December 4, 2020

Melchers Museum Staff Receive Preservation Award

Three members of the staff at the Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont have been honored by the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation for their work in preserving the Fannie Roots House.   Fannie Roots House Director David Berreth, Preservation Manager Beate Jensen and Building and Grounds Assistant David Ludeker received the foundation’s E. Boyd Graves Award for Preservation Excellence. The announcement was made at a recent foundation award ceremony. The historic Fannie Roots House, adjacent to the Gari Melchers museum, belonged to Fannie Roots, an African American civil rights activist and Stafford County citizen. The home was purchased by her family in 1912. The family, including Fannie as a teenager, did occasional work for the Melchers family. Fannie lived in the home until her death in 2004. The restoration project was started in 2009 by UMW students and members of the community and included stabilization and weather proofing. More extensive work including roof replacement and chimney restoration was completed in 2013 with grants from the Duff McDuff Green Jr. Fund of the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock Region, The Marietta M. and Samuel T. Morgan Jr. Foundation, the Dr. H. Stewart Jones Trust and the Fredericksburg Savings Charitable Foundation. The next phase of the restoration will focus on renovating the house’s interior to allow more in-depth historical interpretation for the public. For more information on the Fannie Roots house and restoration project, contact Beate Jensen at (540) 654-1839.