Historic wedding comes to life



Henrico citizens had the chance to experience a royal wedding of sorts at Dorey Park earlier this month – a few weeks before Prince William and Kate Middleton formalize their royal union in a more official, and more publicly scrutinized, wedding in England.

The Varina Woman's Club April 10 sponsored a re-enactment of the wedding of Pocahontas and John Rolfe, a ceremony that originally took place in Jamestown April 5, 1614.

Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan, and Rolfe, an English settler whose strain of Spanish tobacco is credited with helping to save the Virginia Colony in 1612, lived for a time at Rolfe's Varina Farms plantation. Their marriage helped bring a period of peaceful relations between English settlers and Powhatan Indians in Virginia.

The re-enactment was performed according to the original ceremony and vows and featured a number of costumed re-enactors from the Chickahominy Tribe and Henricus Historical Park.

They included Pocahontas (portrayed by Dr. Mayflower Edwards), Rolfe (portrayed by Jared Lawson), Governor Sir Thomas Dale (portrayed by Dennis Strawderman) and Rev. Alexander Whitaker (portrayed by Mike Bell).

Though Whitaker did not perform the original ceremony, the Woman's Club opted to have his character perform the re-enacted version, since he was the rector of Varina Episcopal Church and taught Pocahontas.

Following their marriage in 1614, Pocahontas (also known as Rebecca Rolfe) and her husband lived at Varina Farms until 1616, when they traveled to England with their infant son, Thomas. But Pocahontas became ill and died in England as the family was preparing to return to Virginia.

Rolfe did return, remarried and died in 1622 – the same year the Powhatan Indians massacred English settlers in the region.

Members of the Chickahominy Tribe assisted with this month's wedding re-enactment. Birdie Sours of the tribe helped to arrange for other tribe members to appear, including her daughter, who portrayed Pocahontas, and her brothers, Troy "Dancing Hawk" Adkins and Oscar Adkins. Troy Adkins portrayed Chief Opitchapam, while Oscar Adkins portrayed Chief Opechancanough.

The two chiefs were brothers of Chief Powhatan and appeared at the wedding in his place, because he feared settlers would try to kidnap him.
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A safer way across


A project years in the making is beginning to make life easier for wheelchair-bound residents in Northern Henrico.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is completing a $2-million set of enhancements to the Brook Road corridor in front of St. Joseph's Villa and the Hollybrook Apartments, a community that is home to dozens of disabled residents. > Read more.

New conservation easement creates wooded buffer for Bryan Park

Five years ago, members of the Friends of Bryan Park were facing the apparently inevitable development of the Shirley subdivision in Henrico, adjacent to the forested section of the park near the Nature Center and Environmental Education Area.

As part of the Shirley subdivision, the land had been divided into 14 lots in 1924, but had remained mostly undisturbed through the decades. In 2012, however, developers proposed building 40 modular houses on roughly 6.5 acres, clear-cutting the forest there and creating a highly dense neighborhood tucked into a dead end. > Read more.

Meet the men running for governor


Virginia will elect a new governor this year.

The governor’s position is one of great power and influence, as the current officeholder, Terry McAuliffe, has demonstrated by breaking the record for most vetoes in Virginia history.

However, during the last gubernatorial race in 2014, the voter turnout was less than 42 percent, compared with 72 percent during last year’s presidential election. > Read more.

RISC to address reading, childhood trauma, job training at assembly

On May 1, more than 1,700 community members representing Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities will gather at St. Paul’s Baptist Church (4247 Creighton Road) at 7 p.m. to address elementary reading, childhood trauma and job training in the greater Richmond region. Community members will speak about each issue and proposed solution.

For three years, the organization has sought implementation of a specific literacy program in Henrico County that it believes would help children who struggle with reading. > Read more.

Henrico to begin update of zoning, subdivision ordinances April 26


Henrico County is beginning a comprehensive update of its zoning and subdivision ordinances — the first such effort in six decades — and will introduce the project as part of the April 26 meeting of the Henrico County Planning Commission.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in the Board Room of the Henrico Government Center, 4301 E. Parham Road. The ordinance update project will be featured as the final item on the agenda. Project consultant Clarion Associates will give a presentation, and meeting participants will be able to ask questions and provide comments. > Read more.
Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
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Weekend Top 10


For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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The Glen Allen Ruritan Community Foundation will host the Sixth Annual Healy Gala from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. The Healy Gala is held to raise funds to endow the Mike Healy Scholarship. Healy was a local businessman and community leader who died suddenly in 2011. The scholarship is awarded each year to a graduating senior at Glen Allen HS. The theme for this year’s Gala is “Spring Towards Higher Education” with both a live and silent auction with more than 100 items. There will be light hors d'oeuvres, beer, wine, a raffle, and music by Summerhaus. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door; admission includes one drink ticket. For details, visit http://www.healygala.org. Full text

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