New Brochure PrintedThe Friends of the Hollow have finally completed a brochure for widespread dissemination of our mission and goals. The Washington, D.C. public relations firm, WKA Communications, owned by C. Read deButts, contributed the expertise and expense of producing this new brochure. The Friends of the Hollow were only required to pay for the direct printing costs.
We will be making large mailings of this brochure to generate greater interest in The Hollow. If you have particular individuals or organizations you would like to have added to the mailing list for the brochure, please forward names and addresses to Read deButts at WKA Communications, 805 15th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20005, Tel: 202-898-7833; FAX: 202-898-2448; E-Mail: RdeButts@wkac.com.
Land Acquisition ComplicatedThe land on which The Hollow sits may be more difficult to purchase than previously had been conveyed to the Friends by an agent for the owner.
As described in the Spring 1997 newsletter, The Hollow sits on a large (322 acre) piece of agricultural land on the northeast corner of the I-66 interchange at Markham, Virginia. Other than The Hollow, the land contains no residential structures. We had been informed that the owners would consider any offers, either whole or partial. Recently, after further discussions with the trustee, in whose name the property is actually held, we have concluded that the owner would not likely accept any partial offer for that small part of the property that includes The Hollow. The discussions have also revealed that it is not the owner’s intention to actually develop the property but simply to hold it for investment and sell it, in its entirety, at a future date. The trustee is sympathetic to the mission of the Friends and has agreed to contact us when a potential buyer has been identified.
As we had also previously reported, the trustee purchased the parcel of land near the peak of the 1980’s land boom and the property is probably not worth the amount then paid. The purchase price is believed to have been approximately $980,000. The trustee believes that the owner would not accept an offer below the original purchase price.
This, of course, complicates our mission, primarily because we do not have a precise fund raising goal for the purchase of the property. We do not need all 322 acres but only a small parcel around the house, or an easement, in order to ensure preservation. The remaining lands in the holding are undoubtedly worth at least $600,000 or $2,000 per acre and would probably sell fairly quickly if priced accordingly. Thus, our fund raising goal is between $100,000 and $300,000, which may not all be necessary for land acquisition. Any remaining funds would be used for restoration after the land acquisition is successful.
This fund raising effort will require diligence and perseverance. There were 15 Marshall children of Thomas and Mary Marshall (10 either born or raised at The Hollow), all of whom had issue. By 1885, when William Paxton published his survey of the descendants of Thomas and Mary Randolph Keith Marshall, there were over a thousand descendants listed. One hundred and twelve years later, there should be hundreds, if not thousands, more. Many of these descendants may not have any heirs or otherwise may be in a strong enough financial position to provide all or part of our funding goal without difficulty. The problem is that they may not know that their Marshall ancestral home is in need. We will be working on spreading the word and our new brochure is the prime vehicle for this purpose.
Marshall Heritage DayThanks to the efforts of Jim Stribling, the Friends had a display at the May 31, 1997 Marshall Heritage Day festival marking the 200th anniversary of the town of Marshall, Virginia (formerly called Salem). Main Street was blocked off for vendors and an antique tractor and rail car show was held. We had an information table on the porch of the Fauquier Heritage Society where numerous attendees stopped by to discuss our latest activities.
Annual MeetingThe 1997 annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Hollow, Inc. was held on Sunday, June 15, 1997 at 3:00 pm at the Old Stone Church ("Markham Methodist Church") in Markham, Virginia. Various matters were discussed, including the option of moving The Hollow to a different site as well as the possibility of purchasing the land as mentioned above. Elections were held and the new brochure was approved for printing.
The Friends of the Hollow, Inc. is a Virginia non-stock, non-profit charitable corporation formed in 1981 with the express purpose of preservation and restoration of the boyhood home of Chief Justice John Marshall known as The Hollow. Basic membership dues are $10.00 per year and sustaining membership is $25.00 per year. Additional donations are welcome. Dues and contributions are fully tax deductible. Please make checks payable to Friends of the Hollow, Inc. and mail to Friends of the Hollow, 4283 N. 38th Street, Arlington, VA 22207.
Friends of the Hollow News is published by the Friends of the Hollow, Inc., 4283 N. 38th St., Arlington, VA 22207. Editor: T.M. deButts