Civil War Preservation issue in Virginia

An alert reader sent me a link to an article in The Winchester Star by Drew Houff. The article discusses two historical groups at odds over battlefield preservation in the area. Below is an excerpt of the article, which can be found in its full version here.

Historical groups at odds over rezoning

By Drew Houff
The Winchester Star

Front Royal — Bad blood between two partners likely will continue, at least in the near future, if Thursday morning’s meeting of the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park Foundation is any indication.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Belle Grove Inc. announced on Wednesday that they would sever ties with the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation due to the Civil War group’s failure to oppose an expansion of a quarry near the battlefield and Belle Grove Plantation property south of Middletown.

At Thursday’s meeting, Linden “Butch” Fravel, a member of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, sat behind Elizabeth McClung, the executive director of Belle Grove Inc., but the two did not speak.

Fravel, in fact, left the meeting following a presentation on the ecology of the park, which includes Belle Grove and the Cedar Creek battlefield.

McClung, who stayed, said after the meeting that she was disappointed in how the two park partners have strayed from trying to accomplish things together.

She said the values shared by the preservation groups are essential to the character of the park, making it important for them to work together.

“We are losing open space, historic land, and the context for historic sites along the way,” McClung said. “Therefore, it’s really crucial for groups whose missions are to preserve historic and natural resources to closely collaborate.

“That time has long passed for a small nonprofit to stand alone and unilaterally take action. It’s really very strangely naive and misguided for any one, small nonprofit to single-handedly believe they are protecting and speaking for a whole group.”

McClung said she was concerned that the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation had voted two months ago not to use Belle Grove’s property for this year’s re-enactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek, which will be held in October, but had never bothered to inform anyone from Belle Grove of the decision.

Continue to full article.