Virginia’s Natural Bridge is NOT for Sale, Despite Rumors

Virginia’s Natural Bridge is a geological formation in Rockbridge County, Virginia, comprising a 215-foot-high (66 m) natural arch with a span of 90 feet (27 m). It is situated within a gorge carved from the surrounding mountainous limestone terrain by Cedar Creek, a small tributary of the James River. Consisting of horizontal limestone strata, Natural Bridge is the remains of the roof of a cave or tunnel through which the Cedar Creek once flowed. Natural Bridge has been designated a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Since 2016, the bridge and its surroundings have been managed by the Commonwealth of Virginia as Natural Bridge State Park. (Photo Zack Frank)

By Dave Webster

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Virginia’s Natural Bridge, located in Rockbridge, County Virginia, has been rumored to be up for sale.  At the present time, this is not true.

Although technically a state park, the Natural Bridge is privately owned by the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund, Inc. which bought the limestone arch in 2014. At that time, the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund intended to donate the Natural Bridge to the Commonwealth of Virginia once the fund repaid a $9.1 million loan from the Virginia Resources Authority which was created by the General Assembly in 1984 to provide loans to a number of projects concerning land conservation as well as other matters of public interest.  Since its inception, the VRA has funded more than 1,500 projects across the Commonwealth exceeding $7.5 billion in total community investments.

There have been reports and rumors that the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund is having trouble repaying the loan. If they default on the loan the future ownership of the Natural Bridge is uncertain.

The property is managed by the Virginia Department of Recreation and Conservation.

As of today, the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund, Inc. has not defaulted on its loan obligations and the Natural Bridge is presently not for sale.

In history, the Natural Bridge was considered a sacred site of the Monacan tribe as they believed it was the place of a victory over the Powhatans.  There are reports that George Washington visited the site in 1750 as a young surveyor.  In 1774, Thomas Jefferson purchased the Natural Bridge and 157 acres of surrounding land from King George III for 20 shillings.

And even author Herman Melville mentioned the Natural Bridge when describing Moby Dick , “But soon the fore part of him slowly rose from the water; for an instant his whole marbleized body formed a high arch, like Virginia’s Natural Bridge.”

IN OTHER NEWS: River Farm is for Sale: What Would George Washington Think?

 

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