Rosegill is among state park finalists

This article appeared in the September 4, 2003 issue of the Southside Sentinel,

by Larry S. Chowning


The 843-acre colonial plantation of "Rosegill," which is on the Rappahannock River just outside of Urbanna, is one of three sites in the final selection process for becoming a state park.

There were five sites, four in Gloucester County and one in Middlesex, nominated for the state park and state officials have eliminated two of the Gloucester sites.

Lee Weber, chairman of the Middlesex County Board of Supervisors, reported Tuesday that state officials made another visit to Rosegill recently in an effort to determine which one of the three remaining sites will be recommended to Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Director Tayloe Murphy.

In addition to Rosegill, the two Gloucester sites that made the final cut were Eagle Point at the mouth of the Severn River next to Warner Hall, and Timberneck Farm, which is upriver from the Coleman Bridge on the York River.

Weber said State Department of Conservation and Recreation Director Joe Maroon, Urbanna Town Administrator Lewis Filling, Urbanna Mayor Ken Moore and Mary Helen Morgan, wife of state delegate Harvey Morgan, went on the final tour of Rosegill.

Middle Peninsula Planning District Director (MPPDC) Dan Kavanagh said that the sites have not yet been prioritized, but they will be in the final selection process and then presented to Murphy.

Kavanagh said he was informed that all three sites were "beautiful" and these sites came closest to meeting all the criteria toward becoming a state park.

Once the sites are prioritized, if the top site is not available or costs more than the state is willing to pay, the second priority site will then be considered. If the second site also falls short, the third will be considered.

"So, even if Rosegill is not the first choice, it doesn't mean that it might not be considered," said Kavanagh. "State officials are in the process of looking over these properties with a fine-tooth comb."

The final decision is expected to be made in late fall or early winter, said Kavanagh.