Spring Meeting –May 6 – 3:00 p.m. The Farm at Glen Haven 4301 Longdale Furnace Rd., Clifton Forge
The Society will hold its Spring informational meeting at the Farm at Glen Haven on Sunday, May 6, at 3:00 p.m. The farm has been a fixture in the Alleghany Highlands since 1832. Michelle & Joshua Rucker will host our meeting. She and her husband have created an event venue at the historic property and have outfitted a barn to host weddings, parties, live music performances and other special activities. The meeting will take place in the barn and tours of the house will be available. Members will be provided updates on the activities of the Society to include the rehabilitation of the Lawrence Stephenson House and the progress on the development of the Alleghany Highlands Industrial Heritage and Technology Discovery Center. The meeting is open to all and members are asked to bring friends and recruit new members. Take I-64 to Exit 29, proceed south on Rt. 42 and turn left onto Longdale Furnace Road. The Farm will be on the right just after crossing the bridge over the Cowpasture River. The entrance to the barn and event center will be passed the entrance to the house. Membership dues may be paid at the meeting. Individual memberships are still only $15.
The Alleghany Highlands Industrial Heritage and Technology Discovery Center has been denied the use of historic tax credits for funding of the restoration of the properties on Maple Avenue. While the Society is disappointed with the loss of this funding source, it is moving forward to rehabilitate the buildings in a more economical manner and provide a setting which will be more in keeping with the displays of industrial photographs, artifacts, and exhibits. Exposed brick walls, ceilings, conduits, piping and ductwork will create an atmosphere reflecting the industrial heritage of the Highlands. The open spaces on both the ground level and second floor will provide ample room for a variety of hands-on activities and technology-driven exhibits. The City of Covington filed a grant application on behalf of the Society to seek funding from the Industrial Revitalization Fund administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. If we are successful in receiving those funds, the impact of losing historic tax credit funding will be minimal. The Society has established relationships with local school divisions and Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. It has also developed a partnership with various departments at Virginia Tech which will provide assistance in the creation and development of the Center’s exhibits and activities. A Steering Committee for Exhibit Development is actively engaged in developing interactive displays and hands-on experiences for visitors of the Center.
The Center will have three main exhibit halls on the ground floor to tell the story of our region’s early industries, fibers & film plants, and wood & paper mills. The upstairs areas will have hands on centers demonstrating the impact of technology on industrial development, the story of our communications development, and relationships to railroads and transportation. Meeting spaces, Center offices, and storage areas will also be available on the upper floor. A Steering Committee for Management and Operations will soon be meeting to implement the business plan for the Center and prepare for an opening which is anticipated to occur within a 12-24 month period from now. Proposals for raising additional funds for operations and maintenance will be developed and individual and corporate donors will have an opportunity to contribute to the project. The Wall of Labor Fund has already been established to receive contributions from those who wish to honor the memory of someone who spent their working career in the Alleghany Highlands. Name plaques may be reserved for a contribution of $100. A contribution form is found along with the Membership form in a section below. The following names are now part of the list; William C. Colvin, John C. Ervin, Marvin E. Ross, Robert R, Luther, Donald Leet, Dr. Charles E. Ballou, George W. Halsey, Sr., Connie McComb King, Donald Eugene Tucker, Sr., Mary R. Ervin, Isabell Ervin Entsminger, Elmer Entsminger, Ethridge E. Burr, William B. Fleming, Sr., Walter T. Hawkins, Walter C. Hawkins, William B. Zimmerman, Cecil M. Ervin, Thomas P. Dean, Guy F. “Kayo” Johnson, Woodrow Rooklin, William Lumpkin, E.M. Nettleton, Charles Blakesley Nettleton, Carolyn Burman Nettleton, M. Blakesley Nettleton Chase, Horton P. Beirne, Joseph Vas Dias, Roberta Hatcher Rollings, Graham Rollings, Katherine Fitzgerald, Mary Frances Mays Davis.
WYS? Green Pastures
Joan Vannorsdahl and her What’s Your Story? group have just finished a new book containing recollections of those who enjoyed the Green Pastures Recreation Site in Longdale. The area was developed in the 1930s and built by the Civilian Conservation Corps for the use of African-Americans during the period of segregation. Douthat State Park was built at the same time. When integration became the law, Green Pastures was redesignated by the U.S. Forest Service as the Longdale Recreation Center and became open to the general public. A group has been formed known as the Friends of Green Pastures at Longdale (FOGPAL). The group is using volunteer efforts to clean up and restore the area and is seeking an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to fully reopen the area for public use. Contact Dr. Calvin McClinton or any member of the Society Board for more information.
The interior of the Lawrence-Stephenson House is complete. There are still minor renovations to be completed on the exterior and a few jobs to be done in the Carriage House. The property is fully occupied with six tenants; Olde Town Covington; Michelle Menefee, Speech Therapist, and Pathologist; Michael Armstrong, Independent Insurance Agent; Dr. Gary Pillow, Audiologist; Jared Jenkins, Esq., Attorney; and Reverend Patrick Pettit, Interim Pastor for McAllister Memorial Church. While not officially listed for sale, the Society would entertain offers for the purchase of the property. Buyers would have to agree to covenants which would retain the historic features of the buildings.
Must Have Items
Come by the Society’s museum in the restored C&O Passenger Depot at 149 S. Maple Avenue to purchase books and items every resident of the Alleghany Highlands will want for their collection of historic memories. We have interesting books about Alleghany County, Covington and Clifton Forge which were part of the Arcadia Publisher’s series, Images of America. They contain vintage photographs and interesting stories. The book by Gay Arritt entitled Historic Sketches is still available. Copies of the What’s Your Story? books on the Historic Masonic Theatre, the C&O Railway, and Green Pastures will be available.
Congratulations to Bill & Mott Atherholt – Alleghany Highlands Volunteers of the Year
Bill & Mott Atherholt were recently recognized by the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism as Volunteerrs of the Year. The Highlands Community Bank donated $1,000 to several charitable organizations named by the Atherholts. The donation was split evenly among Clifton Forge Main Street, The Historic Masonic Theatre, VFW Post 1033, and the Alleghany Historical Society. Thanks so much to the Atherholts for all they do in support of the Alleghany Highlands.
Membership Renewals & Designated Contributions
The membership year for the Society is from July 1 – June 30. We are beginning our Summer Membership Drive and we are asking our individual and corporate members to continue their generous support. The Alleghany Historical Society is a recognized corporation in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All gifts are tax-deductible in accordance with applicable laws. Some members choose to make their annual dues payment and contributions later in the year. If you have a question about your membership status, please call Paul Linkenhoker.