Everyone has a price

General Butler

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Thought you would like to know this.
It has come to my attention that the 2 families with large land holdings directly across the street from 2nd Manassas on Pageland Rd have sold out their souls to a developer.
In fact they are now employees of the developer who seeks to convert their land and thus the roads into a huge Tech Center.
The area had been part of what was called the Rural Crescent but the Edited. Board of Supervisors kicked that door down recently.
I doubt the battlefield trust will stand up to try and stop it as they have yet to come out in support for saving 2nd Manassas that I know of.
This Tech Center would disturb graves and much land used and traveled during the battle.
Their families fought Development for years and in one case for generations.
Goes to prove that everyone has their price and those 2 have sold "us" out for 30 pieces of silver.
Now, approvals have to happen but be it now or later, it would appear that 2nd Manassas is on the chopping block.
 
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lupaglupa

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
I try hard not to judge folks for doing things that will help themselves and future generations. Without a counter offer that would have preserved the land, it must have been hard to hold fast against a good offer. I wish we hard better funding for preserving land.
 

General Butler

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
I try hard not to judge folks for doing things that will help themselves and future generations. Without a counter offer that would have preserved the land, it must have been hard to hold fast against a good offer. I wish we hard better funding for preserving land.
As the land having been sold for no doubt millions, it is still directly across from the entrance to the Park for 2nd Manassas.
The overall destruction will be wicked and change the entire area for the worse, let o e the battlefield itself
 

redbob

Major
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Location
Hoover, Alabama
I suspect that the Civil War Trust/ American Battlefield Trust didn't get involved because they appear to have bitten off more than they can chew with their present multiple Save the Land campaigns, plus taking on Revolutionary War and War of 1812 pursuits.
 

Don Dixon

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Location
Fairfax, VA, USA
I remember Shelby Foote telling a story some years back of how Disney wanted to take a section of Manassas and build an amusement park. He said a lot of people got involved, then they made it known that Mickey Mouse would be associated with desecrating hallowed ground.... and it made Disney back off.

The esteemed Mr. Foote got it wrong. The Disney land was well west of the battlefield, between Manassas and the Blue Ridge. The ground there was no more "hallowed" than anywhere else in northern Virginia. Disney wanted to build a Civil War historical theme park. The horse country folks, et al, opposed it because it was "Disney," and development, and purportedly hollowed ground. So, the Disney company backed off and sold the land it had acquired. It doesn't like bad publicity. But, the pre-Disney developmental zoning on the land - 1/4 acre lots in sub-division developments - never changed. So, rather than Disney, which could have been a class act if the county had controlled the zoning around the park, one has [will have when continuing in progress development is completed] 40,000 people in sub divisions on 1/4 acre lots. In terms of historical preservation and preservation of views of the Blue Ridge which would have been the better choice?

I drive through there regularly. Beware of the things for which you wish lest you receive them.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 
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Pete Longstreet

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Location
Hartford, CT
The esteemed Mr. Foote got it wrong. The Disney land was well west of the battlefield, between Manassas and the Blue Ridge. The ground there was no more "hallowed" than anywhere else in northern Virginia. Disney wanted to build a Civil War historical theme park. The horse country folks, et al, opposed it because it was "Disney," and development, and purportedly hollowed ground. So, the Disney company backed off and sold the land it had acquired. It doesn't like bad publicity. But, the pre-Disney developmental zoning on the land - 1/4 acre lots in sub-division developments - never changed. So, rather than Disney, which could have been a class act if the county had controlled the zoning around the park, one has [will have when continuing in progress development is completed] 40,000 people in sub divisions on 1/4 acre lots. In terms of historical preservation and preservation of views of the Blue Ridge which would have been the better choice?

I drive through there regularly.

