The Village Heritage Foundation is a private nonprofit 501(c)3 foundation headquartered in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Our mission is to promote the preservation, restoration, enhancement and maintenance of the special character of the historic Village of Pinehurst. The Foundation was incorporated in 1993 as the Pinehurst Historic Preservation Commission. The name was changed officially to the Village Heritage Foundation (VHF) in 2006.
History of the Foundation
The Village Heritage Foundation (VHF) is led and managed by a volunteer board of Directors and has no paid employees. It is funded entirely by private contributions. It was founded by Mrs. Joyce B. Franke, who served as our President and inspiration until 2003. She continued to play a very strong leadership role as Vice-President until her death in 2014.
Joyce founded the VHF for the specific purpose of raising funds to restore the 1917-era Pinehurst Fair Barn, which had been closed due its state of disrepair. That restoration project was successfully completed, and the Fair Barn was turned over to the Village in 2003. It is now the premier indoor public venue in the area hosting all manner of events including weddings, parties, antique fairs and the like.
In 2003, we launched our second major project, the creation of the Village Arboretum on a 35-acre undeveloped site adjacent to the Pinehurst Village Hall. The original site included a long abandoned village landfill and a burned-out longleaf pine forest separated by a creek. Today, the longleaf pine forest has been restored, and the landfill has been transformed into a grassy meadow bordered by a perennial garden and an outdoor pavilion. Walking trails and bridges throughout the Arboretum connect to the Village Greenway system. The Arboretum represents a “living legacy” and carries on the cultural landscape design philosophy of the legendary landscape designer, Fredrick Law Olmsted, whose firm created the original design for the Village of Pinehurst. The project was completed in 2014, although enhancements continue annually. The Village Arboretum is enjoyed daily by residents and visitors and is often reserved for a wide variety of events and activities.
Both the Fair Barn and the Village Arboretum are now managed by the Village of Pinehurst Department of Parks and Recreation.
In 2008, the Foundation established an Endowment with the North Carolina Community Foundation to provide for future improvements to the Fair Barn and the Village Arboretum. You may donate online or contact us if you are interested in donating to future projects.
Our two major projects have been completed and are now recognized as important contributors to the cultural, educational, and entertainment life of Pinehurst and the surrounding community. They are now integral parts of the special character of Pinehurst that will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for decades to come.
In late 2015 we introduced the Historic Plaque Program for the purpose of encouraging the recognition, preservation and restoration of historic buildings in Pinehurst. Our Plaque Committee will honor a few properties each year with a distinctive plaque that recognizes these historic properties’ special role in the history and development of Pinehurst. The plaques will be presented annually.
Board of Directors
- Beth Franke Stevens, President
- Ned Franke, Vice President
- Steve Leggett, Treasurer
- Terry Brown
- Stuart Mills
- John Strickland
- Joyce Franke (1930-2014) Founder
- Parker Hall (1929-2017) Director Emeritus