BY THE EDITORIAL PAGE STAFF OF THE FREE LANCE-STAR
FRIENDS OF CHATHAM DELIVER
Arguably the most impressive historic home in the Fredericksburg area, Chatham Manor sprawls along the Stafford County heights overlooking Fredericksburg.
The 18th-century plantation’s mansion is 210 feet long, and poses upkeep challenges to match its grand scale, especially given the continuing shortfall in maintenance funding for National Park Service buildings. Chatham is the headquarters of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
Dovetail Cultural Resources Group, The Community Foundation’s Duff McDuff Green Jr. Fund, the Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table and many individuals supported the Adopt-a-Window effort.
This latest work is being done by a local contractor, Olde Towne Window & Door, and probably won’t be completed until autumn. It’s crucial to make the buildings look shipshape for visitors and ensure they stay weather-tight.
The track record set by the Friends of Chatham is almost as impressive as the estate’s original buildings and scenic site on the Rappahannock River. What it is accomplishing there proves that every national park site can benefit from having energetic, committed and well-organized local supporters.