Some good ones in here - note #13 on Beauvoir
Civil War News Roundup – 02/09/2007
Courtesy of the Civil War Preservation Trust
(1) Group to Commemorate Lincoln-Douglas Debate - Southeast Missourian
(2) Editorial: County Should Support 'Journey' - Loudoun Times Mirror
(3) Bush Proposes Large Increase for Parks - Associated Press
(4) Archaeology at Nash Farm Battlefield - Henry Daily Herald
(5) Exhibit Shares Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation - KCNC-TV CBS 4
(6) Atlanta is Aiming for a Bang from Civil War - Atlanta Business Chronicle
(7) With VA Funding Requests, Obscure Not Forgotten - Washington Examiner
(8) Opposition among Reasons Gettysburg Casino was Denied - York Daily Record
(9) Mud Keeps Secret of Civil War Rifles - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
(10) Civil War Sites Marked in Madison County - Asheville Citizen Times
(11) Main Street Director to Work for Borough? - Hanover Evening Sun
(12) Battlefield Park Plans to Be Presented to Public - Nashville Tennessean
(13) Mobile Company to Rebuild Jeff Davis’ Beauvoir - Mobile Press-Register
(14) State Comm. Inquires Into Wireless Tower - Chattanooga Times Free Press
Group Raising Money for Statues to Commemorate Lincoln-Douglas Debate
By Mark Bliss, Staff Writer
Southeast Missourian (MO)
JONESBORO, Ill. -- A Southern Illinois historic preservation group wants to raise $100,000 or more erect statues to commemorate the Lincoln-Douglas debate that occurred in Jonesboro on Sept. 15, 1858.
The group, Promoting Appreciation of Structural Treasures or PAST, wants to have two life-size, bronze statutes sculpted depicting Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. The statues would be erected at Lincoln Memorial Park in Jonesboro, the site of the famous debate.
The group also wants to erect interpretive signs and a "Walk Where Lincoln Walked" trail leading from Jonesboro Square to the park.
"Douglas got a ride in a fancy carriage, but Lincoln walked," said Linda Hileman of Cobden, Ill., who co-chairs the sesquicentennial committee of PAST.
Other possible projects include establishment of an interpretive center and local high school debates as part of Illinois' sesquicentennial celebration in September 2008 of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
Campaigning for election to the U.S. Senate, Lincoln and Douglas held seven debates across Illinois starting Aug. 21 and ending Oct. 15, 1858.
The debates propelled Lincoln into national prominence and ultimately to the presidency.
Hileman said the Jonesboro area needs to celebrate its part in history. "It is our claim to fame," she said of the political debate.
Makanda, Ill., sculptor Tom Allen has agreed to create the statues at a cost of $68,000. "That was about half-price," Hileman said.
The group hopes to secure donations and possibly grants. "We are asking our legislators to help," she said.
A kick-off dinner will be held Feb. 16 to begin raising money to fund the commemoration projects. Doors at Great Boars of Fire Lodge in Anna, Ill., will open at 6 p.m. The buffet dinner will be at 7 p.m.
Dr. John Y. Simon, who teaches courses on the Civil War, Reconstruction and Illinois history at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, will be the featured speaker.
Simon served as the local commentator for the 1994 C-SPAN cable television channel re-enactment of the debate.
The dinner will include a silent auction of books and other items related to Southern Illinois history and the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
Reservations for the dinner must be made by phone or e-mail by Monday, Linda Hileman said. The cost is $25 per person and is tax-deductible, she said.
To make reservations, e-mail Hileman at email@example.com or call (618) 833-8745.
Opinion: County Supervisors Should Support 'Journey' Legislation
By Ken Reid, Leesburg Town Council
Loudoun Times Mirror (VA)
As a longtime advocate for building new Potomac River bridges to remove the heavy traffic from U.S. 15 and other area roads, I was mortified to learn in 2005 about the Piedmont Environmental Council's involvement in creating the Journey through Hallowed Ground initiative and legislation, making the U.S. 15 corridor from Gettysburg to Warrenton and the U.S. 29 corridor to Charlottesville a "National Heritage Area."
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Frank Wolf in the House, would establish a "management entity" under the direction of the U.S. Department of the Interior to protect Civil War battlefields and other heritage sites. Similar heritage areas exist in the Shenandoah Valley, and the entire state of Tennessee is a heritage area.
I was very concerned, as were the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, about signing on to this effort. Not only did I smell a veiled effort to block safety improvements on U.S. 15, which have been debated for years, but feared that this new "management entity" would impose its will on local property owners and farmers seeking use of their land.
The bill failed to pass Congress in December, but on Jan. 6, Rep. Wolf re-introduced it - this time, however, with an important amendment. HR-319 now reads:
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to modify the authority of Federal, State, or local governments to regulate land use, including the authority of Federal, State and local governments to make safety improvements or increase the capacity of existing roads or to construct new roads.
