The Economic Impact of our National Parks

Photo by KG

Photo by Kenneth Garrett | © Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, a 180-mile long, 75-mile wide area stretching from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, lies thirteen of the country’s four hundred national parks.

These national parks provide a significant economic impact to the local region, by serving as a job provider and income generator, as well as providing a sturdy tax base.  According to a recently released report, the 13 national parks within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area generated more than $370 million in non-local visitor spending.  The parks also accounted for 5,042 jobs, delivering more than $193 million in wage and salary income for the area.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett | © Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Kenneth Garrett | © Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

The 2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects Study, conducted by C. Thomas, C. Huber, and L. Koontz, examines the economic benefits to local communities by visitors to national parks across the nation.  The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area saw an increase across the board, in visitation, spending, and jobs.  The number of visitors, for example increased from 9.2 million to over 10 million in 2012.

“The 13 national parks within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area not only contribute significantly to our region’s rich historic, natural, and cultural landscape,” said Cate Magennis Wyatt, president of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership,” but are significant economic engines within our communities.”  The list of parks include Antietam National Battlefield, Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, Catoctin Mountain Park, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Eisenhower National Historic Site, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Gettysburg National Military Park, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, Manassas National Battlefield, Monocacy National Battlefield, Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and Shenandoah National Park. Visitors often require overnight lodging, meals, gasoline, and often purchase souvenirs when visiting national parks, all of which benefit the local economies.

Known as the region Where America Happened™, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area contains more history than any other region in the nation.  In addition to the 13 National Park units, visitors can also explore National and World Heritage sites, over 10,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, 49 National Historic districts, nine Presidential homes, hundreds of African American and Native American heritage sites, 30 Historic Main Street communities, sites from the Revolutionary War, French-Indian War, War of 1812 and the largest collection of Civil War sites in the nation.  For more information, visit www.HallowedGround.org.

News Story

Top 2013 News Stories

As a new year begins, we want to take a minute and reflect on the past year.  2013 was a fabulous year for the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, which can be reflected in the media coverage we received throughout the year.  We thank our wonderful media partners, including the numerous local media outlets throughout our 15 county region that covered our events and projects throughout the year.  I have compiled a Top 10 list of the best news stories for 2013, highlighting an article or two for each of our major projects and initiatives, including our educational programs, the Living Legacy Tree Project, our National Heritage Area, the Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) Program, and more.  These articles provide a great overview of the respective efforts.

Educational Programs

1.  Daily Progress, Oct. 23

2.  NPS Sentinel, Spring 2013

Living Legacy Tree Project

3.  USA Today, December 21

4.  TCIA Magazine, Sept. 2013

5.  Landscape Architecture Magazine, March 2013

Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area

6.  US FrontLine, June 20

7.  The Stamp Pad, Summer 2013

8.  Park Advocate, November 19

Regional History

9.  Black Meetings & Travel, January 18

Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) Program

10.  The Central Virginian, June 20

In addition to the local newspaper articles, there were countless other articles, including write-ups in the Washington Post, bthere, Hallowed Ground Magazine, and Marine Corps Times.  There were television appearances on ABC27, NBC4, NewsChannel 8, Daytime TV, and an NBC29 story, as well as various radio station interviews (WTOP, WFMD, WITF, etc.).

In fact, here are two more honorable mentions that we have to share – thanks to Kate Kelly (Huffington Post) and the New York Times.

Huffington Post, October 1

New York Times, March 8

History Through Art

By Shuan Butcher, JTHG Director of Communications

Art is a powerful tool and has always been an important vehicle to capture history or reflect on history.  As we are in the midst of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, art is one means for commemorating this country’s most defining moment.  On such exhibit, entitled The Civil War and American Art, is currently on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City through September 2, 2013.  This exhibit, which first debuted at the Smithsonian Institution, examines how America’s artists represented the impact of the Civil War and its aftermath.  Whether it is Winslow Homer’s aesthetic power in conveying the intense emotions of the period in his paintings or Alexander Gardner’s battlefield photography that documents the gruesomeness of carnage and destruction, each artist’s work portrays the triumph and tragedy of the American experience during the 1860’s.

But you do not have to travel to New York City to see an art exhibit chronicling the American Civil War.  Within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, there are three art exhibits currently on display that explore this subject matter.  Here is a brief description of each:

The Gettysburg Collection: Rebecca Pearl Art ShowRebecca Pearl's Robert E. Lee
National Museum of Civil War Medicine

Through July 12, 2013

Based on the equestrian monuments located through the battlefields of Gettysburg National Military Park, nine original watercolor paintings will be the anchor pieces of the Rebecca Pearl Art Show. Additionally, eight landscape views of the battlefield will be on display.  This special exhibit is open to the public and Rebecca Pearl’s artwork will be available for purchase.  For more information, visit www.civilwarmed.org.

