- The Washington Times - Monday, April 10, 2006

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A nearly 200-mile, history-rich corridor that stretches along U.S. Route 15 from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate in Virginia to Gettysburg, Pa., will be preserved under a plan announced yesterday by a Northern Virginia Congress member.

The proposed four-state National Heritage Area, known as the “Journey Through Hallowed Ground,” includes 13 national parks, 47 historic districts and dozens of historic downtowns that played roles in the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil War.

“The Journey Through Hallowed Ground holds more American history than any other region of the country,” Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican, said at a press conference at the historic Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Va.

Mr. Wolf’s bill will be introduced when Congress returns from spring break in two weeks. Sen. George Allen, Virginia Republican, will introduce a Senate version of the bill, which would designate the corridor one of 28 National Heritage Areas in the country.

Kat Imhoff, president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation that runs Monticello, said the goal of the heritage area designation is tying the sites together while promoting tourism and managing growth to preserve history for future generations.

The corridor is on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of America’s most endangered historic places because of development pressures.

Among the sites within 30 miles of Route 15 is Camp David, the Maryland retreat where presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt have hosted world leaders. The area also includes Harpers Ferry, W.Va., where abolitionist John Brown raided an armory in an ill-fated effort to arm slaves in 1859.

“This swath of land has soaked up more of the blood, sweat and tears than any other region in the country,” said Richard Moe, president of the trust.

Also included are the homes of former Presidents James Madison and James Monroe, hunting cabins used by former Presidents Herbert Hoover and Theodore Roosevelt, and the farm near the Gettysburg battlefield where former President Dwight Eisenhower lived after retirement.

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