VA Department of Historic Resources

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources (http://www.dhr.virginia.gov) is Virginia’s primary historic preservation agency. DHR’s mission is to foster, encourage, and support the stewardship of Virginia’s significant historic architectural, archaeological, and cultural resources. The agency also serves as Virginia’s State Historic Preservation Office under the federal National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the nation’s main legislation regarding historic preservation.

The Department’s new Director, appointed by Gov. McAuliffe in February 2014, is Julie Langan, an experienced historic preservation professional, with an extensive leadership as well as teaching background.  She had previously served as a Deputy Director in Virginia.

DHR’s programs and staff support preservation through educational outreach, listing sites and districts in the state and national historic registers, guidance and technical assistance, historic rehabilitation tax credits, preservation easements, archaeology, historical highway markers, and consultation on projects that are tied to federal and state permits or federal funding.

Among these programs are:
-Archaeology
Information about DHR initiatives, programs, and resources, including its collection of over 5 million archaeological artifacts covering 16,000 years of Virginia history, is available through this link:
(http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/arch_DHR/archaeo_index.htm )

 

-Archival Research (http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/archives/archiv_info.htm )
DHR has information, including survey records, about thousands of  historic sites in the Commonwealth.

Certified Local Government Program
CLG establishes local, state, and federal partnerships for preservation
(http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/clg/clg.htm )

 

-Easements
DHR’s easement program uses public-private partnerships to protect Virginia’s historic and archaeological resources
(http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/easement/easement.htm )

Since Clermont Farm is the only historic site owned by DHR, its Division of State Archaeology (see above, under Archaeology) as well as other appropriate program staff provide guidance and technical assistance to The Clermont Foundation, which manages the farm property. The Department’s annual Work Plan assures appropriate stewardship of facilities held in trust for the citizens of the Commonwealth. (Goal #2, 2.06), see: http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/pdf_files/DHR%20WORK%20PLAN%202013-14%20BOARD%20AND%20PUBLIC%20REVIEW%20DRAFT.pdf

The largest archaeological artifact in DHR’s collection is exhibited and interpreted at Clermont Farm: a forebay box and turbine box of a tubmill (horizontal water wheel) which powered Woolf’s Mill in Fauquier County in the period 1798 to 1900. Paul Mellon paid for the excavation and conservation of this unique artifact, and donated it to DHR. While there was never a mill at Clermont, the remains of the tubmill illustrate two key points about the farm:

A.  The main house and buildings are of timber-frame construction and the tubmill comparatively exhibits the application of this same construction technique to millwright technology, and

B. Clermont always operated and prospered in a larger economic context, in which milling, transportation, and markets were essential to this champion grain-producing farm.