Culture and historic preservation

Culture is the glue that unites communities and initiates mutual respect for others. Through culture and historic preservation, we create a strong, nurturing foundation that prepares forthcoming generations for success.

The Preservation Virginia Award

In 2020, Sharon and Scott received the Gabriella Page Award for Outstanding Preservation Project, named for Preservation Virginia’s longtime past president, which recognizes a property owner, architect, design firm, contractor or developer for a residential, commercial or public-sector project that best exemplifies the use of preservation standards and brings an outstanding building into appropriate and relevant contemporary use.

 “Selma Mansion, a Colonial Revival mansion important to Loudoun County’s history, located in the Catoctin Rural Historic District was added to Preservation Virginia’s Most Endangered Places List in 2009 due to years of neglect and vandalism. Sharon D Virts and Scott F Miller acquired and completed a major renovation project which saved the mansion from demolition. Virginia Living wrote about the restoration in 2019.” – Virginia Living 

Learn more about the restoration:

The Burial Ground at Belmont

The Belmont Enslaved Cemetery, located on the former Lee Family-owned Belmont Plantation, is the largest known African American Burial Ground for the Enslaved in Loudoun County. Spanning over 120 acres and 220 years, this centuries old, once abandoned heritage site holds the key to unlocking the true history of the African American experience in Loudoun County. The Virts Miller Foundation made a significant donation to help educate the public about this historic site, including restoring the cemetery and the gravesite markers.

Learn more about the burial grounds here and through the Loudoun Freedom Center.

Loudoun County Museum

The Loudoun County Museum was established over 50 years ago with a mission to navigate Loudoun County’s evolving future, conserve Loudoun’s diverse and complete history, interpret authentically, and disseminate knowledge of Loudoun’s culture, history, and natural treasures. The Museum is the official repository for Loudoun’s history. Sharon joined the board a few years ago and is now the President of the Museum and the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Under Sharon’s leadership, the museum has embarked on a transformation of the Museum’s vision, a major overhaul of the exhibits, and renovation of the public areas. With regular rotating exhibits, Sharon and Scott have been key players in the New Republic Exhibit which dates from 1812-1820 and brings to light local history that is immersive with the Jim Crow Era and Oatlands Estate.

Sharon and Scott provided a large donation that has helped kick-off the campaign for the future of the Loudoun County Museum and will give visitors a 360-degree view of Loudoun County’s history. The Museum is transforming to provide a venue to engage the public with essential questions:

  • What, where, and who is Loudoun County? This includes the role of growth and evolution of demographics both physical and in terms of population.
  • Loudoun’s unique elements and its place in the Commonwealth and Nation’s context.
  • The link between Loudoun’s historical roots and contemporary social and policy issues.
  • Diversity as definitive to Loudoun’s story.
  • Dissension and protest, past and present.
  • The role of shared experiences in Loudoun County, shown in different perspectives.
  • Loudoun County residents’ personal stories, inspiring connection and reflection.
  • WE ARE Loudoun – A narrative that affirms through dynamic interpretation and heritage exploration that plurality is, and has always been, the face of Loudoun County.

Learn more about the Museum and its programs, exhibits and plans.