Author Archives: Shuan Butcher

Shuan Butcher

About Shuan Butcher

Shuan Butcher has more than 15 years of management experience in the nonprofit and government sector. He most recently served as executive director of the Frederick Arts Council in Frederick, Maryland. His efforts there helped garner state and national recognition for the city's thriving arts community. In addition, he has worked for a national youth civic engagement initiative, a historic state park in West Virginia, and other organizations. Butcher is a graduate of West Virginia University and earned a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership from Mountain State University. He has written or published two booklets as well as numerous articles for local, state, and national publications. He serves on the board of the Tourism Council of Frederick County and the Frederick County Business Development Advisory Council.

Don’t Miss this Event!



The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s Tenth Anniversary Annual Conference is scheduled to take place May 19-20 at The Old School in the historic village of Waterford, VA.  This year’s conference location is fitting since the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership is headquartered there.  This year marks not only the tenth anniversary of the organization but we will soon be approaching the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and Waterford was one of the first towns listed in its entirety on the National Register of Historic Places.

Stephanie

Stephanie Meeks

Stephanie Meeks, President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation will serve as a keynote speaker, which is especially poignant as the National Trust placed this region on America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list that first alerted the nation to the threats to our communities almost 10 years ago to the day.

Under Meeks’ leadership, the National Trust has developed an ambitious strategic plan designed to refocus direct action on saving imperiled places, engaging new audiences in preservation, and increasing the organization’s impact by a factor of ten.

 

Nora

Nora Pouillon

Organic food pioneer Nora Pouillon will also serve as a plenary speaker during the conference.  Pouillon moved to the United States in the late 1960s and in 1979 opened Restaurant Nora, which became the first certified organic restaurant in the country in 1999. Her new memoir, My Organic Life, is the story of an unheralded culinary pioneer who made it her mission to bring delicious, wholesome foods to the American table.

As much the story of America’s postwar culinary history as it is a memoir, My Organic Life encompasses the birth of the farm-to-table movement, the proliferation of greenmarkets across the country, and the evolution of the chef into social advocate. Spanning the last forty years of our relationship with food, My Organic Life is the deeply personal, powerfully felt story of the organic revolution—by the unlikely heroine at its forefront.

 

Erin Francis-Cummings, President of Destination Analysts, will share the results of a new regional tourism market research study.  Workshops will also highlight the upcoming Centennial Celebration of the National Park Service in 2016 and cover various topics, including: engaging youth/students in our collective national history, economic trends in heritage tourism, grant writing, African-American and other minority heritage, and more.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

A Virginia Viticulture Field Session Tour will take participants to several wineries in the area and a networking reception will occur at Catoctin Creek 
Distilling Company in Purcellville.  Guided walking tours showcasing the history of the quaint Quaker Waterford village along with a special awards luncheon where the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership will recognize the Cornelia Keller Champion of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Corporate Partner of the Year, and Certified Tourism Ambassador Star Award winner.

catoctin-creek-distillery

The conference is geared towards a variety of individuals, including economic development and tourism professionals, urban professional planners, attraction and museum staff, elected officials, historians, National Park Service employees, educators, Certified Tourism Ambassadors, and other engaged citizens.

Certification maintenance credits offered through the American Institute of Certified Planners are available for eligible and interested attendees.

Conference sponsors include the Waterford Foundation, Virginia News Group, and Loudoun Mutual Insurance Company.  To register, or for more information, visit http://www.jthgannualconference.org.

Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association Partners with JTHG on Living Legacy Tree Project



Secretary Haymore receives tree from Brent Hunsinger of VNLA.

Secretary Haymore receives tree from Brent Hunsinger of VNLA.

The Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association (VNLA) recognized members of the 2015 Virginia General Assembly, Governor Terry McAuliffe, and his entire cabinet with a donation of native trees to the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Living Legacy Tree Planting Project.  The trees will be dedicated at an April 20 ceremony at the Historic Montpelier Train Station, located on the grounds of James Madison’s Montpelier near Orange, Virginia, at 1:00 p.m.

