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Virginia Landmarks Registry grows by a dozen

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A home for Confederate veterans on the grounds of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has been added to the Virginia Landmarks Registry.

The Robinson House in Richmond is among a dozen sites added to the register by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. A property on the registry opens the door to seek tax credits for improvements.

The other 11 additions announced this week include historic properties in northern Virginia, the state's western frontier, and the Richmond and Roanoke areas, among others.

The properties also include tobacco warehouses in Richmond, a plantation home in Powhatan, a historic district in Franklin County and a centuries-old brick house in Nelson County.

The former Confederate veterans' home was constructed in the mid-19th century for Richmond banker Anthony Robinson Jr. The Robinson family sold the house in 1884 to the R.C. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans. Renamed Fleming Hall as a soldiers' home, the home officially closed in 1941 after serving as a barracks and museum.

The department said Fleming Hall was the nation's first successful home for needy Confederate veterans.

The other registry additions, with descriptions provided by Historic Resources, are:

-- The Chesapeake warehouses, built in 1929 to serve Richmond's cigarette manufacturing industry. They marked a shift away from independent warehouses.

-- The Roanoke River & Railroad industrial historic district. In southeast Roanoke, the district developed rapidly as an industrial corrector with the completion of the Roanoke & Southern Railway in 1892 and the Virginian Railway line in 1909. The rail lines spawned the city's growth of lumber yards and iron and bridge works. The district's rail station ended service for freight and passenger service in 1959.

-- Fighting Creek, originally part of a 1,699-acre plantation in Powhatan County. Built in 1841, it is an example of a mid-19th century plantation home, and it still retains much historic building material and its original floor plan.

-- Three Chimneys, built in 1795, is one of the earliest still-standing brick houses in Nelson County. The property has several outbuildings, including an original kitchen.

-- The C.P. Jones House and law office, located in Monterey in Highland County, has evolved since its construction in approximately 1850. It may have been home to the first tavern in the area. Its namesake is Charles Pinckney Jones, a former state legislator.

-- Huntland in Loudoun County is an estate covering about 400 aces. Once devoted to foxhunting, the property was purchased in the early 20th century by New Yorker Joseph B. Thomas. He converted and enlarged a brick country dwelling dating to 1830 and designed kennels and horse stables for the property.

-- Ferrum College Historic District encompasses the historic core of what was originally the Ferrum Training School, a Methodist-affiliated high school established in 1913.

-- Bath County, located in far-western Virginia, claimed four of the 12 additions. They include Switchback School and John Wesley Methodist Church, both associated with African-American communities; Barton Lodge, now known as Malvern Hall, which was built on a hill overlooking The Homestead in Hot Springs between 1898 and 1900; and Three Hills, located on a hill outside the village of Warm Springs. It was built in 1913 by Mary Johnston, a best-selling novelist of the 20th century.

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