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Over the past year, stabilization work was undertaken on the Pamplin Pipe Factory property in Pamplin, Virginia. This property, which was acquired by The Archaeological Conservancy in 2009, comprises the remains of an 19th to 20th century industrial clay-pipe making complex. In addition to the archaeological deposits, the site contains a rebuilt kiln as well as a factory building that was used for a number of businesses over the years.

The building has needed repairs due to a low-lying and frequently wet area present at the rear of the building. While this seasonal stream was helpful for providing water for mixing clay for pipe molds, it has caused deterioration of wooden support posts. In consultation with The Virginia Department of Historic Resources, which holds a protective easement on the property, the Conservancy hired Lithic Construction LLC, a firm well-versed in preservation projects, to undertake the replacement of these posts with water barriers. The project was expanded to include a number of other small repairs, as well as the painting of the badly deteriorated pipe factory sign.

It was recently announced that Virginia’s High Bridge Trail State Park, which follows an old railroad bed, will have an access spur constructed in the center of Pamplin. In light of this, the Conservancy is working with Virginia State Parks as well as a local group, the Pamplin Area Legacy Supporters, to develop interpretive signage for the parking area to share information about the history and archaeological resources associated with the pipe factory. This signage will complement a small museum about the town’s history located in the old train depot, which also houses local government offices.