Friends of Green Spring Newsletter
Dedicated to the Opening of a new National Park
Vol. 2, No. 3, Summer 2004
Historic Green Spring goes to Hollywood!
Crew sets up near the old well to film video on the history of Green Spring, thanks to the generosity of Riverside Health System.
Thanks to the technical and financial support of Riverside Health System, a ten-minute fund-raising video tentatively entitled "Voices of Green Spring" is in the final stages of production. Designed to convey both the unique atmosphere and historical significance of the HGS site, the film will fulfill its unique purpose - a provocative visual experience designed to gain the attention of potential corporate and wealthy individual donors. If the film succeeds in its mission, and follow-up questions and meetings take place, it will become a major weapon in the HGS fund-raising arsenal.
A wide variety of talents have been brought to bear to produce this "mini-movie." The script was written by actor and public relations specialist Ron Reid and incorporates suggestions by Professor Warren Billings and others. Voice-over and on-camera work is by veteran local actor Alan Sader, well-known for his TV spots for The Christian Childrens' Fund and The Haynes Furniture Company. Legacy Communications, LLC is in charge of production, and on two occasions last month fielded a four-person team (camera, sound, and makeup technicians, plus a Creative Director) to shoot footage on Green Spring's 308 acres.
Dressed in period costumes rented from Colonial Williamsburg, HGS Board member John Hamant and Kristina Downs were filmed walking the HGS site as Governor and Lady Berkeley in the aftermath of Bacon's rebellion. Half a dozen reenactors carrying muskets and dressed in Continental Army uniforms were filmed forming up at Green Spring on their way to battle during the Revolutionary War. In addition, Legacy's film crews have obtained useful "background" shots of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Island, and Yorktown Battlefield. This action footage is being edited and combined with still pictures and maps to produce an exciting final product.
We plan to organize a special showing of the completed film (accompanied by some wine & cheese) for the film's creators, HGS donors and HGS volunteers sometime in the Fall.
HGS' new website will be our window to the world
There are many good reasons for a 501 (C) (3) organization to create a site on the Worldwide Web, but the most important is that global access to information about your project vastly increases the number of people likely to give your non-profit political and financial support. This is especially true if your organization, like Historic Green Spring, has something unique to offer those who visit its website.
A successful website is a two-way street. If people find your website useful, they will probably find ways to support your cause. The HGS website being designed by Elaine Chou of WebXemplar will attempt to strike this necessary balance. We are starting out small, with just six pages following the "Home" page (covering such topics as "About Us," "Education," "Resources," "Membership." Volunteer," and "Donate"), but with a host of illustrations and "imbedded" materials (such as Martha McCartney's books and back issues of the Newsletter) and lots of "links" to related sites dealing with 17th and 18th Century Virginia history. Thanks to suggestions made by Board member Loretta Hannum, the "Education" page will be especially valuable as a resource for Virginia's public school students and teachers.
The website's fund-raising functions will be conducted by using the GuideStar Organization's "Network for Good" program, which allows website visitors to donate money to The Friends of Green Spring using their credit cards, but at a much lower transaction service rate than that charged by PayPal. If all goes well, we expect to have the HGS website up and running by the end of this month. The website's URL will be: historicgreenspring.org.
Golf Tournament aids historic Green Spring
Historic Green Spring was recently the beneficiary of a Captains Choice tournament for "The Battle of Green Spring Cup" held at Williamsburg National Golf Club. Sponsored by Sheeran Associates Reality and C. Lewis Waltrip Developers. The event involved about sixty golfers and raised $1500 for HGS. The photo above shows HGS President Daniel Lovelace receiving the generous check from Bob Sheeran, who hinted that competition for "The Battle of Green Spring Cup" may become an annual event.
Friends honor Goulds at retirement dinner
Retired CNHP Superintendent Alec Gould and wife, Kristy, were honored by the Friends at a dinner June 12 at Patriots Colony. They were given a replica of an "Angry Rooster" bowl used by colonists to eat soup and cereal. The original was unearthed by Louis Caywood during archaeology in the 1950s and is now part of the Jamestown collection. Since retirement. Mr. and Mrs. Gould have joined as members of the Friends of Green Spring and will continue to live in Williamsburg.
Green Spring to Be Invited To The Dance; Maybe, More
Conceptual layout for Green Spring entry, parking lot and three buildings: visitor contact center, artifacts display, and restrooms on the west side of the property.
The history of Green Spring and its relationship to Jamestown will be included in 2007 celebration presentations, Sandy Rives, interim CNHP superintendent, told Friends' board members, Jane Yerkes, Dan Lovelace and Cliff Williams at a meeting May 27 in Yorktown with him, retiring Superintendent Alec Gould and Skip Brooks, who has become Chief of Operations.
Prospects of Green Spring's inclusion in 2007 festivities also are detailed in the final General Management Plan Record of Decision signed on March 31 by Superintendent Alec Gould and NPS Regional Director Marie Rust.
If money becomes available, construction will begin before 2007, Rives said. He stated his hope for starting work at Green Spring to have something open by 2007, but made perfectly clear that his number one priority must be readiness for the commemoration and the thousands who will participate. A great deal remains to be accomplished in the short time before 2007.
