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Contact: Eric Campbell , 540-868-9176
National Park ServiceNews Release
For Immediate Release – June 7, 2013
Contacts Name:ERIC CAMPBELL (540) 868-9176
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park Announces Special "History at Sunset" Programs
Middletown, VA ----- Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park is pleased to announce a series of special "History at Sunset" programs. These ranger-conducted presentations cover a variety of subjects and provide visitors an opportunity to see sites not normally open, or widely accessible, to the general public. Explore and learn about some of the "hidden gems" of the park and the Shenandoah Valley.Each program is free and lasts between 60 to 90 minutes.
June 14, 7:00 p.m.
Star Fortand the Battle of Second Winchester
One of the principal Civil War fortifications constructed to protect Winchester was Star Fort, named for its seven –pointed design.Used by both sides throughout the war, the fort was heavily involved in both the Battle of Second Winchester (June 1863) and the Battle of Third Winchester (September 1864).This special program, led by Ranger Eric Campbell, will give an in-depth tour of the construction and history of Star Fort and its role in the Battle of Second Winchester.Meet at Star Fort (Fortress Drive and US 522, Winchester, VA 22603)
June 28, 7:00 p.m.
In the Path of War: The Historic Daniel Stickley Farm at Cedar Creek
Located along the banks of Cedar Creek and the roadbed of the original Valley Pike, this substantial brick house witnessed many historic incidents throughout the history of the Shenandoah Valley.Join Ranger Jonathan Steplyk for a special program that will allow the general public access to this "hidden gem" for the first time and explore its history, from early settlement of the Valley through the Battle of Cedar Creek.Meet at the parking lot of the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation (8437 Valley Pike, Middletown, VA).Visitors will then car-pool to site.
July 12, 7:00 p.m.
The Valley Pike: Route of Invasion
One of the most critical features throughout the history of the Shenandoah Valley was the existence and improvement of the Valley Pike, the principal thoroughfare that ran the length of the Valley. This all-weather road played a critical role throughout the numerous campaigns during all four years of the Civil War, including the 1863 Gettysburg Campaign. Join Park Ranger Shannon Moeck as she explains the evolution of this road and its role during the Civil War. Meet at the Wayside Inn (7783 Main Street, Middletown, VA). This program will visit several locations around the park, and thus will involve a car caravan system (visitors follow the ranger's vehicle).
July 19, 7:00 p.m.
"From Backcountry to Breadbasket" The Peopling of the Shenandoah Valley
How did one of the country's first frontiers during the 18th century evolve into the "Breadbasket of the Confederacy" by the time of the Civil War.The natural forces that formed the Valley, early Native American tribes, the first Euro-American settlers, the importance of the Warrior Path/Great Wagon Road/Valley Pike and the growth of agricultural, especially wheat production during the "Age of Grain," in the Valley are some of the many subjects touched upon in this presentation.Join Ranger Jonathan Steplyk at Blandy Farm, the State Arboretum of Virginia(400 Blandy Farm Lane, Boyce, VA 22620)
August 2, 7:00 p.m.
The Historic Heater Farm: A House Divided
The story of Solomon and Caroline Heater exemplifies the divided loyalties seen in the Shenandoah Valley before and during the Civil War. Solomon a native of Virginia supported the southern cause, while his wife Caroline, a native of Pennsylvania feared what war would bring to her doorstep. Join Ranger Kyle Rothemich as he explores this personal story of how the Civil War was brought to the home front in this special program that will traverse areas of the Cedar Creek Battlefield not regularly open to the public.Meet at the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Headquarters (8437 Valley Pike, Middletown, VA).Visitors will then car pool to the site.Some moderate hiking will be required. Learn about how the Civil War raged past the Heater's doorsteps, and affected their family both during and after this American Crisis.
August 16, 7:00 p.m.
The Tragic Deaths of Stephen Ramseur and Charles Lowell: Examples of a Generation Lost
The Civil War was the deadliest in American history, costing the country over 625,000 lives.It particularly devastated a generation of young men, in their 20s and 30s, both North and South.This program examines the lives of two such men who fought at Cedar Creek and the impacts their deaths had on their families and communities.Meet Park Ranger Shannon Moeck at the main parking lot at Belle Grove (336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, VA).This program will visit several locations around the park, and thus will involve a car caravan system (visitors follow the ranger's vehicle).
About Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park: Cedar Creek and Belle Grove commemorates a nationally significant Civil War landscape and antebellum plantation by sharing the story of Shenandoah Valley history from early settlement through the Civil War and beyond. The park is embedded within the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District, a National Heritage Area. Created on December 19, 2002, the park encompasses approximately 3,700 acres across three counties and includes the key partner sites of Belle Grove Plantation (owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and managed by Belle Grove, Inc.), Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation lands and Headquarters, Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation lands, and a developing Shenandoah County Park. The partner sites continue to be owned and operated independently.