Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Montgomery County Branch Papers
Scope and Content
The records largely document the recent history of Smithfield Plantation, ancestral home of the Preston family, focusing particularly on its restoration beginning in 1962. While much of the renovation occurred in the 1960s, many of the records detail other renovation projects done in the 1970s and 1980s.
The collection is organized into seven series: Series I: Correspondence(largely from and to George Shackelford); Series II: Publications, including APVA and Montgomery County branch newsletters and APVA Discovery magazines; Series III: Smithfield Plantation Renovation, including appraisals, reports, and receipts; Series IV: Renovations of other Smithfield Plantation Buildings, including information about the renovations of other structures on the Smithfield property, (the cook's cabin, the miller's log house, and the smokehouse); Series V: AVPA General Files, including meeting minutes, financial reports, and building committee reports; Series VI: Historical Documents from dating from the original Preston family's residence at Smithfield (materials include manuscript account books (1754-1763) of William Preston while residing at Greenfield, manuscript pages detailing work done by a wheelright (1845-1850); and genealogical information about the Preston family); and Series VII: Miscellaneous Documents, which includes materials relating to historic Montgomery County and the Smithfield Plantation. The collection also contains Series VIII: Oversize Documents, containing blueprints and architectural drawings.
- 1754 - 1996
- Majority of material found within 1958 - 1983
Language of Materials
The materials in the collection are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open to research.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.
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Founded in 1889, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA) has twenty branches which own and maintain historic properties. In November 1958 the APVA authorized the organization of the Montgomery County branch for the specific purpose of acquiring and restoring Smithfield Plantation, the historic home near Blacksburg in Montgomery County, Virginia, built by William Preston in 1773. In 1959 Mrs. Janie Preston Brockenbrough Lamb, a descendant of Preston, donated Smithfield and 4.5 acres of land to the APVA. Restoration of the building was begun in 1962 when the APVA's Montgomery County Branch raised the funds for renovation and contracted with architects and contractors.
Smithfield Plantation is the historic home of the Preston family, one of the founding families of Blacksburg and Montgomery County, Virginia. It was built by William Preston (1729-1783), who emigrated from northern Ireland with his family in 1737. He married Susanna Smith in 1761 and settled at Greenfield in Botetourt County in 1769. Preston established himself as a leader in the Virginia frontier by serving in the militia in the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars, in the House of Burgesses representing Augusta County from 1766 to 1768 and Botetourt County in 1769, and as County Lieutenant of Fincastle and Montgomery. He was appointed surveyor of Fincastle County in 1772 and moved his family to that area. He built Smithfield, named in honor of his wife, in 1773. Smithfield was the birthplace and home of three Virginia governors, including James Patton Preston (son of William), and John Buchanan Floyd and John Floyd, Jr. (grandsons of William).
George Green Shackelford, a professor of history from 1954 to 1986 (now Emeritus) at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, or Virginia Tech, which is adjacent to the Smithfield property, spearheaded the restoration by forming the Montgomery County branch and adopting the project of preserving and restoring the Smithfield residence.
ca. 9 Cubic Feet (13 boxes; 7 oversize folders; 1 oversize roll)
The records largely document the recent history of Smithfield Plantation, ancestral home of the Preston family, focusing particularly on its restoration beginning in 1962. While much of the renovation occurred in the 1960s, many of the records detail other renovation projects done in the 1970s and 1980s. The collection also includes historical and other related documents dating from before the original Preston family's residence at Smithfield.
The collection is arranged into eight series. Wherever possible, materials are arranged chronologically within each series.
Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Publications
Series III: Smithfield Plantation Renovation
Series IV: Renovations of other Smithfield Plantation Buildings
Series V: AVPA General Files
Series VI: Historical Documents
Series VII: Miscellaneous Documents
Series VIII: Oversize Documents
Source of Acquisition
The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Montgomery County Branch Papers were donated to Special Collections and University Archives in multiple accruals between 1962 and 1996.
Rights Statement for Archival Description
The guide to the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Montgomery County Branch Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).
Processing was completed in September 1996, after initial processing in the 1980s. Additional description was completed in October 2009.
- Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Montgomery County Branch Papers, 1754-1996
- Laura Katz Smith, Archivist, and Helen Harrison, Student Assistant
- 2009 (CC0 1.0)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
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