Celebrate Roanoke’s Black History Month, February 2024
On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation Annual Meeting & Kegley Preservation Award presentations was held at the historic Gainsboro Library in Roanoke.
Foundation president Whitney Leeson welcomed guests and provided a ‘Year in Review’ Powerpoint presentation after which 2023 RVPF Awards Committee Whitney Feldman, Judy Harrrison, and Rob Logan presented the 2023 Kegley Preservation Awards.
Refreshments consisting of homemade BBQ sliders, macaroni & cheese bites, cole slaw, pumpkin pie tarts, and apple cider was arranged by Alison Blanton. The meeting concluded with a viewing of the documentary, Hidden in Plain Site, a documentary project that explores six sites located in Roanoke, Virginia that have historical African-American significance that are currently hiding in plain sight along the streets and highways of the city. The six locations include the Old Lick Cemetery, Historic Gainsboro, Henrietta Lacks Plaza, and others.
The program was awarded the Foundation’s 2023 Annual Kegley Award for Heritage Education and led by Roanoke City Councilwoman Trish White-Boyd who led the Roanoke Hidden Histories Committee in creating the film which was funded by local individuals and businesses under the banner of Roanoke Hidden Histories. The film has been generously shared with Blue Ridge PBS ECHO and on YouTube in an effort to share it as widely as possible.
You can experience the project more fully by viewing it in Virtual Reality at the Harrison Museum of African American History in downtown Roanoke. For more information on this project, visit https://harrisonmuseum.com/hipsroanoke.
Our new exciting fundraiser event, Wickets & Wine, was held on Saturday, June 3, 2023 at the Historic Fishburn Mansion, Mountain View, located at 714 13th Street SW in Roanoke. The suggested donation was $30/person with an optional picnic lunch and beverages available for purchase.
Hosted by Friends of Mountain View, Inc. Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation, Inc., and Roanoke City Parks & Recreation, this new and exciting fundraising event created an opportunity for you to dress in your croquet white linen shirts, pants, and dresses – with matching hats of course – to sip wine and sparkling while having a “mahvelous” time playing croquet on the lawns of Roanoke’s Historic Mountain View mansion.
As wickets dotted the freshly mowed lawn of this historic estate, on the mansion’s front porch were offered a selection of wines, champagne, sodas, and water as this venue kicked off the long days of summer. Complementing the event were lawn checkers, corn hole, and several historic automobiles lining the mansion’s circular drive.
Best Dressed Prizes (Male and Female):
* Male (David Hill-winner) – a croquet set, picnic basket and wine will be awarded to the best dressed male contestant.
* Female (-winner) – a croquet set, picnic basket and wine awarded to the best dressed female contestant.
Raffle Ticket Prizes:
* 1st Prize – (Cynthia DeNeal-winner) – a two (2) night stay at The Stone House w/ catered dinner & drinks ,
* 2nd Prize (Jan Moncure-winner) – a $100 DRI Gift Card,
* 3rd Prize – (Angela Stiefbold-winner) – $40 Gift Card for Cabo Fish Taco in downtown Roanoke and $25 gift card for Jersey Lilly’s.
* “A Night on Grandin” (Patrick Moore-winner) – two (2) movie passes to the Grandin Theatre, Dinner at Local Roots with Dessert at Pop’s Ice Cream and Soda Bar
* “Fishburn Family and Mansion Trivia Quiz” (winner) received Macado’s Gift card.
Several guided tours of the beautiful Historic Fishburn “Mountain View” Mansion were offered by Fishburn House Historian Judy Harrison
* 6 Croquet courses
* Corn Hole
Rules for Croquet:
A boxed lunch was also available for purchase.
Registration of $30 per person was easily completed online by opening the QR code on the flyer above or you participants could register onsite on the day of the event.
All funds raised help support the ongoing maintenance of the Historic Mountain View mansion and grounds.
As the month of May is designated as Preservation Month, each year in May, the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation announces our Annual Endangered Sites List to call attention to local history, special places, and the possibility that these significant sites are in danger of being lost unless efforts are made to preserve them.
Only people working together can historic places be saved for the benefit of current and future generations.
Volunteers helping to restore the Big Lick Cemetery at the intersection of Orange Ave and I-581.
On Tuesday, May 23, 2023, in recognition of National Preservation Month, the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation (RVPF) unveiled the Persinger Cemetery Interpretive sign and announced the Foundation’s Endangered Sites for 2023.
The Persinger Cemetery is located on a grassy plot of land at the intersection of Memorial Avenue SW and Edgewood Street SW in Roanoke. The cemetery is surrounded by a decorative iron fence and is the final resting place of the Persinger family members including two sons who fought as confederate soldiers in the Civil War. The Persinger Cemetery interpretive sign was made possible through a matching grant from the Roanoke Committee of the National Society of Colonial Dames.
The sign tells the story of the Persinger family and their contributions to the early settlement of the area.
Immediately following the unveiling of the sign, Rob Logan announced the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation’s 2023 Endangered Sites. Since 1996, the RVPF has announced a list each year of significant historic, natural, and cultural sites in the Roanoke Valley that are in eminent danger of being lost due to deferred maintenance, demolition, or incompatible development. The Foundation’s goal is to raise awareness of the significance of these sites and to help identify options to promote their stewardship. The RVPF hopes to serve as a resource to property owners by making them aware of tools available to support the preservation of these sites.
This year, five (5) endangered sites were recognized, including:
Visit the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation’s Interpretive Sign webpage and Endangered Sites webpage for additional information and photos. You can also view an article as it appeared in the Roanoke Times.