Regards,
Don Dixon
Interesting, and appreciate the update. He did say it was a "section" but didn't specify. Like I stated in a previous post... when land is owned privately, the owner, within certain limits, can do as he wishes. Many generation land owners end up selling to large corporations... the amount of money they receive could change their life... so to prevent that is an uphill battle. But, as you noted, I would go with the Disney Historical theme park.
 

lupaglupa

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Interesting, and appreciate the update. He did say it was a "section" but didn't specify. Like I stated in a previous post... when land is owned privately, the owner, within certain limits, can do as he wishes. Many generation land owners end up selling to large corporations... the amount of money they receive could change their life... so to prevent that is an uphill battle. But, as you noted, I would go with the Disney Historical theme park.
I think @Pete Longstreet gets at the heart of it - how do we balance the desire to preserve things with the rights of property owners to choose how they use their own land? I agree with @General Butler that's its a shame this family gave in two developers but if they have kids and grandkids it's pretty hard to walk away from that.

A program that helped people preserve open land - for future farming, preservation, open space, etc. is a great thing. Lots of places are moving towards that as a way to get some fair compensation to landowners - mostly in reduced taxes. That's really helped preserve land here.
 

VMIKeydet

Private
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
I suspect that the Civil War Trust/ American Battlefield Trust didn't get involved because they appear to have bitten off more than they can chew with their present multiple Save the Land campaigns, plus taking on Revolutionary War and War of 1812 pursuits.
I'm afraid you're right. They also allowed a pristine Haw's Shop battlefield to be bought up by developers within the last year. As I've mentioned previously, I have great concerns with that group, especially after looking at its payroll.
 

tmorr

Private
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
There has been A LOT of preservation and land acquisition here in Franklin, TN where I live. 25 years ago, other than the Carter House, Lotz House and Carnton Mansion, battlefield preservation seemed like a lost cause. Not now. Local preservation groups worked with local government and both, in turn, worked with the national preservation groups to a degree I never would have thought possible. A prominent player in the local preservation efforts once told me "we have people on standby now to write checks with commas, if we need to make an initial move on a property as a show of good faith until other partners are brought into play."

Anyway...as mentioned earlier, it takes a significant and active counter-offer ability AND the ability to talk to the landowners and appeal to their willingness to preserve the land.

All the small parcels of land saved add up and scoring the large ones can be harder due to the cost. It's not just a simple matter of buying the land, but who will maintain it, how will it be transferred to the city, state or NPS... There are lots of variables. A recent example is the big save of the former GE/O'Rielly Auto Parts property in Murfreesboro, TN: good news - it's not going to be developed. Bad news - there is no plan, at present to transfer the ownership and there is a potentially a financially devastating environmental clean up operation to be considered before the NPS could accept the land, and... you also have to get congress to re-establish the boundary of Stones River National Battlefield to accommodate the new property and that isn't top priority these days, I imagine.
 

GwilymT

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
I'm afraid you're right. They also allowed a pristine Haw's Shop battlefield to be bought up by developers within the last year. As I've mentioned previously, I have great concerns with that group, especially after looking at its payroll.
Is the American Battlefield Trust a bad actor?
 

GwilymT

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
That's a loaded question. I don't think it's a bad actor, but I do question its priorities and how it spends money. Even a cursory review of its latest financials (Form 990) should raise questions from donors. I look forward to seeing how/if they adjusted those during the pandemic.
Thanks. I have been a donor in the past but if they aren’t actively trying to fulfill their mission then I’ll have to stop donating.
 

VMIKeydet

Private
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
Thanks. I have been a donor in the past but if they aren’t actively trying to fulfill their mission then I’ll have to stop donating.
That's unfortunately where I ended up as well. There are still some wonderful preservation organizations out there, but I assure you their payroll doesn't look like Page 9 here: https://www.battlefields.org/sites/...RUST_TAX RETURN_CLIENT PD 990_2019 public.pdf

Being the only game in town has allowed the Trust to become "comfortable," and we're all worse for it. As I mentioned, Haw's Shop is a prime example.
 

GwilymT

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
That's unfortunately where I ended up as well. There are still some wonderful preservation organizations out there, but I assure you their payroll doesn't look like Page 9 here: https://www.battlefields.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/AMERICAN BATTLEFIELD TRUST_TAX RETURN_CLIENT PD 990_2019 public.pdf

Being the only game in town has allowed the Trust to become "comfortable," and we're all worse for it. As I mentioned, Haw's Shop is a prime example.
Thanks! I’ll definitely look into it with a keen eye before signing another check.
 

