Office phone: (434) 226-0446 
History center phone: (434) 361-2071 


RVF Newsletter


South Rockfish Valley Rural Historic District 
On June 16, 2016, the South Rockfish Valley Rural Historic District was approved by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.  That vote gives special recognition to this area and recognizes the fact that this historic agricultural region has not changed since it was first settled in the late 1700s.  This includes the buildings, the view sheds, and the farming of the land which was once tobacco, then apples, and today apples and grapes. These buildings include the old Wintergreen Country store (once a dry goods store, a post office, and a community hub), 6 historic houses including Three Chimneys, Glenthorne, Elk Hill, River Bluff, High View (now Mill Hill) and Wintergreen, four of which are registered on national registries.   It also includes 106 non registered but historic buildings, 2 conservation easements (Glenthorne and Elk Hill) and 1 historic African American church (Elk Hill Baptist Church).

RVF will hold a celebration of the district at Three Chimneys in mid September. Stay tuned. Three Chimneys is the earliest and best preserved of the valley houses.  It has not been open for decades to the public. The tour of house and property will also showcase the many good management practices recently  installed along the river frontage by the new owners.  Space will be limited and reservations required.  A fee will be charged to help raise funds to construct “welcome” signage at both ends of the district.
South Rockfish River repair work 
The work upstream of the Camille Trail head was completed June 17, 2016.  The equipment is gone!  Next is tree planting and trail regrowth. This was the work of Angler Construction  and was required as part of the VDOT obligation from the work completed in 2005.  You can’t fool Mother Nature but the science of river restoration has come a long way since 2001. Please enjoy the trails and give us your comments. We also have a “doggie station”  with bags so please use them.
Native Plant Walk
Anne Henley has been finished the design for the 450 foot native plant walk along Spruce Creek.  We are much obliged for her contribution. Next we need families to adopt 50 foot sections for support , maintenance and interpretation.  The Piedmont Landscape Society is providing service project days this fall for planting sections.  Fran Boninti , a well-recognized native plant horticulturalist has offered to source plants and provide others from her landscape.  Leigh Townsend of Townsend Landscape has also come forth with support and guidance.  We need a bit more funding and volunteers for our committee if this interests you. This is a significant education project for Spruce Creek Park. More info on our website.
History Center Shop
Just arrived at our gift shop are 4 gently used copies of Roar of the Heavens.  First come first served at $25.00 each. Also we have a new activity field guide for children age 5-12. Get your copy with a donation to the Rockfish Valley Foundation.  Suggested $5 but anything works. 200 copies available. Thanks to Friends of the Rappahanock for allowing us to adapt from their guide.
SAVE THE DATE:  Nelsonite event.  We are busy pulling together the story of Nelsonite for an event later this summer. It became the Virginia State Rock effective July 1 2016.  David Lipscomb from the Rock Shop at RVCC will speak along with the folks from PVCC that made it happen.  Our Deb Markham is busy at work pulling together the story of Nelsonite in Nelson and we will have samples for those who attend.
The Coleman Mills and Old Wintergreen Village had previously been identified as Virginia Treasures by Governor McAuliffe. On May 3, 2016, Preservation Virginia ( which manages Jamestown and other state resources) announced Virginia’s Most Endangered Historic Places. This list brings attention to the threats statewide and advocates and finds solutions that protect and preserve Virginia’s irreplaceable historic resources. Each historic place listed has the potential to strengthen the local community’s economy, create opportunities for heritage tourism and offer a glimpse into the unique history of the locality. It will cost $15,000 to undertake Phase I archaeology here. These resources are the most unique of the historic district. We are greatly appreciative of the years of research work done by Liz Richardson and are excited that she has nearly completed her manuscript for a book on this.
Pipeline Update
A picture is worth 10,000 words. This map was just uploaded by Dominion. Talk about a dumb idea. Please think about the logic of the Dominion design.  Dominion has said if Spruce Creek Bridge is impacted they will move the line. They have refused to consider the location of the bridge with the pipeline up until now.  Finally, their engineer is coming to see. He is the one man responsible for route selection along the entire 500+ miles.  He is a nice guy and plenty smart but not able to cope with all that is on his shoulders. We don't blame him.  We blame Dominion and ACP for being ill prepared to handle the design.  He will find the bridge and work areas are totally impacted, so it will get moved, but then what....right into the heart of the archaeology site and wetlands.  That is not all. The proposed line crosses the S Rockfish and the plan shows a large impoundment site.  Looks pretty big on this map.  Maybe more than an acre or two!  It must hold 3.6 million gallons of water.  The water is to come out of the river. The river is about 8 inches deep, filled with cobble and only maybe 30 feet wide at the most.  How long do you think it will take for a pipe no more than 6 inches in diameter to draw 3.6 million gallons of water? And how often will it get clogged up?  Someone will have to monitor it constantly for debris clogging. And then what happens to this holding pond later? If it were 8 feet deep it would be 200 feet by 300 feet. But the water table is less than 3 feet and the land is all cobble.  How would you like to engineer that pond? That's assuming it can even be built.  Talk about bad planning!  Or should we say no planning..  We have leaves and sticks and silt and rocks to contend with as the water is drawn out.  And this is a trout stream...might not even be permitted.  Wonder what US Army Corp, VA DGIF, DEQ or Nelson County will say?  And will the weather cooperate. The Fuhrman family will have water front property less than 150 feet from their living room for a day or so but what then.....come on Dominion THINK! Oh and don't forget Dominion needs huge work spaces for this and they are right where the private airstrip stops.  
This link will take you to the press release distributed June 8.  From it you will learn about the recent recognition of our historic and cultural resources and the threats from the proposed 42 inch gas pipeline project. Please donate.  We are doing lots of good things but lack the capacity of time, talent and treasure to accomplish what the community wants.  We much appreciate your involvement and financial support.    
Copyright © 2016 Rockfish Valley Foundation, All rights reserved.

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