The credit for this amendment goes to Lucketts Ruritan activist Andy Pitas, who has fought with me for a western bypass for years. However, the lady who really made it possible was Hallowed Ground partnership president and its leading advocate, Cate Magennis Wyatt of Waterford.
After talking to Ms. Wyatt, and the Hallowed Ground opponents, I learned that the initiative is not about blocking roads or development, but preservation and tourism. So, because of this protection on roads, which she got added to the bill, I am supporting HR 319, and I would urge the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to rethink its opposition.
The "Pitas Amendment," as we've called it, will allow any government entity to make safety improvements or increase the capacity of new roads. Property rights advocates are still skeptical, but I challenge them to talk to Ms. Wyatt and try to work with her and Congressman Wolf to make the bill better, although there is a provision protecting property owners from participating in the heritage area.
And, on Feb. 2, Ms. Wyatt, Andy, myself and others attended a meeting Congressman Wolf convened in Leesburg to bring all sides together to discuss U.S. 15 safety. We learned that wide shoulders and guardrails can be designed in such a way to allow for safety on what is an overburdened road with 20,000 vehicles a day, which could double by 2030, yet ensure slower speeds and keep the road scenic.
While the Hallowed Ground partnership cannot be involved in road issues, the group's individual members and partners could help serve to bring Maryland folks to the table to discuss the best long-term solutions for U.S. 15, which is to remove as much of the heavy traffic on a modern road.
It's sad that it took the tragic deaths of Dustin and Courtney Muse on U.S. 15 on Dec. 6 to get VDOT moving on the safety improvements. But now, the varied parties are going to form a working group and sit at the table to get funding for shoulders, guardrails, and hopefully, move forward on long-term plans to preserve U.S. 15 as a "scenic byway" and get the traffic off on a bypass road, which does not induce development or wreak havoc on the environment.
I really applaud Ms. Wyatt and Mr. Wolf for amending the bill, and I would again challenge the Loudoun Board of Supervisors to work with them to preserve the U.S. 15 corridor while allowing for necessary road expansion and improvements to take place, and give utmost consideration of the needs of private landowners.
The writer is a member of the Leesburg Town Council. Prior to moving to Leesburg in 2002, he led Marylanders for a Second Crossing in 2000, a citizens group that worked with residents of Lucketts and other stakeholders to study and plan for the western bypass and other Potomac River bridges.
Bush Proposes Large Increase for Parks
By JENNIFER TALHELM, Associated Press
Associated Press (national)
WASHINGTON -- National parks would get extra money next year to prepare for a big birthday bash _ their own.
President Bush's 2008 budget, unveiled Monday, would give the National Park Service its largest-ever funding increase in preparation for the park system's 100th birthday in 2016.
In all, Bush allots $2.4 billion for the National Park Service for 2008, $230 million more than he requested last year. His plan would add $100 million each year leading up to the centennial, and pledges another $100 million to be matched by private donations.
The plan would add 3,000 new seasonal employees and increase money for park maintenance _ two areas that advocates say have suffered for years.
Combined, the public and private investments could equal a $3 billion investment over 10 years, Park Service officials said.
A park watchdog group applauded the move. But House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., panned Bush's proposal, calling the plan to leverage private donations "an illusion conjured by this administration."
The new funding is largely the result of shifting funds from existing important park programs, such as construction, into a new budget column with a new label, Rahall added.
"Our national parks are national treasures _ and their funding is a national responsibility," Rahall said.
Ron Tipton, senior vice president for programs at the National Parks Conservation Association, said the president's proposal would be a significant step toward solving some of the parks' major problems, including crumbling facilities, growing pollution and lack of park staff.
The group has estimated that the national parks are underfunded by more than $800 million.
Other key features of the proposed budget include:
_$20.0 million for cultural and natural resource programs at 20 parks to meet specific improvement goals, such as upgrading historic structures, eradicating exotic species and restoring disturbed lands.
_$22.5 million for federal land acquisition, including completing land acquisition for the Flight 93 National Memorial and funds for Civil War battlefield grants.
© 2007 The Associated Press
Archaeologists put together Nash Farm Battlefield’s past
By Jaya Franklin
Henry Daily Herald (GA)
After 140 years of silence, pieces of the Nash Farm Battlefield history are coming alive, literally.
More than one year ago, Henry County bought Nash Farm through condemnation and turned it into a park. Now, an archaeological survey is being conducted at the field where close to 300 artifacts from1864 already have been unearthed.
In first six hours of digging, some 100 artifacts were located.
“We’ve found Union and Confederate weapons, bombshells, swords, pocket knives and horse hardware,” said Dan Elliott, president and project director of the Lower Appalachian Mississippian, Archeological Research Institute of Savannah.
