Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (CVBT) is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2011 and I’d like to review what we’ve done this year and what’s in store for the immediate future:
- In January we acquired a 10 acre parcel on the Fredericksburg Battlefield (“Deep Run”), thanks to a generous donation from a local businessman.
- In September, we sold a 31 acre parcel of our 93 acre “Wilderness Crossroads” tract to the National Park Service, for inclusion in the Wilderness Battlefield. The proceeds from the sale, along with matching grants, donations from CWRT of Eastern Pennsylvania and Civil War Trust, and generous contributions from our members and friends, allowed us to pay off our debt on this “Wilderness Crossroads” project well ahead of schedule.This year saw the production of our 30 minute video, “On the Front Line,” telling the story of CVBT–who we are, what we’ve done, why we do what we do, and what we hope to accomplish in the future.
- This year’s end finds CVBT having paid off $900,000 of its one million dollar pledge to CWT for the Slaughter Pen Farm purchase. And it is with pleasure and a humbled pride that I can announce that the remaining $100,000 will be presented to CWT at their annual meeting to be held in Richmond in June 2012. A one-million dollar pledge is an incredible amount for a small organization like CVBT, but with ongoing and very generous support from our members and friends, that pledge is about to be fulfilled.
- We remain proactive in pursuing new acquisitions of threatened battlefield land. We have tendered a contract for a 13 acre parcel on Jackson’s Flank Attack, and have identified several other significant properties and are working under the radar to see to their preservation. Stay tuned.
- We are working with Muvico/Splitsville in Spotsylvania Towne Centre on a Battlefield Preservation Weekend in February 2012. On Saturday, Feb. 11, we’ll be presenting two showings of “Gone With the Wind” and one showing of “Glory.” On Sunday, Feb. 12, we’ve been given up to 16 lanes for a “Bowling for Battlefields” event. Stay tuned for details.
- Our 2012 Annual Meeting will be held April 27-29. Day One will find CVBT Board member Bud Hall and NPS Historian Greg Mertz leading tours to Kelly’s Ford and Cedar Mountain, with dinner at the historic Inn at Kelley’s Ford and a talk by J.E.B. Stuart IV about “Jeb Stuart, The Making of the Man: The Pre-War Years.” Day Two will find Bud leading tours to Brandy Station and two antebellum homes, Auburn and Rose Hill. The annual meeting itself will be held that evening at the Country Inn & Suites in Fredericksburg, with Bob Krick speaking on “Some Amazing and Amusing Anecdotes from the Early Days of Battlefield Preservation Around Fredericksburg.” Day Three will include breakfast and a tour of White Oak Museum and a tour of the grounds of Brompton led by NPS Historian Eric Mink. Check our website for more details.
- Finally, I’d like to let you know the status of the GM Powertrain property issue. With the recent election results, we preservationists are in a “wait and see” attitude at this time, an attitude that will probably be necessary for a year or more. Our understanding is that the Spotsylvania Board will actively be seeking a new industrial client which, of course, will take time. My personal opinion (not reflective of any official position of CVBT or CWT) is that to entice a new industrial client to actually sign on will require significant county “give-backs,” and when this fact comes more sharply into focus then our offer will appear more attractive. Again, just my opinion.
- Thanks to all who have participated in the preservation effort this year; together we ARE making a difference!