PDA

View Full Version : The Wilderness



penn-state-engr
07-29-2008, 08:27 AM
Just got my current copy of Civil War News and on the front page !!! Wal-mart submits plans to build on 55 acre plot in The Wilderness.

The request is to build a super Wal-mart plaza in a plot of land directly across from the Fredricksburg / Spotsylvania National Military Park (The Wilderness). The CWPT has already fired a salvo across Wal-mart's bow and I suggest we all do the same. I am writing them a letter stating I will no longer be a patron of their stores and will urge others to do the same.

Busterbuttonboy
07-29-2008, 12:33 PM
Just to add on to this, comes just when Spotsylvania is looking to widen Route 3 down near the Salem Church and Orange has just put in turning lanes around Mine Run. Fun times.

Hey here is some food for thought that might put me in the hot seat (what else is new): Did Wal-mart or its sister group who owned the land pay for a site survey? What did it find? What other shopping giants are involved, I bet if we dig and check old newspaper articles we might be surprised to find a Target...
http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17350
check that thread its long and comprehensive.

Maybe we should turn our attention away from Wal-mart and onto Orange County. Apparently its a Herndon, Va development agency. Maybe write them some letters as well.

D.a. Gruber

penn-state-engr
07-30-2008, 12:29 PM
here is the front cover.

http://www.civilwarnews.com/

3rd_PA_Artillery
07-30-2008, 07:22 PM
I am writing them a letter stating I will no longer be a patron of their stores and will urge others to do the same.

I will do the same. Gettysburg is already commercialized, let's not let it happen to the Wilderness.

Busterbuttonboy
08-01-2008, 08:08 AM
Be advised, the last set of phone numbers are listed on a County web-page but however are their home lines. The following e-mail addresses are listed on the County Gov website, which may be more profitable so we aren't taking the fight to their living rooms. (however appropriate I think that is...)
The next series of meetings from what I understand will be on August 12th. This is open to the public.


Chairman R. Mark Johnson
rmj142@yahoo.com

Supervisor Zack Burkett
zburkett@orangecountyva.gov

Supervisor Teel Goodwin
Teel.Goodwin@vabb.com

Vice Chairwoman Teri L. Pace
tpacedist4@aol.com

Supervisor Lee Frame
leeframe@orangecountyva.gov

Letters should be addressed to:
Board of Supervisors
Gordon Building
112 West Main Street
Orange, VA 22960

Brian Wolle
08-01-2008, 09:54 AM
I'd be ready to protest at my neighborhood walmart, something that if it were to happen nation-wide would make a definite impact.

CheeseBoxRaft
08-01-2008, 09:07 PM
I will do the same. Gettysburg is already commercialized, let's not let it happen to the Wilderness.Too late. The Wilderness has been "commercialized" for decades. A housing development called Forest Walk was plopped down in the center of the Union line in the early 1970s. Another development, Fawn Lake, was erected on the Confederate right flank in the 1980s, its massive brick gates loom over the Orange Plank Road and the nearby monument to General Wadsworth.

The best that can be hoped for The Wilderness is to prevent the commercialization from getting any worse.

Busterbuttonboy
08-02-2008, 11:27 PM
Cheese

"The best that can be hoped for The Wilderness is to prevent the commercialization from getting any worse."

Yes I don't know about you, but I'd like to avoid another Salem Church.


Drew Gruber

CheeseBoxRaft
08-03-2008, 10:27 AM
Cheese"The best that can be hoped for The Wilderness is to prevent the commercialization from getting any worse."
Yes I don't know about you, but I'd like to avoid another Salem Church.
Drew Gruber

The Wilderness is different than Salem Church. Salem Church battlefield never had more than a few acres around the church itself to begin with so it was easily swallowed long ago. The Wilderness is sprawling and has been constantly eroded from within and without. The threats there will never end.

This Wilderness Wal-Mart threat will be difficult to counter for various reasons:

1. Wal-Mart is not being built on the battlefield but far behind the lines at a road junction that is already commercialized. Its far-reaching impact into the battlefield is traffic congestion and that can be "solved" with widening Route 20.

2. Route 20 through the battlefield can be widened into four lanes without taking any NPS-owned land. Unlike when Route 3 was expanded through Chancellorsville way back when, the NPS doesn't have to grant VDOT a right-of-way through the Wilderness to widen the highway.

3. The Wilderness is mostly wooded and offers no grand sweeping landscapes like the Mullins Farm at Chancellorsville. Saunder's Field and Ellwood are somewhat "picturesque," but the main impression most average visitors bring back from a visit to the Wilderness is this: there ain't much to see. Just a handful of signs and monuments scattered around a big empty woods.

