May 16, 2021 Lecture on the Lawn at Pear Valley
Dr. David Scott discussed the history of Pear Valley, including its significant 18th century architectural features. He also addressed the Nottingham family which owned "Pear Valley" for several generations.
You can also see a video tour of “Pear Valley” on this website by clicking on the Pear Valley Video tab above.
Dr. Scott has generously provided his notes for this lecture here.
The drawing for the NHPS Pear Valley Sculpture was held June 13, 2021. NHPS is pleased to announce that the lucky winner of the drawing for the Pear Valley Sculpture is Rick Gregor from Franktown!
The Northampton Historic Preservation Society (NHPS) had commissioned local artist Albert K. "Buck" Doughty to sculpt a metal rendition of "Pear Valley," a colonial-era yeoman's cottage near Machipongo. Buck was nicknamed "Man of Steel" in a 2019 Chesapeake Bay Magazine article written by Bill Sterling. Well known for his exquisite metal sculptures of wildlife, sea life, and marshland vegetation, Buck embraces a challenge. He visited Pear Valley before beginning this project and, with a craftsman's eye for detail, decided that the final form had to include the exposed attic joists which are a unique feature of this 1740 cottage. "It is an incredible house," Buck said. His appreciation of Pear Valley, a National Registered Landmark, shows in this unique sculpture.
Learn More About Pear Valley
Pear Valley represents a rare survival of what was once a common building type in rural Virginia. This yeoman planter's cottage has been dated by dendrochronology to 1740. In 1994, with the generous support of the Summerfield Baldwin Foundation, APVA Preservation Virginia commissioned an Historic Structures Report to assess the known history and the existing condition of the structure. The Report also laid out immediate conservation needs and a long-term preservation plan for the structure.
Over the next ten years, APVA-Preservation Virginia addressed most of them including the entire roof. It was replaced with oak shingles as called for in the Historic Structures report. The shingles were split from white oak from Germany. Preservation Virginia deeded the property to Northampton Historic Preservation Society in 2014 (see story below).
Pear Valley was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969 and became a National Historic Landmark in 2013.The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, district, object, site or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance.
Northampton County has 27 properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places and two designated as National Historic Landmarks. There are a total of 120 National Historic Landmarks in Virginia. There are over 2,500 properties and districts recognized in the U.S. as National Historic Landmarks. Find more information here from the Pear Valley National Historic Landmark Nomination: National Landmark.
Click on the this link to read an article about Pear Valley's placement on the National Historic Register. TimesDispatch.comLink
Fall 2013 Lecture on the Lawn At Pear Valley --Preservation Virginia's Louis Malon
Pear Valley Deeded to NHPS
Louis Malon, representing Preservation Virginia, has turned the keys to Pear Valley over to Nan Bennett, President of the Northampton Historic Preservation Society, and the NHPS Board of Directors. The deed to Pear Valley officially passed to the NHPS on November 13, 2014. This places a jewel of Northampton and Virginia preservation efforts into the hands of the newly independent Northampton County historic preservation nonprofit organization. NHPS, formerly the Northampton Branch of Preservation Virginia, has managed Pear Valley since the PVA acquired it in 1986. The Northampton preservation group began its mission in 1913 by saving the 1731 Courthouse on the Eastville Court Green.
In March 2014, Pear Valley was designated a National Historic Landmark by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. Pear Valley is one of 123 National Historic Landmarks in Virginia and 2,540 nationwide. It was included in the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1969. This yeoman planter's cottage survives as an example of what was a common building type in rural Virginia in the 1740's.
2014 NHPS Board at Pear Valley
Northampton Historic Preservation Society
P.O. Box 501
Eastville, VA 23347