 


 

John Rogers Mail Call“Valley of the Shadow”
Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Through July 28, 2013

With 23,110 casualties, the Battle of Antietam remains a day of great loss for America and stimulated a chain of events leading to the Emancipation Proclamation and the Battle of Gettysburg. This extensive exhibition brings together works of art, such as Eastman Johnson’s (American, 1824-1906) “Study for ‘The Wounded Drummer Boy’” on loan from the Brooklyn Museum and objects of material culture, such as weaponry, musical instruments and clothing, to tell the stories of the war, from the soldiers who fought in its battles to the women and children who remained at home. Loans from public and private collections and the museum’s collection will come together in our largest gallery, the Groh Gallery, to create a “museum within a museum” commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Gettysburg Campaign of 1863.  For more information, visit www.wcmfa.org

 


 

“Images of the Civil War”Antietam flag bearer by Susan Ruddick Bloom
Carroll Arts Center
Through August 6, 2013

The Civil War conjures sentiments on both sides, the issue of slavery, artillery, battles, the role of women and children, uniforms, portraits and more.  The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War is being honored in Carroll County with an exhibit by local artists entitled “Images of the Civil War.”  For more information, visit www.carrrollcountyartscouncil.org.

In addition to the art exhibits, there are other exhibitions worth checking out.  A new exhibit that just opened on June 16th, entitled Treasures of the Civil War: Legendary Leaders Who Shaped a War and a Nation, offers a rare glimpse into the personal and professional lives of 13 individuals who shaped a nation: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses Grant, George G. Meade, John Reynolds, George Pickett, Alexander Webb, William Tecumseh Sherman, George Custer, John Mosby, Frederick Douglass and Clara Barton.  This exhibit offers 94 historic items from seven different outstanding Civil War collections throughout the United States – all being exhibited together for the first time at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. Visitors can look at Lincoln’s face mask; Meade’s frock coat and slouch hat he wore at Gettysburg; Pickett’s spur; Grant’s sword for the Vicksburg victory; Reynolds’ kepi worn at Gettysburg; a lock of Lee’s hair and his horse Traveller’s mane; and an original copy of Douglass’ autobiography “The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass,” to name a few.  For more information, visit www.getttysburgfoundation.org.

Passport to Your National Parks® Program Expands in Local Region

passport_stamp_Blog_Master_Wordpress_inline_imageJourney Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area Launches Program at Several Travel Destinations

 National Trails Day took place on June 1 and Get Outdoors Day is scheduled for June 8th.  Both events provide a great excuse to explore the various natural, historic, and cultural assets here.  In addition to the 13 national parks located within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, travelers can now participate in the Passport to Your National Parks® Program at key historic sites and visitor centers within the region.

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At the organization’s annual conference in Gettysburg, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership launched an expansion of the Passport To Your National Parks® program to include dozens of additional sites within the National Heritage Area.  Since its inception in 1986, the Passport To Your National Parks® program has introduced millions of visitors to the National Park System and continues to promote visitation, education, and appreciation of America’s national treasures.  This popular program, administered through Eastern National, includes a passport book and online resources that lists all national parks in the United States.The Passport To Your National Parks® program is one of the most popular ways to preserve memories of visits to America’s national parks.  Visitors can get their complimentary Passport cancellations at each site they visit. The rubber- stamp ink markings record the name of the location and date of the visit.The program is already in existence at the 13 national parks located within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, including Antietam National Battlefield, Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, Catoctin Mountain Park, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Eisenhower National Historic Site, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Gettysburg National Military Park, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, Manassas National Battlefield, Monocacy National Battlefield, Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and Shenandoah National Park.

However, the official visitor centers within the fifteen counties located within the region will now be able to stamp the passports, as well as key historic sites such as the David Wills House, National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Newcomer House, Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, Montpelier, Monticello, Ash Lawn-Highland, and others.  All of these locations will be included on a new map/brochure of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, which will include a panel on which to collect cancellation stamps.  For a full list of participating locations, visit www.hallowedground/passport.  The National Park Foundation has stated that most Americans are less than 100 miles from a national park experience.  Within this swath of land, we are fortunate to have 13 national parks within 180 miles… are you taking full advantage?

Historic Garden Week Activities Within The Journey

The bucolic countryside of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, with its magnificent landscapes, rich farm lands, and historic homes, will be on full display during Virginia Garden Week, an annual House & Garden Tour scheduled for April 20-27.  Every April, visitors are welcomed to more than 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks during “America’s Largest Open House.” This 8-day statewide event provides visitors a unique opportunity to see unforgettable gardens at the peak of Virginia’s springtime color, as well as beautiful houses sparkling with over 2,000 fabulous flower arrangements created by Garden Club of Virginia members. 

