Historical Warren County records preserved through grant

Warren County Circuit Court Clerk Daryl Funk displays a historic record that was preserved through a recent grant. Courtesy photo

FRONT ROYAL – Important historical county legal records will be maintained for future generations to reference thanks to a recent grant.

The Warren County Circuit Court recently received an $8,713 Library of Virginia Circuit Court Records Preservation grant to restore records including the 1932 map of the Shenandoah National Park when it was only a proposal.

Circuit Court Clerk Daryl Funk said the map, which details the 74 property owners on what is now Skyline Drive, is a key piece of history because many of those people were forced off their land.

He said the people who lived there, his grandfather among them, were considered “so backward that they were being done a favor by being relocated” and have been largely lost to history. 

A lawsuit was eventually filed to evict those property owners and Funk said they were forcibly relocated.

“This map is one of the few records that still shows where those property owners were because obviously the story has been largely lost to time,” he said.

Funk said before the restoration, the map was sitting folded up inside of a county deed book “and was just falling apart…it had the old acidic tape that was just eating through the paper.”

“With modern techniques, they were able to take all of that old tape off…it wasn’t long for this world in the condition it was before,” he said.

The preservation techniques, he said, will ensure that the “human cost” associated with the establishment of Skyline Drive will not be forgotten.

“This is really about preserving our local heritage and remembering people – the human cost for something that we all very much enjoy now and appreciate and I think we’re finally starting to do that,” Funk said. 

He added that the grant also provided a copy of the map, which he intends to frame and hang in the records office, while the preserved version will remain safe in storage.

A news release states that the grant also funded the restoration of Minute Book A, which accounts the first meeting of the justices of the peace upon Warren County ‘s founding in 1836. Also restored was Deed Book H, which Funk said contains important 1860 property records.

Funk stated in a news release from his office that one of his main responsibilities as the circuit court clerk is ensuring that records of legal proceedings are “maintained for posterity.”

“This grant will ensure that a small but significant piece of our heritage is available to future generations,” he said.