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Landmarks of Our Agricultural Heritage
A 1998 architectural and archaeological survey stated “Bedford County contains some of the finest historic rural architecture in Virginia, ranging from small log dwellings and (agricultural) outbuildings to impressive plantation seats….” Since that time, several rural historic initiatives have taken place in Bedford, but none of these had specifically addressed barns and other agricultural structures, many of which are in fragile condition, until 2013.
Recognizing the historic value of many of Bedford’s barns and other agricultural outbuildings, and their potential impact on the area’s agricultural industry, the Bedford Historical Society, with cooperation from the Bedford County Farm Bureau, began the Barns of Bedford project. Recognizing these significant, unique, and often disappearing, rural resources, the Barns of Bedford project was endorsed by the Bedford County Agricultural Economic Development Advisory Board.
The goals of the project included:
- Promoting awareness and appreciation of Bedford’s historic barns and farms
- Advancing the agricultural heritage of the Bedford area
- Educating the public about the various aspects of our agriculture industry
- Enhancing the economic impact of agriculture in the area
- Supporting the preservation/rehabilitation of barns and related structures
The Bedford Historical Society then hired Daniel Pezzoni of Landmark Preservation Associates to conduct a survey of farms, barns, and other agricultural outbuildings in Bedford City and County.
The “windshield” survey began in February 2013 and involved the photographing and brief field notation of what ultimately became hundreds of properties with over a thousand individual historic farm buildings.
The survey was the first major component of the project. In 2014 a Barn Art calendar as well as an art show was held at the Bower Center with artwork by Bedford Middle School students.
Read the December 2014 article by Mr. Pezonni here.
View the map of the barns included in the survey here.
For more information on the Barns of Bedford project, please contact Betty
Lambeth Gereau of the Bedford Historical Society at 540-293-0800, or by mail at
P.O. Box 602, Bedford, VA 24523.