#GivingTuesday

What an incredible year it’s been at Historic Polegreen! From visits with Patrick Henry to concerts to archaeological digs–your donations have made it all possible. We are so thankful for our faithful supporters.

We hope that you’ll join us for some new and exciting programs in 2015. Please consider supporting our efforts on this #GivingTuesday by making a tax-deductible donation here. We hope to see you soon!

A Busy Week at Polegreen

What a busy start to the fall season we’ve had at Historic Polegreen! Let me share a quick overview of last week (Sunday-Sunday)–

Sunday, September 28: The Battle of New Market Heights reenactment

Kyle and Ebie spent a beautiful Sunday sharing a booth with the American Civil War Museum at the reenactment of the Battle of New Market Heights, sponsored by Henrico County Recreation & Parks. We had an opportunity to talk with groups of Civil War enthusiasts, and to share Polegreen’s fascinating Civil War history. A huge thank you to Henrico for inviting us to be a part of your big event!

New Market Reenactment

Wednesday, October 1: Homeschool Day at Polegreen

Wednesday was a busy and exciting day at Polegreen–we welcomed 150 homeschoolers to the site for a day planned just for them! Author Jenny Cote of the “Epic Order of the Seven” (and of Polegreen’s Education Advisory Council!) offered three creative writing workshops based on her research for her next book; Patrick Henry, portrayed by Bill Young, spoke with the group about his life and Polegreen’s role in his work; Kyle taught colonial games; Beth led site tours; and Elizabeth held a simulated archaeology workshop. Our faithful volunteers manned a check-in and information table, and helped the day run smoothly. We are so grateful to all of you who led workshops, volunteered your time, and participated in these fun activities!

Friday, October 3: Descendants’ Tour

On Friday, nearly 40 of Patrick Henry’s descendants visited Studley and Polegreen on a reunion tour organized and led by Red Hill. It was an honor to spend time with a group of descendants of one of Polegreen’s most famous visitors–and they are such a fun group! They hiked through a soybean field to see the site of Henry’s birthplace at Studley, enjoyed lunch at Polegreen, and then heard a brief presentation by Chris, Kyle, and Elizabeth. Their love of history is apparent and their enthusiasm is contagious. Thank you all so very much for visiting with us!

Patrick Henry's descendants

Friday night, October 3: Scenic Awards Gala Reception & Ceremony

Also on Friday, Polegreen was honored to receive the Scenic Tourism Award given by Scenic Virginia. The Foundation has worked hard to preserve the historic “viewshed” around the site, and will continue its preservation efforts for years to come!

Scenic award

Saturday, October 4: Polegreen hosted a wedding! 

Our congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple!

Sunday, October 5: Painting Day!

And finally, on Sunday, several volunteers and staff members gathered at the site to do a little maintenance work! We’re fortunate to have a new storage shed, allowing us to reorganize and better utilize our Visitor Center space, but it needed a fresh coat of paint. Beth, Chris, and friends did a fabulous job of revamping the shed to match the Visitor Center’s color scheme. Thanks for all of your hard work!

Chris painting

So there you have it! A crazy busy but incredible week at Historic Polegreen. (We also started filming a new informational video on Monday, Oct. 6!) Don’t forget to come out and visit soon! The leaves are falling and the site is as beautiful as ever. We have new walkways making the site fully handicap accessible, and staff are on site Monday-Friday ready to give tours. Teachers, be sure to check out our free field trips–we would love to see you and your students!

Amazing Raise!

The Amazing Raise started today! Never heard of this amazing event? It’s a “36-hour online giving challenge that has empowered our community to raise $3.3 million for local nonprofits in the past 3 years.” 3.3 MILLION!

Please consider supporting Historic Polegreen during the Amazing Raise! Every little bit counts, and your donation could make us eligible to receive prizes! Click here to donate. We appreciate your support of this amazingly unique historic site more than you know!

*Special thanks to the The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia for sponsoring!

Family Day!

Hello friends of Polegreen!

We hope we’ll see you this Saturday, July 19th, from 11:00-3:00 for our first Family Day! The park will be open for families to enjoy in new ways, and almost everything is FREE!

Free Activities:

  • Face painting
  • Crafts
  • Simulated archaeological digs
  • Hear from Patrick Henry himself! (1pm)
  • Site tours

In addition–

AND we’ll have FREE King of Pops ice cream!

 

We hope you’ll come see us at Polegreen!

 

6411 Heatherwood Dr., Mechanicsville, VA 23116

En’Novation

En’Novation takes the stage at Polegreen this Thursday, June 26th, from 5:30-8:30! A popular Motown/beach music group from Richmond, they’re sure to be a fun show, so don’t forget your dancing shoes! Check our their website and hear samples of their music on YouTube. All of Polegreen’s concerts are FREE! Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and coolers, and sit back and relax for the evening!

 

**BBQ and non-alcoholic beverages by Dirty Apron Catering for sale.

 

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Sesquicentennial Recap

Hello friends of Polegreen! We apologize for not writing sooner. It has been a crazy couple of months!

This past weekend we held our Civil War Sesquicentennial (150th) commemoration. The event included archaeological excavations, crafts, tours, fantastic speakers, and more! A few photos to recap the weekend:

Kyle’s Civil War tour was a hit!

 

Kids had opportunities to dig like archaeologists and make Civil War drums & time capsules!

 

Archaeologists from the James River Institute for Archaeology opened test units in Polegreen’s Civil War earthworks!

Speakers Gordon Rhea (above) and Tom Higgins (below) were wonderful! 

