Since 1988, the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation (RVPF) has been committed to educating the citizens of our community about the importance, value, and benefits of preservation and conservation. To serve this purpose, we offer a variety of
programs, events, publications, and tours.
The Roanoke Valley Greenways Historic Trail Marker Program was inaugurated in May 2014, with the unveiling of three interpretive historic markers –the site of the American Viscose Corporation, the Norwich neighborhood, and Elmwood Park. Now, we plan to expand this program with additional markers, at Fire Station No 7 in Grandin, Washington Park, Persinger Cemetery, and Preston Place in Salem. Your donation will help us remember the history and significance of these important places for future generations.
Fire Station No. 7
We don't have to lose the history with the building. RVPF is raising matching funds to partner with the City of Roanoke in telling the important history of Fire Station No. 7 with an interpretive sign at the new station on Memorial Avenue in Grandin Village. Our goal is $1,000 in matching funds for this important sign. Donations above and beyond that amount will help fund installation of three additional historic markers, listed below.
Washington Park Historic Marker
This sign will interpret the history of the circa 1840 structure that still stands in the park. While there have been many stories related to this property, its history has not been definitively told in a manner that will inform the community of its significance.The house is thought to be one of the oldest surviving structures in the City of Roanoke, and may be associated with the Evans family and their mill. The existing structure is in poor condition, and will not survive much longer.
Persinger Cemetery Historic Marker
When James and Doris Neal moved to their quiet neighborhood off Roanoke's Memorial Avenue in the mid-1960s, they didn't even know there was a cemetery behind their house. There was a spacious vacant lot, which was covered with weeds, fallen trees and trash. When they cleaned the mess up, however, there it was: a century-old family cemetery. The Neals have looked after the cemetery for decades. The cemetery looks far different now, with its straight wrought-iron fencing surrounded by well-trimmed grass. In November 2017 RVPF awarded the Neals with a Preservation Award for Community Stewardship. We plan to take that recognition one step farther by installing a historic marker that tell the story of the cemetery, as well as the Neal's 50 years of dedication.
Preston Place Historic Marker
Preston Place, the oldest house in Salem, is now under the stewardship of the Salem Museum & Historical Society. Thanks to significant community support, the organization has successfully preserved and restored this nationally recognized historic landmark! Today Preston Place stands as a testament to the Roanoke Valley that once was – not only the oldest house in Salem by most accounts - but also likely the fourth oldest house in the entire Roanoke Valley and it is one of only fourteen historic landmark listings in the City of Salem. Today Preston Place has become an economic driver, the White Oak Tea Tavern is located there and open for business.
RVPF has worked closely with the Preston Place Committee on the history and restoration of the home, and presented a Preservation Award to the Salem Museum in November 2017. As part of our collaboration we have researched, written, and designed a historic marker - all that's left is fabrication and installation to commemorate this import landmark in Salem.