Brad Copenhaver from Virginia Agribusiness Council, Brent Hunsinger of VNLA, and Delegate Ed Scott.

Brad Copenhaver from Virginia Agribusiness Council, Brent Hunsinger of VNLA, and Delegate Ed Scott.

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s Living Legacy Tree Planting Project is an effort to honor the 620,000 fallen soldiers of the Civil War by planting one tree for each who died during this country’s most defining moment.  In doing so, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s Living Legacy Tree Project will become a National Memorial for the Civil War Fallen.  VNLA members thought it fitting to honor Virginia’s legislators and staff for their careful decision-making on topics affecting Virginia residents and the state’s green industry with a donation that not only beautifies, but pays homage to the ultimate sacrifice made by thousands who came before them.

Brent Hunsinger of VNLA presents tree to Secretary Ward.

Brent Hunsinger of VNLA presents tree to Secretary Ward.

Honorees that will be attending the ceremony include Commonwealth of Virginia Senator Emmett Hanger Jr., Commonwealth of Virginia Delegate Edward T. Scott, Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward, and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore.  “The VNLA is comprised of hundreds of growers, garden centers and landscape professionals, all who want to show support and appreciation for the steadfast work of the General Assembly and staff who keep our state progressing forward,” VNLA President, Sonya Lepper Westervelt, said. “We view the General Assembly as Virginia’s ‘root system’ supporting the Commonwealth and her residents. Similar to the Living Legacy trees, the legislative seeds planted during the 2015 Regular Session will continue to grow in impact and allow future generations to thrive.”

Brent Hunsinger of VNLA presents tree to Senator Hanger.

Brent Hunsinger of VNLA presents tree to Senator Hanger.

Trees planted as part of the Living Legacy Project will eventually stretch along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, a 180-mile swath of land that runs from Gettysburg, PA to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA.  It was upon the battlefields within this region that many of the soldiers who fought and died over 150 years ago.  Upon completion, the Living Legacy Tree Project will create the first 180-mile planned landscape in the world.  For more information on the Living Legacy Project, visit www.hallowedgroundtrees.org.

Civil War Trust Park Day



Every year since 1996, history enthusiasts, preservationists, and other community volunteers have gathered at historic battlefield sites across the country for the Civil War Trust’s Park Day. This annual event, scheduled for Saturday, March 28th, is an effort to help keep our nation’s heritage not only preserved, but pristine. The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, the 180 mile swath of land that runs from Gettysburg, PA to Charlottesville, VA has the largest concentration of Civil War battlefields in the country. As such, there are multiple opportunities for individuals to take on maintenance projects large and small to support the particular needs of each participating site.   We encourage you to find a location or opportunity that works for you and join others on that day to make a difference. Here is a listing of confirmed activities within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area.

GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK

Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Join volunteers from the Civil War Trust and Gettysburg National Military Park cutting brush on the slopes of Little Round Top to reveal historic terrain and original breastworks.  Space is limited and advance registration is required.  Contact: Jo Sanders at Gettysburg NMP via phone at 717-334-1124 x3351 or by email at: Jo_Sanders@nps.gov. For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/gett.

MONOCACY NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD

As our nation commemorates the final year of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, volunteers across the country have another opportunity to answer their country’s call to service. The Park Day project at Monocacy National Battlefield will focus on removing trash from an area that has been previously inaccessible. It promises to be fun work that will greatly assist your local National Park. Please dress appropriately for field work. Event registration will be from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m. at the visitor center. Volunteers must attend the safety briefing at 9:00 a.m. to participate. Pre-registration is encouraged; please call 301-662-3515. For more information, please visit www.nps.gov/mono.

ANTIETAM NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD 

Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Forty volunteers are needed to assist with the spring cleanup of the Antietam National Cemetery and the Mumma family cemetery. To sign up please contact project coordinator, Rick Schriever at 301-432-6035. Thirty volunteers are also needed to assist with preparing the Rohrback Group Campground for the camping season. To sign up please contact project coordinator, Debbie Cohen at 301-432-2243. Both projects will work from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. Volunteers should wear proper footwear and dress appropriately for the weather. For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/anti.

