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GREENSBORO, NC – Today, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park and Guilford Battleground Company announced they were the joint recipients of a 2015 National Park Service Centennial Challenge Grant. These Centennial Challenge Grants are part of a multi-year effort to prepare for the National Park Service Centennial in 2016. The NPS Centennial Grant Program includes $26 million for restoration projects at national parks around the country, including $16 million from non-governmental partners. In the National Park Service’s Southeast Region, this grant program will fund 25 separate projects totaling over $3 million dollars. The Guilford Courthouse project will involve updating the museum exhibits at the Colonial Heritage Center to make them interactive and more relevant to park visitors.

The Colonial Heritage Center

The Colonial Heritage Center

“The Centennial Challenge Program is a great way to leverage federal dollars,” said Guilford Courthouse NMP Superintendent Doyle Sapp. “We believe once completed the improved exhibits will result in an increased understanding of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse and the people who lived, fought, and died here. We want to thank the Guilford Battleground Company for their support. Without our friends and partners, this project would not have gone forward.”
“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to revitalize the Colonial Heritage Center,” said Ed Deaton, President of the Guilford Battleground Company. Deaton also wanted to thank the Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation which generously provided a grant in the amount of $200,000 to the Guilford Battleground Company which is being used for this project. The Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the Colonial Heritage Center and its mission of teaching how people lived in the 1780’s here in Piedmont North Carolina and their connection to the Battle. The upgrades will take advantage of new audio visual techniques to make the story more appealing to today’s youth.
The Guilford Battleground Company is the official friends’ group and fundraising partner of Guilford Courthouse NMP. Its primary mission is to promote and preserve the National Military Park as well as take every opportunity to teach the public about its significance. This upgrade of the Center will add to the public’s knowledge and understanding of what took place here on March 15, 1781.
In order to qualify for a Centennial Challenge Grant, projects needed to demonstrate that they provided for authorized activities that benefited one or more National Park System areas, contributed towards at least one of the Director’s Call to Action goals, required little or no additional recurring NPS operating or maintenance funds to be sustainable, did not include the construction of new facilities; and have partner(s) who were ready, willing, and able to contribute at least 50% of the project. Once submitted, projects that were highly evaluated included more than a 1:1 match, impacted multiple parks, included a contribution to Centennial goals, particularly youth engagement, and addressed high priority deferred maintenance needs.
The Centennial Challenge Grants are part of a multiyear effort to prepare for the 2016 Centennial of the National Park Service including the Find Your Park Campaign which connects a broader audience to public lands, and President Obama’s Every Kid in a Park initiative that will give every fourth grader and their families free access to national parks and all federal lands and waters for a full year, beginning this Fall.

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Due to the impending inclement weather the reenactment scheduled for 2:00 pm today at Country Park has been canceled. For activities of the day at the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park please call 288-1776 to check on the staats of those eveents.

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At their March 1 meeting, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution in remembrance of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse and declared the week of March 12 – March 18, 2012 as “The Battle of Guilford Courthouse Week.” The resolution was presented by Commissioner Paul Gibson. Accepting the resolution were Frank Mascia , President of the Guilford Battleground Company; Maureen Hartigan, Executive Director of the GBC; and Charles Cranfield, Superintendent of Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.

The Guilford Battleground Company and Guilford Courthouse NMP appreciate this recognition by officials of Guilford County of this significant  battle of the American Revolution fought in and around the original site of the Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1781.

CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO OF PRESENTATION.

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Mayor Perkins presents proclamation

Bill Lancaster, Carolyn Allen, Charles Cranfield, Maureen Hartigan, Mayor Robbie Perkins, and Dan O'Shea

The City Council of Greensboro adopted a resolution declaring the week of March 12-18 (Monday-Sunday) 2012 as “The Battle of Guilford Courthouse Week.” The resolution was passed by the council in recognition of the critical battle of the American Revolution which was fought at Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1781. After the reading and unanimous vote of the council approving the resolution, Mayor Robbie Perkins presented the resolution to Guilford Battleground Company Executive Director, Maureen Hartigan; GBC Vice- presidents, Bill Lancaster and Dan O’Shea; GBC board member, Carolyn Allen; and Guilford Courthouse National Military Park Superintendent, Charles Cranfield. The resolution was initiated by the GBC and adopted by the City Council reaffirming the significance of the battle and its reenactment each year to the City of Greensboro.

Click here to read the resolution.

