My friends and I recently visited Dejarnette Children’s Asylum in Staunton, Virginia. 

Founded in 1932 as another unit of Western State Hospital (an adult’s prison/mental facility), it was named after Dr. Joseph Dejarnette, who forced sterilization on patients and supported eugenics, the belief and practice which aims at “improving the genetic quality of the human population.”  

The hospital became widely known for its doctors, who enjoyed performing human experiments. For example, Dr. Dejarnette would draw blood from hyperactive children and inject it into depressed children. He is also rumored to have roamed the halls of the hospital quoting Adolf Hitler. 

Perhaps one of Dejarnette’s most shocking secret is his eugenics poem, which was found in the hospital after its abandonment. The poem states, “ This is the law of Mendel / And often he maken it plain / Defectives will breed defectives / And the insane breed insane / Oh why do we allow these people / To breed back to the monkey’s nest / To increase our country’s burdens / When we should only breed the best?”

In 2004, the city of Staunton, VA announced plans to demolish the asylum to build a shopping mall and homes over it. It still stands today. 

Gone for Three Years, Missing Dog Reunited With SoCal Family After Being Found in Virginia

A San Diego family heartbroken after their German shepherd was taken away from them three years ago was overjoyed Saturday night when they were reunited with him after he was found nearly 2,500 miles away, according to KTLA sister station KSWB.

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Long-range vistas, rolling mountains and pastoral landscapes, Blue Ridge Parkway is America’s favorite drive, and we can definitely see why. Blue Ridge meanders for 469 miles, connecting Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and providing opportunities for enjoying all that makes this region so special. Sunset from the Parkway by Chris Mobley (www.sharetheexperience.org).

Recent Acquisition - Photograph Collection

December 31, 1926
Original caption: . Abingdon Church Gloucester County, Virginia. Built about 1755 Abingdon Church, various changes have been made in this old church since, both interior and exterior. It is built on the site of the original Abingdon Church, which it is thought was 100 years old when the second of this name was built.”

Archaeologists rebuild 1608 church where Pocahontas was married

About five years after the footprint of the first Jamestown colony church was discovered, archaeologists and other specialists are busy partially reconstructing the structure. Believed to be the place where Pocahontas married the English tobacco planter John Rolfe, archaeologists hope that the reconstruction will provide the public with a real life, physical replica of the building that made history more than 400 years ago near the banks of the James River in southern Virginia. The church was built by the colonists in 1608 initially as a wood structure, then replaced by a brick structure later.

As stated by Jamestown Rediscovery Project Senior Staff Archaeologist David Givens in the project Dig Updates blog, “our intention here is not to recreate the entire church but give some notion of the space, so that when people are standing inside the church they can understand what the walls would have looked like and the fabric of the building.” Read more.