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Here is an overview of the tours taking place within The Journey:

Somerset Estates in Orange County (April 20)

Virginia Garden Week

“Where Tradition Meets Today” is the theme of this pastoral and picturesque house and garden tour.  Since the 18th century, the rolling countryside with gentle blue mountains in Virginia’s Piedmont near Somerset has attracted the establishment of impressive estates. Three of these historic mansions with their beautiful gardens will be on view, including Annandale, Rocklands and Frascati.  In addition, the tour will include a visit to Grelen Nursery, one of the largest retail nurseries in Virginia, featuring its new Farm Market and Garden Shop.  The future of development in and around Somerset has drawn major controversy to this tiny community during the past year. This Historic Garden Week tour, sponsored by the Dolley Madison Garden Club, offers a unique opportunity to visit private estates in the area, located less than two hours from Washington D.C., and understand why Somerset has become a focal point in the development/conservation debate in the Piedmont.

Morven and the Charlottesville Area (April 20-23)

Morven Park Virginia Garden WeekMorven, a three-story brick manor house built in the late-Georgian/Federal Style, dates to 1820. The land on which it sits was part of the original Carter family land grant and was known to Thomas Jefferson as, “Indian Camp.” The 7,378-acre estate was given to the University of Virginia Foundation by the late John Kluge. The 19th century ambience of the house remains even after 20th century additions and interior renovations. The grounds are extraordinary. Annette Hoyt Flanders renovated the original gardens in the 1930s and more gardens were added by Mr. Kluge. Look for unusual trees such as a pair of Osage orange trees, the state champion Chinese chestnut, and a lovely dove tree. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and on the Virginia Landmarks Register.  Tours continue on Sunday and Monday at four other stunning properties in Afton and the Nellysford area that are sponsored by the Albemarle Garden Club, The Charlottesville Garden Club and the Rivanna Garden Club

Waterford in Loudoun County (April 22)

Waterford Keller Garden for Virginia Garden Week “Waterford: Where the Past is Always Present” is the theme of this house and garden tour. The frenetic pace of life drops to an ambling gait as you stroll the streets of Waterford. This tour invites you to take a leisurely walk into the past through a village settled in 1733. Its history will speak to you through the language of the architecture of the lovingly and accurately restored 18th century homes. Waterford, once a busy hub of commerce centered around the Janney Mill, was left to decay as the Civil War and subsequent railroad passed it by. Neglect nearly spelled the end for the village. By the late 1930’s interest in Waterford had begun to stir once again due to its picturesque rural setting and quiet pace. Buildings began to be carefully renovated and new life began to emerge. Since that time Waterford has been largely returned to its graceful and peaceful pace with homes and gardens that beckon exploration and a journey to another time.  Exclusive of one home, this is a walking tour. It includes six homes and the Old School in Waterford.  This tour is sponsored by the Leesburg Garden Club and the Fauquier-Loudoun Garden Club

 

Warrenton (April 24-25)

Warenton Garden for Virginia Garden WeekFollow in the footsteps of Chief Justice John Marshall as you visit the houses and gardens on this tour of hunt country in Northern Virginia. Leeds Manor Farm in Hume, built for Marshall’s son in 1829 is still a working farm. The Chief Justice built a small addition near the house for his books and to use during his retirement. Nearby in the village of Hume is the Parsonage, built ca. 1855. It has been completely renovated, but retains the extensive gardens of it previous owner. Glen Gordon Manor in Huntly, originally a stagecoach stop for Wells Fargo, became the residence of a friend of the Duchess of Windsor in the 1920s. The bones of the formal garden are being resurrected by the current owners and magnificent trees, including century old beeches, grace the lawns. Nearby in Flint Hill is Standen Still, a “new old” house built in the 1990s following the style of the English Arts and Crafts Movement of the late 19th century. An extensive garden, initially laid out by noted landscape designer, Dana Westring, has been extended by the current owner, a budding horticulturist and designer. Locust Grove in a park-like setting near Flint Hill is a gracious 19th century brick house with beautifully integrated modern wings. The house is filled with antiques and family memorabilia. Headquarters for this tour will be located at Marriott Ranch in Hume, another John Marshall house. The Ashland Basset Hounds and the Piedmont Driving Club will add another component to this tour featuring 5 properties.  Sponsored by The Warrenton Garden Club.

Tickets are available on-line at http://www.vagardenweek.org/.  Proceeds go to the Garden Club of Virginia for use in restoring historic gardens throughout the Virginia.

March is National Women’s History Month

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area highlights destinations that chronicle important contributions made by women.

By Shuan Butcher

As Women’s History Month is celebrated each March, one region in the country is highlighting the significant contributions women have made throughout the nation’s history and encouraging individuals to visit specific sites to learn more.  The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, known as the region Where America Happened™, contains more history than any other in the nation and includes: National and World Heritage sites, over 10,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, 49 National Historic districts, nine Presidential sites, 13 National Park units, hundreds of African American and Native American heritage sites, 30 historic main street communities, sites from the Revolutionary War, French-Indian War, War of 1812 and the largest collection of Civil War sites in the nation.

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This 180-mile long, 75-mile wide swath of land that stretches from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, contains a rich collection of sites that chronicle important contributions women have made throughout history.  Here are a few suggestions that will help you decide to Take the Journey™.

