Category Archives: Cultural Resources

Sacred Places Map


The Sacred Places Map combines the work of 18 fine artists to depict only a few of the sacred places, things and beings that would be threatened along the proposed ACP route in Virginia. Curator, Lilly Bechtel talks about the creation of the map and her work as an ARTivist. The map will be on display this Sunday, July 2, 2017, in Union Hill , during the Walking the Line celebration at the completion of the Bath to Buckingham walk.

Walking the Line: Into the Heart of Virginia will celebrate the finish of its 150 mile witness by joining the Union Hill Baptist Church congregation for 10 am worship and the singing and filming of the final “Sow Em On the Mountain” song video and then join Friends of Buckingham for a ritual at the proposed compressor site and proceed next on to a potluck at Union Grove Baptist Church. Add your voice. Your hope. Join us! Union Hill Baptist Church is at State Rte 663, Buckingham, VA, 23921 (off 64E south of Charlottesville, take VA-20 S (24.7 mi). Take State Rte 655 to State Rte 602, 8 min (5.7 mi) Turn left onto State Rte 602, 6 min (5.2 mi) Continue on State Rte 660. Drive to State Rte 663, 8 min (4.3 mi)

FERC Grants Nelson County Board of Supervisors Consulting Party Status

In a letter to the Nelson County Board of Supervisors on March 2nd, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) informed the board that it has been granted consulting party status under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) Project.  As a consulting party, the Nelson County Board of Supervisors will be granted access to cultural resources survey reports for Nelson County.  These cultural resource reports are filed as “Privileged and Confidential” and are not normally accessible to the public.  The Board of Supervisors will likely be asked to sign confidentiality agreements with ACP to access this information, and any comments that the board files with FERC regarding this cultural resource information will also be marked confidential and will not be accessible to the public.

To read FERC’s letter to the Nelson County Board of Supervisors, you can download the document by clicking here.

Pipeline Fighters

Watch the trailer for Pipeline Fighters, a 98 minute feature length documentary, featuring Jane Kleeb, the XL pipeline killer, and Lorne Stockman of Oil Change International, a watch dog group, and Mekasi Camp-Horinek, a protest coordinator for Standing Rock in N.D. – plus specific footage on the ACP and MVP, and appearances by some familiar local pipeline fighters.

The trailer is here, further information, including purchase info, is here.

Read about the making of the film and the film’s director in this Roanoke Times article.

Seeds of Resistence Planting Ceremony

seeds-of-resistance-graphicPhotos above, clockwise from top left: planting the Ponca corn (Jeeva Abbate, Elizabeth Buteau, Eleanor Amidon, Anne Buteau, Charlie Strickler, Hannah Matthews), sign at the ceremony, Ponca Nation member and Bold Oklahoma director Mekasi Horinek Camp uses tobacco to bless the land, Ponca corn ready for planting.

The #SeedsofResistance sacred corn planting took place on June 6, 2016, in Nelson County, on a Wingina farm located right on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline route. Ponca Nation member and Bold Oklahoma coordinator Mekasi Horinek Camp, Nebraska farmer Art Tanderup, and Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb visited Virginia yesterday to plant “Seeds of Resistance.” The first “Seeds of Resistance” were planted in 2014 by the Cowboy & Indian Alliance, when sacred Ponca corn was returned to the tribe’s ancestral homeland in Nebraska for the first time in 137 years — since the tribe was forcibly removed from Nebraska. The corn was planted on land that lies both in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline and on the historic Ponca Trail of Tears. And now there are sacred “Seeds of Resistance” in the ground in Nelson County as a symbol of our grounded and rooted opposition to the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

seeds-of-resistance-XPRO2605-Version2In Wingina, approximately 80 attendees lined up to plant the blue corn seeds on the property of Samuel Woodson Sr. Rhamonia Woodson-Moore, Woodson’s sister, said the small local community is made up primarily of African-Americans whose history includes a long line of slaves, many of whom are buried in the area, and Wingina’s Hebron Baptist Church was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Photo:  Rev. Rose, Mekasi Horinek Camp, Rhamonia Woodson-Moore, Woodson family member Sadesta Jacques.

seeds-of-resistance-XPRO2842-Version2Both Rev. Rose and Mekasi Horinek Camp said prayers of blessing.

seeds-of-resistance-XPRO2890-Version2Art Tanderup (in red hat), who traveled from Nebraska to bring us corn he grew on his land to block the Keystone XL, explains the planting process to the group. Art’s farm is on the Ponca Trail of Tears.

seeds-of-resistance-XPRO2899-Version2Local organizer Helen Kimble plants corn with Ella Mae Rose, Rose family member, also of Wingina community (and now of Buckingham).

All photos courtesy of Kathy Versluys.

Local news coverage of the Seeds of Resistance ceremony in Wingina and in Augusta County’s Stuarts Draft:

Blue Ridge Life

Nelson County Times, Charlottesville Daily Progress, and Lynchburg News & Advance all published the same story on the Wingina ceremony

Staunton News-Leader coverage of the ceremony in Stuart’s Draft

WHSV coverage of the ceremony in Stuarts Draft

National news as well – Common Dreams

See also photos and coverage on the Friends of Nelson Facebook page and the Free Nelson Facebook page.

History about the Seeds of Resistance ceremony is here.

Another Threatened Historic Area

Preston Lauterbach, Nellysford, a historian specializing in African-American history, has submitted a comment to FERC on behalf of a group of Nelson County property owners registering opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline due to the threat the pipeline project represents to a neighborhood that is rich with African-American history, once known as Colored Wintergreen. At the end of School House Lane, off of Glenthorne Loop (664), the former “Wintergreen Colored School” is an obvious resource of value, recognized within the proposed South Rockfish Valley Historic District. Built in 1932, it served the African-American children of the district during the era of racial segregation. The current owners maintain the building’s historic appearance and architectural soundness. Other homes, businesses, and farmlands encompassed by this neighborhood are located in the Rockfish Valley, six miles east down route 664 from Reid’s Gap, situated within a larger area of natural, cultural, and historic resources. The historic resources of this neighborhood, with the lone exception of the schoolhouse, have not been otherwise accounted for. Mr. Lauterbach’s filing gives details about many of the sites important to African-American history in this previously overlooked neighborhood.

Read the full comment to FERC here.