Volunteers Conduct Extensive Work at Shepherdstown Battlefield

Annual “Park Day” Event a Success

Contact: Martin Burke, Chair, Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission

(304) 728-3228, HLCinfo@jeffersoncountywv.org

For immediate release: April 4, 2016

Park Day 6Shepherdstown, WV – The Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission (JCHLC), in conjunction with the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association (SBPA) and Preserve WV AmeriCorps program, hosted the Civil War Trust’s sponsored Park Day at the Shepherdstown Battlefield on Saturday, April 2, 2016.  The annual event saw over 30 volunteers take part in various tasks with much needed work taking place at points on the 25 acres of preserved land where the September 19-20, 1862 battle took place.   “We are very grateful to have had such a great turnout and especially for all that was accomplished” said Martin Burke, Chair of the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission.  “To have such support from private citizens who are committed to the continued preservation of this historic site is encouraging.”

A main focus of the day’s activities centered around two new tracts of land recently acquired by JCHLC in a partnership with the Civil War Trust. The two parcels combine for a total of 2.6 acres and are situated in the center of the battlefield with access to the Potomac River frontage.  Additionally, the historic Pack Horse Ford crossing site, a shallow crossing site on the Potomac River used by both Armies leading up to and during the Battle, sits adjacent to the newly acquired properties. Volunteers cleared the view shed to the historic crossing from River Road and areas leading up to the River.  “The volunteer work conducted on Saturday provided the essential prep work for the beatification and continued restoration of the battlefield” Burke commented.  Additional activities included trash pickup, demolition of a modern shed and placement of signs geared towards protecting ruins of the historic Cement Mill site.

A large contingent of the volunteers consisted of supporters and representatives from the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association.  The non-profit organization is dedicated to the preservation of the battlefield since its incorporation in 2004. SBPA has several ongoing projects related to the battlefield with the goal being inclusion of the Shepherdstown Battlefield as a part of the Antietam National Battlefield, National Park Service.

For more information, contact JCHLC at HLCinfo@JeffersonCountyWV.org.