4. The economy sucks right now. The average Joe Preservationist doesn't have as much money to put toward saving battlefields and Wal-Mart is mega-wealthy after years of "rollin' back prices!"

wagen dawg
08-03-2008, 10:45 PM
Be advised. An application for a multi-use strip mall with pad sites and a Wal-mart have been under consideration by the Orange County, Virginia Board of Supervisors. This site is Wilderness Battlefield. The corner of Routes 20 and 3. Many of us have toured and reenacted near this spot. It will only allow for an increase in traffic through the field, and open the way for further development in that area affecting 11 battlefields. The next meeting to discuss this will be August 12th. Please forward your comments as historians and tourists to their members. They can be reached at:

Chairman R. Mark Johnson
<mailto:rmj142@yahoo.com> rmj142@yahoo.com

Supervisor Zack Burkett
<mailto:zburkett@orangecountyva.gov> zburkett@orangecountyva.gov

Supervisor Teel Goodwin
<mailto:Teel.Goodwin@vabb.com> Teel.Goodwin@vabb.com

Vice Chairwoman Teri L. Pace
<mailto:tpacedist4@aol.com> tpacedist4@aol.com

Supervisor Lee Frame
<mailto:leeframe@orangecountyva.gov> leeframe@orangecountyva.gov

Letters should be addressed to:
Board of Supervisors
Gordon Building
112 West Main Street
Orange, VA 22960

*************

It will be sad to see this area go down.

Regardless of what we say and do, it's all about the money. But, I will be there on the 12th to listen and...

Tim

Busterbuttonboy
08-04-2008, 10:32 AM
Cheesebox
The Salem church reference was not meant to compare the two battlefields. But reference the method and mode of development.

I realize the location is behind the park service lines. However obviously if you are from the area you are aware of the intentions of Spotsylvania county to widen 3 some more. As well as the widening of 3 closer to Culpeper.

Personally I am afraid of this particular development being the key to as planners say to opening up more development, then come some more road widening, turning lanes, clover leaves, more infrastructure to build more, and then whoops we are right next door to the park service boundaries.

Any who, maybe I look to far ahead. I appreciate Do appreciate your comments. As a student, I look for criticism to make better cases. I would be curious to the statements by the CWPT and what their concerns would be.

Traffic can never be solves by widening a road. For those of you in the area you’re aware of this. In the current school of planners it is assumed that if a road is a level c or d, widening it is only a 2 or 3 year fix. Because it is viewed as an increase in the infrastructure to construct more in a suburban environment. In a rural environment the current teaching is to provide better turning lanes and keep the road size to a minimum, therefore depriving the ability of a road to support large growth.

Regardless if Route 20 will go into park service land, it will still affect historic battlefield land and play a major role in the private property abounding the park service held property.

And in speaking about it being wooded yes that’s a good point. View shed I have no knowledge of. However I believe you can see Route 3 from Elwood.

It is interesting to note that the Chair of Their Board of Supervisors owns a tire shop. I wonder though if he is worried about losing his business. I am not too sure where his shop is, but Id image that’s going to be some competition.

Drew Gruber
The "Can't shut up 'cause I'm hopeless" Mess

CheeseBoxRaft
08-04-2008, 08:01 PM
And in speaking about it being wooded yes that’s a good point. View shed I have no knowledge of. However I believe you can see Route 3 from Elwood.Route 3 is there, yes, but in summer it is pretty much masked by foliage. The most signifiance viewshed is the farm to the east. Below is a excerp from a Civil War News article published a couple of years ago:

Across the Wilderness Run valley on a hill higher than Ellwood's is an active dairy farm. Looking east from the front porch of Ellwood, this viewshed, even the sound and smell of the cows, is magnificent.

Once a part of Ellwood Plantation, the Lyons Dairy Farm will soon be for sale. One hundred and forty-two years ago Union soldiers witnessed there the "awful procession" of their "mangled" comrades retreating to the safety of the Ellwood plain. If that hillside becomes consumed by houses and peppered with cell phone towers . . . You get the rest of the picture. I do not know what the status of the diary farm is at this moment. To my knowledge it remains a working farm. You know that can't last for long.

CheeseBoxRaft
08-04-2008, 08:11 PM
From Wagen Dawg:
Be advised. An application for a multi-use strip mall with pad sites and a Wal-mart have been under consideration by the Orange County, Virginia Board of Supervisors. This site is Wilderness Battlefield. The corner of Routes 20 and 3. Whoa, whoa, whoa!!!!! I've got some real heartburn with calling the junction of Route 3 and Route 20 where Wal-Mart wants to built the "Wilderness Battlefield". It is not the battlefield. It is almost a mile and one half behind the Union front lines.

We have to be accurate in our descriptions, folks. If not, the opposition will use such statements against us and make it seem like we are unreasonable, calling that spot a battlefield when no fighting even occurred there!

