Winter may be trying to slow down outdoor activities in central Virginia, but just like the preparations for spring happening underground and out of sight, the Albemarle Blue Ridge Heritage Project is getting ready to burst into action again. Plans for the next phase of the memorial recognizing the families displaced to create Shenandoah National Park are becoming a reality.
In part with donations from generous supporters, and with grants from the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors (CAAR) and National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Bama Works Fund at the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, and with a matching grant promised from the Perry Foundation, the ABRHP will begin Phase Two of the memorial at Patricia Ann Byrom Forest Preserve Park.
Within fifty feet or so from the memorial stone chimney and plaque dedicated in November of last year, a post and beam shelter reminiscent of a traditional mountain cabin will be erected.
The building has been designed by Larry Lamb, and will be built by SalvageWrights Ltd of Orange, Virginia.
Concrete for the pad has been donated by Allied Concrete. The concrete finishing will be done by Dallas Hite, and the roof installed by Greg Herring.
Once the shelter is complete, the final portion of the memorial will be placed inside. Several informational panels will tell the stories of the families who lived on the land that has become Shenandoah National Park. With photographs from descendants, documentation of properties condemned, maps, and stories passed down from the displaced families, ABRHP hopes to inform, educate and inspire present and future generations by teaching the background and heritage of Shenandoah National Park.
Additional funds are still needed to create and build the panels. For those interested in helping with donations, please contact Paul Cantrell at [email protected], or checks can be made out to Blue Ridge Heritage Project—Albemarle, and mailed to PO Box 88, White Hall, VA 22987. There are links to donate on the Blue Ridge Heritage Project-Albemarle website (www.blueridgeheritageproject.com/albemarle/) and on the ABRHP Facebook page, www.facebook.com/groups/AlbemarleBRHP/.
Together, our community will honor the hundreds of people who once called that mountaintop “home.”