The Virginia Department of Historic Resources has added nine sites to the Virginia Landmarks Register. The sites are in the counties of Fauquier, Nelson, and New Kent; and the cities of Martinsville, Petersburg, Staunton, and Virginia Beach.
Here’s the full list as approved by the department:
Located in the City of Virginia Beach, the Blue Marlin Lodge was built in 1965 and designed by architect William Burton Alderman. The lodge was one of several motels in the oceanfront area of Virginia Beach during the late 1950s and 1960s and is only one of three remaining motels designed by Alderman. The motel’s architectural style is reflective of the Modern Movement and includes such elements as a concrete-based structural system, vertically stacked guest units, open balconies and stairs, and a distinctive roof form. The Blue Marlin was part of the emergent “Florida-style” resort lodging that featured a more informal layout and feeling than the early-twentieth-century cottages that formerly lined the oceanfront.
Also located in the City of Virginia Beach, the former Crest Kitchenette Motel (now the Cutty Sark Motel Efficiencies) is a Modern building located in the Oceanfront area. The motel was designed by William Burton Alderman and constructed by the original owner, William T. Winner, a contractor by trade. The motel was built at a time of explosive growth and dramatic changes along the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Every unit consists of a large room with an original 1963 kitchenette along one wall, an attached full bathroom, closets, and a bedroom/sitting area. Both the Crest Kitchenette Motel and the Blue Marlin Lodge are nominated under the Multiple Property Document, Virginia Beach Oceanfront Resort Motels and Hotels (1955-1970).
The Jarratt House in the City of Petersburg, is located within the Pocahontas Island Historic District, a community located on the north side of the Appomattox River. Built circa 1820 as a rental property by John Wilder, the Jarratt House is the area’s lone surviving brick Federal double house and the only antebellum building surviving on Pocahontas Island. The settlement at Pocahontas Island began during the mid-18th century and originally was a river community dominated by white residents. Pocahontas Island transformed into a largely African American residential and commercial neighborhood during the early 19th century and also has substantial associations with Virginia Indian tribes. Petersburg had the largest free Black population in antebellum Virginia, and more free Black persons resided on Pocahontas Island than in any other part of Petersburg. The Jarratt House also is associated with Lavinia Sampson, a member of the Pamunkey tribe, who owned the property from 1853 to 1877. The property’s longest association was with the Jarratt family, a locally prominent Black Petersburg family, who owned the property from 1877 to 1991.
Located on a rural estate in New Kent County, South Garden is a historic dwelling constructed between 1825-1840. The wood frame dwelling retains its significant interior woodwork, much of which is finely detailed with ornament such as horizontal and vertical reeding and fluting, urns, flowers, and sunbursts. After purchasing the property in 1939, Melville and Alice Reams undertook a series of careful alterations to the house to provide additional rooms and modern amenities, but retained the historic circulation, design, and materials of the nineteenth century portions of the dwelling. South Garden today serves as an excellent example of a rural mid-nineteenth century dwelling that retains its considerable historic acreage.
The Goodloe House located in the City of Staunton is a 1927 Colonial Revival house with Craftsman-style accents and a professionally designed garden. Locally prominent architect Sam Collins designed the dwelling. The house is surrounded by large boxwoods, a walled soapstone and brick patio with a fountain, and a garden area with a brick walkway and a modern gazebo. Landscape architect Charles Gillette designed the garden and patio, which retain many of their character-defining features notwithstanding loss of original plantings through natural succession. The house, which is located in a historic residential area on the north side of Staunton, has distant views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the upper floors.
The history of the development of Fauquier County’s African American communities is a topic that has been explored by local researchers and historians for decades. Much of this work has been compiled and shared by the Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County (AAHA). There are also physical remnants of these centers for African American life dotting the county’s landscape. A newly approved multiple property document (MPD), African American Resources in Fauquier County, Virginia, 1865-1973+/-, discusses African American churches, schools, and fraternal lodges as well as the physical characteristics and historical associations that make these properties significant. The Silver Hill Baptist Church and School is the first property to be nominated under the new MPD. The church and school are associated with a Reconstruction-Era Black community founded in 1876 by Ellen and Thomas Hannibal Coles when they purchased thirty-three acres from the roughly 350-acre “Silver Hill” tract owned by the heirs of Hannah Blackwell. The Coles quickly donated land for the church’s use and the present sanctuary, built in 1902 and added onto over time, continues in use today. A small cemetery also is associated with the church. The Silver Hill School was constructed in 1903 and served African American students during the Jim Crow era of segregation in Virginia’s public schools.
Located in Nelson County, the Blue Ridge Tunnel is a single-track railroad tunnel constructed between 1850 and 1857 that was opened for use in 1858. It is located 500 feet below the Rockfish Gap and straddles the county line between Nelson and Augusta Counties. The gap was historically and remains a well-used area to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains between the Piedmont and Shenandoah Valley. Carved from greenstone, the tunnel was designed by engineer Claudius Crozet and built by Irish immigrants and enslaved African American laborers using hand tools and black gunpowder for blasting through the rock. In 1944, the Blue Ridge Tunnel was replaced with a larger tunnel that runs parallel to the original. Today, it is the centerpiece of a 2.25 mile recreational hiking and biking trail. The Blue Ridge Tunnel remains the longest tunnel that was hand-dug using black powder blasting, and dug without the use of ventilation shafts.
The Martinsville Historic District in the City of Martinsville originally was listed in 1998 and a comprehensive update to the nomination has just been approved. Largely composed of two- and three-story masonry commercial buildings constructed from the early to mid-twentieth century, the district features several anchoring institutional buildings, including a courthouse, churches, a post office, industrial buildings and warehouses, and bank buildings. The district is largely laid out in an irregular grid-like pattern, and is lined with concrete city sidewalks, street trees, and limited vegetation. At the time of the original listing, several historic commercial buildings were constructed a short time after the district’s original period of significance or had been altered with façade improvements. Over the past quarter-century, these buildings, and in many cases their alterations, have become significant in their own right. The updated nomination discusses the historic trends and significant events of the mid-twentieth century to place these resources into the district’s larger context. A separate nomination to increase the district’s boundaries in several areas also has been approved to incorporate more of the city’s mid-twentieth century resources.