News Releases

Contains a picture of what a solar eclipse looks like
Partial solar eclipse

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News Release Date: August 10, 2017

Contact: Daniel Puckette, 434-352-8987 Ext. 233

Join Us for a Solar Eclipse Viewing at Appomattox Court House NHP

Appomattox, Va. – Appomattox Court House NHP will be hosting an eclipse watch event on Monday, August 21st between 1:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. This marks the first total solar eclipse in the continental United States in 38 years. A total eclipse is the lineup of the sun, the moon, and the earth. Eclipse viewing glasses will be available to visitors allowing them to safely observe the eclipse thanks to the University of California Berkley. Educational materials will also be available.
Visitors will find park staff at the flagpole in the parking area during the eclipse to get glasses and to learn about this astronomical event. NASA indicates the eclipse will begin to be viewable in Appomattox at 1:15 P.M., with maximum coverage being at 2:42 P.M. The eclipse will end at 4:02 P.M. The moon will cover about 88% of the sun in Appomattox, Virginia.
Appomattox Court House NHP will join National Parks across the country to host viewing events for the solar eclipse. The path of totality will stretch from Oregon to South Carolina. Join us at your local national park site to experience nature’s amazing natural phenomena in an outdoor classroom that also preserves a significant event in our nation’s history. For more information about the event, contact Daniel Puckette at 434-352-8987 x 233.  A PDF of the press release is available.


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Date: August 16, 2017
Contact: Robin Snyder, 434-352-8987 Ext. 222

picture of the group, Dynamic Dulcimers
Dynamic Dulcimers

1865 Foundation

Appomattox Court House NHS and Appomattox 1865 Foundation to Host Free Concert August 31

Appomattox, Va. – Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and its friends group, the Appomattox 1865 Foundation, will host “Dynamic Dulcimers and Friends” in a free outdoor concert on August 31, 2017. Bring a lawn chair, blanket, or picnic to enjoy the traditional string music on the grounds of the McLean House from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
This family-friendly event is part of the Sweeney Concert Series, sponsored by the Appomattox 1865 Foundation to honor the region’s musical heritage. “Dynamic Dulcimers” presents a selection of music from O’Carolan, the legendary Irish harper for the 16th Century and Celtic and Americana music. They invite the audience to sing along on selections of Celtic and Americana folk songs.
You can find this and other programs listed on the park’s website, , or call the park at 434-352-8987 ext. 222. Please follow the park on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about park activities and resources. 


view of the road going in front of the McLean House at sunset
History at Sunset


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News Release Date: August 14, 2017

Contact: Daniel Puckette, 434-352-8987 Ext. 233

Appomattox Court House NHP to Host Evening “History at Sunset” Walking Tour Programs
Appomattox, Va.—Appomattox Court House NHP invites you to join Park Rangers for three Saturday night “History at Sunset” walking tours on August 26, September 2, and September 16. Each evening program will begin at 7:00 p.m. and last for an hour. Wear sturdy walking shoes and insect repellent, and bring a flashlight.
Each History at Sunset program is designed to explore stories that the park is rarely able to share or to provide a more in-depth look at a popular topic. Delve deeply into the local history of Appomattox Court House or consider the perspectives of Civil War figures in this late summer lineup. In case of inclement weather, check the park’s Facebook page for updates:
August 26 Appomattox Court House—Past to Present: The history of the village from stage coach stop to National Historical Park and how local citizens helped to make that happen. Join a Park Ranger for a talk about the history of Appomattox Court House and a tour of some of the significant buildings in that history. Meet at the flag pole near the village parking lot.
September 2 George Peers: For 40 years, George Peers served as the clerk of Appomattox County court, living just down the street from the courthouse. Take a stroll through the village during this first person living history presentation to learn about life in the village, the last Confederate artillery shots fired from his front yard, and the surrender meeting. Meet at the flag pole near the village parking lot.
September 16 Lee’s Last Council of War: Surrounded and increasingly desperate, Lee called his officers together for one last Council of War to determine the fate of the Confederacy, and ultimately, the future of our nation. Meet at Lee’s Headquarters parking area 1.5 miles northeast of the main park entrance along Virginia Rt. 24.

Aprintable PDF of the press release is available.


Dog Walk
Staff members walking on one of the park trails.


