Prince William Forest Park
Administrative History
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National Park Service
Region One
Richmond, Virginia

January 21, 1939

Memorandum for the Director:

Attention: Supervisor of Recreation and Land Planning.

Reference is made to the memorandum for the Regional Director of January 3, signed by Mr. Wirth, recommending a single entrance road to the white and Negro day use areas at the Chopawamsic Recreational Area, Virginia. Exception is taken to this recommendation for the reasons noted below:

1. If we are to be realistic in our approach to recreation planning in southern states, we must recognize and observe the long-standing attitudes and customs of the people, which require, as a fundamental, that recreational areas and facilities for the two races be kept entirely separated. Such a policy should not be considered discriminatory, since it represents the general desire of both races.

2. A study of the Washington proposal reveals that, in order to reach the Negro day use area by the proposed new entrance, it would be necessary to pass within a thousand feet of Organized Camp 3F, which, ignoring racial considerations, presents an objectionable feature of planning from a functional view point.

3. The proposed entrance will require Negro visitors from Washington, D. C., and that vicinity to travel approximately six miles farther to reach the day use area and entail the provision and maintenance of several miles of additional park road.

In addition, the present land status and topographical conditions are such as to render it extremely difficult, if not actually impossible, to so design the interior road system on the developed section of the area to provide the control which is deemed desirable.

We consider it desirable to so design the road system on Recreational Demonstration Areas to economically prevent public access to the section of the park reserved for organized camp use. It appears that the suggestions offered in the Washington Office letter make it virtually impossible to prevent patrons destined to the Negro day use area from having access to all camps unless three control stations are established.

Non-federally owned interior tracts of land are so situated that an unnecessarily long and circuitous route would have to be designed if control of access to the developed areas is to be obtained.

It is, therefore, recommended that separate entrances to each the white and Negro areas be established.

The suggested revisions in the proposed road alignment south of the Joplin Road are considered sound and will be adopted.

M.R. Tillotson
Regional Director

cc: Inspector Schenck

[Reprint from Original]


National Park Service

March 8, 1939

Memorandum for Regional Director, Region I

This is a very late reply to your memorandum of January 21, with reference to the entrance road at Chopawamsic Recreational Area, Virginia. The late reply has not been due to neglect, but to a considerable amount of review and careful thought on our part.

There are some in the Washington Office who feel that the single entrance over the Quantico Reservation is the best solution and they do not consider the fact that visitors going to the Negro area would pass within 1000 feet of the white camp would be a serious handicap. They also feel that two entrances would not only be more costly, but signs would have to be erected informing the public of the segregation of races and this might be objectionable. However, we are not in a position to make a definite recommendation at this time.

We are returning to you the map on which is shown the possibility of a road coming in through Quantico Creek. It is realized that this is not a very attractive entrance, however, it has certain merits. It allows a good approach to what has always been considered the day-use area and permits the segregation of the traffic within the park -- one line into the white day-use area, one to the Negro day-use area, and lines to the white and Negro organized camps. Of course, it is hard to tell whether contours would permit such a layout. At any rate, we believe it well to give some thought to this rough suggestion for the location of an entrance road. It may be that with the new change of the highway near Dumfries the approach suggested might eventually be better controlled and improved. Even if the road is narrow and not too attractive between U. S. Highway No. 1 and our property, it may be a better ultimate solution, provided we can eventually gain a little wider right-of-way. We do not feel that the problem should rest on our present studies, but that further consideration should be given the matter.

Supervisor of Recreation
and Land Planning

Enclosure 1903740

cc: Huppuch

[Reprint from Original]

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Last Updated: 31-Jul-2003