Elizabeth Thorn Memorial-- image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/soaptree/4478790703/

Elizabeth Thorn Memorial, Gettysburg

While most envision men and boys marching the battlefield in Gettysburg, PA, many of the town’s heroes are actually women. After the epic battle in 1863, women were often the only ones to tend to the wounded and take charge in cleaning up the town. One such woman is Elizabeth Thorn. Her husband Peter was the caretaker of Evergreen Cemetery, and was off fighting in another part of the country. At the urging of the community, Elizabeth who was six months pregnant and the mother of three children, dug over one hundred graves in the rocky soil in the extreme July heat.  Today, a statue of Elizabeth Thorn stands outside the cemetery gatehouse as part of the Gettysburg Civil War Women’s Memorial.  For more information, visit www.gettysburg.travel.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Continuing down Route 15, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, visitors should stop by the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, MD.  This site promotes the life and legacy of the Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, the first native-born saint from the United States.  Seton, who lived, worked, died, and is now buried here, founded the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s.  Her enduring legacy now includes hundreds of schools, social service centers, and hospitals throughout the world.  She was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1975 in St. Peter’s Square.  Check out www.setonheritage.org for additional details.

Clara Barton in 1865 in an image by Matthew Brady.

Clara Barton in 1865 in an image by Matthew Brady.

Near Sharpsburg, Maryland, a monument stands at Antietam National Battlefield to Clara Barton, one of the most honored women in American History.  Known as the “Angel of the Battlefield,” Barton brought supplies and nursing aid to the wounded at several Civil War battle sites, including Antietam, Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Harpers Ferry, and others.  She later founded the American Red Cross in 1881 and led it for the next 23 years.  For more information, visit www.nps.gov/anti.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis by Cate Wyatt

Image courtesy of Cate Magennis Wyatt

First Ladies also left their mark within the region.  Jackie Kennedy’s style and grace epitomized Loudoun County’s horse country and its capital, Middleburg.  In the early 1960s, the Kennedy’s used Middleburg as an escape from Washington by leasing, and then building, their own country retreat.  In the 1990s, Jackie Kennedy Onassis often returned to spend foxhunting weekends in the Middleburg countryside, which was filled with happy memories from her time as First Lady. Today, visitors can see memorabilia at the Red Fox Inn and other establishments the First Lady patronized, and the town’s public pavilion and garden are dedicated to Jackie.  For more great places to visit in the area, check out www.visitloudoun.org.

In Spotsylvania County, the Spotsylvania Museum has a special exhibit at the Spotsylvania Towne Center about the Battle of Chancellorsville, which commemorates its sesquicentennial in May.  The exhibit features the Hawkins Girls, who were at home at the time of General Stonewall Jackson’s Flank attack across their property.  The exhibit will be on display through May 2.  To learn more, check out www.spotsylvania.va.us.

edna_lewis_wp

Edna Lewis

Edna Lewis, born in Freetown, Virginia, inspired a generation of young African American chefs and ensured traditional Southern foods and preparations would live forever.  Before her culinary journey began, Lewis found work as a seamstress and copied Christian Dior dresses for Dorcas Avedon.  She made a dress for Marilyn Monroe and became well known for her African-inspired dresses.  Eventually, Lewis opened up Café Nicholson, a restaurant located in Manhattan’s East Side. She became a local legend and cooked for many celebrities such as Marlon Brando, Marlene Dietrich, Tennessee Williams, Greta Garbo, Howard Hughes, Salvador Dali, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Truman Capote.  Known for her simple, but delicious Southern cooking, Lewis authored three seminal cookbooks and is lauded as one of the great women of American cooking. A new food festival, created in 2012, recognizes the culinary contributions the Orange County native has made.  The 2013 event is scheduled for August 10th.  Details can be found at www.ediblefest.com.

Elizabeth Kortright Monroe

Elizabeth Kortright Monroe

And finally, visitors should also make a point to stop at Ash Lawn-Highland in Charlottesville, Virginia.  This home of President James Monroe, and his wife Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, served as the official residence of the former first family from 1799 to 1823.  Here, they regularly welcomed friends, neighbors, dignitaries, and other visitors with warm hospitality.  To learn more, visit www.ashlawnhighland.org.

There are many other historic sites pertaining to notable women within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area.  Maps, suggested itineraries, and other travel resources are available at www.hallowedground.org or by calling 540-882-4929.

From Wineries to Restaurant Weeks: Plenty to Tempt Your Palate within The Journey

By Shuan Butcher

From Gettysburg to Monticello, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area is a Restaurant Week Image 1180 mile long, 75 mile swath of land that contains a vibrant natural, historical, and culturallandscape.  Known as the region Where America Happened™, it contains more history than any other region in the country.  But it is also steeped in a rich culinary tradition that stems from its bucolic countryside and fertile agricultural land.  There are over 75 wineries and vineyards within the three-hour drive, not to mention the craft breweries, distilleries, orchards, and farms that dot the magnificent scenery.

edna_lewis_wp

Edna Lewis

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area has been a historic foodway for centuries.  For example, Thomas Jefferson was considered the original foodie to some whether it was because of his own work and experimentation in the garden or the classically French-trained cook he had at Monticello.  And Edna Lewis, from Orange County, Virginia, elevated southern cuisine to the national spotlight and and is lauded as one of the great women of American cooking.

