Memorial dedication Scheduled for Oct. 29

Stonemason Darryl Whidby works on the chimney that will be the center piece of the Blue Ridge Heritage Project's Greene County Memorial.

The Blue Ridge Heritage Project’s Greene County Memorial honoring displaced families will be formally dedicated at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29.

The dedication ceremony will take place on the memorial site near the County Administration building at the corner of Celt Road and Main Street in Stanardsville.

The ceremony will feature a number of prominent local speakers, including County Economic Development and Tourism Director Alan Yost; Stanardsville Supervisor Bill Martin; Stanardsville Mayor Gary Lowe; Blue Ridge Heritage Project President Bill Henry; and Shenandoah National Park’s Claire Comer.

Remarks will also come from Peachie Morris Batten and David Roach, descendents of those displaced off the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Descendants and the public are invited to attend the ceremony.

The main feature of the Greene County memorial is a stand-along chimney, now under construction, which symbolizes all that remains of the homes in the mountains after families were removed for creation of Shenandoah National Park. The 16-foot chimney will include a plaque listing 69 surnames of the estimated 180 family members and landowners who were forced off the mountains.

The Greene Memorial honoring those families is part of the Blue Ridge Heritage Project’s mission to help organize grass-roots committees to create a memorial in each of the eight counties surrounding the Park.

A chimney monument already has been erected in four counties, Madison, Albemarle, Page and Rappahannock. Each has a plaque listing the names of families who were removed from the mountains in those counties in the 1930s.

Each memorial also will include interpretive display panels with vintage photographs and narratives about the people, their homes, schools, churches, and businesses. The ultimate goal is to organize educational events at the memorials to help visitors understand and appreciate the culture and traditions of the families who lived in the mountains before the building of Shenandoah National Park.

Stonemasons Darryl and Jackie Whidby have been constructing the Greene chimney for the past few weeks, using stones donated by Steve and Brenda Korfanty from a chimney that stood on their property.

The Greene Steering Committee, chaired by Norm Addington, has raised approximately $18,000 to pay the costs of the memorial project.

“This has been a grass-roots effort from the beginning,” Addington said. “We are grateful for the strong financial support we have received from the community, not only individuals, but businesses, foundations and the county.”

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