Sunday, November 22, 2009

A great day for History

Sharon Bulova, Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Addresses a crowd at the dedication of historic exhibits on the W&OD Trail
From tales of the role of the W&OD Railroad during the Civil was to tales of General Braddock and the his launching the French & Indian War from the dinning room of the Carlyle House, Yesterday was a big day for history at regional parks.

First, over 100 people showed up for the dedication of six historical displays along the W&OD trail. The turnout included half the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors including: Chairman Sharon Bulova, Cathy Hudgins, Linda Smyth, Michael Fry and John Foust. Congressman Gerry Connolly and Delegate Ken Plum were also on hand to mark this special event.

The Hunter Mill Defense League did most of the research on the historical markers, funded some of the signs and organized the event. The Friends of the W&OD and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority also payed for some of the exhibits. These displays focused on the role of the rail and the Hunter Mill Road area during the Civil War.

In 2007 the National Recreational Trails Association gave an award to NVRPA for the many (nearly 60) historical markers along the W&OD Trail. The new signs help tell new stories that will add to the experience of the over 2 million trail users every year.

From the Civil War, we stepped back in time over 100 years to the French & Indian War (1750's) and a book signing by author Thomas Crocker of his new book "Braddock's March" that gives considerable focus to the campaign preparation that took place at the Carlyle House Historic Park in Alexandria. Riding next to General Braddock, an arrogant British General, was a young George Washington, Col. in the Virginia Militia. Crocker makes the point that the seeds of the American Revolution were planted during this under-studies campaign.

Northern Virginia is an area that is steeped in our Country's early history, and a central focus of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority is to both conserve our regions most significant natural areas as well as to preserve many of the most valuable historical resource of our area.

One of the goals of NVRPAs Strategic Plan is to make every park into a center of learning about our natural or historic resources, a goal that was advance during yesterday's events.

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