 

A special thanks to all who presented, volunteered, or just came out to enjoy the festivities! We hope to see you all at Polegreen again soon. Visit our website, Facebook, and Instagram for information about our upcoming programs and events. It’s going to be a busy summer!

 

A busy April!

What a month! Well, really, several months. Chris, Kyle, Beth, and I have been busy putting together our 2014 Program and Event calendar, and we’re thrilled with the outcome so far. Be sure to swing by Polegreen for a copy of our new programs brochure, and an opportunity to walk around the site! The flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing, and the church structure has never looked more beautiful–spring is here! 

This Sunday, come out to Polegreen at 7:00 AM for an Easter Sunrise Service, hosted by several local churches. 

May 1, join us at 5:30 PM for our annual observance of the National Day of Prayer, led by church and community leaders. 

May 3, throw on your oldest jeans and sneakers, gather your rakes and tools, and come out to Polegreen between 9:00 and 3:00 for our Community Clean-Up Day to prepare the site for our busiest season. We’ll rake leaves, clean gutters, paint, weed, pick up limbs and litter, and more! **Clean-Up Day is a fantastic service opportunity for scouts, 4H groups, and more, and we welcome all ages!

Before May 17, contact Richmond Discoveries (804-222-8595) and reserve your spot on the “Patrick Henry and the Road to Revolution Bus Tour.” Visit Polegreen, along with other area sites important to Patrick Henry’s life.

Sunday, May 18, at 4:00 PM, relax at Polegreen while soloist Celeste Underdown performs a series of hymns written by the Reverend Samuel Davies. 

And you don’t want to miss this one! From Saturday, May 31, to Sunday, June 1, Polegreen is hosting a Civil War sesquicentennial weekend! Varying historic accounts tell us that the Polegreen Church was destroyed on EITHER May 31 or June 1 in 1864–exactly 150 years ago this summer. To commemorate the battle that brought about the church’s destruction, we’ll have special tours, archaeological digs in the earthworks led by archaeologists from the James River Institute, crafts and simulated archaeological digs for kids, and more! Sunday at 10:00, join Gordon Rhea for a real-time battle talk, followed by a presentation about archaeology and relic hunting by Nick Luccketti (of James River Archaeology). Tours and crafts will continue through Sunday afternoon.

 

So there you have it! A busy April leading to an even busier May! …and we haven’t even mentioned the rest of the summer and fall, so be sure to stay tuned. 

 

Mark your calendars, and we’ll see you soon at Polegreen!

 

-Ebie

Announcing our first photo contest!

***Announcing our first photo contest!***

Submit your best photographs of the Historic Polegreen Church site for a chance to win a copy of “Living on the Borders of Eternity” by Dr. Robert Bluford, Jr. 

Entries will be posted on Polegreen’s Facebook page, where users will vote on their favorite photos. 1st and 2nd place winners–those with the most “likes”–will be announced on 05/20/14. One entry per person.

*This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. 

TO REGISTER:
- “Like” our Facebook page (Historic Polegreen Church Foundation) and/or follow us on Instagram (@historic_polegreen).
-Submit your photograph and the information requested in the entry form below via e-mail to education@historicpolegreen.org. (Electronic signatures accepted.)

 

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Did you know?

Did you know that March 4, 1789, was the first day that the U.S. Senate met under the Constitution? One of the primary charges of that first congress was to amend the Constitution with “further declaratory and restrictive clauses.” Congress was forced to do this by the state legislatures, who at the time of ratifying the Constitution had made it clear that they wanted guarantees of their freedoms “in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers.” The list of ratified amendments went on to become what we know as “The Bill of Rights.”

Today, you can visit the National Archives and see the original U.S. Constitution sitting right next to the original Bill of Rights and its twelve amendments. That’s no typo; originally, Congress drafted twelve amendments to the Constitution. How did we end up with the ten amendments that we know? The simple answer is that only ten were ratified by the state legislatures. The original first and second amendments to the Constitution were not ratified, and history has adjusted the numbers accordingly. But the original document displayed at the National Archives was never edited, so that list of articles, attested to by the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, and the President of the Senate (John Adams, our first Vice President), retains all twelve amendments, meaning that it is the only official document where you will see the Bill of Rights in its original form, and where the freedom of religion shows up as the third amendment, not the first.

Interestingly, the original second amendment, which stated, “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened,” was eventually ratified as an amendment to the Constitution…in 1992. It was the twenty-seventh amendment to the Constitution, and stands as the most recent amendment.

“Protecting Freedoms” Debate

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Yesterday evening, Polegreen, along with the First Freedom Center and VCU’s Wilder School, sponsored a debate between Delegate Bob Marshall and State Senator John Edwards. Marshall and Edwards debated the merits of House Bill 18 in front of a general audience at VCU’s Academic Learning Center, moderated by University of Richmond School of Law Professor Meredith Harbach. VCU’s Dr. Farrah Graham provided opening remarks, and Polegreen Board member Dr. Robert Strohm closed the program.

VA House Bill 18, proposed by Del. Marshall, seeks to protect citizens’ freedom of conscience by requiring insurance providers that offer coverage for contraception, sterilization procedures, or abortifacients–as mandated by the Affordable Care Act–to also offer plans that do not include these services. Self-insured employers would not be required to offer these services at all. In the bill’s preamble, Del. Marshall argues his case by referencing the religion clauses of the First Amendment, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Virginia Constitution, and similar documents.

Edwards and Marshall hold very strong yet conflicting opinions regarding exactly how “religious freedom” should be interpreted in such situations. How fascinating that, hundreds of years after the Hanover dissenters at Polegreen began their fight for religious freedom, the struggle to define the term continues.

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Delegate Marshall (left) with Senator Edwards