HARPERS FERRY NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK

Volunteers are needed to help mulch and clear trails. Work will be done on the historic 1862 battlefields of the Park. The park will supply wheel barrows, pitch forks, loppers & steel rake but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own gloves. The Park Service will supply extra gloves if needed for this 4-5 hour work day. For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/hafe/index.htm

BALLS BLUFF REGIONAL BATTLEFIELD PARK

At Ball’s Bluff Battlefield projects include mulching, removal of fallen branches, trash pickup, and many other things. Please bring weather appropriate clothing, gloves, water, and rakes and shovels if you can. And wear clothing that can get dirty, and is appropriate for the weather.

Light snacks will be provided. For more information, call 703-779-9372 or e-mail templehallfarm@nvrpa.org. For more information, visit http://www.nvrpa.org/park/ball_s_bluff.

CEDAR MOUNTAIN

CWT1

Photo Courtesy of the Civil War Trust

 

Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield is organizing a 2015 Park Day activity on CWT’s Cedar Mountain Battlefield Property. Volunteers are needed to take on a variety of tasks including clearing trash & debris, improving interpretive trails, cleaning markers, and cutting back intrusive brush and fallen trees. They may also work on the split-rail fence on the battlefield. Volunteers are encouraged to bring gloves, rakes, shovels, weed whackers, loppers, etc. and wear appropriate work clothing. Light food and drinks (snacks, desserts) will be provided. For more information, visit http://www.friendsofcedarmoutain.org.

BRANDY STATION

The Brandy Station Foundation has identified two projects: to clean up and maintain the trail leading to Kelly’s Ford on BSF owned property along the Rappahannock River at Kelly’s Ford. This trail is used by visitors to access the historic ford, one of the most heavily used during the Civil War; cleanup of the one of the storage areas on the Graffiti House property and a corner of the property along the railroad tracks at Brandy Station. Everyone is invited to join in. it is a great way to see historic areas, make new friends, and improve historic areas. Volunteers will be welcomed at the Graffiti House, 19484 Brandy Road, Brandy Station, Virginia, and assigned work at 9:00 AM. They should bring their own work gloves, hats and sturdy shoes. Please bring tools helpful in cutting and removing brush, downed trees and weeds. BSF will provide water, snacks and Park Day T-shirts or patches (while they last). Please sign up in advance with BSF Park Day coordinator Gary Wilson at 540-547-4106. This will help work assignments which match the abilities and interests of volunteers and get needed tools lined up. For more info, visit http://www.brandystationfoundation.com.

BRISTOE STATION

Volunteers are encouraged to join the staff at Bristoe Station Battlefield for a fun and rewarding day of work at Bristoe Battlefield. Projects will include litter pick up, cleaning cemeteries and trail maintenance throughout the 133-acre park. Wear sturdy work shoes, bring gloves and remember sunscreen. Tools and snacks will be provided. For more information, call 703-366-3049

WILDERNESS

Activities here will include trash and debris pickup, raking leaves, painting, cleaning up pulloff and monument areas. Volunteers should meet at the Saunders Field shelter on the Wilderness Battlefield, on Rt 20 in Orange County at 9:00 a.m. Bring your own gloves and safety vests if you already own some. For more information, visit http://www.fowb.org

 


 

This 18th annual Park Day volunteer event, which takes place at more than 98 historic sites nationwide, is sponsored by the Civil War Trust, HistoryTM and Take Pride in America. For a full list of locations, visit http://www.civilwar.org/aboutus/events/park-day/

Explore Women’s History Month in the Journey Through Hallowed Ground



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.

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™.

Photo by Destination Gettysburg

Statue of Elizabeth Thorn. Photo by Destination 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.

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 Memorial at Antietam

Clara Barton Memorial at Antietam

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.

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 fox-hunting 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.

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.  Details can be found at www.ediblefest.com.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership.

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.

