Pamplin Park explores forests to fields

Pamplin Historical ParkPamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier will explore the mid-19th century efforts to use timber in civilian products and military construction on July 20-21 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.

Programs will include several 30-minute woodworking demonstrations at both the Tudor Hall Plantation and the Military Encampmentareas. These programs will occur multiple times daily, so that visitors will have several opportunities to view them regardless of when they arrive.

Staff in period attire at Tudor Hall will demonstrate woodworking skills and the required tools used in the production of common items of the era. Visitors are invited to join in on discussions to include period methods of selecting, cutting and marketing wood products.

Visitors can also join Civil War soldiers at the nearby Military Encampment as they demonstrate the construction of earthworks, revetments and other obstacles. Several finished examples will be on hand and guests are encouraged to to help weave gabion baskets used in earthwork construction. Discussions will include how soldiers used every part of the tree for different purposes from firewood to building fabrication.

A specially tailored Tudor Hall Plantation walking tour titled “From Forests to Fields” will be offered at 11:00-11:45 am, and again from 2:00-2:45 pm. The Tudor Hall walking tour this particular day will focus on and incorporate the necessary removal of timber to create the fields where cash crops grew. Particular attention will be paid to explaining the different types of wooden structures commonly found on Southside Virginia plantations and their various methods of construction. Opportunities for comparing and contrasting the master’s, and the enslaved (both domestic and field slaves) living quarters as well as their role in the deforestation and construction processes will also be covered. Enslaved people, from field hand to skilled slaves (carpenters, joiners, and coopers) worked with and made products fashioned from wood virtually every day of their lives.

We will also offer the Breakthrough Battlefield Tour twice during the day, from 1:00-1:45 pm, and again from 3:00-3:45 pm. Additional emphasis will be placed on comparing and contrasting today’s battlefield landscape to that of period photographs that vividly illustrate the denuded terrain. Guides will also stress how soldiers constructed earthworks using local timber during the Petersburg Campaign. Tour discussions will also include sharing quotes from soldiers on both sides who described their use of timber and their thoughts on the denuded landscape during the Petersburg Campaign.

All event activities and programs are included with regular daily paid admission.

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