Loudoun Historic Village Alliance
I had the good fortune a year ago to help form an organization called the Loudoun Historic Village Alliance. It was inspired by the Comprehensive Plan for Loudoun County which was being hotly debated at the time.
There was a section in the Comprehensive Plan that attempted to identify “Rural Villages” and describe the characteristics of same.
This galvanized all the unincorporated communities in Loudoun (listed below – towns are incorporated) to respond to the County that many of their village listings were inaccurate in addition to their descriptions.
County officials, to their credit, recognized our organization and gave us “a seat at the table.” One of the first things we did was to change how the Plan described us. We were “Historic Rural Villages”, not simply rural villages which could be a modern development transplanted amidst pasture land. And we defined what we are for them.
Changes were made in the Comp Plan, the County appreciated our collective voice, and we’ve been off and running ever since, defending and protecting our treasured landscapes.
What does this have to do with the Blue Ridge Mountains? Well, I live in Bluemont on the mountain and Bluemont traces a large swath of the Blue Ridge in its jurisdiction. The mountains are an important water source at a time when some of our historic villages, like Waterford, Lincoln, and St. Louis have compromised water resources due to development and a shrinking aquifer in our region.
This is why I stepped up and saw the Alliance as a potential ally in our collective efforts. I am currently Vice Chair of LHVA teamed with Madeline Skinner, of Philomont, who is the Chair.
Please feel free to provide us with any feedback you may have. Scroll down for more information on the Alliance.
President, Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Loudoun Historic Village Alliance (LHVA)
LOUDOUN COUNTY RURAL HISTORIC VILLAGE:
A rural historic village is an unincorporated and easily recognizable cluster of residences and, possibly, public buildings and businesses, along a public road or at a crossroad in our rural area, established in the 18th or 19th centuries and continuously occupied since then. It is characterized by multiple buildings and a general character representative of its history.
The residents self-identify as being members of that community and participate in community organizations.
Villages currently identified in the Loudoun County Comprehensive Plan:
Aldie Mountain (Bowmantown)*
Villages which will be added to the list per the Board of Supervisors Comp Plan motion:
Unison Willisville Howardsville
Additional Villages identified in the Comprehensive Plan/Rural Historic Village, Strategies and Actions:
Airmont Bloomfield Morrisonville
Other possible places which need further research, per the Comp Plan, Board of Supervisors and research:
Conklin and applicable African American Villages
*Villages that we have not identified a representative