"The old families of Virginia will form connections with low people, and sink into the mass of overseers' sons and daughters".
- John Randolph of Roanoke
Friends of the Overseer’s Home of Mulberry Hill Plantation
The Historic Staunton River Foundation, Inc. is pleased to announce that Commonwealth Architects from Richmond, Virginia was contracted by the Staunton River Battlefield State Park and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to assemble an "architectural and engineering team to document, analyze, and propose rehabilitation recommendations for the Overseer's Quarters, an important component of" Mulberry Hill Plantation in Randolph, Virginia. The Overseer's Quarters, located directly behind the main house, is in great dilapidation and in dire need of repair. Nathaniel David Dickerson and wife, Nancy Green Moses, with their family, occupied the small structure between 1845 and 1850. It is the hope of the Historic Staunton River Foundation to aid in the grant-writing process to help secure the monies needed to rehabilitate the structure.
Following their recent visit, representatives from Commonwealth Architects submitted a report with written recommendations and measured drawings; this assessment report will aid in the guidance of the work needed, as well as estimate the associated costs. The report is in two parts: Part I "includes existing conditions analysis for exterior and interior, and existing conditions architectural drawings for exterior and interior," and Part II "includes both general and specific recommendations for rehabilitation for exterior and interior, cost estimates by proposed repair, and a summary table of the cost estimates." The report further states, "overall, the building stands in fair condition. The quality and care of its initial construction has resulted in a building that has withstood years of use. Unfortunately, high levels of moisture and insect damage are severely impacting the building." Several standards from the Secretary of Interior will be enforced that will ensure that the property will "be used for its historic purpose.in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining characteristics of the building," and the "historic character of the property shall be retained and preserved." Every effort will be made to ensure and maintain the building's historical, architectural, and cultural value.
The rehabilitation process is inclusive of every element of the building from the ground-up. The procedures listed in the report include the rehabilitation of the masonry (open mortar joints, spalls, flaking, scaling, crumbling, cracking, oxide jacking, and repair); the plaster (identification, patching, replacement, cracks, delaminated coats, missing plaster, and repair); the metal roofing (evidence indicates original roof of wood shingles; install a historically appropriate standing seam tern-coated metal roof similar to existing one, install gutters and downspouts); the wood (treatment of unpainted surface, removal of individual units, pretreatment and patching compound, component replacements, removal of deteriorated paint, surface preparation, painting, and repair); the windows (replace glazing and repair); and the site (proper landscaping, drainage, and traffic sealant). Cost estimates are available for each location and recommendation, and each are given a priority level of 1 to 4 (1 for immediate attention, 2 for conditions that need to be addressed within a year, 3 for low priority that does not threaten the integrity of the building, and 4 for materials or features that require routine inspection and require action for many years). The assessment report estimates the project total at $80,000. It is the hope that a grant can be obtained to secure these funds. However, a majority of grants require the applicant to hold a percentage (ranging from 10% to 20% percent) of the project total. In this scenario, the Foundation would need to have between $8,000 and $16,000 in matching funds in order to meet the requirements set forth in the grant application.
The Historic Staunton River Foundation, Inc. stands behind the commitment in repairing the Overseer's Quarters. Just as Captain Benjamin Farinholt made an urgent plea to the citizens of the surrounding counties to defend the Staunton River Battlefield from the 1864 invaders, so too, does the Foundation make a plea to the descendants of Nathaniel Dickerson to support in rehabilitating the Overseer's Quarters. As a 501(c) 3, tax-exempt organization, the Foundation will act as the "fiscal agent" for this project. An account has been set-up for the strict financial benefit for the "Friends of the Overseer's Quarters of Mulberry Hill Plantation."
Founded in 1995, the Historic Staunton River Foundation, Incorporated, a tax-exempt, private organization under 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, was formed to act as the "citizen-support organization" for the Staunton River Battlefield State Park. Its mission is to "promote, preserve, and develop the 1864 Battlefield at the Staunton River Bridge, the Staunton River Battlefield State Park, the Staunton River and its historical areas, the Wade Archaeological Site, and Mulberry Hill Plantation. The Foundation shall also collect artifacts and historical memorabilia for display and work to preserve the integrity of the Staunton River environs and archeological sites. The Foundation will provide historical, environmental, wildlife, and wetlands education, as well as assist in developing programs and events for the general public." The Foundation is governed by a seventeen member Board of Trustees and its at-large membership. Membership is available for $15 and entitles the bearer to a 10% discount in the Clover Visitor Center Gift-shop; a subscription to The Sentinel, the Foundation's newsletter; and invitations to special lectures and events. More information about the Foundation, membership, the Staunton River Battlefield State Park, and an array of special events held at the Park can be found by accessing http://www.historicstauntonriverfoundation.org
Contributing to this worthy cause could not be simpler: see the accompanying "Donor Form" for the "Friends of the Overseer's Quarters of Mulberry Hill Plantation." Please make checks payable to Historic Staunton River Foundation, Inc., and mail your donation to Historic Staunton River Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 1, Randolph, Virginia 23962. Donations made during the year of 2009 have end-of-the-year tax benefits. Feel free to contact Shane Newcombe, Foundation Trustee, via phone at 434.603.1021 or email us at email@example.com for further information, questions, or concerns.