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Today, towns throughout the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area have become culinary destinations, with the help of folks like Top Chef Runner Up Bryan Voltaggio in Frederick or 2013 James Beard Finalist Ian Boden in Charlottesville.  Frederick and Charlottesville join a long list of growing foodie sites, including Gettysburg, Leesburg, Warrenton, Culpeper, Orange, and others. And, of course, Patrick O’Connell has made The Inn at Little Washington a perennial favorite among foodies and was recently named the Top Hotel for Food by the reader’s of Travel + Leisure Magazine

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Several communities within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area organize a Restaurant Week, a chance for them to showcase the local cuisine in a collective way.  Restaurant Weeks are often held during a slow time of the year, providing the opportunity for increased foot traffic and exposure to new customers.

Charlottesville, Virginia hosted their restaurant week in early 2013.  Frederick, Maryland kicks off its celebration this week (March 4-10), where over a dozen restaurants are offering special set-course pricing deals for lunch and dinner.  For menus, pricing information, and other details, visit www.frederickrestaurantweek.com.

Other restaurant weeks and food celebrations taking place in 2013 throughout the Journey through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area include:

-Gettysburg Restaurant Week in Gettysburg, PA: April 12-21 www.gettysburgrestaurantweek.com/home/ 

-Discover Virginia Wine & Food Festival in Ruckersville, VA: May 11-12
www.gatewaytocharlottesville.com

-Taste of Old Town in Manassas, Virginia: June 23
www.DiscoverPWM.com

-Restaurant Month at the Spotsylvania Towne Centre: Month of July
www.spotsylvaniamall.com

-Hagerstown Restaurant Weeks in Hagerstown, MD: August 4-17
www.hagerstownrestaurantweeks.com

-Ediblefest in Orange, Virginia: August 10
www.ediblefest.com.

-Epicurience- An Epic Wine & Culinary Experience in Leesburg, VA: Aug. 30-Sept. 2
www.visitloudoun.org

-Culpeper Restaurant Week in Culpeper, Virginia: October 14-20
www.culpeperdowntown.com

This is just a sampling of the food and beverage events that are scheduled to take place throughout The Journey in the coming year.  For more information about the region, visit www.hallowedground.org.

 

Presidents Day Along The Journey

Abraham LincolnPresidents Day provides a great opportunity to visit the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area.  Known as the region Where America Happened™, the region contains more history than any other in the nation and includes: National and World Heritage sites, over 10,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, 49 National Historic districts, nine Presidential homes, 13 National Parks, hundreds of African American and Native American heritage sites, 30 historic main street communities, sites from the Revolutionary War, French-Indian War, War of 1812 and the largest collection of Civil War sites in the nation.

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This 180-mile long, 75-mile wide area swath of land that stretches from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, contains a rich collection of presidential sites to visit around Election Day.  Of course, there are the traditional places where Washington slept, but many other presidents visited or lived within this historic region.Gettysburg, PA is primarily known for the battle that took place there in 1863.  But it is also home to the Eisenhower National Historic Site.  The former home and farm of General and President Dwight EisenhowerDwight D. Eisenhower served the President as a weekend retreat and a meeting place for world leaders. With its peaceful setting and view of South Mountain, it was a much-needed respite from Washington and a backdrop for efforts to reduce Cold War tensions.  For more information, visit www.nps.gov/eise.

Nearby, tucked away in the Catoctin Mountain region of Maryland sits the presidential retreat known as Camp David.  Essentially, every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has been traversed to this retreat site while they were in office.  Although it is closed off to visitors, individuals can visit the Camp David Museum at the Cozy Restaurant and Inn located in Thurmont.  The museum celebrates the rich history of Camp David, formerly known as Shangri-La, through pictures and memorabilia of presidents from Hoover up through today.  Other information is available at www.cozyvillage.com.

Traveling down Route 15, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, visitors should also stop in Middleburg, Virginia.  Considered the capital of Loudoun County’s horse country, President John F. and Mrs. Jackie Kennedy leased and then purchased a place in the quaint town as their own country retreat.  In the 1990s, Jackie Kennedy Onassis often returned to spend foxhunting weekends in the Middleburg countryside, which was filled with happy memories from her time as First Lady.  Today, visitors can see memorabilia at the Red Fox Inn and other establishments visited by the first family.  The town’s public pavilion and garden are dedicated to her.  To learn more, check out www.visitloudoun.org.