ADDENDUM:  For a wonderful and in-depth story about Elizabeth Thorn, check out Kate Kelly’s piece at http://americacomesalive.com/2014/03/12/elizabeth-thorn-1832-1907-six-months-pregnant-burying-dead-gettysburg/#.VQc7ZDmD5bw

Experiencing Presidents’ Day In The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area



For some residents, Presidents’ Day is a recognized federal holiday, a day off of school or work. I can recall honoring the actual birthdays of President George Washington (Feb. 22) and President Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12). But the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1971 moved the holiday to the third Monday in February and is intended to celebrate all those that have served as our nation’s top leader. Whether you have the day off or not, this is a great opportunity to connect with our shared American heritage. Right here in our region, there is a rich collection of presidential history. The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, a 180-mile swath of land that stretches from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, is known as the region Where America Happened™. The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area 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.

Of course there are the traditional places where Washington slept, but many other presidents visited or lived within this historic region. For example, Gettysburg, PA, primarily known for the battle that took place there in 1863, is also home to the Eisenhower National Historic Site. The former home and farm of General and President Dwight 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.

Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

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 traversed to this retreat site while they were in office. Although it is closed off to visitors, individuals can visit Catoctin Mountain Park, where there is some interpretation of Shangri-La and its predecessor available at the Visitors Center. For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/cato/index.htm.

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 fox-hunting 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. A great website to check out is www.howardallenphotos.com.

Montpelier, located near Orange, VA, was the lifelong home of James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution” and fourth President of the United States. The mansion core was built by Madison’s father circa 1760. 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.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership.

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.ashlawnhighland.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. For more information, check out http://www.theodoreroosevelt.org/modern/pineknot.htm.

Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

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.

African American History along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground



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.  In addition to the plethora of Civil War battlefields (including Gettysburg, Manassas, Harpers Ferry, Antietam, Monocacy, and The 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.

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 Abraham 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.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

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.

Significant African American sites in Prince William County include Lucasville School, a one-room schoolhouse built solely for African American children; the 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.discoverpwm.com.

Photo by Shuan Butcher. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Shuan Butcher. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

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.  For more information, visit www.jeffschoolheritagecenter.org.

Honoring Their Paths

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, including a county by county listing of sites, can be found in the book Honoring Their Paths: African American Contributions Along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground, written by Deborah A. Lee and published in 2009.  To purchase a copy, or to request maps, suggested itineraries, and other information, visit www.hallowedground.org.

In The News In 2014



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As the year’s end approaches, it is an appropriate time to reflect on the past.  We are fortunate at the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area to have so many wonderful stakeholders: donors, volunteers, community partners, and the media. 

To recap 2014, we thought it would be good to share with you the work of our various programs and activities through the lens of the media.  We appreciate the willingness of the writers, reporters, and photographers who helped spread the word of our various work.  As a result, we have picked the Top 12 stories that best represent our diverse programs.

EXTREME JOURNEY SUMMER CAMP

1. Leesburg Today, August 7

http://www.leesburgtoday.com/news/extreme-journey-camp-brings-history-to-life/article_3e77d2e8-1827-11e4-a08f-0019bb2963f4.html

LIVING LEGACY TREE PLANTING PROJECT

2.  USA Today, November 13

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/11/13/tennessee-redbuds-to-memorialize-civil-war-soldiers/18988159/

3. Washington Post, July 10

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-living-tribute-to-civil-war-soldiers/2014/07/09/c29bb852-ff9d-11e3-8fd0-3a663dfa68ac_story.html

4. American Nurseryman, September issue

http://www.amerinursery-digital.com/sep2014#&pageSet=8&contentItem=0

5. Military Times, July 21

http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140718/NEWS/307180063/620-000-trees-honor-fallen-Civil-War-soldiers

6. Civil War Courier, Jan. 1

http://www.civilwarcourier.com/?p=99887

NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA/TOURISM

7. Eastern Home & Travel, April issue

http://thejuncture.hallowedground.org/homeandtravel.pdf

8. AAA Motorist, October issue

http://thejuncture.hallowedground.org/AAA_Motorist.pdf

9. Southern Living, October 11

http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2014/10/11/the-journey-through-hallowed-ground/

