21 December 2013 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 1 comment

The following article appeared in the December 19 edition of the Culpeper Star-Exponent. It demonstrates beyond any doubt that the Brandy Station Foundation is no longer a battlefield preservation organization.

New Civil War graffiti uncovered in Brandy Station Foundation house
Posted: Thursday, December 19, 2013 12:15 am | Updated: 12:39 pm, Thu Dec 19, 2013.
By Jeff Say jsay@starexponent.com (540) 825-0771 ext. 115

Every inch of the Graffiti House in Brandy Station is historic — even the bathroom.

During a recent study by architectural conservator Chris Mills, new Civil War-era artwork was found in the circa 1858 structure believed to have been used as a hospital by Confederate and Union forces during the war.

For unknown reasons, patrons decided to mark up the walls with signatures, drawings and anything else that crossed their minds. Mills ’ challenge is to remove the post-historic paint and whitewash that subsequent owner’s attempted to cover the markings with, as well as stabilize the fragile plaster.

The newly uncovered graffiti was discovered in a crawl space under the stairs, painstakingly revealed by Mills — according to Brandy Station Foundation President Joe McKinney.

The name on the wall says Hollingsworth, 11th “something,” McKinney said.

After discovering that bit of artwork, Mills and McKinney pondered if more could be hidden in the vicinity.

That’s when Mills took out an razor blade and cut out a chunk of modern drywall in the bathroom.

Sure enough, under the modern plaster was more Civil War graffiti.

“Chris will cut out the plaster and see what we’ve got,” McKinney said. “We’re going to have to raise more money.”

McKinney pointed out that the house never ceases to amaze him.

“It’s exciting to see there’s still more (graffiti),” McKinney said.

It also enhances the learning value of the house.

“Going to the bathroom is going to be a learning experience for people,” McKinney said with a chuckle.

It’s great that new graffiti has surfaced at the Graffiti House. Wonderful. Don’t we all think so? (Right…) However, let’s closely examine Useless Joe McKinney’s words: “We’re going to have to raise more money,” he says. In other words, BSF’s main (and only) focus is to raise money to find more graffiti that has always been present in the house. It’s always been there, and it always will be there. It’s not going anywhere. Battlefield land however, will disappear if it is developed. Is that not a far more important priority for BSF on which BSF should focus?

Nowhere does Useless Joe mention or even suggest that the BSF should be raising money to purchase additional battlefield land. While Useless Joe frets over raising money to find more graffiti in the Graffiti House, there is core battlefield land on and around the Brandy Station Battlefield that is is presently for sale on the open market. Is Useless Joe doing anything to prevent the sale and development of core battlefield land that is situated firmly within the parameters of the battlefield BSF is charged with preserving? No. Not a chance. Preservation of battlefield property is simply not his thing, as he proved so amply during the Lake Troilo episode.

It is a fact Joe McKinney is myopically focused on his Graffiti House while battlefield land sits there right now ready for the plucking by somebody.

Fine, Joe. Go find your graffiti. But stop calling BSF a battlefield preservation advocacy organization, because you most assuredly are not so listed any longer in that noble category. Change the name of your organization to the Friends of the Graffiti House and stop pretending to be a battlefield preservation organization.

For shame.

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Sat 21st Dec 2013 at 5:53 pm

    And you’re surprised? Darned Eric, I though you were a more skeptical person than this if you thought McKinney was in it for a truly historic preservation effort.

    Obviously, this is tongue-in-cheek but what the heck are we to do unless someone wins a mega-lottery?

    Billy

Add comment

*

Copyright © Eric Wittenberg 2011, All Rights Reserved
Powered by WordPress