PRESS RELEASE: BATTLEFIELD GROUP PROPOSES COUNTY RIVER PARK
- For Immediate Release July 30, 2009
Shepherdstown, West Virginia
For more information, contact:
Edward E. Dunleavy
Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc.
(917) 747 - 5748
BATTLEFIELD GROUP PROPOSES COUNTY RIVER PARK
At the weekly meeting of the Jefferson County Commission, the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc. (SBPA) proposed that the County pursue an opportunity to purchase 13 acres on the Potomac River for use as a County park. Ed Dunleavy, President of SBPA, cited a communication he had with the owner of the parcel who indicated that he was willing to negotiate its sale if the land was "used for park/historic activity."
The parcel is historic and could be used for boat access to the Potomac River. The land is an important part of the County's industrial history containing the remnants of a Cement Mill and kilns that operated from 1829 until 1904. The product of the mill was used to construct the C&O Canal and buildings in Washington D.C. It is also of great historical value because it is part of the site of the 1862 Battle of Shepherdstown. The battle, fought on September 19 and 20, 1862, was the bloodiest Civil War battle in what is now West Virginia involving more than 9,000 troops and resulting in 677 casualties.
While Dunleavy pointed out that he does not know the value of the property, he suggested to the County Commission that funds for the purchase could come from the $250,000 that SBPA obtained for the County through the Federal Transportation Enhancement program. The Civil War Preservation Trust agreed to supply the matching funds. In addition, Dunleavy reminded the Commission that the County had set aside $100,000 to purchase battlefield land.
Dunleavy's presentation included a letter from the property's owner indicating his willingness to negotiate with the County. Also, he included letters of support to pursue this opportunity from the President of the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission and the Chairman of the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission.
The Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc. (SBPA), organized in 2004, is a non-profit, Section 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to saving and preserving the site of the 1862 Battle of Shepherdstown. SBPA has preserved 84 acres by way of conservation easements granted by members who own property on the site. For more information and to purchase the book entitled: Shepherdstown: Last Clash of the Antietam Campaign September 19 20, 1862 ; please visit www.battleofshepherdstown.org