Nelson County Community Hoping to Make History - - ABC13

Nelson County Community Hoping to Make History


Norwood, VA - A community in southern Nelson County is hoping to become a historic district.

The Board of Supervisors held a public hearing a few weeks ago to get feedback from the folks who live in Norwood before voting on this. 

If it's approved, the county will hire a historic consultant to study the area and decide how much historic merit it actually has. They'll send the report to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources which will ultimately decide whether they get the designation.

Many people in the unincorporated town say there's plenty to be proud of.

You'll occasionally hear logging trucks humming through Norwood's main drag. It's one of the only industries left in an otherwise quiet community.

William Carter has fond memories growing up here and comes back often to take care of his family home.

"There was a post office here in the village, the railroad had a depot down there," Carter said, pointing to the river behind his mother's house.

Carter's mom ran the local general store in 1969 during one of the worst floods in the state's history. Rain from Hurricane Camille pummeled Norwood, killing 117 people and cutting off all communication to the outside world.

Carter was in Richmond then and remembers trying to reach his family.

"When you're that far away from home and you didn't know how your family was, yes it was very scary," Carter recalled.

The father of Colonial Williamsburg also grew up here. Next to the old Episcopal Church, there's a plaque honoring William Archer Rutherfoord Goodwin. He inspired John D. Rockefeller to invest millions into what's now one of the largest tourist destinations in Virginia.

But over the years, residents say Goodwin's hometown has been forgotten.

"Most of the people in this village now has moved to Richmond or Charlottesville or Lynchburg," Carter said.

"Norwood was more alive than what it is now," added another resident Mary Nunery.

They're hoping a historic district will finally give Norwood its place in history.

"I think it would be a great thing for it to be recognized. It's a lot of history in this village right here," Carter said.

With the county's approval, a historical consultant will delve into these and many more of Norwood's stories. If it becomes a historic district, residents could get tax incentives and financial help rehabilitating historic structures.

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