The diggers are using metal detectors, radar machines, hand-held satellite devices and several other tools to conduct their search.
“As of right now we are still in the discovery phase. We will continue to dig through Feb. 10,” said Elliott. The dig will take about two weeks.
“This institute has a great reputation for doing extensive surveys on battlefields,” said Mark Pollard, Henry County’s Civil War historian and chairman of the board of directors of Nash Farm Battlefield.
Pollard said that small red flags are placed in the ground to identify where items are being found. Each artifact is separated and taken to a lab to be restored and measured, he said. When the dig is completed, the artifacts are cleaned and prepared for curation. The artifacts will be placed on display at the Nash Farmhouse once it is turned into a museum.
“The artifacts tell the story of what happened. There is evidence that battles took place in Henry County,” said Pollard.
“I think that this field has the potential to come alive. It looks the same as it did in 1864,” said Elliott, who supervises the digging.
Henry County called for the survey to be conducted on the historic site. “They’re [archaeologists] looking for Civil War artifacts that were left over from the battles that took place on the property in 1864,” Pollard said.
Pollard feels that preserving this land is a major mark in history. “History can come alive instead of being built over by a strip mall or a housing development,” he added.
The project has been fully funded. Nash Farm received $10,000 from a Georgia Local Assistance grant and $2,500 from the LAMAR institute. The 204-acre battlefield is recorded as the largest calvary raid site in Georgia’s history.
The battlefield also is used as a tourist site for visitors.
Exhibit Shares Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation
By Doug Whitehead
KCNC-TV CBS 4 Denver (CO)
AURORA, Colo. The Aurora History Museum is taking a closer look at the legacy of President Abraham Lincoln as his birthday approaches.
The exhibit, titled "Forever Free, Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation," explains the events leading up to Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. The pictures and quotations illustrate that it was not a decision he made lightly.
Lincoln faced pressure from abolitionist Frederick Douglas and others to free the slaves at the beginning of the Civil War, but that pressure and his personal abhorrence to slavery took a back seat to politics.
"He was not going to fight for an end to slavery," said Matt Chasanky, curator of the Aurora History Museum. "He was going to fight for the preservation of the union."
But as southern states started to seceded and slaves started freeing themselves by fleeing their masters, more pragmatic reasons pushed Lincoln to free the slaves.
"Up until the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans weren't allowed to fight in this war," explained Motyka Johnson, a tour guide at the museum. "This finally allowed them to take part in the battle for their own freedom."
Chasanky said the proclamation began change in American society, but pointed out it was slow to come and the battle for civil rights continues more than 100 years after Lincoln's assassination.
"This promise that Lincoln had in the Emancipation Proclamation, we're still struggling to fulfill it today."
Atlanta is Aiming for a Bang from Civil War
By Rachel Tobin Ramos, Staff Writer
Atlanta Business Chronicle (GA)
Atlanta is getting ready to position itself as a top destination for Civil War tourism as the nation approaches the 150th anniversary of the war in 2011.
The city and state see a potential windfall and a chance to build a lasting reputation for Atlanta as a must-visit site for Civil War tourists.
The effort comes as the city, already a popular convention site, continues to build its appeal to tourists with the success of the new Georgia Aquarium, the opening this year of the new World of Coca-Cola and plans for a new civil rights museum, all at Centennial Olympic Park.
"I hope that Atlanta is one of two meccas" for the Civil War anniversary, said James H. Bruns, president and CEO of the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead. "And you can't get to Gettysburg. You can get to Atlanta."
Still, Atlanta and Georgia will have to make an effort to tie together the far-flung Civil War sites that run from the northern border with Tennessee all the way to Savannah. They include the History Center, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, the Atlanta Cyclorama and Stone Mountain.
While Gettysburg has plans to spend about $120 million to give their battlefield and Cyclorama face-lifts, said Bruns, Georgia's plans are still coming into focus.
Leading the charge along with the History Center and Cyclorama will be the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Marching orders could be issued soon.
Georgia's tourism commissioner, Dan Rowe, says that Georgia has the second-highest number of Civil War sites, after Virginia, and he's already making plans to catch Gettysburg in attracting Civil War tourists.
In January, he asked the state legislature for $5 million to develop the Resaca Battlefield, a site between Atlanta and Chattanooga along Interstate 75, into a tourist destination.
Part of that budget, if approved by lawmakers, will help Rowe develop a plan for marketing Georgia to tourists interested in everything from the Underground Railroad to the battles between the Union and Confederate armies to General William Sherman's March to the Sea, plus the Battle of Atlanta and the city's fiery fate. For example, at Sweetwater Creek State Park, there are ruins of a textile mill burned during the Civil War.
Next, said Rowe, he's going to reach out to the state's top organizations and attractions. He plans to create a comprehensive heritage guide to Georgia that will include maps and itineraries that will focus not just on the Civil War, but also on civil rights and antebellum architecture.
