TODAY'S NEWS

New Market receives $400K from Feds for preservation

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

NEW MARKET – Less than three weeks after launching a fundraising campaign to preserve three local Civil War sites, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation received a major boost from the federal government.

On July 5, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the disbursement of $4.2 million to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation for preservation efforts at 10 state battlefields.

Of that amount, $1.7 million will go to the battlefields foundation and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, with $1.3 million going to the Opequon Battlefield in Winchester and more than $408,000 going to the New Market Battlefield.

The state amount was part of $7.2 million in grants the federal government approved for battlefield preservation nationwide.

The New Market funds will go toward the purchase of the 2-acre Clinedinst Crim house along South Congress Street.

Town resident Eliza Clinedinst Crim and her family used the house to nurse wounded Virignia Military Institute cadets during the May 15, 1864, Battle of New Market.

The Opequon Battlefield was the site of the Third Battle of Winchester on Sept. 19, 1864.

The grant funding came after the foundation launched a campaign on June 19 to raise money for the preservation of the Clinedinst Crim house, as well as the 9.5-acre Rice property and 13.5 acres along River Road.

“We’re so darn excited about it,” said Keven Walker, the foundation’s chief executive officer. “The timing just couldn’t have been better. It doesn’t always work out that way.

“This is reflective of the commitment of the Trump Administration for battlefield preservation,” he said.

Despite the grant, the foundation is applying for more federal money and continuing its fundraising campaign to cover the remainder of the $730,000 preservation cost for the three properties, Walker said.

The Rice and River Road properties lie near the battlefield on the western side of Interstate 81. The former was the headquarters of U.S. Gen. Franz Sigel during the battle, while the latter was of strategic value to both sides due to its proximity to the Shenandoah River and Old Valley Pike.

The foundation’s goal is to build a greenway to connect the three properties to the rest of New Market, which Town Planner and Zoning Administrator Alex Berryman said is still a few years from completion.

“There is a lot of implementation still to go,” he said. “If there is a greenway built there, it will be good for the town.”

For more information about the battlefield or to donate to the preservation effort, visit the foundation’s website at www.shenandoahatwar.org.




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