Highway markers receive special designation

Published 9:29 am Thursday, February 14, 2019

To inaugurate the commemorative year, both the Free Blacks of Israel Hill and the Longwood College Historical Highway Markers in Prince Edward County received a special designation from the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, along with 35 other historical markers across Virginia, as an official site on the Virginia History Trails. The Virginia History Trails app contains more than 200 sites and 400 stories that explore the known, untold and under-told stories of Virginia History. The award-winning app is a useful tool to discover these stories and sites as you travel across Virginia.

On Jan. 21, the Virginia History Trails designation sign on the Loving v. Virginia historical marker, located outside the Patrick Henry Building at 1111 E. Broad Street in Richmond, was unveiled. The Loving v. Virginia historical marker is located on the Civil Rights Trail on the Virginia History Trails. Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine, Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew Strickler, Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner Stephen Brich and Julie Langan, Director and State Historic Preservation Officer of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources joined American Evolution Executive Director Kathy Spangler at the unveiling.

“Virginia’s multimodal transportation system connects people and communities to jobs, education and opportunity,” said Shannon Valentine, Secretary of Transportation. “As residents and visitors explore our beautiful Commonwealth, these historical markers help them connect to Virginia’s rich history.”

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Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew Strickler stated, “The 37 historical markers that received the Virginia History Trails designation are distributed across the Commonwealth and each one is a significant part of the 400 year history of Virginia.”

The list of historical markers in our area that received the Virginia History Trails designation include: Popularizer of the Banjo, Appomattox County; Carter G. Woodson Birthplace, Buckingham County (historical marker currently in process of being restored); Clifton, Cumberland County; Wendell O. Scott Sr. (1921-1990), City of Danville; Francisco’s Fight, Nottoway County; Free Blacks of Israel Hill, Prince Edward County; and Longwood College, Prince Edward County.

Virginia’s 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, recognizes the 400th anniversary of pivotal 1619 Virginia events that forever changed the trajectory of Virginia and America’s history. These 1619 events include the First Representative Legislative Assembly in the New World, the arrival of the first recorded Africans to English North America, the recruitment of English women in significant numbers to the Virginia colony, the first official English Thanksgiving in North America and the launch of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Commonwealth.

During the 2019 commemorative year, American Evolution will host a series of exhibitions and signature events, that build awareness of Virginia’s role in the creation of the United States. American Evolution is committed to sharing an inclusive and authentic historical narrative that sheds light on the untold, or under-told, stories of events and people who significantly shaped 400 years of Virginia’s and America’s evolution. Programming inspires local, national and international engagement in the themes of democracy, diversity and opportunity, and reinforces Virginia’s leadership in education, tourism and economic development.

For more information about American Evolution’s upcoming events, programs and educational initiatives, visit AmericanEvolution2019.com. You can also connect with the Commemoration through social media (@ Commemorate2019), the recently-launched Virginia History Trails mobile app, and American Evolution Stories, the Commemoration’s online storytelling platform.