I implore all of you be be accurate and keep focused on the real issue:

Wal-Mart wants to build behind the Union lines at The Wilderness at an important historic road junction. If they build there it will have a VERY NEGATIVE impact on the battlefield and bring about a road widening of Route 20 that would gut that portion of the National Park!!!

"Gutting" a National Park!?!?! Most thinking Americans appreciate our National Parks. They don't want The Wilderness Battlefield "gutted" by a four-lane river of blacktop any more than they would want to see the same thing to happen at Yellowstone. This is more than saving a battlefield. It also means saving a National Park.

Busterbuttonboy
08-05-2008, 10:36 AM
Cheese Box
While I appreciate the keeping alarmist statements to a minimum (something I’m not always good at), my main concern was the impact it will have on traffic and providing an infrastructure for future development in and around areas of the Core battlefield.
http://home.nps.gov/applications/parks/frsp/ppMaps/FRSPmap1.pdf
There is the park service map. Looks like it's right across ye old intersection from the park. Yes behind the lines.

While I'll contend that we need to focus on CORE battlefield area there are some other things to consider.
Mind you a battlefield is not made up of strictly the contact or combat areas. Landscape surveys of battlefields now are done utilizing a military terrain cheat sheet. CRM groups, preservation organizations, and grants programs consider approach, rear and regression routes. The decisions which affect the movements and ultimately the outcome of battles are made miles or hours down the road. While this may be applicable in this case, again like Cedar Creek it is all becoming a precedent for future endeavors.

Drew Gruber

Bitter_Bierce
08-06-2008, 08:24 PM
http://home.nps.gov/applications/parks/frsp/ppMaps/FRSPmap1.pdf
There is the park service map. Looks like it's right across ye old intersection from the park. Yes behind the lines. That map is rather deceiving. It does not show terrain or foilage. Yes, park land that abutts the Rt. 20/Rt. 3 corner is right across the road, but it is partly wooded and inaccessible to casual visitors. If you want to see the site on Google Earth, just enter "Wilderness, VA" into the search slot and hit the button. Take you right to it. You'll see the currently existing parking lots for Seven 11, Sheetz and some other stuff. Then try to picture what it will look like when Wal-Fart gets their filthy hooks on it.

The closest tangible historic site to the intersection is the old Wilderness Tavern location which is up the hill to the east on Rt. 3:

http://www.nps.gov/frsp/photosmultimedia/images/Wilderness_Tavern_1.jpg
Looks pretty bucolic, eh? Pictures can be deceiving. The traffic on Rt. 3 is roaring just behind the viewer. Ellwood is beyond the trees in the distance.

By the way, that rock pile is part of one of the original Wilderness Tavern outbuildings. The tavern site itself was partly obliterated by Rt. 3 decades ago. If any of the foundation remains it is now in the wooded median strip between the lanes.

Wilderness Tavern As it was:
http://www.nps.gov/frsp/photosmultimedia/images/Wilderness_Tavern.205.tif
I believe those are veterans during a post-war tour of the battlefield.

electrichorseman
08-09-2008, 08:33 PM
The following is the response our association has made to the situation...

Big Box Retail in Orange County.
On behalf of the New Jersey Civil War History Association Inc. (NJCWHA), I am writing to express our deep sadness and disappointment in the recent interest and approval by Orange County for a big-box development at the intersection of Routes 20 and 3 which is adjacent to the Wilderness Battlefield Park boundaries. We have always been pleased with the commitment Orange County has made to its natural and cultural resources in the past and were shocked to have read the recent Freelance Star articles citing the Board of Supervisors interest in such a project.

Alongside preservation-oriented Living Histories and donations, on frequent visits to Orange County, our membership spend overnight stays in your beautiful towns, eat at local restaurants, buy locally produced products and support local businesses. Orange, as you know, provides an escape for the Civil War enthusiast that Spotsylvania and other Northern Virginia counties no longer have due to their sprawling development. The cultural landscape in Orange County is second to none. While we understand your commitment to providing a work base and convenient shopping for Orange residents, we are concerned that these decisions will be counterproductive to the mission your governing body has always stood for, the preservation of a high quality of life for its residents and visitors.

As you know, with large scale development come increases in congestion, degradation of the environment, crime and taxes while the County struggles to handle the cost of new schools, services and utilities. If the Board chooses to continue down this road, you can be sure that our organization, as well as thousands of other historians, tourists and naturalists will have
far less reasons to visit your area.It is our intention to forward letters to the Freelance Star, JDC Ventures, Fredricksburg Spotsylvania National Military Park and the Civil War Preservation Trust. We would greatly appreciate a response.

Respectfully yours,

New Jersey Civil War History Association, Inc.
AKA: 14th NJ Co H