About a year ago, a group of interested people gathered to talk about the renovation of the Botetourt County Courthouse in Fincastle and the surrounding buildings and square. Out of this meeting, the Botetourt Preservation Partnership Inc. (BPP) was formed. Initial members include Ed Holt and Lynsey Alley, representing the Botetourt County Historical Society and Museum; Patsy Dickerson, representing Historic Fincastle, Inc.; Khari Ryder from the Chamber of Commerce; Mary Bess Smith and Richard Flora, mayor and member of the Fincastle Town Council; Bob Patterson from the Botetourt Education Foundation; Pat Honts, representing the DAR; Glynn Loope, Michael Beahm and Bo Trumbo.
The mission of the BPP, acting as a non-profit organization, has expanded and will hopefully further expand. The Partnership wants to collaborate with individuals, businesses, municipalities, governmental agencies, and other non-profits organizations across the county to protect, preserve and promote Botetourt County – its significant historic and natural resources and to create a sense of community.
The first project of the BPP was to create banners for the fences around the construction site for the courthouse project. The first phase of the project is to move the Breckinridge Law Office and “old” museum. The banners will soon be in place thanks to Jon Lanford, his crew and the contractors on site. Hopefully the banners will provide an educational look at the county, past and present. There will be a QR code at each banner to explain the area and its history.
The banners include: 1770 Botetourt County and its impact, sites and scenes from present day Botetourt County – Fincastle, Buchanan, Troutville, Daleville/Amsterdam, Eagle Rock, Mill Creek area, and Blue Ridge. This project was made possible by the generous donations of the following individuals and businesses: Mary Bess Smith, Richard Flora, the Obenshain family (Joe, Elizabeth, and Scott, MD), Matt and Mary Ann Miller, Delegate Terry L. Austin, Bob Patterson, First Bank, Bank of Botetourt, Austin Electric, John Alderson Agency, Virginia Mountain Mortgage, Historic Fincastle, Inc. and Botetourt County Historical Society and Museum. Robin Reed recorded the narrations that accompany each banner.
As a second project, the BPP obtained wood from this historic site and commissioned local wood turner Willie Simmons to make some limited editions from the wood. The Botetourt Historical Society will be selling small square dishes and round covered dishes made from the floorboards of the old Breckinridge Law Office. They will be engraved with Breckinridge Law Office, 2023. They can be seen and purchased in the Botetourt History Museum. Historic Fincastle will be selling large and small platters made from the maple tree that had to be removed from the Courthouse Square because it was dying. These platters will be engraved with: Courthouse Square Maple Tree, Botetourt County, 2022. If interested in purchasing one, contact Patsy Dickerson at (540-460-4597).
~ Botetourt Preservation Partnership