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James City County’s Board of Supervisors recently appointed five new members to the county’s Historical Commission and is currently seeking applications to fill two other vacancies.
The Historical Commission is the body responsible for documenting, preserving and promoting the historical heritage of James City County.
Since its founding in 1985, the Commission has undertaken a variety of initiatives to meet this goal, including identifying and documenting historic buildings and sites within the county, compiling oral histories of important events, promoting educational projects that stimulate interest in the county’s history and assisting the owners of historical properties in navigating state and federal programs aimed at aiding historic preservation.
Members of the Commission are appointed by the Board of Supervisors for three-year terms, and the latest round of appointees – Rebecca Houston, Robert Moore, James Dudley Parrish, Jr., Kim Sims and Benjamin Swenson – were named at the Jan. 26 Board meeting.
Houston is a high school history teacher with York County School Division and a member of numerous service organizations, including Junior Women’s Club of Williamsburg and the National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network. She graduated from Old Dominion University with a bachelor’s degree in history and previously worked for the National Park Service.
Moore graduated from Clarkson College with a bachelor’s degree in management and is currently employed by Continental AG, an automotive manufacturing company in Newport News. He has lived in Williamsburg and James City County for more than 17 years and has always had an interest in the history of the community.
Parrish moved to the Historic Triangle from Richmond five years ago and says he was immediately inspired by the fact that his new home is where so much of American history began. He holds an associate science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and is currently employed by DJG Inc., a firm of engineers, architects and planners.
Kim Sims is William & Mary’s university archivist and a prominent member of several national archivist societies. She received a bachelor’s degree in history from UNC-Wilmington and a master’s in public history from North Carolina State University, and moved to Williamsburg in July 2014 after serving as the technical services archivist for the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University.
Swenson has worked professionally with both Williamsburg-James City County Schools and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and has a bachelor’s degree in history from Christopher Newport University and a master’s in American Studies from the College of William & Mary. He also has a forthcoming book on “sites of historical value that have been abandoned and are being reclaimed by nature,” according to his Historical Commission application.
The five new members have come aboard at busy time for the Historical Commission, with current and upcoming priorities including restoration of the Norge Depot, creation of a Norge oral history program and the creation of educational exhibits on county history, according to a recent news release from William & Mary.
Two current members resigned at the January meeting of the commission, leaving two additional vacancies in the organization the Board of Supervisors is looking to fill in the coming months. Interested parties can click here for information on how to apply.