On the Eve of Remembrance Day, a Preservation Victory at Gettysburg
Jim Campi, 202-367-1861 x7205
(Gettysburg, Pa.) – Just before Thanksgiving, the supporters of the historic Daniel Lady Farm in Gettysburg have every reason to be thankful. The property, once the headquarters for a Confederate cavalry unit and the location of several artillery batteries and hospitals, will receive a Farm and Ranchland Protection Program matching grant in the amount of $180,000. The grant will be used to place a conservation easement, a legal agreement that permanently limits development, on the 145-acre property.
The successful preservation of the property was made possible through cooperation and partnership between various groups, including the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association (GBPA), the Land Conservancy of Adams County (LCAC), and the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT). LCAC and CWPT contributed money to help meet the match required by the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program grant.
At a news conference convened at the farm on the eve of Remembrance Day, supporters cheered the preservation victory. “It is with humble gratitude that I thank each person who has helped with funding the conservation easement for the Daniel Lady Farm,” said Kathi Schue, president of GBPA, which owns the farm. “It has been a long and hard road, and much remains to be accomplished with restoration/preservation of the site.”
In 1999, the GBPA acted swiftly and decisively to buy the farm, which includes a stone farm house built in the 1820s and a barn dating from 1842, at auction. Commercial development – school construction, malls, housing developments – was overtaking the area adjacent to the property, located at 986 Hanover Rd. The farm was occupied by Confederate forces on July 1, 1863 and was critical to the three-day battle of Gettysburg. Also a staging area for Confederate troops and a hospital for the wounded on both sides, the farm house still bears blood stains on its wide plank floors and its exterior wood beams show marks of Union artillery shrapnel. In addition, several battle-related burials were recorded on the property.
Because of mounting development pressures on the Gettysburg Battlefield, the news of the grant was particularly welcome. Since 2002, more than $2 million in Farm and Ranchland Protection Program grants have been awarded for Civil War battlefield land throughout the United States, and 1,900 acres have been rescued as a result – including 305 acres in and around Gettysburg.
According to James Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Preservation Trust, the historical significance of Gettysburg does not stop at the edges of the national park. “The Daniel Lady farm was of tremendous importance to the battle. Because of the grant we’re announcing today, we’re able to ensure that this hallowed piece of American soil will appear just as it did in 1863, so generations of Americans can experience Gettysburg in an authentic and rewarding way.”
State Representative Harry A. Readshaw (D-Allegheny) said, “The interesting challenge for the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association, in its tireless work for the historic preservation of the Daniel Lady Farm, continues to be financial assistance to reach its goals. It is with deep thanks that I acknowledge The Land Conservancy of Adams County, which negotiated the agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Ranchland Protection Program, the Civil War Preservation Trust, and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. They are all to be commended.”
Sidney Kuhn, Land Conservation Coordinator of the Land Conservancy of Adams County, said, “What better way to commemorate Remembrance Day and Lincoln’s Gettysburg address than to receive a grant that will protect such an important part of Gettysburg history –the Daniel Lady Farm. Thanks to all the many supporters who made this day possible.”
Also on hand Friday was Barry Frantz of the Pennsylvania branch of the National Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture division that oversees the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program.
About the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association (GBPA)
GBPA was founded in 1959 as the first public/private partnership to protect the battlefield at Gettysburg. Over the years, the all-volunteer GBPA has played a continuous role in purchasing endangered battlefield land. GBPA’s website is located at www.gbpa.org.
About the Land Conservancy of Adams County (LCAC)
LCAC is a member-supported nonprofit land trust, comprised nearly entirely of volunteers. The mission of LCAC is to permanently preserve the rural lands and character of Adams County, Pa. LCAC’s website is located at www.lcacnet.org.
About the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT)
CWPT is a 75,000-member nonprofit battlefield preservation organization. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. CWPT’s website is located at www.civilwar.org.