Montgomery Hall Park in Staunton now a Virginia landmark
Montgomery Hall Park in Staunton has been unanimously approved for inclusion in the Virginia Landmarks Register.
During a joint meeting of the Virginia State Review Board and the Virginia Board of Historic Resources last Thursday, the boards approved the park’s addition to the state register and also voted to send a nomination to the National Park Service for Montgomery Hall Park’s inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
City Council directed staff to seek these historic designations for the park last year. City staff was joined by several others in the community to draft the application and provide historical information on the park, including Frazier Associates (William Frazier & Victoria Leonard), Nancy Sorrells, the Historic Staunton Foundation and the James Madison University’s Archaeology Division under the direction of Dr. Dennis Blanton.
About Montgomery Hall Park
The City purchased 148 acres of land in 1946 during the Jim Crow segregation era for use as a park for the local African-American community, and it remained in that capacity until 1969, when it was desegregated and incorporated into the rest of the City park system.
The park’s significance stretched across the state due to the shortage of public parks that were accessible to African-American citizens in most Virginia communities. Montgomery Hall Park was one of very few parks in Virginia that African Americans could visit, and therefore drew visitors by the busload from all over the Commonwealth. Summer visitation numbers reached past 18,000 thanks to the park’s distinct attractiveness and size, plus numerous amenities, including a swimming pool, playgrounds, music and dancing in the park’s historic, two-story brick mansion (a former residence) and more.
About the Virginia Landmarks Register
& the National Register of Historic Places
The Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places are honorary programs intended to recognize the cultural significance of historic properties to Virginia’s and our nation’s heritage. The national and state registers are official lists of places recognized as having architectural, archaeological or historical significance at the local, state or national level.