Wartime Museum could bury Prince William historic resources

Prince William has already invested over $721,000 in County funds (News & Messenger) in a war museum/theme park that hasn’t even been through the public hearing process yet, but the real question is — what actual Prince William history will be buried in the process of constructing the Vietnam-style rice paddies and WWI battle trenches that are planned? 

This area of the Neabsco Creek valley is some of the most historically significant real estate in eastern Prince William. The Tayloe Plantation, one of the earliest in the new world and the site of one of the first colonial era industrial enterprises, the Tayloe Iron Foundry, was located here.

Even before that period, the area was prime real estate from the earliest human habitation on, due to its topographical characteristics and transportation advantages. What are the details on what happened here? No one knows because a study has never been done.

The Prince William Historical Commission, the Lake Ridge-Occoquan-Coles Civic Association, the Mid County Civic Association and others have attempted to no avail to work with county and museum officials to at least have an archeological study done on the property to assess what is there before the bulldozers move in. We need to take this last opportunity to gather this information before it is lost forever.

Why the resistance? Why can’t we use some of the hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars already given to the museum to get this accomplished? Isn’t this a no-brainer?

Our county government has taken an active role in this private project by involving public funds and assistance and therefore has a responsibility to its citizens to protect and promote our historical record here. Anything less would be a dereliction of duty and mis-use of public funds.

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1 comment so far

  1. Bryan Purcell on

    This is also one of the most interesting pieces of topographic land in the county with steep cliffs rising high above Neabsco Creek as the stream falls down in elevation through the piedmont. I cant imagine this piece of land developed and denuded of trees. It was such an amazing and unique woodland area that I explored as a kid and seems to have not changed at all since then. Looking at it on Google Earth, it is a rare beauty of undeveloped land in eastern Prince William. Its a shame the county has not tried to purchase this historic and natural beauty, really depressing to lose this gem. I have no problems with the museum, I just wish it could go to another site while preserving this one.


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