Past is Prologue

Clint Schemmer writes about history, heritage preservation and the American Civil War.  On Facebook: Past is Prologue  On Twitter: @prologuepast  ContactEmail Clint or call 540/374-5424.

RSS feed of this blog

Stratford Hall announces $17M capital campaign, plan for new visitor center, more

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

Coaching Day is a popular occasion among visitors to Stratford Hall and its circa-1738 Great House.

STRATFORD, Va.–The Robert E. Lee Memorial Association Inc. announced this morning that is embarking on the public phase of a $17 million campaign to overhaul the Northern Neck historic site’s visitor center, create digital tours and more fully restore Stratford Hall’s Great House and gardens.

The “Securing A Place for the Past” campaign is already two-third of the way toward its goal, having raised $10.1 million, Stratford Hall officials said at a press conference in the Dining Room of the 2,000-acre Potomac River estate.

“We are excited about the impact this campaign will have for the future of Stratford Hall and its visitors,” said Custis Glover, president of the association’s board, and a Lee family descendant. “This campaign is not about just a single new building, exhibit or room restoration, but will ensure a new visitor experience to everyone who visits Stratford Hall.”

The heart of visitors’ new experience will be a $5 million, two-story visitor center and user-driven smartphone and iPod Touch tours that offer a variety of choices and materials for adults, children and families, in addition to the site’s traditional guided tours.

Built circa 1738, Stratford Hall is one of the great houses of American history, set on a high bluff above the Potomac. The birthplace of Robert E. Lee, it was home to the only two brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence, Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee.

The association, a nonprofit, purchased the Westmoreland County property, in Virginia’s scenic Northern Neck, in 1929 to preserve its expansive grounds and architecturally distinctive structures.