Gainsboro Revisited

Join historian Jordan Bell on his next walking tour of the Historic Gainsboro neighborhood on Saturday October 23rd, 2021.  Participants will meet at the Gainsboro Library located at 15 Patton Avenue NE at 10am.  Jordan will introduce participants to Roanoke’s historic Gainsboro neighborhood, a predominantly black enclave where residents built a community that included self-sufficient businesses, medical offices & facilities, churches, a theatre, a hotel, school, and more creating a vibrant self-sufficient center of Roanoke’s black culture and commerce.  You will visit Henry Street which was the heart of entertainment in Gainsboro with restaurants, hotels, and clubs that hosted musical icons like Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Nat “King” Cole, Dizzie Gillespie and more.  This is one opportunity you will not want to miss.





1880s Smokehouse Rehabilitation Project Completed at Monterey

Congratulations to Ariel Clark of Southwest Restoration on the August 2021 completion of an 1880s smokehouse rehabilitation for George Kegley, owner of historic Monterey in Roanoke, VA.  Ariel, a former Foundation Board member, inherited the company from her father, Mark Clark, who retired after restoring many old buildings in the Roanoke Valley and the surrounding regions.

Ariel stabilized the 1800s smokehouse located in the back yard of Monterey, the 1845 home of George and the late Louise Kegley in northeast Roanoke. Termites had seriously damaged the old building. 

Noted in this 1889 photo above is a small building to the right of the main building that was part of the smokehouse, It was identified as such after hooks used to hold hams were seen in its top.  The main  building, pictured with four generations of servants (a great-grandmother was out sick) unfortunately is no longer standing along with the others shown in the background. No one knows when these outbuildings were constructed. Most recently, the old smokehouse building was used for storage.

Prior to beginning the project, Ariel held a tour of the smokehouse on May 8, 2021 and explained her plans for salvaging and stabilizing the wood damaged by termites. She did a beautiful job preserving as much of the original structure as possible and the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation appauds her efforts.  Ariel can be reached at withany questions specific to the project,

RVPF, Inc. thanks Lynsey Crantz for taking photos of the completed project during its unveiling on August 21, 2021. 

RVPF Supports National Trust Position on Confederate Monuments

Although Confederate monuments are sometimes designated as historic, and while many were erected more than a century ago, the National Trust supports their removal from our public spaces when they continue to serve the purposes for which many were built—to glorify, promote, and reinforce white supremacy, overtly or implicitly.

While some have suggested that removal may result in erasing history, we believe that removal may be necessary to achieve the greater good of ensuring racial justice and equality. And their history needs not end with their removal: we support relocation of these monuments to museums or other places where they may be preserved so that their history as elements of Jim Crow and racial injustice can be recognized and interpreted.”

Read our full Statement on Confederate Monuments:


Support Your Community on Roanoke Valley Gives Day March 18!

Roanoke Valley Gives Day (3.18.2020) is fast approaching!  

This annual event is designed to inspire those who love the Roanoke Valley to invest in nonprofit organizations making a difference locally! Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation is among those participating and we would love to have you, your friends, colleagues, and family help support our mission of protecting our history, promoting preservation, and contributing toward a prosperous community. 
Our goal is $5,000 and we are counting on you to make this day a success!!

You can be a part of the largest day of giving in the Roanoke Valley for as little as $10!  Simply make your donation on RVPF’s Roanoke Valley Gives page at
now through 11:59 p.m. on March 18th

We’re eligible for incentive prizes through the challenges listed below! Donations must be submitted through our RV Gives page


In It to Win It:  If we reach or surpass our goal of $5,000, Roanoke Children’s Theatre will be entered to win a dollar for dollar match up to $15,000!

Midnight Madness:  This is for all you night owls!  A donation made between 12:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. on March 18th will be randomly selected and enhanced by $1,000.

Medium Leaderboard:  Most dollars raised among medium nonprofit organizations with 1st place winning $5,000; 2nd place winning $3,000; and 3rd place winning $2,000.

Power Hours:  $500 to the organization with the most donations during specified hours throughout March 18th.

Far, Far, Away:  The donation with the farthest verified address from Roanoke will be enhanced by $250!


Busy that day and worried you’ll forget?
Donations may be prescheduled NOW at
Best of all, your gift will still count toward the incentive prize challenges!

Cotton Clouds Film Premiere at The Grandin Theatre Tuesday, March 26 at 7:15pm!

The COTTON CLOUDS premiere is Tuesday, March 26th and is open to the public. Show time begins at 7:15 pm. Admission is $5 General Admission for everyone, and is a fundraiser for the Grandin Theatre Film Lab.

In the summer of 2018, the Grandin Theatre Foundation launched a first time project over the summer. Pairing teenage student filmmakers with actual film industry professionals (Dave Perry, Jenna Giannini, Kathryn Hatam, Ben Mullen), this afterschool program set out to make a twenty-minute period piece featuring no dialogue. The Grandin Theatre Film Lab is a program for high school aged students who come to Grandin and learn the process of filmmaking, screenwriting, editing, production, and promotion. The summer project, COTTON CLOUDS, will premiered at the Grandin Theatre on Tuesday, March 26th at 7:15 pm.

The film is set in 1912 Roanoke, Virginia, and features a young girl who struggles to help provide for her family by working in the exhausting conditions of a cotton mill, while still holding on to the optimism of childhood. The original script written by 19-year old writer and director Chloe Shelton from Salem was inspired by the famous photographs by Lewis Hine, who documented child workers that had become the exploited, cheap, laborers upon which America depended.

Roanoke Valley Gives!

Join the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation this Wednesday, March 13 for Roanoke Valley Gives! We’ll be raising money online to finance interpretive markers for important historic sites in our area 

The Roanoke Valley Greenways Historic Trail Marker Program was inaugurated in May 2014, with the unveiling of three interpretive historic markers –the site of the American Viscose Corporation, the Norwich neighborhood, and Elmwood Park. 

Now, we plan to expand this program with additional markers, at Fire Station No 7 in Grandin, Washington Park, Persinger Cemetery, and Preston Place in Salem. Your donation will help us remember the history and significance of these important places for future generations.

You can check out our Roanoke Valley Gives profile page  for more details on each project. We hope you’ll contribute on Wednesday, and give where you live!