"If I were to say we want to be second [after Gettysburg], that's a hard one to be able to say out of box," said Rowe. "However, I believe Georgia has a very compelling story to tell. If we're successful in developing and executing our plan, we can be the No. 2 destination, and we may even be able to surpass Gettysburg in terms of all the different history attractions across the state."
And though the planning is just getting started, he said, Georgia hasn't been at a standstill.
The economic development department just unveiled a new marketing campaign aimed at history tourism.
Replicas of antique photographs of Georgia's historic sites will be inserted like postcards into magazines such as American History, Smithsonian, Preservation and National Geographic, with messages to come visit Georgia. One shows a picture from the famous Chickamauga battlefield, one of the first battlefields preserved as a national historic site in 1890.
For Bruns at the Atlanta History Center, the next step is to develop packages that include Atlanta's historic sites.
"We're ultimately all going to have to sit down to figure out a Civil War package with the Oakland Cemetery [there's a Confederate cemetery there], Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, the National Park Service, the Civil War and Locomotive Museum [in Cobb], the Atlanta Cyclorama and Stone Mountain," said Bruns.
Lauren Jarrell, spokeswoman for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, said there's already high interest in Atlanta from overseas visitors, many who start here then trek around the South following Civil War history.
"We bill ourselves from Civil War to civil rights in our tourism guides," Jarrell said. Domestic tourists also pack motor coaches, traipsing across the city and lunching at places like Mary Mac's Tea Room.
The ACVB's brochures include a "Gone With The Wind" itinerary starting on the Road to Tara and including the Stately Oaks Historic Home, a tour of Jonesboro, the Margaret Mitchell House (run by the History Center) and the Atlanta Cyclorama.
Bruns says the Atlanta History Center is well-positioned to help brand Atlanta as a Civil War mecca.
The center, which just finished a four-year fund-raising effort that raised $28 million, has been busy acquiring Civil War artifacts, from 52 orders that Sherman issued during the Battle of Atlanta to the George Wray Civil War Collection. Bruns says the center has the largest and most comprehensive repository of Civil War artifacts in the world.
He wants to create traveling exhibitions (as the sesquicentennial will last from 2011 to 2015) and he wants to loan collections the Atlanta Cyclorama.
Keith Lauer, the Cyclorama's director, said he welcomes that, even though the Atlanta History Center soon will end its contract to operate the Cyclorama's gift shop.
The city of Atlanta, which operates the attraction, will also run the gift shop.
But both attractions said they would continue to work collaboratively to get more visitors to the Cyclorama, which attracts about 100,000 annually.
No one has an accurate account of the economic impact that Civil War and heritage tourism has on Atlanta or Georgia.
But both Rowe and Jarrell say statistics show that heritage tourists tend to stay longer and spend more money than other kinds of visitors.
Overall, tourism in Georgia is the state's second-largest industry after agriculture. Domestic travelers spent $16.6 billion in Georgia in 2005, up 7.7 percent from 2004, according to the Travel Industry Association of America.
Already, some of Atlanta's top tourist attractions have Civil War ties. Stone Mountain Park, with the Confederate "Mount Rushmore," carving, gets more than 4 million visitors annually while Kennesaw had 1.2 million visitors in 2004. To be sure, both parks see a lot of repeat visitors who go to run, walk or bike, but many visitors are there for Civil War history. Stone Mountain is Atlanta's third most-visited attraction according to Atlanta Business Chronicle's 2006-2007 Book of Lists.
And not to be lost, added Bruns, is the importance of the Battle of Atlanta in American history.
"Atlanta's battle is not insignificant," said Bruns. "The fall of the city of Atlanta literally delivered Abe Lincoln's re-election. Had he not been re-elected, this country would've been a different country. The Civil War made modern America."
With Funding Requests, Obscure Not Forgotten
By Joe Rogalsky, Staff Writer
Washington Examiner (DC)
Richmond - As much as transportation is talked about in Northern Virginia, it would be reasonable to think the Virginia Transportation Museum would be located somewhere in the region.
But actually, the museum is in Roanoke, where it honors Virginia’s transportation history and displays rail cars, antique automobiles and carriages.
The facility stands to receive $87,500 under an amendment proposed to the state budget by Del. Bill Fralin, R-Roanoke, one of many funding requests legislators have submitted for pet projects in their districts.
The Senate Finance and House Appropriations committees will decide on the amendments Sunday when they release their fiscal 2008 spending proposals. Submitted amendments cover a wide range of causes, including the beekeeping industry, restoring an historic farm in Petersburg, forest land, local museums and historic sites (including $1 million to the White House of the Confederacy).
