Harrison Museum to Host Program on Historic Greenfield

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VA-D30 Greenfield

The preservation of the historic Greenfield property in Botetourt County is the subject of a panel discussion hosted at the Harrison Museum of African American Culture on Thursday, Nov. 14. The event begins with a reception at 5:30 pm and the panel discussion with members of the Historic Greenfield Preservation Advisory Council starts at 6:15 pm.

The panel is comprised of David Marcum, council chairman; Rupert Cutler, past president, Blue Ridge Land Conservancy; Steve Clinton, Botetourt County Board of Supervisors; Cheryl Sullivan Willis, former member of Greenfield Advisory Commission; and Michael Pulice, architectural historian, Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

The event is part of a lecture series at the Harrison Museum sponsored by the consulting committee Roanoke College, Hollins University and Virginia Western Community College.

The site of the colonial-era William Preston plantation in Botetourt County represents a unique opportunity to educate the public on the existence and lifeways of the Native Americans and enslaved African Americans who lived in Botetourt County not so long ago.  The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors has set aside a 29.6-acre tract within its Botetourt Center at Greenfield for this purpose.

The Greenfield Historic Preservation Advisory Council, appointed by the county board to advise it on the development of the site, has chosen the name “Historic Greenfield” for the park.  The Council is seeking community financial support to match county funds to protect, maintain and interpret the historic structures and cemeteries there.

The historic Preston Plantation’s log slave quarters and summer kitchen were moved from their original sites to a nearby location near the Preston and Gish family cemeteries to make way for the construction of an industrial building. These two historic structures, stabilized before they were moved, are now in a good, accessible site and located in relationship of one to the other just as they were co-located originally.  Therefore, two rare and historic structures an two important cemeteries are located at Historic Greenfield for the public’s visitation and education. The plan is to protect, repair and interpret them for present and future generations.

Reservations for the event should be made by Nov. 12 by contacting coordinator Joan Baker Washburn at [email protected] or by calling 540-293-1310 or by calling the Harrison Museum at 540-857-4395. Students are free and other guests are $20. Members of the media are welcome to cover the event and should arrive by 6 pm if covering the event.