Published on July 30, 2020

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Help Us With This Final Push

We need your help to finish the project to create the Winchester Battlefields Visitors Center; to launch a new interpretive experience for the six battles fought in and around Winchester; and to inspire visitors with Civil War history at a time when it is needed more than ever.

We’ve raised over $550,000.  We’re only $100,000 away from paying for the project and having enough funds to complete the work to launch our new Winchester Battlefields Visitor experience – a cell phone-based, 25-location audio tour designed to bring history to life at Winchester like never before.  We’re almost there.

And today, more than ever, the need for such tools is clear.  With everything happening around the world, we must reconnect people to our history.  If we don’t, our history and all that we hold dear may one day be lost forever.

We must open our battlefields as parks; create more opportunities for visitors to explore these hallowed grounds; and provide meaningful interpretation to spark interest and further understanding of our history.  By completing our work at the Visitors Center and improving the visitor experience throughout the Winchester area, we will have taken a huge leap forward in bringing people face to face with their history.

We need your help us get over the finish line by paying off the final construction costs and tying the new facility to the surrounding battlefields with a new interactive audio touring experience.

Saving our battlefields is our way of saving what we feel is important to our nation. But saving the land is not enough.  We must open these hallowed grounds to the public and reconnect people to these landscapes.  Our nation needs these places more than ever before.

For the last few decades American history has increasingly been taught and talked about as a long series of mistakes and atrocities – something to be atoned for and something to be ashamed of.  That’s a terrible injustice to our country, and to the memory of the men and women who helped build it.

Our nation was born on the eastern seaboard; carved out of the wilderness; and forged in the fires of civil war. That struggle – the struggle to live up to the ideals set forth by our founders – needs to be remembered and retold.  Not as something to be ashamed of; but as something to hold up to the world as an example of how a nation can continually better itself for the good of all of its citizens.

The unique collision of beauty and gravity, of recreation and reflection, and of the past and the now, make battlefields – in the words of Joshua Chamberlain – “the vision-place of souls.” I’m asking you to invest in our ability to share the meaning and importance of these fields with thousands – to invest in our ability to create relevance connections with future generations.

To see the complete letter from SVBF CEO Keven Walker, click here.

 

 

The Winchester Battlefields Visitor Center

Thanks to your support, we’ve constructed a new showcase visitor plaza and installed new exhibits, displays, features, and amenities, featuring:

  • Winchester’s Civil War History
  • A Theater, Visitor Information, and Gift Shop
  • A Rest Room
  • Battle Panels in the Center’s Plaza
  • 30 New Interpretive Markers Coming to the Battlefield.

Now we need your help to finish the project.

Donor Panels at Visitor Center

We’re updating the donor recognition panels in the Visitor Center. Take advantage of this opportunity to add your name to the wall – or to increase your level.

Your gift will be added to any previous gifts. If you’ve given to the project before, your level on the wall will reflect your new total.  Giving levels include:

$100,000-up
$50,000-100,000
$25,000-49,999
$10,000-24,999
$5,000-9,999
$1,000-4,999
$500-999
$50-499

For more information, call Kirsten Kauling at 540-740-4545.

Winchester Civil War Cell Phone Tour

To pursue a naming opportunity, call Kirsten Kauling at 540-740-4545.

Top Historians Will be Your Guides

This free cell phone tour will feature 25 stops at places that tell Winchester’s Civil War story. Visitors will call in, enter their stop number, and hear historians such as Gary Ecelbarger, Scott Mingus, Scott Patchan, and Keven Walker giving short, engrossing narratives with a “You Are There” focus on the history at that site.

Listen to a Sample Stop

To preview the tour, you can listen to a sample stop recorded by SVBF CEO Keven Walker.  Just call:

1-540-302-2877

You’ll hear Keven’s tour intro and then be able to press “1” to hear the sample stop: “The West Woods” on the Third Winchester Battlefield.

Sponsor a Tour Stop

For a gift of $1,000, you can sponsor a stop on the cell phone tour. Your name will be credited when visitors dial that stop.  Sponsorship opportunities include:

Overall Tour Sponsorship ($5.000)  PLEDGE RECEIVED

Title sponsorship of the tour.

Battle Introductions at Visitor Center ($1,000 each)

Overviews of the 6 major battles that took place in and around Winchester:

  1. First Battle of Kernstown
  2. First Battle of Winchester
  3. Second Battle of Winchester
  4. Second Battle of Kernstown
  5. Battle of Rutherford’s Farm
  6. Third Battle of Winchester

Stops at Sites Throughout Winchester ($1,000 each)

Winchester’s Civil War story – on the battlefield and the homefront:

  1. First Battle of Kernstown (Pritchard-Grim Farm)
  2. First Battle of Winchester (Winchester-Frederick Co. Visitors Center)
  3. Second Battle of Winchester #1 (Farmer’s Market)
  4. Second Battle of Winchester #2 (Star Fort)
  5. Second Battle of Winchester #3 (Stephenson’s Depot)
  6. Battle of Rutherford’s Farm (Rutherford Crossing Shopping Center)
  7. Second Battle of Kernstown (Pritchard-Grim Farm)
  8. Third Battle of Winchester #1 (West Woods) PLEDGE RECEIVED
  9. Third Battle of Winchester #2 (Red Bud Road)
  10. Third Battle of Winchester #3 (Fort Collier)
  11. Sheridan’s Field Hospital (Shawnee Springs)
  12. Civil War in Winchester Overview (downtown)
  13. Civilian Life in Civil War Winchester (downtown)
  14. African-Americans in Civil War Winchester (downtown)

21 -25.  5 additional stops to be added.

To pursue a naming opportunity, call Kirsten Kauling at 540-740-4545.