“We don’t know if there will be money available or not this year,” said Sen. Edward Houck, D-Spotsylvania, who is asking for $2 million to be allocated for the Civil War Historic Site Preservation Fund to keep battlefields free from development. “There is a lot of uncertainty because we don’t know what we’re doing with transportation and how much money will use for that.”
The funding requests include projects from every corner of the state. Sen. William Wampler, R-Bristol, has asked that $1.6 million be earmarked for the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance. The group operates a museum in Bristol, a town in the Appalachian Mountains on the southwest tip of Virginia, just across the Tennessee border (about eight hours from the District).
Why a Slots Bid Lost
A Report Listed Public Opposition among the Reasons a Gettysburg-area Casino Was Denied
By RICHARD FELLINGER
York Daily Record (PA)
State gaming regulators rejected a slots casino near Gettysburg late last year largely because of fierce public opposition and questions about how many gamblers it would attract.
In a 114-page opinion issued Thursday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board explained for the first time why it did not award a slots license to the proposed Crossroads Gaming Resort & Spa at routes 30 and 15 in Adams County.
The board instead gave licenses to the Mount Airy Resort and Casino in Monroe County and Sands Bethworks in Bethlehem. Board members described both as stronger markets for attracting gamblers because they should draw from population centers such as New York and New Jersey.
Because slots were legalized in 2004 to provide property-tax relief, revenue potential was a key consideration for the gaming board.
While Crossroads promised to draw gamblers from the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas, the gaming board was not convinced they would see enough. Board members expressed concern about the possibility that Maryland will eventually legalize slots.
"So in the process of trying to protect our property - if you will, the casinos - we felt that was not as strong a location," board member Sanford Rivers said of Gettysburg.
With the Civil War battlefields nearby, Crossroads had vocal opposition from national preservation groups and a grassroots group named No Casino Gettysburg. Crossroads also had supporters - a coalition of union backers and a grassroots group named Pro Casino Adams County - but it wasn't enough to counter the critics.
"Certainly, of all the applications, Gettysburg had the most community opposition," board member Jeffrey Coy said.
In their written opinion, board members note that the 2004 slots law states "the public interest of the citizens of this Commonwealth and the social effect of gaming shall be taken into consideration in any decision or order made."
The board was not entirely critical of Crossroads. It indicated it was impressed with the design of the project and with lead investor David LeVan, a Gettysburg businessman with a track record of community involvement.
Crossroads proposed a complex in a park-like setting with a four-star hotel, a 30,000-square- foot spa and several restaurants.
"If you took the project and put it somewhere else, it's really a nice project," board chairman Tad Decker said.
While board members were appointed by Gov. Ed Rendell or a legislative leader, they insisted that no politician influenced their decision.
Coy noted that all the board's licensing votes were unanimous.
Crossroads spokesman David LaTorre said the group would have no comment on the written opinion.
While Crossroads can appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court, LeVan said in a December radio interview that he doesn't plan to do that.
Crossroads was one of five applicants for two stand-alone slots licenses outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Also rejected were the Poconos Manor Resort and Casino in Monroe County and Lehigh Valley Tropicana in Allentown.
ON THE WEB
Read the decision on the Gaming Control Board's Web site at http://www.pgcb.state.pa.us Click on “Category 2 Orders & Adjudications.”
Mud Keeps Secret of Civil War Rifles
X-ray Reveals Little of Soggy Crate of Guns
By Mike Toner
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
The powerful industrial X-ray machine at Delta Air Line's Technical Operations Center can spot hairline cracks through 3 inches of hardened steel. Seeing through a century and a half of mud Tuesday proved to be another matter.
With anxious archaeologists, conservators and technicians watching, 21st-century technology met its match in a soggy, sediment-laden crate of Civil War-era rifles.
"It doesn't look promising," Josh Headlee of the Georgia Department Natural Resources preservation lab said with a shake of his head as he looked at the faint, barely decipherable X-ray images.
"I guess if we want to find out what we've got, we'll have to start digging down a layer at a time."
The rare, intact case of 24 Enfield rifles, which spent more than a century beneath the waters of Charleston Harbor, were recently acquired by the DNR for exhibition at Fort McAllister State Park in Richmond Hill.
With as many as a million of the British and Belgian-made Enfields used by both sides in the Civil War, individual Enfields —- prized for their accuracy and serviceability —- are not a rare commodity.
Only three intact cases of the popular single-shot weapon, however, are known.
These rifles, destined for use by Confederate forces, were aboard a blockade runner, the CSS Stono, when the ship sank in Charleston Harbor in 1864.
The rifles were salvaged by divers more than a decade ago but have been held, untouched, in a state-operated storage facility ever since.
Although storage in water has prevented further deterioration of the rifles, before they can go on display they must be excavated from the case to undergo permanent preservation.
Before starting the process, state officials were hoping to get an X-ray image of the waterlogged mass of wood, iron, brass and leather to serve as a road map for the work.