Montpelier, located near Orange, VA, was the lifelong home of James Madison, the “Father of the James MadisonConstitution” and fourth President of the United States. The mansion core was built by Madison’s father circa1760. The house has been newly restored to the way it looked when James and Dolley Madison returned from Washington in 1817, following Madison’s two terms as President. The 2,650-acre estate features the Madison mansion, 135 historic buildings, a steeplechase course, gardens, forests, the Gilmore Cabin, a farm, two galleries and an Education Center with permanent and changing exhibits, many archaeological sites and an Archaeology Laboratory.  Information can be found at www.montpelier.org.

In Charlottesville sits Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, third President of the United States and noted architect and inventor. Jefferson began construction on his “little mountain” home in 1769 and, after remodeling and enlarging the house, finally finished 40 years later in 1809.  For more information, visit www.monticello.org.

Jefferson’s friend and neighbor James Monroe owned Ash Lawn-Highland, along with his wife Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, from 1793 to 1826 and their official residence from 1799 to 1823.  Ash Lawn-Highland is an historic house museum and 535-acre working farm of the former U.S. President and Revolutionary War veteran.  Check out www.ashlawnhigland.org for more details.

Also in the area is Pine Knott, the country retreat of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt and their children from 1905 to 1908 during his term as President.  This rural retreat from the “city environment” of Washington, D.C. provided a sanctuary for the Roosevelt family where they could hike, observe birds and wildlife, hunt, ride and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The building had no plumbing, toilet, heat, or electricity or other facilities for the family, with a minimum of rustic comfortable furniture.  Check outhttp://www.theodoreroosevelt.org/modern/pineknot.htm.

In addition to the sites listed above, several other presidents visited towns and locations throughout the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area.  For example, President Lincoln’s footsteps can be traced to several locations.  After the Battle of Antietam, he visited the site to meet with Union generals as well as wounded soldiers.  During that trip, he stopped in other places such as Harpers Ferry, WV and Frederick, MD, where he gave remarks to citizens gathered on the street.  And a year later, he gave a short address in Gettysburg that would is recited today by many around the world.  Travelers interested in getting the presidential experience will find maps, suggested itineraries, and other travel resources are available at www.hallowedground.org.

Emancipation Proclamation 150TH

web_civil_rightsOn January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed and issued the Emancipation Proclamation.  An area of this country that was not only affected by this decision, but was the catalyst behind it, and advanced the cause of freedom for decades after, has plenty of historic sites for travelers wanting to experience the full spectrum of this piece of American History. The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area contains a rich collection of historic destinations that chronicle the African American experience, from slavery to civil rights, including the Battle of Antietam which was the catalyst for the preliminary issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation by our nation’s 16th president.  In addition to the plethora of Civil War battlefields (including Gettysburg, Manassas, Harpers Ferry, Monocacy, and Wilderness) that interpret the issue of slavery to varying degrees, here are a few additional suggestions that will help you decide to Take the Journey.

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Antietam National Battlefield, located in Washington County, Maryland, is a must for visitors interested in learning more about the Emancipation Proclamation.  The Union victory at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, led President Lincoln to release the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation five days later.  The Emancipation Proclamation substantially altered the character of the war from Restoration of the Union alone, to freedom for all. As Historian Bruce Catton wrote, “It finally determined that the Civil War was not merely a war for reunion but also a war to end human slavery; turned it from a family scrap into an incalculable struggle for human freedom.”  For more information visit, www.nps.gov/ancm/index.htm.Another not to miss place to visit within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area is Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.  The historic quaint town has played a prominent role in the Civil Rights movement, starting with John Brown’s uprising there in 1859.  On May 30, 1881, abolitionist Frederick Douglass gave an address on John Brown on the campus of Storer College, stating “If John Brown did not end the war that ended slavery, he did at least begin the war that ended slavery. If we look over the dates, places and men, for which this honor is claimed, we shall find that not Carolina, but Virginia- not Fort Sumpter, but Harper’s Ferry and the arsenal- not Col. Anderson, but John Brown, began the war that ended American slavery and made this a free Republic.”  Harpers Ferry continued to be at the center of the African American experience in the early Twentieth Century.  The Niagara Movement convened there in August 1906 with leaders such as WEB Dubois and others, which became the precursor of the NAACP.  For more information, visit www.nps.gov/hafe/index.htm.

The Historic Preservation Society of Gettysburg – Adams County (HGAC) leads Underground Railroad tours at the site of McAllister’s Mill, adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park along the Baltimore Pike. The site, now a ruin with foundations and waterways still visible, was most probably one of the first stops made in Adams County by people seeking freedom on their flight north from slavery. About two miles south of Gettysburg and six miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line, McAllister’s Mill provided shelter to hundreds of freedom seekers during the years leading up to the Civil War. After receiving assistance at the late 18th century grist mill, the formerly enslaved were guided north about 10 miles into Upper Adams County to the homes of free African Americans and Quaker Abolitionists, forming critical links in one of the earliest regional networks of the Underground Railroad in the nation.  In 2011, the McAllister Mill site was accepted into the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, a nationwide collection of sites that have a verifiable association to the Underground Railroad.  To make arrangements for one of the tours, which start in May, call McAllister Mill Tours at (717) 659-8827.  For more information on the Network to Freedom, consult the NPS website at www.nps.gov/history/ugrr.

