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Preserving History: A Look At Our Current Projects

A look at the historic 1813 Clerk’s Office in Chatham. Photo courtesy of the Pittsylvania Historical Society.

Throughout the year, members of the Pittsylvania Historical Society work on a number of projects. Want to help? Scroll down to the bottom of this story to find out how to get in touch.

As with many of our articles, just bookmark this one and come back from time to time to see what we’re working on. As current projects wrap up and new ones are added, we update all of that right here.

Pittsylvania County Historical Museum

The Pittsylvania Historical Society is working to convert the former Ennis building on Whitehead Street into a local history museum to properly conserve, preserve, and display artifacts and documents related to local life and history for future generations.

In 2020, we received a grant from the Kiwanis Club Foundation of Danville and over the last two years, we’ve used it to improve the infrastructure, increase accessibility to the building and provide climate control for artifacts. The Historical Society welcomes your monetary and volunteer support to move this project forward.

The Historic Marker Program

The Pittsylvania Historical Society is also working to fund a state marker for the local courthouse to highlight a specific date and case. On March 1, 1880, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizens equal protection under the law, gave Congress the authority to require states to not exclude African Americans from juries.

What does that have to do with Pittsylvania County? The case started when Pittsylvania County Judge James D. Coles was indicted in U.S. district court for violating the federal Civil Rights Act of 1875. He had been doing that very thing, excluding black men from serving on juries.

The Society also supports efforts by Preservation Virginia to establish a local historical marker program. The goal here is to better document and inform the public about historic sites and events in Pittsylvania County. PHS is also developing an Adopt-a-Marker program to pair volunteers with existing historic markers to help maintain existing signage.

Pittsylvania's Other Projects

The Society also has several other initiatives we need help with. We’re looking for:

  • Volunteers to help create digital content, both for the website and our YouTube channel.

  • Volunteers to share articles and photos for possible inclusion in our quarterly newsletter.

  • Donors to help fund the Pittsylvania Veterans History Project. In exchange for a gift of $50 or more, the Society will create a commemorative plaque, honoring a specific Pittsylvania County veteran. That plaque will be installed in our veterans exhibit.

How Can I Help?

For more information or to get involved with any of these projects, please contact the Pittsylvania Historical Society. You can do that through email at, through Facebook by clicking here or through the mail, sending a letter to P.O. Box 1186, Chatham VA 24531.

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