American Battlefield Trust Statement on Vote Against New County Designated Historic Places in Prince William
Mary Koik, (202) 367-1861 x7231
(Washington, D.C.) – Yesterday afternoon the Prince William Board of County Supervisors entertained public comment on measures to consider three sites put forward by the Prince William Historical Commission for potential inclusion in the roster of County Designated Historic Places. Unfortunately, despite feedback from the National Park Service, the American Battlefield Trust, and other organizations, as well as a number of private citizens, the board voted against taking even this preliminary procedural step on two of the three sites. The Blackburn Ford area, associated with that 1861 engagement, was the only one of the three to pass for further consideration. Reacting to the disappointing news, Trust President David Duncan made the following statement:
“Prince William County is blessed with a rich historic landscape acknowledged by authoritative federal entities as tied to some of the most significant moments of the Civil War. Allowing the consideration of the Rock Hill Farm and Pageland Farm areas, associated with the 1862 Battle of Second Manassas, as potential County Registered Historic Sites would have been a nonbinding step. It would merely have acknowledged that these places, elements of which are already included in the Virginia Landmarks Register, National Register of Historic Places and the legislative boundary of a national park might be deemed worthy of listing in a county-level directory.
“It is shortsighted of officials to decline even this preliminary level of consideration, despite the recommendation of the County Historical Commission. The Trust owns 146 acres within what had been proposed as the Rock Creek Farm area, nearly half of its footprint, which makes our disappointment keenest on that count. As an impacted landowner, we would have enthusiastically welcomed this designation and shared how our rigorous evaluation process prior to purchase demonstrated tremendous historic significance for this region during the battle and its aftermath. I sincerely hope that in their continuing rush to embrace data centers, officials do not further lose sight of the irreplicable historic resources that have long set their community apart.”
The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected more than 57,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War. Learn more at www.battlefields.org.