Delta volunteered the use of its X-ray equipment. State officials jumped at the opportunity.
Bomb-sniffing dogs had certified the case free of any live munitions.
Then came the X-rays —- so faint that even experts had trouble discerning the outline of the guns from the sediment that had filled the case while it lay on the bottom of Charleston harbor.
"It would have been nice to see what we have before we start work," said Kate Singley, a private conservator from Atlanta, who will do the conservation work.
"Instead, we're going to have to excavate a little bit at a time —- with dental drills and Waterpiks."
Civil War Sites Marked in Madison County
by Paul Clark
Asheville Citizen Times (NC)
The Madison County Genealogical Society will dedicate newly installed markers on the statewide North Carolina Civil War Trails on Saturday.
At noon, the “Strategic Location, Divided Loyalties” marker will be dedicated at Mars Hill College on the campus quad. This small institution found itself in the middle of some nasty business when local folks divided between the North and the South. A small Confederate detachment held the strategic crossroads town early but lost support as Union sympathies grew. When local Union troops entered town at the end of the war, they burned several of the college buildings.
At 1 p.m., the “Divided Loyalties” marker will be dedicated in Marshall at the Allen House on Main Street. Divided loyalties boiled over early here when a local election in May 1861 resulted in gunfire and death. In January 1863 a band of Union soldiers and citizen sympathizers from the Shelton Laurel community raided Marshall, burning and looting buildings. Confederate troops executed 13 prisoners. The event became known as the “Shelton Laurel Massacre.”
At 2 p.m., the “Brother Against Brother” marker will be dedicated at Hot Springs on the Hot Springs Spa grounds. A Union regiment made up largely of Confederate deserters and Union-supporting area citizens captured and briefly held this place in the fall of 1863. The old hotel there was Union headquarters until the Northerners were expelled in late October.
Local partners in planning and funding Madison County’s Civil War trail markers include the Madison County Genealogical Society, the town of Mars Hill, Gene Hicks, Madison County Tourism Development Association, Mars Hill College, Richard Dillingham, Priscilla Hope, Clark Kimball, Hot Springs Spa and project chairman Dan Slagle, as well as the Madison County Heritage Council, an initiative of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.
The North Carolina Civil War Trails is a program of the Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development. The markers on this battle route mirror those installed along the highly successful Civil War trail systems in Virginia and Maryland and will be easily identified by the same bugle logo these trails sport.
This multi-state program is identified as one of the most sustainable heritage tourism programs in the nation by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Contact Paul Clark at 828-232-5854, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Main Street Gettysburg Director to Work for Borough?
By MEG BERNHARDT, Evening Sun Reporter
Hanover Evening Sun (PA)
Alice Estrada hasn't decided what she will do when her resignation as Main Street Gettysburg executive director takes effect, but the Gettysburg Borough Council might offer her a job.
And if that happens, the borough's annual allocations of $50,000 to Main Street could be pulled away to fund the position.
Estrada resigned last week, saying she disagreed with a decision by Main Street's board of directors to focus narrowly on an interpretive plan created in 2000 instead of continuing a broader approach to community development – a decision she says benefits visitors instead of residents.
At the heart of the dispute is the interpretive plan, a 74-page booklet created by a steering committee in November 2000. It calls for Main Street Gettysburg to help Gettysburg visitors appreciate the town's history.
"In doing so, the plan will help preserve the Borough's historic buildings and sites and bolster the economic health of the town," the plan says. It also says it will maintain the quality of life and avoid creating a "large outdoor living history museum."
The Borough Council said the plan is a working document and its intent should be honored, but not at the expense of the future. It wanted Main Street to keep doing events and promotions for downtown. The Main Street board wanted to weigh each program before committing to it, relying heavily on the interpretive plan.
Council members have said they are afraid by focusing too narrowly on preserving history, the organization won't do the things that have been making Gettysburg an attraction – fun festivals and markets with beautiful decorations.
The nonprofit Main Street Gettysburg has worked hard under Estrada to draw tourists into town during visits. That includes starting a town guide program, installing new Christmas banners with a Civil War Christmas theme and administering a program that gives property owners no-interest loans to fix up building facades.
But lately, a storm has been brewing. The Gettysburg Borough Council brought up the issue at a workshop earlier this month, saying it hoped Main Street would continue functioning the way the council wanted, with lots of events and beautification projects.
Main Street board chairman Bill Kough explained that the board has concerns about making sure the organization is financially viable. He said the board should stick closely to the interpretive plan.
Then, at the last board meeting Wednesday, Estrada resigned, effective mid-March.
"Neither (approach) is wrong," Estrada said. " It was just difficult finding middle ground."
The Main Street Gettysburg Board of Directors was surprised, and accepted the resignation with regret, said Vice Chairman John Latschar, the superintendent of the Gettysburg National Military Park.