The Friends made a complete presentation on the origin of the organization, its mission and determination to stay the course to see that Green Spring joins Jamestown, Yorktown and the Colonial Parkway as an open unit of the Colonial National Monument, as designated by Congress in 1936. As always, the historic credentials of Green Spring were unquestioned. As always, too, it's a matter of money and the lack of it from Congress.
Beginning nine years ago, the Friends aimed for opening Green Spring by 2007.
Forced from office, Berkeley focused on Green Spring farm
This is how Governor Berkeley's house and grounds may have looked in 1660, according to a report my M. Kent Brinkley of CW for the Colonial National Historic Park. Friend's money helped pay for the domestic landscape study published in December 2003.
Forced out of office in 1652 and replaced by a series of Puritan Governors approved by Oliver Cromwell's regime in London, Governor Sir William Berkeley spent eight years in retirement from Virginia politics until his recall to power by newly-restored King Charles II in 1660. During this hiatus he focused much of his energy upon improving his expanding plantation at Green Spring, and especially upon agricultural experiments designed to develop new cash crops that he and his neighbors could sell overseas.
Berkeley's efforts at agricultural diversification at Green Spring predated his "retirement," as evidenced by a 1649 letter which noted that Berkeley was already producing a small rice crop, and "...The Governour in his new orchard hath 1500 fruit-trees, besides his Apricots, Peaches, Mellicotons, Quinces, Wardens (winter pears) and such like fruit." At least four likely botanical descendants of these orchard trees can still be seen flowering in early Spring on the HGS site to this day.
According to M. Kent Brinkley's new book on the probable evolution of the domestic landscape at Green Spring, during his "retirement" years, Berkeley "... turned Green Spring into an experimental farm by producing lumber, flax, potash, hemp, silk, and rice. However...he was unsuccessful in weaning his fellow planters away form growing tobacco, largely because they did not possess the financial resources or the luxury of experimentation that the Governor obviously did." In a similar vein, Professor Warren Billings has concluded that "But for a mere handful of wealthy Virginians, few of Berkeley's fellow planters matched his fortune, his knowledge, his network of markets, and sources of skilled laborers, let alone his resolute commitment to diversifying the Virginia economy."
Berkeley went on to serve as Virginia's Governor for another seventeen years. In spite of efforts to find profitable alternative exports, tobacco continued as Virginia's dominant cash crop (indeed, frequently subsituting for "cash" in legal, tax, and business transactions) for more than a century. As the Colony's tobacco plantations grew in size, the demand for a larger, more exploitable agricultural labor force led Virginia's planters to begin the large-scale importation of African slaves, which by 1705 resulted in the development of institutionalized chattel slavery.
*For more detailed discussions of this topic, see. Warren M. Billings. Sir William Berkeley and the Diversification of the Virginia Economy," in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 104, no. 4 (Autumn, 1996), and M. Kent Brinkley. The Green Spring Plantation Greenhouse/Orangery And the Probable Evolution of the Domestic Area Landscape. A research report prepared for the Colonial National Historical Park, National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior, December, 2003.
CNHP publishes important new book on Green Spring
With matching funds it allocated in response to a $30,000 grant provided by The Friends of Green Spring for archaeological work at HGS during 2002-2003, the National Park Service has created an important new book about Historic Green Spring's landscape architecture. Researched and written by M. Kent Brinkley of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the profusely illustrated 197- page book is entitled The Green Spring Plantation Greenhouse/Orangery and the Probable Evolution of the Domestic Area Landscape. Because only sixty copies of the book have been published, The Friends plan to donate two copies to the Williamsburg Public Library.
CNHP to the rescue
While maintaining Jamestown Island, the Colonial Parkway, Yorktown battlefield and Green Spring, Skip Brooks and small crew are pressed to the limit. Somehow, they come through when the Friends need help, as we did before the filming of the Green Spring video. Green Spring was nicely mowed just in time to prevent actors and crew from having to wade through chest-high grass and abundant ticks and chiggers
Pilot lands on Green Spring
Out of the blue, the Virginia Pilot called President Dan Lovelace to do a feature on Green Spring and our effort to open the park. A wonderful long article on the front page of the Hampton Roads section followed, complete with photos and a map locating Green Spring. The writer, Diane Tennant, and photographer did a superb job after visiting Green Spring.
Boy Scout Venture Crew will help with cleanup
Members of the Green Spring Park Watch have picked up litter on Centerville Road through the park property in the spring and fall since 1998. Over time, the most loyal pickers have aged to the point that they are wobbly in the ditches.
Youth to the rescue! Boy Scout Venture Crew 180, senior Scouts, will do the picking on Saturday, September 18 beginning at 10 A.M. in back of the real estate office at Greensprings Road and Route 5. The Friends will contribute to their camping fund and do our best to insure safety by slowing traffic on Centerville Road. Snacks and soft drinks will be available to the entire crew after the cleanup.
Board of Directors
M/G Archie S. Cannon, Jr. (Ret.)
Daniel D. Lovelace
Donald S. Buckless
Robert W. Hershberger
Clifford W. Williams
Advisory Board Chair
Professor Warren M. Billings
Emily S. Evanow
Loretta J. Hannum
Nicholas M. Luccketti
Trist B. McConnell
Samuel G. Poole
Gayle K. Randol
Marc B. Sharp
Richard G. Smith
Carol D. Tyrer
Friends of the National Park
Service for Green Spring, Inc.
P.O. Box 779
Williamsburg VA 23187
Phone: (757) 221-0800