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East End News

Want to help tell the history of the neighborhood?

The folks at Old House Diaries are looking for volunteers to help collect and post historical information on Church Hill houses. Old House Diaries is a site where you can view photos, stories, and comments from the people who have lived in the houses in an area.

While the OHD site is national in scope, they are working with the VA Dept of Historic Resources to highlight local history. Church Hill is part of a pilot study to focus on the historical richness of neighborhoods.

An Old House Diaries phone app will be introduced soon, so that people can “learn about the neighborhood as they walk around the Hill or wait in line for a muffin.” The goal is to have a more complete history of the neighborhood up in time for the Holiday House Tour.

Jennie Dotts explains, “We’re looking for volunteers to help upload info – scanned docs, images, and stories – for area houses. We are working in conjunction with local historical societies and neighborhood associations to share their stories with wider audiences. Bottom line: the more we know about old houses, the more we appreciate them. The more they are appreciated, the more secure their future.”

To get involved, contact Jennie at or (804)370-6565.

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John M


clay st resident 09/19/2013 at 9:18 PM

Very cool.

Dixon Kerr 09/20/2013 at 9:26 AM

Tourists have explored both Church Hill and Union Hill for years, asking questions about various houses. Old House Diaries is a new tool that will let people read about our neighborhood and it’s houses both at home or on their phones as they walk. Photos or articles can be shared by sending them to specific addresses, possibly saving images that might be lost or discarded over time.
Anyone can put their house on OHD and claim it. Some of the most interesting stories are from houses that are not the well known ones, but those with unusual histories, which can be preserved digitally. The posting photos can be old and/or new ones, with stories added about living in the house, what has been done to it, it’s architectural style- anything you might say in a scrapbook about your house.
Thanks for putting OHD on Church Hill Peoples News, John.

Coqui 09/20/2013 at 9:43 AM

A great way to build and share the knowledge of our wonderful, historic neighborhood. Helps build deeper group memory of the layers of folks who have walked these streets

Elizabethbettybeth 09/20/2013 at 10:02 AM

I LOVE this!!!

Savant 09/21/2013 at 10:12 AM

Good thing they aren’t soliciting stories from the Carillon neighborhood. They have a “wonderful, historic neighborhood” over there, too, the fabric of which is under attack and will soon disappear, won’t it, Jennie?

Mary Anne 09/21/2013 at 4:50 PM

This is a fantastic idea! I know some elderly people living at the Bowler Home & @ Church Hill House & Fairmont House whose families have lived here forever. I’m going to encourage them to share what they know w/this project!


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