Friends of Green Spring Newsletter
Dedicated to the Opening of a new National Park
Vol. 1, No. 2, Spring 2003
Rewards Await Friends of Green Spring
New Family Membership Offers Three Levels of Support for Opening Green Spring Colonial National Historic Park
Exploration, education, recreation and economic benefits are the rewards for
opening Green Spring Colonial National Historical Park (CNHP) to the public.
Located at Route 5 and Centerville Road, the 308-acre site is all that remains
of the first great colonial farm on the James River. Seventeenth century Royal
Governor Sir William Berkeley, Lady Frances Berkeley and succeeding generations
of Ludwells in the 18th and 19th centuries, owned Green Spring.
Broad community support and financial assistance are needed to implement a plan
for Green Spring that includes a 3-building visitor contact station, archaeology
and artifacts on display and access to an unspoiled place. Friends of Green
Spring is introducing a membership organization to fulfill its mission as the
official partner of the CNHP to open Green Spring. Rewards also await members
who become Friends of Green Spring.
Friends of Green Spring offers memberships at three levels in order that as
many as possible participate, based on their ability. Benefits range from the Friends quarterly newsletter
to tours, seminars and history books, depending on the level of participation.
Basic annual family membership is $35. The top support is $500.
Enclosed in this newsletter is a response form explaining the three levels and
the way to join the Friends of Green Spring. It is rare in a lifetime to be
a part of opening a new national park. Here is an opportunity in this unique county of America.
We hope you will join and become a Friend of Green Spring.
Daniel Lovelace was elected president and Randy Smith vice president at the Friends January board meeting. Other officers are Donald S. Buckless, treasurer and chairman of the finance committee; Robert W. Hershberger, secretary and Clifford R. Williams, chairman of the advisory councils. Plans for Green Spring buildings were discussed.
Green Spring General Management Plan reaches final stage before approval
Several years of work comes to fruition this spring when the General Management
Plan for opening Green Spring Colonial National Historical Park is final. The
plan was printed and recorded in the Federal Register with 30 days of comment
allowed. Whatever is said about the plan becomes part of the record, but much
comment already had been included during the long series of public meetings
In May 2002, the James City County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution
supporting the opening of Green Spring for “public visitation”.
The resolution also directed the JCC staff to investigate measures that would
make Centerville Road safer when the west side of the property is opened. Traffic
on Centerville through the site often moves at 45-55 MPH and there have been
serious accidents at both ends.
The final plan calls for opening the west side and ultimately the entire 308-acre
site. Three proposed visitor reception buildings on the west side would be portable
for movement in the future to the east side opposite the present entrance to
Green Spring Park Update
Park Watch Patrol will attack litter again at 10am Saturday, April 12
Centerville Road looked clean for a little while after Park Watch members picked up trash last fall and then enjoyed a picnic on a beautiful day.
The Park Watch Patrol will take to the field again at 10 A.M. Saturday, April
12 to clean up Centerville Road through the park and Green Spring itself, if
it needs it. Formed in 1998, the patrol conducts spring and fall cleanups to
remove trash thrown out of vehicles on Centerville Road. Choice litter in the
park ranges from hypodermic needles to old tires and home appliances. Liquor
bottles and beer cans abound.
Members from seven neighborhoods along John Tyler Highway wearing official National
Park Service caps meet behind the Prudential McCardle Realty office at Greensprings
Road and Route 5 to put on their bibs and pick up their sticks with nails. Veterans
wear gloves and outdoor shoes to protect themselves as they walk the ditches
and fields from Route 5 to Alternate 5.
Following the pickup there will be soft drinks and talk about the status of
opening Green Spring. In the fall, there is a very popular picnic tradition
and lingering outdoors, if the day is glorious, as it often is.
All Park Watch members are trained and qualified to be on Green Spring by their
mentor, Ranger Hiram Barber, based at the Law Enforcement Center of the Colonial
National Historical Park in Yorktown. Cliff Williams is the coordinator of the
Park Watch Patrol for Friends of Green Spring, which adopted that portion
of Centerville Road.
Sir William Berkeley named Virginia Governor after war service and success as playwright
Sir William Berkeley
Young Sir William Berkeley (1605-1677), who arrived in Virginia in early 1642,
was a well educated, culturally accomplished, and experienced military officer.