Two historic sites in Frederick, Maryland highlight the discourse that occurred over the issue of slavery.  At Kemp Hall, members of the state’s legislature hotly debated the issue as they met to decide whether to secede from the union.  Also, the Taney House interprets a property owned by Roger Brooke Taney, the fifth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Taney was mainly known for his affiliation with the Dred Scott decision.  To get started, check out www.hsfcinfo.org/taney/index.htm

Continuing down Route 15, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, visitors should stop by Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Virginia.  Oatlands was formed in 1798 from 3,408 acres of prime Loudoun County farmland by a young bachelor named George Carter, a descendant of one of Virginia’s first families.  Basing his plantation economy on wheat production, Carter eventually branched out to grow other small grains; and in 1801 he began calling his plantation “Oatlands.”  In 1804 Carter began building a classic Federal-style mansion near the southern boundary of his property. As his farm took hold and his financial position strengthened, he added a terraced garden and numerous outbuildings to the property, including a propagation greenhouse, a smokehouse, and a three-story bank barn.  Just prior to the Civil War Oatlands housed the largest slave population in Loudoun County, numbering 128 people.  On January 5th, the historic site will host a program that includes a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, historical commentary and scene painting from area historians and educators, a lantern-light walk around Oatlands with slave remembrance commentary and hymns, and concluding with discussion and input from those in attendance on the anniversary.  For more information, visit www.oatlands.org.

Let America’s story become yours this February with Prince William County’s free inaugural conference to commemorate the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s passage of the Emancipation Proclamation.  “Lest We Forget: A Conference on Enslavement and Emancipation” will take place February 21-23 at Hylton Memorial Chapel in Manassas, Virginia.  Join noted scholars, historians and actors as they explore the cultural and historical legacies of the antebellum period through dramatic plays, keynote addresses, forums, concerts and roundtable discussions that highlight a period that forever changed our nation.  The conference will conclude with day-long bus tours to significant African American sites in Prince William County, including Lucasville School, a one-room schoolhouse built solely for African American children, Ben Lomond Historic Site, which has one of the few remaining public slave quarters in Northern Virginia and the Jennie Dean School memorial, highlighting a school founded by a former slave and was one of the only sources of higher education for African Americans in Northern Virginia.  Details are available at www.manassasbullrun.com.

The arc of citizenship, from 18th Century Slavery through the Jim Crow Era, can also be found at Montpelier, the former home of President James and Dolley Madison.  Understanding daily life at Montpelier during the 18th and early 19th centuries must include an understanding of the contributions and sacrifices of the enslaved community who were an integral and intimate part of Montpelier life.  The post-emancipation era at Montpelier has come to be defined by George Gilmore and his family. Born into slavery at Montpelier, Gilmore and his wife and children were living as a freed family near the property by December 1865. The Gilmore family eventually purchased a plot of land from Dr. James Ambrose Madison and established a small, independent farm. They resided in a log cabin that would be home to at least three generations of Gilmores.  And finally, the Montpelier Train Station houses a permanent exhibit entitled In the Time of Segregation.  Interpretive panels found in and outside the depot address the local African-American community who lived in this area throughout the period of segregation, the codification of laws which dictated that blacks and whites be given “separate but equal” accommodation.  Like other southern railway stations of the early twentieth century, the station’s depot building was designed to comply with state racial segregation laws. White and black passengers at the depot were required to use separate waiting rooms and ticket windows. During the same era, postal services at the depot were integrated because of federal laws that forbade racial segregation in U.S. post offices. By the end of the 1950s, all of the services at the Montpelier Train depot had become fully integrated. To learn more, visit www.montpelier.org.

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center preserves the rich heritage and legacy of the African American community of Charlottesville-Albemarle, Virginia. Through inter-generational offerings, the Center will promote a greater appreciation for and understanding of, the contributions of peoples of color locally, nationally, and globally.  The Heritage Center is located in the heart of the African American community, its main constituency. In the early 1960s, the City of Charlottesville undertook an urban renewal project that ruptured the core of the African American community. 

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, opening December 2012, will create a cultural center where African American traditions and history will be readily available.  For more information, visit www.jeffschoolheritagecenter.org.

There are many other historic sites pertaining to the African American experience, Civil War, freedom, or emancipation throughout the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area. Additional information can be found in “Honoring Their Paths: African American Contributions Along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground,” written by Deborah A. Lee and published in 2009.  Maps, suggested itineraries, and other travel resources are available at www.hallowedground.org.

Lincoln Traverses the Journey

by Shuan Butcher, JTHG Director of Communications

[Antietam, Md. President Lincoln and Gen. George B. McClellan in the general's tent; another view]

President Lincoln and Gen. George B. McClellan in the general’s tent at Antietam, Maryland.

Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” movie (written by Tony Kushner and based on Doris Kearns Goodwin book “Team of Rivals) focuses primarily on the 16th President’s efforts to pass the 13th Amendment.  The roots of that endeavor can be traced to people and actions taken within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area.  Lincoln himself visited the region on at least two separate occasions, which was the impetus behind Huffington Post writer Kate Kelly’s recent excursion to our region a little over a month ago.  Kelly visited many of the same spots Lincoln did back in 1862 and 1863 (check out her work at www.americacomesalive.com), including:

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Harpers Ferry

Two weeks after the Battle of Antietam and nine days after issuing the initial Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln arrived in Harpers Ferry.  The first site Lincoln came to after crossing the Potomac River was John Brown’s fort.  Dennis Frye, chief historian at Harpers Ferry National Park, stated that Lincoln’s reflections at that time very much could have been about his desire to finish what John Brown had started a few years earlier.  Lincoln had become hardened in his actions toward the South by that point.  Two months earlier the Second Confiscation Act was passed and a few days later on July 22nd, the President issued a warning to the South.  And then of course, the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was issued.  A much different viewpoint than when he took office.

However, Lincoln’s trip to Harpers Ferry is just part of the story of the town’s prominent role in the civil rights movement.  John Brown’s uprising there in 1859 was a catalytic moment.  On May 30, 1881, abolitionist Frederick Douglass gave an address on John Brown on the campus of Storer College, stating “If John Brown did not end the war that ended slavery, he did at least begin the war that ended slavery. If we look over the dates, places and men, for which this honor is claimed, we shall find that not Carolina, but Virginia- not Fort Sumpter, but Harper’s Ferry and the arsenal- not Col. Anderson, but John Brown, began the war that ended American slavery and made this a free Republic. Until this blow was struck, the prospect for freedom was dim, shadowy and uncertain. The irrepressible conflict was one of words, votes and compromises. When John Brown stretched forth his arm the sky was cleared.”

Harpers Ferry continued to be at the center of the African American experience in the early Twentieth Century.  The Niagara Movement convened there in August 1906 with leaders such as WEB Dubois and others.  Visitors to the area can get a full glimpse from slavery to civil rights in this historic quaint town.

Antietam

After visiting Harpers Ferry, Lincoln visited General George B. McClellan at his headquarters at Antietam about the general’s strategies and tactics following the battle that took place there.  The Battle of Antietam (Maryland) on September 17, 1862, was not the conclusive Union victory President Lincoln had wanted, but it was enough for him to issue his preliminary emancipation proclamation five days later, which stated that on January 1, 1863, all slaves in states still in rebellion would be free. In the proclamation’s wake, the war not only gained a higher moral purpose, but also record numbers of now-emancipated slaves joined the Union Army, thereby increasing its military strength. Indeed, the outcome of the American Civil War was decided on the fields on Antietam, not by the marching armies.

Frederick, Maryland

Before returning to the Nation’s Capital, President Lincoln made one final stop in Frederick.  He stopped by to visit the Ramsey house to visit General George Hartsuff who was recovering from injuries sustained at Antietam.  The President then headed to the B&O train station, where a crowd had begun to gather.  He stopped to make a few remarks, stating:

Fellow Citizens, I see myself surrounded by soldiers and by the citizens of this good city of Frederick, all anxious to hear something from me. Nevertheless, I can only say—as I did elsewhere five minutes ago—that it is not proper for me to make speeches in my present position. I return thanks to our gallant soldiers for the good service they have rendered, the energies they have shown, the hardships they have endured, and the blood they have so nobly shed for this dear Union of ours. And I also return thanks, not only, to the soldiers, but to the good citizens of Frederick, and to all the good men, women, and children throughout this land for their devotion to our glorious cause. And I say this without any malice in my heart toward those who have done otherwise. May our children, and our children’s children, for a thousand generations, continue to enjoy the benefits conferred upon us by a united country, and have cause yet to rejoice under those glorious institutions bequeathed us by Washington and his compeers! Now, my friends—soldiers and citizens—I can only say once more—Farewell!”

Gettysburg

Over a year later, the President made a second visit to the area.  In November 1863, Lincoln came to Gettysburg for the dedication of the new national cemetery.  Gettysburg was at a crossroads, figuratively and physically, during the American Civil War.  The town, just 10 miles north of a slave state and the Mason-Dixon line, had one of the largest African-American populations in the North (per capita).

His remarks, now known as the famous Gettysburg Address, lasted for approximately 2 ½ minutes.  His speech was rooted in thought and previous remarks dating back months prior, to at least the summertime.  Another interesting piece of information about Gettysburg to note is that Thaddeus Stevens (a prominent figure in Spielberg’s “Lincoln” movie, played by Tommy Lee Jones) had a law practice near the town square for over twenty years.

(Sources:  Dr. Allen Guelzo, Director of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College, Dennis Frye, Chief Historian at the Harpers Ferry National Park, Antietam National Battlefield, Harper’s Weekly)