10. Find it Frederick Magazine, Winter issue:

http://issuu.com/pulsepublishing/docs/fif_wint14_web/72?e=1941129/6176723

OF THE STUDENT, BY THE STUDENT, FOR THE STUDENT PROJECT

11. Daily Progress, May 29

http://www.dailyprogress.com/orangenews/lifestyles/of-the-student-by-the-student-for-the-student/article_71c1980c-e751-11e3-9ca5-0017a43b2370.html

CERTIFIED TOURISM AMBASSADOR PROGRAM

12. Frederick News Post, October 3

http://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/economy_and_business/business_topics/tourism/regional-tourism-gets-new-ambassadors/article_8b4dd9c6-eb33-58c1-8d2a-4c551ea2bd3c.html

This list represents local, regional, and national media coverage.  We look forward to more opportunities to share our message in 2015 and thank all our stakeholders for contributing to our success.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

National Teacher Seminar Scheduled in Middleburg



In collaboration with Ancestry, and its affiliates Fold3.com and AncestryK12.com, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership is inviting teachers to participate in a professional development seminar on how to engage students in a service-learning program using primary source-based research.  This service-learning program introduces students to primary source documents as they examine fallen Civil War soldiers from their own communities. By learning about these men, history—both local and national—comes alive for the participating researchers. As they get to know “their” soldier, students make connections between their lives and those that came before them, ultimately allowing them to understand that this war impacted every single American.

Ancestry Senior Executive Brock Bierman and JTHG President Cate Magennis Wyatt sign a partnership agreement during a tree planting ceremony at Gettysburg National Military Park on November 19, 2013.

Ancestry Senior Executive Brock Bierman and JTHG President Cate Magennis Wyatt sign a partnership agreement during a tree planting ceremony at Gettysburg National Military Park on November 19, 2013.

Once completed, the research is used for the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s Living Legacy Tree Planting Project, an initiative with the goal of planting one tree for each of the 620,000 fallen Civil War soldiers, becoming the first national memorial for the most defining time in our nation’s history.  Students around the country are already conducting research on the individual lives of these soldiers, which are then uploaded and shared through an online, interactive map. This map indentifies every tree planted through a geotag, which allows visitors the opportunity to learn the name and story of the young man for whom the tree is planted, with photos, diary entries, and letters home also shared.  To date, over 300 students in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Vermont have collected information on over 800 soldiers. Additionally, over 5,000 facts, images, and stories have been uploaded to the Honor Wall pages hosted by Ancestry.com’s affiliate site, Fold3.com.

The Living Legacy Teacher Seminar will be held 10:00-4:00 p.m. on December 7-8 at the National Sporting Library & Museum in Middleburg.  This free, two-day professional development seminar is being offered to any educator interested in bringing this groundbreaking curriculum and service-learning project to their students. Throughout this program, participating educators will receive in-depth training in genealogy research as led byAncestry.com experts and participate in stimulating discussion on the role, value, and implementation of service-learning curriculum.  Participants will also be the first to see, and provide feedback, on a new curriculum being developed, known as Living Legacy Tree Planting Project: A Teacher’s Guide to Engaging Students with the National Civil War Memorial, which will connect the social sciences to language arts, STEM, and GIS (geographic information system) standards of learning.

Attending teachers will receive a $350 stipend in return for their time and to help defray any travel and accommodation expenses.  Lunch will also be provided both days.  In return, all participating educators must commit to incorporating portions of the Living Legacy curriculum into their classrooms before the end of the current school year.

Two other teacher seminars have been held to date, including one hosted at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, which brought teachers together with industry leaders such as the Virginia Geographic Alliance and ESRI.  A second teacher seminar was held at Manassas National Battlefield in partnership with Ancestry.com experts.  The goal of the third seminar, which is funded in part by a grant from Ancestry, is to identify and train 30 teachers that will be able to engage an additional 2,000 students across the country.

National Sporting Library & Museum, courtesy of Visit Loudoun

National Sporting Library & Museum, courtesy of Visit Loudoun

The National Sporting Library & Museum, located within the heart of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, is conveniently located 20 miles from Dulles International Airport in Middleburg, Va.  To learn more about the National Sporting Library & Museum, visit www.nsl.org.  Teachers interested in registering for the seminar can visit www.hallowedground.org.

