Issue 2: Winter 2000 Page 1
The Superintendent's Letter: Weaving History's Tapestry
Our Civil War Visitor Center at the Tredegar Iron Works is scheduled to open in April, 2000. The site is spectacular, historic and accessible. As it was at Chimborazo, the Tredegar visitor center's focus is on Richmond's battlefields, the participants, and the context of the action. unlike at Chimborazo, the coverage of the topics is afforded 12,000 square feet of space and thought-provoking presentation. Chimborazo itself is being redesigned to interpret the medical story connected with that site, which should offer another great opportunity to understand a key facet of the Civil War. Through the design process of these projects, I know that I have gained new appreciation for America's history and the pivotal events of the Civil War. I am in awe of the amount of work that the park staff, led by David Ruth, has invested in the projects.
I hope that you visit the new Tredegar and the new Chimborazo, which are designed as introductions to Richmond's Civil War resources. History is a continuum and its threads are not easily confined to separate spools. Military strategy, political leadership, industrial strength, economic traditions, scientific innovations, homefront conditions, and individual motivations and personalities have woven the patterns of our history's tapestry. The unprecedented loss of American lives during the Civil War highlights the watershed nature of the political changes determined by that military conflict. No place in the United States was more affected by the Civil War that Richmond, Virginia. The visitor center at Tredegar invites you to explore where military events changed our lives.
The visitor center project is a partnership with the Richmond Historic Riverfront Foundation and would not be possible without the generous contributions of many individuals and corporations and special appropriation from the United States Congress. Come experience your America.
Did You Know?
Prior to the war the Tredegar Iron Works was a major producer of rails and locomotives for railroad companies. Wartime demands shifted their focus to cannon production.