Rain showers and hot and humid southside Virginia weather did not dampen the spirtis or attendance at the Summer Picnic hosted by the Friends of Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historic State Park. More than 60 people were present for the picnic and presentations about the status of the park and its planned programs.
The park’s new visitor center was the highlight of the day. Because of rain, the picnic was moved from the picnic area near the historic Hillsman House to the new visitor center. Contractor Keith Barber and project Superintendent Hans Hanson were on hand to give a tour of both the interior and grounds of the visitor center. Bobby and Mary Anna Wilcox arranged for BBQ, hot dogs and all the fixings for a wonderful picnic.
Park Manager Chris Calkins gave a report on the progress of the park over the past year and plans for the upcoming year. It is expected that staff will be able to move into the new visitor center this fall. Keith Barber reported that the visitor center will be a LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certified building at either the bronze or silver levels.
State Parks Director Joe Elton thanked the group for their support and volunteerism at the park and expressed gratitude to the Hillsman family in attendance whose ancestors lived and worked the farm that became the site of the final major battle of the American Civil War in Virginia. The historic Hillsman house has been restored and tours of the house were provided.