Wilderness Wal-Mart: Celebrating Small Victories


It was announced today that the Wal-Mart company has withdrawn their special use permit to build the proposed 240,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter near Wilderness Battlefield. The fight to stop its construction has been long and drawn out, where preservationists, Civil War enthusiasts, and local business owners have banded together to bring national awareness. The Wilderness Battlefield in Orange County, VA was the site of one of the most significant Civil War battles. The proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter would have been located a quarter mile away from the main entrance to the Battlefield National Park, and is well in sight of the Battlefield itself. The fight to relocate the store has been a major focus of the Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield and other support organizations for almost two full years. Earlier in the week an update article was written for the Richmond Times Dispatch, and our own Professor Smith was quoted, “this case is pretty heart-wrenching for everybody.” … [Read more...]

Amphitheater Clean-Up Event

On Friday, November 19th, 2010, the Historic Preservation department hosted an Amphitheater clean-up event. Students across the academic spectrum gathered at the amphitheater behind Trinkle and Mason hall Friday afternoon and, for approximately three hours, helped faculty remove trash, leaves and debris from the seating and stage area. According to the UMW website, the amphitheater was first opened by the University 87 years ago, in 1923. Since its creation, it has been used extensively for graduation commencement exercises, drama rehearsals, Eagle Pipe Band practice, impromptu class meetings and social events. Because maintenance and custodial staff are not required by the University to tend to the Amphitheater, it has fallen into disarray and obscurity over the past several years. Recently, an accident involving the collapse one of the columns and the injury of a non-university resident has brought the amphitheater back into the spotlight. The University is currently debating … [Read more...]

The National Trust Conference in Austin, TX


In late October the University of Mary Washington, in partnership with the Center for Historic Preservation, sent five undergraduate students to Austin, Texas to attend the 2010 National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference. The students travelled to and from the Texas state capitol, each returning with a different take on the preservation networks and tools they discovered and equally diverse observations on the city of Austin. Linked below are the five students’ observations as well as photos of the trip. Read on for student perspectives on the efficaciousness of the 2010 National Trust Conference. Jordan Brothers Cameron Henry Kathy Jones Emily Morton Chris Young … [Read more...]

Julia Costello Lecture


Dr. Julia Costello, co-author of the 2010 Historic Preservation Book Prize winner The California Missions, gave a talk on her book November 3rd. Dr. Costello introduced her talk by mentioning her late collaborator, Edna E. Kimbro, and the work she did on the book before her death in 2005.  The California Missions was originally intended to be a text on conservation, but evolved with the help of Dr. Costello into a history of the 21 Mission settlements in California. Dr. Costello gave an affecting history of the Missions, discussing their development and daily life. The Spanish settled California in the late eighteenth century and built sprawling ranchos to house and convert the Native Peoples of the area. The missions were self-sufficient and were generally four separate buildings formed into a rectangle with a courtyard in the middle. Under a score of Europeans inhabited these missions, but over 1,200 Native Americans lived in and around each mission settlement. The agreement was … [Read more...]