The Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia is a step closer to reaching its goal of creating a first class interpretive park at Historic Point of Rocks. After leading the effort to preserve the site, the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia is continuing to seek funds to get the park open to the public. That effort was aided last week by a $5,000 donation from the Chester Station Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans. This donation will help begin restoration of the Strachan House.
Built in 1841, the house is a distinctive example of the American Greek Revival style of architecture. During the Civil War, the house was used as the quarters for the Union surgeons at Point of Rocks Hospital. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There is an immediate need for the building to be painted, weatherproofed and have its floors and foundation stabilized. This work is expected to begin in December. The donation will also help with other needed items at the park, such as parking and fencing.
The Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia is continuing its efforts to raise the funds needed to fully restore the house. It is estimated that a full restoration of the home will cost $500,000. In the short time that the property has been owned by the County, there have been several Eagle Scout projects that have helped to open up trails and observation areas. A grant from the Blue and Gray Education Society is also providing 12 interpretive signs for the park.
Historic Point of Rocks was preserved by a grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund administered by the National Park Service. “Saving the property was half of the battle,” said Scott Williams, Chairman of the Military History Committee for the Historical Society. “We now have to find funding to restore the house and get the site open to the public. This generous donation is much welcomed. The Chester Station Camp, SCV has put in thousands of hours of volunteer work on our historic sites over the years and I can’t thank them enough for continuing to support us.” The Sons of Confederate Veterans donation, along with an earlier $500 donation by the Knights of Columbus, has gotten the fund raising efforts off to a good start.
When completed, Historic Point of Rocks Park will focus on the massive Union hospital that was constructed on the site. American Red Cross founder, Clara Barton, served there in the early months of the Siege of Petersburg. President Abraham Lincoln also visited the site in the closing days of the war. The park will also highlight other historic events that took place near the site during the Civil War, such as Confederate artillery battling against the Union Navy and the first attacks against Petersburg. There is also an opportunity to interpret the history of Native American and early settlers at the site.
Anyone wishing to learn more about Historic Point of Rocks or wanting to make a donation can contact the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia.