Environmental Program ~ Virginia National Guard

Cultural Resources

 

A sample of projectile points recovered from 44NT0077 (an Archaic – Early Woodland camp) at Fort Pickett.  Photo Credit: Conservation Management Institute (2009).  Source: VaARNG-VDMA Archaeology Collection.

The area that today forms Virginia has a long and diverse cultural history, which begins with human occupation occurring more than 12,000 years ago according to current evidence.  Since then numerous ethnic and cultural groups made the region their home.  Each invariably left a mark upon the landscape: a discarded projectile point or button, a grave, a domicile, a farm, or even an entire community.  

It is the responsibility of the VMDA-VaARNG’s Cultural Resources Management (CRM) Program to identify, document, and preserve these historic remnants so that all may share, learn, and experience the lifeways of the former residents of the land that now holds VDMA-VaARNG’s various facilities and installations.  Regardless of their originator’s race, creed, nationality, or epoch, each artifact and cultural site is vital for educating future generations about Virginia’s collective narrative.

 

 

 

Swimmers at Twin Lakes (aka Charles Martin Farm), 1936 – 1937, prior to the creation of Camp Pickett.Photo Credit: Clara Martin Crawford (1997).  Source: VaARNG-VDMA files.

There are numerous state and federal laws, executive orders, and Army regulations that require the VDMA-VaARNG to identify and evaluate potential historic properties on the lands it manages and where VDMA-VaARNG programs and actions are conducted.  Projects and activities are assessed by the CRM Program to determine whether they might cause impacts on historic properties. 

The CRM Program oversees compliance with these directives, coordinating with the National Guard Bureau, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (the Virginia State Historic Preservation Office [SHPO]), and as appropriate, other agencies such as the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), to facilitate and support the training mission of our soldiers while preserving the heritage embodied in the cultural resources under our stewardship.  

 

To this end, the CRM Program has conducted over 200 surveys for archaeological

 

Hangar at Camp Pickett, 1942.  Source:  USACE, 1943.

and architectural resources at VDMA-VaARNG facilities throughout the Commonwealth.  These have identified over 500 archaeological sites; two of which are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), and nearly 150 that require additional testing to confirm eligibility.  

The airplane hangar (Building T0025) at the Fort Pickett Blackstone Army Airfield, warehouses at Waller Depot in Richmond, the Combined Support Maintenance Shop (CSMS) at Defense Supply Center Richmond, the Chatham Readiness Center, and the Fort Belvoir Readiness Center and FMS are considered eligible for NRHP listing.  

Camp Pendleton (the State Military Reservation) at Virginia Beach was placed in the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register in 2004 and in the NRHP in 2005.

 

Camp Pendleton, Virginia Beach, 1941.  Source:  VDMA-VaARNG files.

Soldiers of the First Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment at target practice at the State Military Reservation, Virginia Beach, c. 1915.  Source:  VDMA-VaARNG files.

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