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Dedication of Grandma Moses historical highway marker

augusta-county2editsA state historical marker issued by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources highlighting the years that Anna Mary Robertson Moses – known to the world as Grandma Moses for her Primitive American style of painting – spent with her husband and children in Augusta County will be dedicated this week.

The dedication ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m., this Thursday, June 5, at the sign’s location at the cul-de-sac of Mill Place Parkway, Verona.

Speakers at the unveiling ceremony will include David Karaffa of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors, author Nancy Sorrells of the Augusta County Historical Society, and Jeanine Larson of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Long after she had departed the Shenandoah Valley and took up painting in her late 70s, Moses depicted rural scenes that were influenced by recollections of her 18 years living in Augusta County. At least 38 of her roughly 1,600 paintings capture scenes of rural life in the Shenandoah Valley and Staunton.

Moses and her husband, Thomas, arrived in Augusta County as newlyweds from New York in 1887, as the sign recalls. The couple rented several farms before purchasing Mt. Airy, a large brick Federal-style house built in 1830, located within view of the historical marker. Moses did at least three paintings titled “Mount Airy” that portray the house and farm. Today, it is the only house standing in which the family resided when they were living in the area.

As Augusta County farmers, “The family gained renown for their butter, milk, and potato chips,” the marker reads. In 1905, the couple returned to Eagle Bridge, NY, after which Moses launched her career as a painter, gaining international recognition. She died in 1961 at the age of 101.

Thursday’s dedication is sponsored by Augusta County in partnership with the Augusta County Historical Society. The marker was approved in 2011 by the Department of Historic Resources, which also covered its manufacturing costs through federal highway grant.

Virginia’s historical highway marker program, which began in 1927 with the installation of the first historical markers along U.S. Route 1, is considered the oldest such program in the nation. Currently there are more than 2,400 official state markers, most maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation, as well as by local partners in jurisdictions outside of VDOT’s authority.


augusta free press
augusta free press