Virginia OKs 13 New Historical Markers

The markers will honor important dates and historical figures

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012  |  Updated 7:48 AM EDT
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Virginia OKs 13 New Historical Markers

Thirteen new state historical markers have been approved by the Department of Historic Resources, including one commemorating a 1608 Christmas celebration by English settlers who were sheltered by Indians in what is now Hampton.

The other signs announced Wednesday include a colonial-era tavern still in operation in Hanover and a Civil War-era hospital in Alexandria where black U.S. soldiers protested the denial of the rights to full burial honors for black war casualties in a military cemetery.

The markers will join more than 2,400 others that have been placed around Virginia since 1927 to highlight the state's people, places and events.

The 1608 Christmas marker commemorates a holiday celebration that occurred in Kecoughtan, an Indian town that provided shelter to the 27 Jamestown explorers led by Capt. John Smith after they were caught in a storm. Smith wrote of a bounty of ``good oysters, fish, flesh and wildfowl'' and pronounced the settlers "never more merry."

The Hanover Tavern marker just outside of Richmond pays homage to an establishment in which a section dates to 1791 and an earlier colonial-era tavern whose patrons included Patrick Henry and George Washington. Since 1953, Hanover Tavern has housed Barksdale Theater.

L'Ourverture Hospital Barracks was the hospital complex in Alexandria where an early civil rights protest totaling more than 400 patients resulted in the successful demand that black U.S. troopers be buried in Alexandria National Cemetery instead of the Freedman's Cemetery.
 
The other markers commemorate:
 
--The East Suffolk School complex, a Rosenwald school for African-American students.
--Portsmouth's George Teamoh, who escaped slavery in 1853 and later was elected to the Virginia Senate during Reconstruction.
--The First Virginia Volunteers-Leigh Street Armory in Richmond's Jackson Ward. The armory, opened in 1895, was home to one of the state's several African-American militia units.
--The Confederate Ordnance Lab Explosion, retelling the story of a massive explosion on Brown's Island in Richmond, killing at least 40.
--Signs honoring the Valentine Museum and the Wickham-Valentine House, marking the origins of one of Richmond's first museums.
--The former Gloucester Hall, ``where Bacon's Rebellion effectively ended with the fatal illness of its leader, Nathaniel Bacon, in 1676,'' the marker reads.
--The Greenwood-Afton Rural Historic District, portions of Nelson and Albemarle counties where Scots-Irish settled in the 1730s.
--Hickey's Road, a 100-plus-mile road from Halifax County through Pittsylvania County, ending in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
--Buckingham County's Robert Bolling, poet, writer and one-time member of the House of Burgesses.

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