Drew

Major
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Thought you would like to know this.
It has come to my attention that the 2 families with large land holdings directly across the street from 2nd Manassas on Pageland Rd have sold out their souls to a developer.
In fact they are now employees of the developer who seeks to convert their land and thus the roads into a huge Tech Center.
The area had been part of what was called the Rural Crescent but the Edited. Board of Supervisors kicked that door down recently.
I doubt the battlefield trust will stand up to try and stop it as they have yet to come out in support for saving 2nd Manassas that I know of.
This Tech Center would disturb graves and much land used and traveled during the battle.
Their families fought Development for years and in one case for generations.
Goes to prove that everyone has their price and those 2 have sold "us" out for 30 pieces of silver.
Now, approvals have to happen but be it now or later, it would appear that 2nd Manassas is on the chopping block.

The 5,000 + acre Manassas National Battlefield Park in not on the "chopping block." It belongs to the American people and it is not for sale.

I agree with others we have no right to judge what neighboring families are going through or what their goals or needs are. That previous generations may have fought development is probably true, but they've lost.

The entire area surrounding the park has been subject to suburban development over the past 20 years or so. I'd be inclined myself to sell a farm laying next to a shopping center and a car dealership. What family farming tradition is in that?
 

Lubliner

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
I think @Pete Longstreet gets at the heart of it - how do we balance the desire to preserve things with the rights of property owners to choose how they use their own land? I agree with @General Butler that's its a shame this family gave in two developers but if they have kids and grandkids it's pretty hard to walk away from that.

A program that helped people preserve open land - for future farming, preservation, open space, etc. is a great thing. Lots of places are moving towards that as a way to get some fair compensation to landowners - mostly in reduced taxes. That's really helped preserve land here.
I remember back in the early 1960's when segregation of neighborhoods and schools were the law and not the exception. What the Civil Rights' movement (which I support) finally broke through with equal access. But with their abilities to equalize the freedoms among our citizenry, it also opened up rulings of the Supreme Court that established loop-hole agreements for land buyers that were corporate entities. I don't know enough State or Federal Law on civil cases such as this, but it essentially smells like monopolization over the private sector.
Lubliner.
 

General Butler

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
The 5,000 + acre Manassas National Battlefield Park in not on the "chopping block." It belongs to the American people and it is not for sale.

I agree with others we have no right to judge what neighboring families are going through or what their goals or needs are. That previous generations may have fought development is probably true, but they've lost.

The entire area surrounding the park has been subject to suburban development over the past 20 years or so. I'd be inclined myself to sell a farm laying next to a shopping center and a car dealership. What family farming tradition is in that?
Since the 5000 NPS land us not for sale as that would be against the law, it is a shame that groups fight tooth and nail to save every inch of footfall where a solder may have trod so walmart wont go in but battlefield land, land across the street from the entrance to NPS land will son be a HUGE data center park and high tension wires.
Let's see which group fights and which group does nothing except ask for more Gburg money
 

Lubliner

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Since the 5000 NPS land us not for sale as that would be against the law, it is a shame that groups fight tooth and nail to save every inch of footfall where a solder may have trod so walmart wont go in but battlefield land, land across the street from the entrance to NPS land will son be a HUGE data center park and high tension wires.
Let's see which group fights and which group does nothing except ask for more Gburg money
Necessity becomes the determining factor. Do we need another Wal-Mart? City councils and State Commissions decide on that by public needs; supply and demand as well as economic health. If the Data Center is more necessary and arranges some bargaining deal that provides benefits to the citizenry, outdoing Wal-Mart's bid, then the most favorable for all could win. The problem lands at the tables of scales and balances to determine their profitability. Parks and Recreations, and Tourist attractions delight outsiders, providing local vendors, so a community retains it's health. Now we have the present health crisis that foreshadows tourism, creating a huge deficit in local populations. Gambling won't replace the loss.
Lubliner.
 

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