And Borough Council President Ted Streeter, who serves on the Main Street board and attended Wednesday's meeting, sounded dismayed. The Borough Council, he said, had favored the same programs Estrada touted.
"This represents a divergence in the direction the borough wants to go as opposed to the way Main Street wants to go," Streeter said. "Alice's resignation is a reflection of that."
He said the council will discuss creating a new position for Estrada at its meeting next month. She would focus on planning events and sponsoring programs to boost the vitality of the downtown area – just the sorts of things the council believes Main Street should be doing, he said.
"We're going to put the pieces back together and go on," Streeter said. "It's unfortunate that it's come to a difference of opinion, but it's legitimate and there's certainly no ill will involved."
Of course, Streeter is not sure what the council will decide. In the meantime, Estrada said she plans on considering several different options. In the past, she's worked as a marketing consultant. She moved to Gettysburg to help with the opening of Gettysburg Village and, even though she loves Adams County, she is not sure if she will remain in Gettysburg.
She said she feels she made the right decision by resigning because she didn't agree with the new focus of the board. The approach to commercial-district revitalization developed by other Main Street organizations across the country should be applied, she said.
But the Main Street board doesn't perceive its decisions as a major shift in policy, Latschar said. He said the board of directors recently decided not to take a lead role in six programs. That includes Keep Adams Green, a jazz festival, the antiques show, the Christmas decor, murals and the Christmas parade. They are all good programs, he said, but the board felt others could handle them better.
Most of those decisions aren't a concern for the Borough Council, Streeter said, except for the Christmas decorations. The council is more concerned the board will stop sponsoring History Meets the Arts – though Latschar said Main Street will sponsor this year and has no intention of stopping – or that Main Street will not consider other, new festivals or events the borough supports.
Calling the problems a question of semantics, Latschar said he does not believe any real philosophical differences exist between the board and the borough.
"I'm hoping it's just a temporary discussion on what the best means to reach the goal is rather than anything else," Latschar said.
But Latschar said the more the organization can preserve the historic resources downtown and provide better interpretation to the visitors, the better it is for the economy of Gettysburg. And when the economy improves, the quality of life will, as well, he said. He hopes the borough won't pull its funding, and noted the borough had signed a document in November affirming Main Street's role to implement the interpretive plan.
Latschar said the Park Service plans to continue its financial support to Main Street projects through federal technical assistance. Almost every year since Main Street started, the park has given money ranging from $35,000 to $90,000 for projects, and $114,000 to its operations. The funds are earmarked by Congress for working with local governments for preservation and to provide visitor information within the historic district.
Likewise, another major contributor to Main Street – the Convention and Visitors Bureau – has said it will continue its $20,000 donation to Main Street every year.
"We are a tourism-marketing organization and so we support Main Street for their efforts for the preservation and revitalization of historic Gettysburg," said executive director Norris Flowers.
Contact Meg Bernhardt at email@example.com.
Battlefield Park Plans to Be Presented to the Public
By Kevin Walters, Staff Writer
FRANKLIN — Consultants will present plans tonight to the public for a Civil War battlefield park off Lewisburg Pike at the former Country Club of Franklin.
The plans suggest potential sites for a battlefield visitors center: on the site of the former golf course clubhouse, on property owned by nearby Carnton Plantation or at a location near the plantation's historic barns.
Some city aldermen and nearby residents — including former members of the country club — have been sharply critical in the past about the project's cost and impact on nearby neighborhoods.
Cost won't be something that likely comes up at tonight's informational session with architects from West Chester, Pa.-based John Milner Associates. The price tag will be discussed at later sessions.
Instead, tonight's session will be used to discuss creating the overall vision for the park and for architects to collect feedback.
"I want a park that doesn't just appeal to tourists," said Alderman Pam Lewis, chairwoman of the city's parks committee. "At the end of the day the citizens of Franklin and Williamson County are the ones who will be served by this park on a day-to-day basis. I want it to be basic and user-friendly and dovetail in with the existing community."
The 110-acre park will commemorate the 1864 Battle of Franklin.
As of late Friday, Lewis said she had not seen the plans yet but planned to study them over the weekend.
Plans under review
Here's a brief overview of the architects' proposals:
• After demolishing the former clubhouse, a new interpretative center could be built on its location. Vehicle traffic would be limited to the west side of the site.
• The interpretative center could be built on the nearby Carnton Plantation property and provide easy access to the Fleming Center that Carnton officials want to build. However, there would be no restrooms on the park property for park visitors to use.
• A center could be built on the site of former Carnton barns and provide close proximity to Carnton.
Aside from the $2.5 million officials approved last year to spend on the park, Franklin has agreed to provide John Milner Associates Inc. $110,000 for its work on the project. Private sources raised an additional $2.5 million for the park.