Labor Day Throughout The Journey



Holidays are not intended to just be days off from school or work.  They should be treated as special occasions, including taking the time to pause and reflect what the holiday is about and why it was created in the first place- and Labor Day is no different.  Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country and became a federal holiday in 1894.

Within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, a 180-mile swath of land that runs from Gettysburg, PA to Charlottesville, VA, there are several places that pay homage to the history of work in America.  Here are just a few examples you can visit to observe Labor Day :

ADAMS COUNTY, PA

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Gettysburg may be best known for its Civil War history, but the area is also the heart of Pennsylvania ‘s Apple Country.  Therefore, it is fitting to recognize the important role that agriculture, farms, orchards, wineries and the farmers and producers of these goods have not only on this region but the entire country.  Just north and west of the Gettysburg battlefield, more than 20,000 acres of apple orchards produce over 35 varieties of apples, and many of them are sold to processing plants today for things like apple juice and apple sauce.  In fact, the are is home to the National Apple Harvest Festival, which takes place over two weekends in early October each year.  To get additional details, visit http://www.appleharvest.com.

FREDERICK COUNTY, MD

From Gettysburg, continue south along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway into Maryland.  Arrive in the City of Brunswick, located at the southern end of Frederick County.  Situated along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Brunswick became a company town with an exploding population and reportedly had the largest and busiest railroad yards in the world at one point  Although the railroad isn’t as important to our nation as it once was, you can still see the engines whistling down the track in Brunswick.  In addition, the town does serve as a major stop on the Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) Train line which takes commuters in and out of the greater Washington, D.C. area each weekday.  The Brunswick Heritage Museum is a great place to visit as it tells the stories of the railroaders and their families in the early 1900’s and houses one of the largest model train layouts on the east coast. For more information, visit www.brunswickmuseum.org.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, MD

Photos by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photos by Kenneth Garrett. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

In addition, the C&O Canal was a major economic engine for people living along the Potomac River, particularly in the 19th and early 20th century.  Visitors to the C & O Canal can learn stories of western expansion, transportation, engineering, the Civil War, immigration, industry and commerce.   There are several access points to the C&O within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, but one suggested location would be the Williamsport Visitor Center.  Here, there are several examples of major canal structures visible within close proximity.  For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/choh.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, WV

Harpers Ferry became a major industrial center during the first half of the 19th Century, particularly with the establishment of The United States Armory and Arsenal there.  During its heyday, the armory was producing hundreds of thousands of muskets, rifles, and pistols.  Not only were there over 400 workers employed at times but inventions helped revolutionize the manufacturing process from craft-based production to machines.  The town also housed other industiries, including a sawmill, flour mill, machine shop, two cotton mills, tannery, and iron foundry. Only ruins remain today of most of this history, but visitors can still get quite the sense of this once industrious town.  For more information, visit Harpers Ferry National Historical Park at http://www.nps.gov/hafe.

LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA

Gristmills once dotted the landscape of rural America, but most of them have now vanished or stand abandoned as silent witnesses of the past., However, Aldie Mill, located in Aldie, Virginia, offers visitors and students a glimpse of how life was lived in the rural South during a time when the Mill served as a vital center of the community.  Find out more at http://www.nvrpa.org/park/aldie_mill_historic_park.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VA

Manassas is a good place to learn about our country’s rich military history..  Everyone knows about the two Civil War battles that took place there and may also be familiar with the nearby National Museum of the Marine Corps.  However, tucked away inside the Manassas Regional Airport is the Freedom Museum.  The Freedom Museum honors those Americans who made the supreme sacrifice in defense of freedom and pays tribute to those who served our country with honor and distinction.  The thrust of this Smithsonian Affiliate focuses on the 20th Century. Learn more at www.freedommuseum.org.

CULPEPER COUNTY, VA

For more than four centuries our forefathers had been producing fresh whiskey in the hills of Virginia.  At Belmont Farm Distillery, their whiskey is produced in a genuine solid copper pot still and they have America’s oldest operating pot still.  Although this form of whiskey production had been abandoned in the United States, the folks at Belmont Farm have chosen to preserve a national tradition of copper pot still fresh whiskey (their copper pot still was constructed in 1930).  For more information, visit http://www.belmontfarmdistillery.com.