The youngest son of Sir Maurice Berkeley of Bruton, Somerset, William came from
a family that had invested heavily in the Virginia Company of London and would
staunchly support the Crown during the English Civil War. After graduating from
Oxford University in 1629, he briefly studied law and traveled extensively in
Europe. He then gained access to the royal court, where he became a Gentleman
of the Privy Chamber and distinguished himself as a playwright. One of his plays,
The Lost Lady, A Tragi-Comedy, was performed for the King and Queen, and is
still in print today.
As both a creative intellectual and a “man of action,” Sir William
embodied the style and values of the court of his patron, King Charles the First.
Berkeley received a knighthood for his service during The Second Bishop’s
War (1640), but then became increasingly disenchanted with “life at court.”
Looking abroad for new opportunities, Sir William used both money and his family’s influence to obtain a commission
as Governor of Virginia on August 9, 1641. When he set sail for Jamestown three
months later, Berkeley was thirty-seven years old, unmarried, and a refugee
from court politics. In short, he was ready to begin a whole new stage of this
A Moment in Time
Dr. Andrew Veech records bits of the past in cozy Archer Cottage with a great view
The Thomas Archer house and store burned in 1814 but was re-built in the 19th century on its original foundation, including a basement now used for wheelbarrows and shovels. Rocks around the foundation are ballast from sailing ships.
Imagine working in a cottage with a river view amid priceless artifacts testifying
to the lives of native people for thousands of years and to Europeans in the
last few hundred. Dr. Andrew Veech, archaeologist for the Colonial National
Historical Park, calls the Thomas Archer Cottage his office everyday he isn’t
in the field digging more chards of pottery, arrow heads or wine bottle glass
from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. A 17th century brick shows the perfect
paw imprint of a large dog that may have belonged to Sir William Berkeley and
Cozy and warm as it can be on a cold, wintry day, the restored
18th century home and store belonging to the Thomas Archer family, houses modern
computers to catalogue thousands of artifacts from Jamestown and Green Spring
before they are sent for permanent storage. Drawers containing clean and dazzling
pieces of history slide out for visitors to see. Three William and Mary students
help Dr. Veech with the meticulous job of marking and bagging hundreds of items.
Andrew, as everyone calls him because of his youthful appearance, is a native
Virginian and undergraduate of the University of Virginia. He earned his master’s
and doctoral degrees in anthropology from Brown University. Before coming to
the CHNP in August, 2000, he was the archaeologist of Gunston Hall Plantation
in Fairfax County. Andrew’s research interests include the archaeology
of the early historic Chesapeake, early colonial and European-native people
Soon, winter’s work in the cottage lab will be over. Andrew
and his crew of William and Mary students and volunteers will be in the field
again at Green Spring and Jamestown. Since Sean Fitzpatrick’s column appeared
in the Virginia Gazette, more volunteers have come forward. Very little in life
could be more fascinating than what goes on in the little cottage and in the
digs under the direction of Dr. Veech. However, it does take youth, stamina
CNHP Archeologist Dr. Andrew Veech stops work to show his cottage lab to visitors.
Christopher Wren Society visits Green Spring
More than 30 members studying the Battle of Green Spring visited the site in
Daffodils will bloom soon at Green Spring
Thousands of ancient bulbs have pushed sprouts through snow, ice and frozen
ground this hard winter and spring. Remember, look, but don’t pick OR
DIG! These are a precious resource we need to protect.
Green Spring is flowing volumes
While it flows even during drought, Green Spring is bubbling now and water cress
is in its spring growth. Centuries of native people, colonists and modern residents
have enjoyed the cold waters of Green Spring.
Governor Berkeley had 1,800 fruit trees
Are the scraggly pear trees at Green Spring survivors of his orchard? We wonder.
They still bloom and produce small pears.
William and Mary Biology Students
Visit Green Spring
Classes come to study the birds, animals and plants, which are there in abundance.
All schools and classes are welcome to contact the Colonial National Historical Park to arrange visits.
Park Watch Patrol Members visit Green Spring whenever
Instead of following a schedule, Park Watch Patrol members now walk whenever
they want. Members must be qualified by the federal rangers in Yorktown to be
on Green Spring.
Green Spring is being mowed more often
Though short-handed and having huge areas to maintain, the CNHP crew does a
remarkable job under Facilities Manager Skip Brooks and Manager of Workers Henry
Friends of the National Park Service for Green Spring, Inc.
Board of Directors:
Daniel D. Lovelace
Donald S. Buckless
Robert W. Hershberger
Clifford R. Williams
Advisory Council Chairman
Professor Warren M. Billings
M/G Archie S. Cannon, Jr. (Ret.)
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
Clifford R. Williams