By Sally James
The Albemarle Chapter of the Blue Ridge Heritage Project (BRHP) has made great strides towards its goal to create a memorial site in the county that honors the families displaced by the creation of the Shenandoah National Park. One of eight chapters of the BRHP, Albemarle BRHP is part of the campaign to erect memorial stone chimneys in the eight counties surrounding the Park.
A beautiful site on a grassy knoll at Patricia Ann Byrom Forest Preserve Park in Blackwell’s Hollow has been offered by the County, and a week ago, stakes were driven to mark the locations of the memorial chimney and the post-and-beam shelter that will house informational panels.
The chapter has been especially blessed with a donation by J. Temple Bayliss of an old rock chimney that presently stands at its original home place up the road not far from Byrom Park. Stonemason Darryl Whidby will aid in dismantling and moving the stone; then he and his crew will rebuild the chimney at the memorial site.
Visitors to the Crozet Library can peruse the exhibit now being shown in both display cases inside the front door. Artifacts, photos, maps and books about the mountain families and SNP will be on display until June 27.
The ABRHP had a booth at the Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival in May, and enjoyed meeting and talking with many attendees.
The committee is still seeking names of all families who lived on Albemarle County land now within SNP boundaries, especially tenants, as their names do not appear on land records. Anyone aware of family names can contact Paul Cantrell at [email protected]
Check out the Project’s Facebook site (search Blue Ridge Heritage Project) for more information and progress reports, and for ways to make tax-exempt donations to help meet the Project’s financial goal of $25,000. Checks can be made out to Blue Ridge Heritage Project—Albemarle, and mailed to P.O. Box 88, White Hall, VA 22987.