Lost Communities of Virginia Project
Have you driven through Virginia and seen the remnants of small communities? The signs announcing arrival in a place where there are no visible signs of life? The old general store, now closed and maybe even used as a hay barn, that once teemed with activity? The railroad tracks leading to nowhere, now overgrown, once connecting the community with the broader world? The Lost Communities of Virginia project began with a curiosity about such places.
Curiosity resulted in a drive by survey of 2,600 small communities in the Commonwealth. Of these small places, 548 of them still retaining buildings were photographed. With the help of professors from Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies, the list was narrowed to 30 communities that covered the breadth of Virginia’s geography, history, and community types. These 30 communities became the focus of the Lost Communities of Virginia book by CDAC Outreach Coordinator Terri Fisher and former CDAC Architecture Intern Kirsten Sparenborg.
Lost Communities of Virginia is an award-winning book!
Learn more about the Lost Communities of Virginia project by selecting the buttons at left.
Completion of the book doesn't mean the Lost Communities of Virginia project is completed.
Fundraising continues to document more of Virginia's once-booming communities
before their history and buildings disappear:
- Donations by check may be sent to CDAC and made payable to “Treasurer, Virginia Tech”
- Donations via credit card may be made through the Virginia Tech Foundation. In the "Gift Information" area, please choose "Other Designation" and enter "Community Design Assistance Center - Lost Communities of Virginia project " as the designee.
- Purchases of Lost Communities of Virginia merchandise also support the project.
The Lost Communities of Virginia project has received funding from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the Community Design Assistance Center, the VT College of Architecture and Urban Studies, VT Outreach and International Affairs, the Roller-Bottimore Foundation, book chapter sponsorships, merchandise sales, and private donations.
Learn more about the Lost Communities of Virginia project:
"Lost Communities of Virginia Wins Library of Virginia People's Choice Award, Outstanding Historic Preservation Research Award," VT News, November 13, 2012.
"Bookmark: Lost Communities of Virginia", Inform, Vol. 23, No. 4, p. 10.
Book review by Tony Wrenn, Inform blog, July 16, 2012.
Book review by Lucy Hart Peaden, Read Southside Virginia blog, July 12, 2012.
Book review, Central Rappahannock Regional Library blog, June 27, 2012.
Banner Lecture, Virginia Historical Society, May 3, 2012
"Book Review: Lost Communities of Virginia," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 120, No. 1.
Boom Towns Go Bust, by Bill Glose, Virginia Living, February 2012.
Virginia Currents, WCVE Richmond, January 12, 2012.
Holiday Book Gift Guide, Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 20, 2011.
What's in a Name? Capeville, The Virginian-Pilot, October 31, 2011.
"Lost Communities of the Piedmont," The Piedmont Virginian, Autumn 2011.
Interview, IMG Radio Network, September 3, 2011.
"Review: Lost Communities of Virginia," Roanoke Times, August 7, 2011.
"A Town Called Obsolete," Style Weekly, July 12, 2011.
"Lost In Time: Virginia's Forgotten Communities Once Thrived," Roanoke Times, June 27, 2011.
"Grave Matters," With Good Reason, June 17, 2011.
"Lost Communities of Virginia," Virginia Public Radio, May 27, 2011.
"Found: Virginia's Lost Communities," by Dave McNair, The Hook, May 10, 2011.
"The 'Lost Communities of Virginia'," by David Bearinger, VFH Views, Spring 2011.
"Lost Communities of Virginia, a new book by Terri Fisher and Kirsten Sparenborg," Albemarle Magazine, February/March 2011.
"Project aims to protect communities' histories," Roanoke Times, August 25, 2009.
"Lost Communities of Virginia," 16 Blocks Magazine, May, 2009.
"CDAC Visits the Lost Communities of Virginia," Virginia Review, January/February 2007.
"Identifying the 'Lost Communities' of Virginia," Notes on Virginia, 2006.