Travelogue | June 2011 | Deb Burst

Journey Through Hallowed Ground

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground (JTHG) follows the footsteps of our founding fathers in a 180-mile journey along a four-state region, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia, from Gettysburg to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Explore the changing landscapes from rolling mountain ranges to softly plowed fields, study the architecture from colonial homesteads to regal plantations and savor the local cuisine from country cooking to wineries and fineries. The book, The Journey Through Hallowed Ground, The Official Guide to Where America Happened from Gettysburg to Monticello, by David Edwin Lillard, journals the trail in regions and towns highlighting battlefields, scenic drives, outdoor excursions, lodging, distinctive shopping and historic tours.  

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It's been named a National Historic Area with nine president's homes, thirty historic Main Street Communities, thirteen National Parks and hundreds of African and Native American historical sites.Follow a trail of patriotism dedicated to ordinary people, past and present, and meet those who have shaped this country. The journey celebrates 400 years of history and the largest concentrations of Civil War Battlefields in the nation with throngs of visitors making the trail this year honoring the Civil War sesquicentennial. 

Embrace the emotional toil spent by soldiers and citizens where no one, young or old, was spared the daily hardships of a torn country. Following the theme, "Where America Happened," the pastoral Piedmont and Blue Ridge Mountains lay the foundation in an illustrious backdrop scripting a diary of trials and triumphs.

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Gettysburg to the Potomac River
Tour the Gettysburg's iconic battlefield by foot, bicycle or horseback. Discover the town's many cultural events, galleries and historical museums or take the scenic railroad for a Civil War tour. Enjoy the region's mountain vistas with a hike along the Appalachian Trail or visit Adam's county with full of historic towns steeped with waterfalls and covered bridges.

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Loudoun and Prince William Counties, Virginia
Loudoun County celebrates its past in historic museums, battlefields, cemeteries, courthouses and libraries. Sample nature's bounty with a string of vineyards and pick-your-own orchards or canvass the country side in scenic tours.

In Prince William County, downtown Manassas brings the charm of an old fashioned rail town where many of its late Victorian era homes and buildings now serve as museums, boutiques, art galleries, antique shops and restaurants. The Manassas National Battlefield pays tribute to two of the most intense and moving Civil War battles.

Fauquier and Culpepper Counties, Virginia
Like many counties along the Journey, Fauquier and Culpeper entertain miles of horse country and bicycle trails. Moving south through Culpeper, Civil War markers consume the landscape along with Brandy Station, home to the largest cavalry battle. Fishermen and paddle pushers will enjoy a more genteel setting along the Rapidan and Rappahannock River.

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Madision, Orange and Albermale Counties
A fraternity of political patriots lay claim to these fertile grounds. Along every turn the mountainous foothills accent the historical presence past the homes and birthplaces of President Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Wilson and Taylor, along with several U.S. Senators and delegates to the constitutional convention. South of the town of Orange, James Madison's Montpelier traces the frontier movement to the early antebellum period. Moving south into Albermarle County, James Monroe built a modest home called Highland, and today Ash Lawn-Highland hosts public tours and cultural events, testimony to Monroe's fondness of entertaining. Monticello rear view.jpg

Just miles away visit Thomas Jefferson's masterpieces Monticello and the University of Virginia complex with the Rotunda, Lawn and Pavilions: all designated a World Heritage Site. A gallery of architectural buildings, historic inns and vineyards continue throughout the tri-county region.

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground is a timeless voyage conserving the region's scenic, historic, recreational and natural appeal. Each chapter/region of the book provides a reference map, highlights, tours, outdoor interests, restaurants and accommodations. The last chapter offers special interest tours with scenic drives to heritage sites and small towns.