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Historic Tredegar To Serve As Richmond Region's Gateway To Civil War Travel

Partnership Between the American Civil War Center and National Park Service Positions
Richmond Region as Historic Starting Point For Marking Dual 150th
Anniversaries of The Civil War and Emancipation

The Richmond Region, an area that occupied center stage during the Civil War and throughout African-Americans’ struggle for freedom, is readying itself to play a starring role in the nation’s commemoration of next year’s dual 150th anniversaries of the Civil War and the beginning of Emancipation. The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar and the Richmond National Battlefield Park/National Park Service have designated Historic Tredegar as Your Gateway to the Civil War, with the 8.3-acre site serving as the Region’s official Civil War 150th Visitor Center under the banner, “The Story Starts Here.” The designation expands upon an existing partnership between The American Civil War Center and the National Park Service, which share the Historic Tredegar campus, once the largest munitions foundry in the South.

As the official Gateway to the Civil War, the Civil War and Emancipation 150th Visitor Center will not only orient visitors to Historic Tredegar and the Region’s 13 Civil War battlefields, but NPS Park Rangers and Center staff also will help direct tourists and locals alike to the Region’s other historic sites, such as the Virginia Historical Society, the Museum & White House of the Confederacy, Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia and Richmond Slave Trail among others. The Center also will provide information on visiting other historic Civil War sites beyond Central Virginia.

As part of the effort to attract visitors to the Richmond area, the tourism office, Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (RMCVB), is launching a promotional campaign entitled “On To Richmond.” The marketing efforts, which include print advertising in national and regional media outlets in target markets, seek to drive visitors to the new, information-rich website. The campaign and website were made possible in part through grants from the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission. Media outreach efforts and RMCVB-hosted in-bound press trips have already resulted in significant editorial coverage of the Region’s rich array of Civil War- and Emancipation-related tourism assets.

“The coming anniversaries mark an important milestone in the history of our region, and The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar is uniquely positioned to help the region accurately relate the historic role that Richmond – and Tredegar – played a century and a half ago,” said Christy Coleman, president of The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. “The museum facilities on the Tredegar campus tell the story of the Civil War through the perspective of the Union, the Confederacy and that of African-Americans, and we believe we are ideally suited to serve as the starting point for anyone seeking a greater understanding of this important era in America’s history.”
“The National Park Service has enjoyed a strong partnership with Historic Tredegar for more than 10 years, through which we have helped convey our region’s rich history to millions of visitors,” said David Ruth, superintendent, Richmond National Battlefield Park, National Park Service. “This expanded relationship and designation of Historic Tredegar as our region’s Civil War gateway puts Richmond front and center as one of the premier historic sites for learning about the Civil War – not only battles and bullets, but life on the home front and the events leading up to the war as well as through Reconstruction and beyond.”

“The ‘On To Richmond’ component of our regional tourism promotion strategy is designed to position the Richmond Region as the most comprehensive resource for Civil War and Emancipation exploration and education anywhere in the country,” said Jack Berry, RMCVB president and CEO. “We know that, historically, 10 percent of our visitors come to Virginia specifically to experience our Civil War history. We expect that, with these major anniversaries beginning next year, the proportion of visitors interested in the Richmond Region will increase considerably. Working collaboratively with all of our historic sites, we will be well prepared to provide our visitors with a truly memorable, educational and fun stay in the Richmond Region.”

In addition to the existing museum resources at The American Civil War Center and the Richmond National Battlefield Park Civil War Visitor Center, the expanded Tredegar facility will include a broader selection of brochures for area Civil War and Emancipation venues and trails, more comprehensive information about Virginia Civil War 150th events and new banners displayed outside the Center to highlight its role as the gateway site.  More than 5.7 million people visit the Richmond Region annually, contributing more than $1.8 billion to the local economy. Tourism generates more than 26,000 jobs in the Richmond Region. For more information, visit
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