The Society of Port Republic Preservationists, Inc.
In 1976 a group of concerned citizens initiated the Society of Port Republic Preservationists, Inc. (SPRP) to preserve the rich history and unique character of Port Republic, Virginia. SPRP continues its mission by seeking protective legislative decisions, preserving community landmarks, providing educational information, and sponsoring community activities.
After receiving listings for the village with the Virginia Landmarks Commission in 1978, and the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, SPRP began collecting artifacts and oral history with the intention of establishing an interpretive center. In 1992, funds were raised from private sources to purchase the Frank Kemper House (also known as the Turner Ashby House), an historic structure in the village.
Focusing on essential structural repairs and installing temporary exhibits, it was officially opened as the Port Republic Museum in 1993. In 1994, in a cooperative agreement with the American Battlefield Protection Program, SPRP secured an interpretive planner to produce a master plan for renovations and interpretive exhibits, and the initiation of permanent exhibits in the Turner Ashby Room. Since then, the Society has continued to restore the house and improve exhibits, often with the assistance of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.
As the Society operates without paid staff members or public funds, progress seems slow; however, the support of the regional community, history devotees, and loyal volunteers assures SPRP's ultimate success. The Board of Directors is the decision-making body of the Society. The SPRP also hosts general membership meetings which include a brief business report, program or entertainment and refreshments.
Port Republic is a special, but little town, unincorporated, without a "city government." It is left to the efforts of individuals, the churches, or a group such as the Society of Port Republic Preservationists to tend to specific community needs. Inquiries, information, or tax-deductible donations may be sent to the Society of Port Republic Preservationists, P.O. Box 82, Port Republic, Va. 24471-0082.
© 2011 The Society of Port Republic Preservationists, Inc.