On Friday, May 20, seventeen fallen soldiers from the American Civil War will be remembered at a tree dedication ceremony in Haymarket. At the Haymarket-Gainesville Community Library, the nonprofit Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, as part of the organization’s Living Legacy Project, has already planted the trees. The project plans to plant one tree for each soldier that died during one of America’s most defining moments. “Prince William County is steeped in Civil War history so we are thrilled this is the first planting we are doing here,” said Shuan Butcher, director of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway. “But we know it will not be our last.”
The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership has worked closely with the Prince William Public Library System and the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division on this event. Some of the soldiers being honored had Prince William connections or died because of the First or Second Battle of Manassas. The Historic Preservation Division provided some of the research on the fallen soldiers. In addition, the Library System actively worked with a local Boy Scout to plant some of these trees as part of his Eagle Scout project. All of these efforts will be recognized during the dedication ceremony. In addition, the Library System also arranged a Mountain View Elementary School student who will recite a poem about a soldier that died at Bushy Park during the event.”What a wonderful way to highlight, once again, our community’s remarkable historic past with our beautiful new library,” said Constance Gilman, Prince William Public Library System Director.
As plantings continue, the Living Legacy Project will eventually stretch along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, a 180-mile swath of land that runs from Gettysburg, PA to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA. The Haymarket-Gainesville Community Library is located right off the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway, which crosses the Mason Dixon Line and serves as an artery that connects the many battlefields and towns that were gravely impacted by the Civil War.
The Living Legacy Project will create a unified color palette that reminds visitors that they are, indeed, on hallowed ground. Upon completion, this initiative will create the first 180 mile landscaped allée in the world and the only allée dedicated to honoring the most defining moment in American history. A signature palette of seasonal trees and plantings, including redbuds, red oaks, red maple, and red cedar have been selected to represent the courage and valor of the individuals being honored with this project. A secondary palette, including canopy and understory trees, evergreens, shrubs, and ground coverings, will also feature red as a predominant color, with plantings including black gum trees, sassafras, and winterberry. The native selection is appropriate to the diverse landscapes along this historic corridor, and remains sensitive to the local ecology, scenic views, and development patterns.
The dedication ceremony, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 11:00 a. m. on May 20, 2016, rain or shine. Afterwards, optional tours of the adjacent historic house, the Bushy Park Home, will be offered to those in attendance as well. For more information on the Living Legacy Project, visit hallowedground.org, and visit pwcgov.org/library for event information.