Open Forum: Thanking Those Who Made the Historic Marker Possible | Winchester Star

We were thrilled with the turnout for the unveiling of the Virginia Historic Road Marker for Robert Orrick’s House, placed at his residence at 15 South Braddock Street.

Orrick, born a slave around 1827, became a freeman, successful businessman, landowner, minister and community leader. His livery stable was next to his Braddock Street home.

We would like to thank the Winchester–Frederick County Historical Society for their support of this project. Their willingness to handle donations and payments enabled us to complete our application to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

We also appreciate the work of Planning Manager Tim Youmans in drafting maps and providing a suitable location for marker installation. He also secured the necessary letter of support from City Manager Dan Hoffman. Traffic Operations Manager Andy Dunn and his team from the Utilities Department have completed the extensive work of installing the marker.

We also thank the staff of the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives at the Handley Regional Library who assisted in the research and preparation of the request.

Above all, we thank Potesta and Associates, the engineering and environmental consulting firm that now owns the Orrick House, for funding the entire cost of the marker and its installation. Branch Manager Joe Knechtel graciously prepared the unveiling and invited attendees to tour the house and enjoy refreshments. Ron Potesta, the company’s founder, and his wife traveled from Charleston, West Virginia, where Potesta is headquartered, to attend the unveiling and personally express their support.

It was wonderful to see the community come together to raise awareness of the history and contributions of African Americans in the Winchester-Frederick County area.

Rebecca Ebert is the Archivist of the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives at the Handley Regional Library and the Winchester Frederick County Historical Society. She submitted this comment on behalf of the Black History Task Force, Sharon Dixon, Ann Grogg, Judy Humbert, Brenda Nelson.

Melvin B. Baillie