of the Dachau Concentration Camp gate was stolen: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/pat-gate-dachau-concentration-camp-stolen-26638489 .
The more pleasing news that Prince William County, Virginia has successfully moved a historic home that once belonged to former slaves. While it is always preferred that a historic house remains in its historic setting, development pressures forced the building to be moved in 2004 and now to a place for its long term preservation. See more about that: http://www.insidenova.com/headlines/special-delivery-home-of-freed-slave-moves-to-montclair/article_df4d2d9c-62a2-11e4-aa6a-d79f017cf5a5.html .
Montpelier, the estate that belonged to President James Madison, has been given $10 million by David Rubenstein. $6.5 million will go to research and refurnishing the original house of President and Dolley Madison and another $3.5 million will go toward reconstruction of slave quarters that have long since vanished but have been investigated now for years through archaeology. See more about this exciting news: http://thegrio.com/2014/11/01/james-madison-slave-quarters/ .
I apologize for the lack of posts. Between work and recent travel, I just haven’t had the time.
Nevertheless, there is some good and interesting news from the front.
First, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources added nine more sites to the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register. Among the most interesting is the Robert Russa Moton boyhood home. Moton was a black educator and author born in 1867. In his adult life he served as an administrator at Hampton Institute and following the death of Booker T. Washington in 1915, he became principal of Tuskegee Institute until his retirement in 1935. The boyhood home was slave quarter which was slightly altered in the aftermath of slavery for the recently freed people. The building is regrettably in a perilous shape and immediate attention will be required for its preservation. Photos of not only the Moton boyhood home but also the big house on the Pleasant Shade plantation can be found here: http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Counties/PrinceEdward/073-0030.MotonHouse.photos.html
Another interesting new site added is Walnut Valley Plantation, which is inside Chippokes State Park in Surry County. It includes a circa 1770 big house and a circa 1816 slave quarter. Photos can be found here: http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Counties/Surry/090-0023_WalnutValley.photos.html
The full list is here: http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/virginia-landmarks-register-adds-sites/article_e3065924-e63c-11e2-8e39-001a4bcf6878.html
Another interesting bit of news comes from Montpelier, the home of James and Dolley Madison and more than 100 enslaved men, women, and children. You can learn more about the archaeological work being done to investigate the quarters of the Madisons’ field hands here: http://www.montpelier.org/blog/update-quarter-field-slaves
Preservation Virginia hosted Joseph McGill, of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, whose Slave Dwelling Project came to Bacon’s Castle in Surry County, Virginia on October 5th and 6th. Mr. McGill is a descendent of slaves and with the Slave Dwelling Project he travels to and sleeps in slave dwellings across the country to raise awareness of the need to preserve these structures so important to our history.
Unfortunately, I was not able to go, but I was particularly pleased to see the press coverage here. Within the link, you will find that two sisters took advantage of the treat to sleep where their great-great-grandmother Camilla Pierce may have slept or at least passed by as, Camilla Pierce was born into slavery at Bacon’s Castle in 1830.
I encourage you to follow Mr. McGill’s efforts here.