How do you excite the public about a newly preserved historic site?
When the American Battlefield Trust acquired a beautiful 222-acre parcel of significant battlefield land, it faced a major problem—no one was coming to see it. Even if visitors tramped through grass and woods to get onto the property, they were disoriented and did not know what had happened there.
Creating Interest Through Interpretation:
The Trust hired HAI to bring the battlefield out of obscurity. Over a three-year period, our team conducted research at several repositories and created a comprehensive interpretive plan that established important storylines and programmatic initiatives. We laid out a trail system, helping to implement the installation of five miles of walking and biking trails, as well as more than twenty interpretive waysides exhibits to bring the Civil War battlefield’s significant story to life.
As a result, the site is easily accessible and visitors understand what happened at the bloodiest battlefield in the Shenandoah Valley. “The interpretation at Third Winchester is a huge success story,” said the Trust’s Director of Communications Jim Campi. “Visitation among tourists and local residents is higher than we ever expected.”
An online reviewer of historical markers wrote, “Of all the sites I’ve visited in the last two years, the best interpreted in my opinion is the Third Winchester Battlefield. Great maps. Great illustration. And most of all, a text summary of the events that prompts the visitor to walk the fields and see for themselves.”
“The interpretation at Third Winchester is a huge success story. Visitation among tourists and local residents is higher than we ever expected.”
Jim Campi, Director of Communications, American Battlefield Trust
For more information about the Third Winchester Battlefield, visit: www.battlefields.org/learn/civil-war/battles/third-winchester.