From today’s issue of the Chester, VA Village News:
Historical Park Soon to Close Doors to Public
Dec 3, 2008 – 12:32:55 PM
Effective January 2, 2009, Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in Dinwiddie County will be open by reservation only. Guests wishing to visit the Park may do so by making a reservation forty-eight hours in advance. Admission fees for non-members will be $100 for a group of up to ten people, and $10 per adult for groups of more than ten. Park members may make reservations twenty-four hours in advance with no minimum numbers and no admission fee.
The Park will continue to offer all reservation-based programming as usual, including its popular school field trips, battlefield tours, Annual Symposium, Civil War Adventure Camps, Summer Teacher Institutes, and History Day Camps.
â€œThe severe economic downturn has undercut the ability of the Pamplin Foundation to support the Park at current levels,â€ says Pamplin Historical Park President, A. Wilson Greene. â€œWe deeply regret the necessity to curtail normal daily operations to meet this new fiscal reality.â€
None of the Parkâ€™s four museums will be altered and the Park will continue to maintain its four historic structures, ten reconstructed buildings, and three miles of interpretive trails. There will be no changes to the Parkâ€™s extensive artifact collection. â€œShould economic conditions improve, we hope to restore some regular public operating hours next spring,â€ adds Greene.
The Park will continue to accelerate its use of the internet to fulfill its educational mission through on-line programming. Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier preserves 422 acres near Petersburg, Virginia, including the Breakthrough Battlefield, a National Historic Landmark. It is owned and operated by the Pamplin Foundation of Portland, Oregon. The Park opened in 1994 as Pamplin Park Civil War Site and debuted the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier in 1999, when it adopted its current name.
Pamplin Park, which is funded by the Pamplin Family Foundation (the Pamplins are the majority shareholders of the company that owns and operates Boise Pacific), has, for more than a decade, been the model of an upscale Civil War battlefield with a state-of-the-art museum and an excellent bookstore. The park features the spot where Union troops broke Robert E. Lee’s lines at Petersburg on April 2, 1865, meaning it includes some critical ground. It always made its neighbor, the Petersburg National Battlefield, look like its poor red-headed stepchild little brother.
Now, even Pamplin Park is suffering as a consequence of the economy, which is tragic. The Petersburg Campaign, which gets little enough attention from historians and the public, will get even less attention now that Pamplin Park will no longer be available to the public on a regular basis. And that’s a tragedy.Scridb filter