Green Cove Station, VA 2022
Green Cove Station, VA 2022

Green Cove Station, VA 2022

Green Cove Station, VA 2022

Let’s just say it: Fall in the Appalachian Mountains is unforgettable. And, we have a soft spot for train stations and community gathering spaces. Join us this fall at an amazing location!

PROJECT PARTNER: George Washington-Jefferson National Forests

SESSION DATES: October 23-28, October 30 – November 4, and November 6-11

PROJECT SUPERVISOR: Reid Saunders!

CREW LEADER: Beckett Hunecke!

Project Site Description & History

In 1914, just over a century ago, the Norfolk and Western Railroad built Green Cove Station on land stewarded by the Eastern Cherokee Band, Uchee, and Moneton Tribes. The station was conveniently positioned between Abingdon, Virginia and West Jefferson, North Carolina. However, the Appalachian Mountains, known for both their beauty and their steepness, impeded trains’ speed. Given the slow-going route, Green Cove’s train line became known as the Virginia Creeper. The station was more than just purely functional. Green Cove was a social center! Community members picked up mail here, met the train, and gossiped (amicably, we hope) with their neighbors. Green Cove is the last remaining passenger station on Norfolk and Western Railroad’s Abingdon Branch and today, the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests (GWJNF) steward the station. Every year, thousands of visitors pass by and pass time at the station during their sojourn on the Virginia Creeper Trail. HistoriCorps is honored to be a part of Green Cove Station’s restoration.

HistoriCorps projects are famous for their beautiful settings. This Appalachian station is adjacent to more than1.8 million acres of lush forests, cold mountain streams, and ecologically unique mountaintop balds spanning three states. If you haven’t experienced the beauty and challenge of these Eastern mountains, now is your chance to do so! This project features an accessible scope of work including painting, scraping, and light carpentry.

Steam photographer O. Wilson Link captured images and sounds of locomotives between 1955 and 1960. The video below, of a station similar to Green Cove and on the same rail line, is one of his more well-known productions.

Steam photographer O. Winston Link captured photos and sounds of the Norfolk & Western rail. This photo, titled “Maud Bows to the Virginia Creeper,” was taken by Link in 1956. Learn more here.

Modern photo of Green Cove Station courtesy the Virginia Creeper Trail.

Location and Logistics

SESSION DATES: October 23-28, October 30 – November 4, and November 6-11. Please plan to arrive at the campsite no earlier than 4pm and no later than 6pm on the first day of your session.

LOCATION:  We’ll be staying just 15 minutes away at Beartree Campground and commuting daily to this project, located just off the Virginia Creeper rails-to-trails pedestrian path! Volunteers can anticipate plenty of curious trail users stopping by.

·       MAP from PROJECT SITE to CAMPSITE

ACCESS:    Tent camping only Site is RV/trailer accessible showers available

Tents, truck campers, campervans, and RVs/trailers (even larger ones) can access our campground. There are no hookups and the ground may not be perfectly level. Showers are available! Dogs are welcome but need to be leashed.

WEATHER:  Anticipate highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s. Weather conditions may be rainy, cloudy, or sunny. Volunteers are responsible for checking weather conditions before their session begins, and packing appropriately.

ABOUT VOLUNTEERING: HistoriCorps projects are free for volunteers! HistoriCorps will provide all meals, tools, training, equipment, and a campsite. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to the campsite, sleeping equipment, work gloves, clothes and boots, and other personal gear.

Scope of Work

SCOPE OF WORK DIFFICULTY:

HistoriCorps is committed to educating and training volunteers in preservation skills, with an overarching mission of inspiring a preservation ethic in all those involved. Learning and working alongside expert HistoriCorps field staff, volunteers and applying the traditional skills necessary to preserve Green Cove Station.

  • Scrape peeling paint: 50%
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint: 30%
  • Restore and rehabilitate deteriorated trim: 20%

Please note: Tasks vary by day and by week, depending on a variety of factors including: weather, project priorities, previous groups’ work, and more. Though it is likely you will get to learn and practice most or all of the above tasks, it is not guaranteed. The higher percentage of the scope a particular task is, the more likely you will get to practice it.

Sign Up!

We’re thrilled this project has inspired you to volunteer! Choose your session and register below:

You will know your registration was successful when you receive a confirmation email. Contact volunteer@historicorps.org for assistance.

HistoriCorps does not charge for its volunteering projects. HistoriCorps relies on donations to continue engaging volunteers to save significant historical sites across America for generations to come. Your donation of any amount will make an incredible difference! Increase your impact – make a generous gift today.

Volunteer Logistics, Policies, and Advice

We’re so glad you’re interested in joining this project! If you’re new to our community, review the Volunteer FAQ first! Please note the following logistics and policies:

  • HistoriCorps is committed to keeping our volunteers, staff, and project communities safe.  Read our Covid protocols here (updated August 2022).
  • Volunteering with HistoriCorps is free! We will provide all meals, tools, training, equipment, and a campsite or shared indoor lodging. Dinner is not provided on the first night.
  • Volunteers are responsible for bringing their own gear, work gloves, sturdy work clothes and boots, and appropriate sleeping equipment. Check the average temperatures before you start packing – the nights and mornings may be colder than you anticipate! Then, read this advice about how to stay warm when tent camping in colder places.
  • Campsite accessibility varies by project. Some projects can accommodate tents only; others can accommodate small RVs. Please review the project site description above for more information, and if you’re still not sure, email volunteer@historicorps.org for help.
  • If this project does not offer showers, you might want to consider bringing a solar shower or research other methods to clean up after the work day.
  • Volunteer crew sizes generally range from 4-8 volunteers, with two HistoriCorps staff that lead and train volunteers in the work.
  • Safety is one of HistoriCorps’ top priorities, and volunteers can contribute to a safe working environment by ensuring their physical fitness is adequate for the work. See above for this project’s scope of work and difficulty level. Please, call us if you are not quite sure if a project is a good fit for your skills or fitness level. We may be able to suggest a project more suitable and enjoyable for you.
  • Hard hats, eye protection, ear protection, gloves are standard personal protection equipment (PPE) required on all projects. Hard hats must be worn at all times on the project site, unless working in a designated safe space. Field staff will train volunteers on correct use of PPE.
  • Dogs are generally allowed to accompany their humans in project campsites (actually, we love having dogs join us around the campfire!). Dogs are not permitted on the job site for everyone's safety. HOWEVER: HistoriCorps also follows the rules and regulations of our project partner. If the project partner does not permit dogs onsite then HistoriCorps is no exception. Please ask HistoriCorps or the project partner directly if you have any questions about whether Fido is welcome.