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News Release Date: July 31, 2017

Contact: Robin Snyder, 434-352-8987 Ext. 222

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and six Virginia State Parks in the Central Virginia Region have created the Healthy Parks, Healthy People program for community members and park visitors. The initiative encourages people to spend more time recreating outdoors on their public lands. The program is a partnership of seven parks including Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Bear Creek Lake State Park, High Bridge Trail State Park, Holliday Lake State Park, James River State Park, Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park, and Twin Lakes State Park.
To Participate:
  • Visit one of the seven parks Visitor’s Center’s and pick up a Healthy Parks Healthy People passport booklet. These booklets contain information about the trails at the seven parks, as well as to hold your stamps.
  • Walk one of the trails at the park, and stop in the Visitor’s Center to receive a stamp specific to that park in your passport booklet.
  • Visit each of the parks, walk a trail, and receive a stamp to complete your booklet.
  • Mail the completed Healthy Parks Healthy People booklet to …., or email a picture of your finished booklet to …..
  • Once submitted, you will receive a commemorative patch to recognize you walked at all seven parks, and be entered into a drawing for special prizes, including a National Park Pass and a Virginia State Parks Pass
The Healthy Parks Healthy People partnership’s mission is intended to showcase healthy recreational opportunities on public lands in Central Virginia, to increase awareness of the national and state parks, encourage stewardship of these special places, and promote the park’s importance in tourism and economic development in their communities.
Special Events:
All seven participating parks are additionally holding special events to promote the Healthy parks Healthy People project. Check our website and Facebook page for upcoming events. Make sure to check the State Parks websites for events at the other six parks.

The official press release for the August events may be viewed here.


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Date: August 8, 2017
Contact: Robin Snyder, 434-352-8987 Ext. 222

Group of musicians playing on the porch of the McLean House
Musicians on the front porch steps of the McLean House


Appomattox Court House NHP and the Appomattox 1865 Foundation will feature the 4th Annual Joel Sweeney and the Banjo Festival at the Park on Saturday, September 9th from 9:00 AM until 8:00 PM. Thanks to the support of the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia is For Music Lovers program, this year’s festival will feature a variety of early banjo players whose music reflects the legacy of Joel Sweeney and his influence. 
The primary focus of the day-long event is to feature banjo music throughout the village. To compliment the music, educational stations will include lectures on Sweeney and the early banjo. The day will also include a specialized tour of the Charles Sweeney (cousin of Joel) Cabin also located inside the park and just outside the village. The Appomattox 1865 Foundation raised $25K for the recent completion of the restoration of the cabin. The evening will culminate with a concert by all the participating musicians of traditional, “Sweeney Style” music in the shadows of the Clover Hill Tavern in the heart of Joel’s hometown.
The schedule is as follows:
9:00 – 10:00 AM:                 Early banjo music performances on the Clover Hill Tavern Porch
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM:         Walking tour of the Charles Sweeney Cabin
12:00 Noon:                        The Joel Sweeney Proclamation Reading and Performances on the Tavern
1:00– 2:00 PM:                     Black Banjoists in Appomattox – David Wooldridge
2:00 – 3:00 PM:                    The Banjo: America’s African Instrument – Laurent Dubois
3:00 – 4:30 PM:                    Walking tour of the Charles Sweeney Cabin
6:00 – 8:00 PM:                    Evening Concert on the McLean House Lawn featuring:
                                              The Jonny Booker Band & Friends
                                              Corbin Hayslett & Friends
                                              Eddie & Martha Adcock with Tom Gray
The legendary Eddie and Martha Adcock participated in the first year of the festival and are returning again this year, accompanied by bassist Tom Gray. Eddie was born in Scottsville, Va. and his career as a banjoist includes stints with Smokey Graves & His Blue Star Boys, Mac Wiseman, Bill Harrell, Buzz Busby, Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, and The Country Gentlemen. He now performs almost exclusively with his wife Martha. In addition to performing Saturday night, Eddie will be hosting a Q&A session during the day as part of our banjo programming.
A native of central Virginia, Corbin Hayslett started volunteering and playing banjo at Appomattox Court House NHP at nine years of age. He has won numerous awards at Clifftop and Galax as well as the contest for the sole "non -professional" recording on the Birthplace of Country Music's "Orthophonic Joy" album contest. Corbin’s wanderings eventually led him to the Ryman stage at the Grand Ole Opry. The Park is happy to welcome him home! 
The Old Jonny Booker Band consists of musicians from the North Carolina School of Traditional Music and friends who specialize in playing Sweeney era songs. Among this group are performers who have been instrumental in establishing the banjo festival in the Park.
Join us for this free day of entertainment and a step back in history to explore a different story of the Park.
Because Joel Sweeney was born, lived, died, and is buried in what is now Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, the park is uniquely situated to host the Sweeney musical festival in his home village. 
A printed version of the press release is available.


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Date: August 18, 2017
Contact: Robin

2017 Lantern Tours logo


Last updated: August 22, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
P.O. Box 218

Appomattox, VA 24522


(434) 352-8987 x226

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