Member News

MVPA Events

Wondering what you have to look forward to by becoming a supporter of the Mountain Valley Preservation Alliance? Well here are just a few of the events that have occurred, with plenty more on tap for 2015-2016. Visit our membership page for more information!




annual meeting groupMVPA, INC. INAUGURAL ANNUAL MEETING, Sunday, April 6, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, The Natural Bridge Park and Historic Hotel    The First Annual Meeting of the MVPA, Inc. will be held at the Jefferson Ballroom, Natural Bridge Historic Hotel and Conference Center.  Guest presenters will include Nancy Sorrells, recent past President of the Augusta County Historical Society, and Dr. Ken Koons, Professor of History at VMI and MVPA Board member. The theme for both presentations is “Harvesting History” and will focus on agricultural grain production and utilization in the Valley.  Dr. Koons will speak on the history of grist-milling and flour production, followed by a provocative talk by Nancy Sorrells on the history of distilling in the Valley!  The talks will begin at 4:00 pm. Preceding the talks at 3:00 pm, a “Harvesting History” event will occur. Attendees will be encouraged to bring artifacts, photographs, and documents relating to the history of grain farming, grist milling and flour production, or distilling in the Valley.  Artifacts will be photographed, and photos and documents scanned, for placement in the MVPA archives located in the Department of Special Collections, Leyburn Library, at W & L.  Following the presentations we will learn about the great plans underway at Natural Bridge, followed by a brief business meeting, and a reception catered by Natural Bridge.  PRESENTATION BY AUTHOR, DR. TURK MCCLESKEY, First Weekend in June 2014, Timber Ridge, Rockbridge County Dr. Turk McCleskey, Professor of History at VMI, will speak about his soon to be published book, “The Road to Black Ned’s Forge: A Story of Race, Sex, and Trade on the Colonial American Frontier.” The event will include lunch at an on-site historical venue in the Timber Ridge area of Rockbridge County! Attendees will hear the true story of an enslaved Pennsylvania ironworker named Ned, who in 1752 purchased his freedom and moved to Virginia on the upper James River. Taking the name Edward Tarr, he became the first free black landowner west of the Blue Ridge. Tarr established a blacksmith shop on the Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia to the Carolinas and helped found a Presbyterian congregation that exists to this day. This remarkable true story serves as a keyhole narrative, unlocking a new, more complex understanding of race relations on the American frontier. Due in May of 2014, this fascinating book should be available for purchase and signing by the author at the event!   BUS TRIP TO VIEW THE “SAFES OF THE VALLEY” EXHIBIT, Summer 2014, at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Frederick County This first-time exhibition of over 50 pieces of Valley-made punched-tin-paneled furniture features several examples from Augusta, Rockbridge, Botetourt and Roanoke Counties.   Guest curators for the exhibit are Kurt C. Russ and Jeffrey S. Evans who, in addition to providing a lecture on their ‘Virginia Safe Project,’ will lead a special hands-on tour of the exhibition for our group.  Their autographed book will be available at the Museum for purchase.  A luncheon will also be provided. (Date to be announced) forest oaks event HOLIDAY PARTY, December 2014 or early January 2015, at FOREST OAKS Estate, Natural Bridge MVPA Board members and new owners of Forest Oaks are planning a Holiday Party at the to-be renovated beautiful estate in December 2014 or January 2015!   Further details of the above events including specific dates, times and costs will be forthcoming via individual and public communications.  MVPA members will be eligible for discounted admission prices for each event.  To become a member, complete the form on the back of this event listing, including selection of membership level, and return with check to MVPA, Inc., 128 South Main Street, Lexington, VA 24450. Members will receive a discount on the price of future events.  Membership dues will help support future preservation projects . For further information, contact Kurt C. Russ, MVPA Executive Director, 540-958-8534; __________________________________________________________________