Lewis believes that the park will drive the creation of new revenue through historic tourism.
"We don't have to create history, we've got it," Lewis said. "All we have to do is present it."
Mobile Company to Rebuild Jefferson Davis’ Beauvoir
Mobile Press-Register (AL)
A Mobile construction company will soon begin a $4 million restoration of Beauvoir Mansion, a national historical landmark in Biloxi and the retirement home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
The Lathan Company Inc., based in Theodore, will rebuild the home where Davis lived after the Civil War. The house located on U.S. 90, facing the Mississippi Sound, was heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005.
The contract with Lathan was signed during a ceremony Thursday in Biloxi.
Original materials salvaged from the site will be used whenever possible in the rebuilding, said Jerry Lathan, CEO of The Lathan Company. His crews plan to start work within 10 days, he said.
"They've done a lot of cleanup and cataloging of the debris field," he said. "They have recovered some beams and framing members. The first thing is to start putting the puzzle together to see what's missing."
Construction crews will use new materials to fill in areas where the original boards or beams are missing or cannot be reused, Lathan said.
"It's clean and stable pretty much, but it was badly damaged," he said. "If it was any other structure it would be considered a total loss, but it can be saved and we're going to do it."
The construction company is also performing historic roofing restoration at the Presbytere Museum and the Pontalba Apartments in New Orleans, according to the company's Web site.
The work is expected to be completed in a year and Beauvoir reopened to the public by June 3, 2008, the 200th anniversary of Davis' birthday, Richard Flowers, curator, said Thursday.
"We're kind of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," Flowers said.
Flowers said that Katrina destroyed five of seven buildings that were a part of the Beauvoir estate. The only two buildings that remained were the house and the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library, which also sustained heavy damage. The library was completed in 1998.
Officials plan to request bids for restoring the library this summer, Flowers said. A 9,000 square-foot addition that will house the Confederate soldiers museum will be built on the library's north side, he said. Katrina destroyed the building that had housed the soldier's museum. That work is expected to take two years to complete, he said.
"It may be about 2012 before everything is restored the way we want it restored," Flowers said.
According to published reports, four contractors with historic restoration experience submitted bids to preserve the 1850s Creole cottage. The museum estate is owned by the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who bought the property from Davis' widow. A combination of federal funds and state grants in the form of historic preservation money, private donations and insurance are being used to repair Beauvoir, officials said.
Seeking Clear Signals: State Historical Commission Asks Position Letters on Disputed Wireless Tower
By Herman Wang, Staff Writer
Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN)
An official with the Tennessee Historical Commission instructed affected parties in a dispute over a proposed wireless phone tower on Missionary Ridge to send him official letters stating their positions by Feb. 8. "There will be no decision made until I receive sufficient comments to get the gist of where the community stands," said Joseph Garrison, review and compliance coordinator for the Historical Commission.
He said his staff then would make a recommendation to the Federal Communications Commission on whether the tower should be approved.
Wireless Properties has proposed a tower near Bragg Reservation on the ridge that residents and preservationists say would ruin the views from a Civil War site.
On Thursday, the company, along with the state Historical Commission, the Missionary Ridge Neighborhood Association, the National Park Service and Friends of the Park, hosted a meeting to hash out issues and answer questions from residents about the project.
Matt Bates, a senior vice president with Wireless Properties, said the 150-foot tower would be about 40 feet above the tree line and contain up to five platforms for wireless phone service providers. He said the tower would prevent calls from being dropped along the Ridge cut of Interstate 24. "What we’re trying to do is find a site that works for everybody," Mr. Bates said. "The tower would be lower than existing towers."
Wireless Properties conducted a balloon test to show how tall the tower would be, but several residents said their fears that the tower would be an intrusion on the historic district’s view were not assuaged. Sam Elliot, a past president of Friends of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, said his group, the National Park Service and Chattanooga collaborated in a $30,000 effort to clear brush and kudzu from Bragg Reservation to restore the view.
"There is nowhere else on Missionary Ridge you can have a panoramic view of Chattanooga and appreciate the topography of the battle," Mr. Elliot said.
Mary Gilbreath, a ridge resident for the past 53 years, said there are several towers already blighting the landscape.
"I just resent someone putting in another tower we have to look at every day," she said. "It just adds to the clutter."
Mr. Garrison said when he issues his recommendation to the FCC, affected parties will have a final chance to add their comments before the federal agency makes its binding ruling.
He said his recommendation would be based on whether the visual impact of the tower would "jeopardize those elements that make the property eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places."
WHAT’S NEXT The Tennessee Historical Commission will issue its recommendation to the Federal Communications Commission after it receives letters from affected parties in the wireless tower dispute. The FCC has the final say on whether Wireless Properties will be issued a license to build the tower.
Jim Campi, Policy and Communications Director
Civil War Preservation Trust
1331 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 367-1861