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Ann Snyder Bill Snyder Frank Mascia

At the October GBC Board meeting, Bill Snyder, longtime member of the Board, was honored upon his retirement for his years of  faithful and effective service. Bill served as vice-president of the Board for over a decade and was highly respected for his wise counsel and sound guidance. His great appreciation of the history of our country and his deep sense of patriotism were manifest in his service not only to the GBC but also with his long time leadership in the Sons of the American Revolution.  Bill was named an Honorary Board Member for Life and presented a cup in recognition of his efforts on behalf of the Board. The Board was privileged to have Ann Snyder, Bill’s wife, present on this occasion.

The citation in his honor reads as follows.

RESOLVED

WHEREAS Bill Snyder has been a trusted board member and officer of the Guilford Battleground Company for many years,

And WHEREAS he has announced plans to retire after years of arduous service,

And WHEREAS Bill has been advocating and working for the protection of the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park far longer than most other board members have even been alive,

And WHEREAS some even question if he was here on that fateful March 15th, 1781,

And WHEREAS his sound counsel and rock steady judgment will be sorely missed in the future,

And WHEREAS his love for the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park and what it represents to our country and community will only deepen in the future as will as our esteem and affection for him,

Therefore be it resolved by the board of directors of the Guilford Battleground Company that Bill Snyder is hereby declared an Honorary Board Member for life of the Guilford Battleground Company,

And is due all the recognition, privileges, powers, and perks that such an esteemed position should enjoy.

Given In All Respect this 11 Aug 2011,

Frank Mascia, President
Guilford Battleground Company

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At the Annual Meeting of the Guilford Battleground Company held on June 9th the following board members and officers were elected.

Elected for a three year term (2011-2014) as new directors are: Frank Biggerstaff, Louis Bouvier, Patrick Nugent, and Peter Riechard. Returning directors elected for the same term are: Mitchell Hunt, Robb Hutchison, Bill Lancaster, Charlie Rodenbough, David Senter, Jim Sheek, Robin Taylor, Doug Thorne, and Greg Woodard.

Officers elected for the 2011-2012 year are: President- Frank Mascia; 1st Vice-President – Bill Lancaster; 2nd Vice-President – Dan O’Shea; 3rd Vice-President – Rose Marie Ponton; Treasurer – Mitchell Hunt;  Assistant Treasurer – Andrew Howle; Secretary – Jim Plyler.

Jim Kirkpatrick serves as the Honorary (Lifetime) Chairman.

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On Saturday, June 11th, from 10 am to 3:00 pm Guilford Courthouse National Military Park will be hosting an Archaeology Family Day for the public. There will be presentations, activities for the whole family, and tours.  Visitors will get a chance to see the archaeological team and the many tools that are used every day in the field as well as learn of techniques and skills that need to be mastered in order to be a part of this fast-moving scientific field.  This is a great opportunity for kids and adults alike to see what the profession of archaeology is all about.

Since May 23, 2011, university students from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the National Park have been teamed together to uncover the courthouse used in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Throughout the past few weeks, the students have been using their skills learned in the classroom to better understand the field application of their knowledge. During the field school, students are collaborating and excavating within the park using ground penetrating radar, metal detectors, and traditional archeological techniques.

Drs.Linda and Roy Stine lead the team

Thanks to a generous cash donation from the Guilford Battleground Company that was matched by a Federal Partnership Grant, and the hard work of the University of North Carolina, the National Park Service is finally able to hold this level of excavation. “Guilford Courthouse, which stood at the eastern edge of the battlefield, is a lost treasure in the history of our nation” said Park Superintendent Charles Cranfield. The Courthouse is where Andrew Jackson practiced law before his presidency, President George Washington visited during his 1791 tour, and where the center of a small backwoods town (Guilford Courthouse)  existed before Greensboro became the county seat of Guilford County.

Further information and daily events will be posted through the group’s Facebook site:  Finding the Courthouse

The GBC is delighted to be able to provide financial assistance for this important endeavor. The site of the courthouse is shown on several maps drawn shortly after the battle, but its actual location has been debated by scholars for many years. We hope this search will be able to identify that site. We are grateful to the Patriot members of the GBC whose contributions have made this significant search possible.

High tech equipment such as the  ground penetrating radar is being used for the first time in the search for the courthouse, but the “on your hands and knees” digging in the hot sun, and sifting the soil for items are still a major part of the search. What is thought to be a brick chimney base, 18th century nails, pottery shards and teeth are among the items already unearthed.

See Triad News 14 video of the dig at the following link.    http://triad.news14.com/content/top_stories/641499/students-help-on-archaeological-dig-to-find-courthouse

Visit the team in action below. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

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