The Charlotte County APVA was formed in 2012 as a continuation of the Charlotte County Branch of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (Preservation Virginia) originally founded in 1928. The mission of the Charlotte County APVA is to preserve, promote and serve as an advocate for Charlotte County and Southside Virginia’s irreplaceable historic resources including historic structures, cemeteries, landscapes, collections, communities, and archaeological sites.
A History of the Charlotte County Branch of The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities
1928 - 1988
Williamsburg, Virginia 1989
By: Gene McKinney
"The object of this Association shall be to acquire, use, preserve, manage, and dispose of real and personal property relating to the history of Virginia and particularly to restore and preserve the ancient historic buildings, tombs, monuments, and graveyards and to acquire by purchase, gift or otherwise the sites of such property, buildings, tombs, and graveyards with a view to their perpetuation and preservation."
The Branches are an important part of the organization of the Association for the
Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. From its beginning, with fourteen Incorporators
from Norfolk, Williamsburg, Richmond, Portsmouth and New York, the
concept was always that of a decentralized organization. Branches were provided
for by the charter of incorporation of February 13, 1889. The first formally
organized branch was the Williamsburg Branch, ably led by APVA organizer, Mrs.
Charles Washington Coleman (Cynthia Beverley Tucker). The Norfolk APVA,
founded during the summer of 1888 by Miss Mary Jeffery Galt and already at work
trying to preserve the Williamsburg Powder Magazine, recognized that it must
reconsider its position after the official incorporation of the Association. No longer
the APVA, the Norfolk group became the second branch. The following year a
Fredericksburg branch was formed to prevent the purchase and removal of the Mary
Ball Washington House from that city to the forthcoming Chicago Exposition of
1893. These three branches have the longest continuous existence of the twentytwo
branches in the present APVA organization.
Branches were established by design, need, hope, and occasionally whim,
throughout Virginia and in a number of other states. Wherever loyal and devoted
Virginians lived, the APVA organization reached out to them with an appeal to help
preserve the endangered symbols of Virginia's rich history. Some branches were
established and faded out of existence in a few short years. Others flourished for
a decade or so and then declined, to be re-established in another generation.
Shortly after the first three branches were established, branches in New York and
Washington sprang up to give enthusiastic assistance and strong financial aid to the
APVA over a number of years. By 1890, and as the first activity initiated by the
Norfolk APVA in its role as a branch, the preservation project at hand was
Jamestown Island. "Save Jamestown" became a mighty cry for Virginia preservationists.
In 1896, Mrs. Charles Washington Coleman "whistle-stopped" through
Virginia and into Maryland and the District;0f Columbia to encourage and help in
establishing branches. Mrs. Joseph Bryan wrote copiously to known preservationists
to encourage them to join the preservation movement and urged her colleagues
to contact cousins, aunts and other kinswomen, wherever they were. Twenty-four
branches came into existence in 1896.
Some of this branch enthusiasm died when the Spanish-American War diverted
attention to war time effort in 1898. Some was revived in 1907 by the 300th
Anniversary Commemoration of the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown.
A number of branches went out of existence at the time of World War I in 1917,
when War Bond Drives absorbed the energy and money heretofore given to historic... read more in this downloadable PDF