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News & Events

Coming Events

Copy of Marker Dedication Flyer_edited.j
Preservation Month, 2024

Saturday, May 4, 2024, 2-4 p.m.

Thunder BRidge, 1425 Arnolds Valley Road, Natural Bridge Station, VA 24579


A presentation of Thunder BRidge's history and preservation will be given by the current owners, James and Karen Pannabecker, followed by a tour of the grounds.

Thunder BRidge is 99 acres and located about 18 miles from Lexington. It was named by its owners to reflect its location in the Blue Ridge, with the Thunder Ridge overlooking the property. Originally, a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp in the 1930s, it housed men who worked on a government work relief program during the Great Depression as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal legislation. The environmental work included creating trails, planting trees and building shelters in parks. The CCC camp at Thunder BRidge is considered one of the most intact in existence.

At the end of the CCC program, the facility became the Natural Bridge Juvenile Corrections Facility and Camp New Hope.

The Pannabeckers are restoring the original structures and creating a community arts and culture center. Artists have studios at Thunder BRidge and the former Camp New Hope is now a campground. Cottages and cabins, along with primitive campsite areas, are available for rental. The property is adjacent to the National Forest. Join HLF for its May 4, 2-4pm Preservation lecture and walk at this amazing site.











Saturday, May 25, 2024, 10 a.m.-12 noon, Washington & Lee University

The Steward's House

Don Gaylord, Washington & Lee's University’s Research Archaeologist and Instructor of Anthropology, will give a lecture followed by a walk to the Liberty Hall Plantation ruins and the recently restored foundation of the Steward’s House.

Last year, restoration work began of Structure Nine, Liberty Hall Academy’s Steward’s House, c. 1793. Lexington’s John and Jesse Friedrich, who own New Dimension Masonry, and specialize in historic brick restoration, have been working with Don Gaylord, to restore the original foundation and walls. Washington and Lee students have participated in the evacuation of the site which at one time was also the site of a forge. The house will not be fully rebuilt but will echo the ruins of Liberty Hall's Academy House which sits above on the ridge.

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