News Item Details

Botetourt County Announces Greenfield Preservation Commission

1/29/2016

Fincastle, VA – In response to public concerns about the fate of historical resources surviving on the former Greenfield Plantation property acquired and developed by Botetourt County as a mixed-use business park, the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors today announced the creation of the Greenfield Preservation Advisory Commission (GPAC). The mission of the commission is to recommend to the Board of Supervisors a plan to create an on-site history park in which surviving Greenfield historical buildings, cemeteries and Native American and Colonial American artifacts can be preserved, restored and presented for public viewing in perpetuity. The park will be developed on a 28-acre section of Greenfield that contains two-thirds of the surviving buildings and cemeteries and can most effectively be protected from surrounding residential and commercial development.

The County is in the process of transporting a kitchen building and a slave cabin from elsewhere on the property to the new park site. The buildings will be lifted intact and then lowered onto wheeled platforms and carefully pulled approximately a half of a mile to the park site where they will be set on new protective foundations. In addition to moving the two buildings, County officials have hired archeologists who are studying the original building locations to recover data and artifacts.

An archeological study was made of the entire Greenfield property following its purchase by the County in 1995. That study identified numerous Native American and colonial archeological sites and resulted in the recovery of many artifacts. It also documented the significance of surviving historic structures on the property and guided officials in the selection of the historical park site.

County officials expect the membership of the commission to include representatives of local historic and preservation groups, community groups, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and citizens. Officials also hope to include subject matter experts. The commission will be tasked to not only recommend a development plan for the history park but also to recommend plans to fund its construction and long-term operation and maintenance. The commission will also be asked to identify and help recruit partner organizations, agencies, institutions and corporations that can contribute technical and financial assistance.

“We have the opportunity to ensure the preservation of significant historic resources and to ensure the survival of the stories of all of the people who lived, worked and died at Greenfield during the most formative years of our county and our nation,” said Board of Supervisors Member Todd Dodson, who represents the Greenfield area. “Creating this commission is a great first step to ensure that it is done and that it is done right.”

Board members expressed eagerness about creating the commission and getting its work started. “The County, the people in the county who are interested in this history, we have all taken too long to get serious about this work,” said Supervisor Jack Leffel. “Now is the time for us to work together to create something really special, something that previous generations didn’t do, but that we can do that will benefit generations to come.”

The Board of Supervisors will make appointments to the commission in coming weeks. While a timeline for the commission’s work remains to be determined, officials hope to receive initial recommendations no later than spring of next year.

 

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For more information, contact

Cody Sexton, County Administrator's Office

(540) 928-2010