ORANGE COUNTY, VA

Located at Montpelier (the former home of President James and Dolley Madison) sits the Gilmore Cabin, a post-Civil War African-American’s house. Former Madison slave George Gilmore built this log cabin for his family in the early 1870s. President Madison’s nephew owned the land. George Gilmore was more than 90 years old when he purchased the house and 16 acres for $560, just before the death of Dr. James Ambrose Madison in 1901. The property offers a glimpse of what life was like for African-Americans in the years during the Reconstruction era. Museum educators will be on hand to demonstrate the techniques of 19th-century farm life.  Check out http://www.montpelier.org/visit/gilmore-cabin-open.

Photo by Shuan Butcher. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Shuan Butcher. Copyright Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, VA

And finally, make sure you take a ride on the Hatton Ferry, a historic ferry across the James River and the only poled ferry still operating in the United States. A ride on the ferry is a unique opportunity to experience times past.  Two hundred years ago, there were a thousand poled ferries carrying people across rivers and streams throughout the United States.  Ferries served Albemarle County from the mid-eighteenth century to the mid- nineteenth century, and provided a means by which European settlers could communicate with other settlers and establish commercial ventures.  There’s no better way to experience the beauty and tranquility of the James River- and to get a glimpse of a simpler way of life- than by taking the ferry at Hatton.  The Hatton Ferry is located in southern Albemarle County, a few miles outside of Scottsville.  Be sure to check out their website for hours and operating conditions at www.thehattonferry.org

In addition to the sites listed above, there are several other places to visit within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area.  Those interested in other suggested itineraries or to request a map should visit www.hallowedground.org.

Student-Created Vodcasts Available For Video On Demand Viewing through Partnership with Comcast



Comcast has made six new vodcasts, or mini-documentaries, created by middle school students through the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s innovative and award-winning Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student® program, available for free viewing through Xfinity On Demand.  The student programming can be viewed by Xfinity TV customers in the Richmond, Charlottesville, Washington, D.C., and Roanoke areas.  The programming can be found by going to the Xfinity On Demand menu and choosing either Get Local/Community Investment/Hallowed Ground or Get Local/Entertainment/Hallowed Ground.IMG_4034

Of the Student, By the Student, For the Student® is a service-learning project that connects middle school students to the American Civil War as they use primary source documents, humanities scholarship, music, dance, dramatic readings, role-playing and digital technology to create vodcasts, or mini-documentaries, for the National Parks in the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area.  From beginning to end, the students serve as scriptwriters, actors, directors, choreographers, set designers, costume creators, videographers, film editors and now young history stars with deep connections to our national history.

During the 2013-2014 school year, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership completed new vodcasts with students from Orange County Public Schools.  The vodcasts covered various topics relating to the Battle of The Wilderness and the start of the Overland Campaign These student-generated vodcasts will become part of the official interpretive materials at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park and are available to educators, students and visitors worldwide through various websites. IMG_4091

Cate Magennis Wyatt, JTHG Partnership President, stated “We are so very excited to be able to share these educational vodcasts with parents, teachers and students. These works provide great insight into creative teaching as well as best practices for learning history.”

The collaboration between Comcast and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership was initially introduced through History.  “History Channel is delighted to join our cable partners in helping these local student productions reach a wider audience,” said Libby Haight O’Connell, Senior Vice President, Corporate Outreach and Chief Historian, History. “The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s work in preservation and education is outstanding, and the student documentaries highlight the value of local history.”IMG_4154

In addition to History, generous support for this project is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, and the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation.  In addition to placing these and previous student-created vodcats, Comcast supported this initiative by creating a Comcast Newsmakers segment from the 2013 program in Gettysburg, providing an overview of the process.  To check out that video, visit  http://youtu.be/Ms_r4E4VbRY.  For more information about the Of the Student, By the Student For the Student® program, visit www.HallowedGround.org