SBPA Activities Update

by Mike Nickerson, President, SBPA

Hello and hope you all are well.

It’s been a busy summer! Just a month ago or so I was touring the James Osbourne Farm with local descendants of the Folk family, who purchased and owned Mountain View Farm in 1883 – 1943. That was an interesting tour.

Moving into new business:

Battlefield Tour

Two weeks ago Dr. Tom Clemens led a battlefield tour of (who knew?) Civil War enthusiasts from the U.K. I think a European market for our tour is a great idea! Way to go, Tom.

Protection of Carvings

Last week, SBPA member Jerry Moore and I installed UV-blocking plexiglass over the carved signatures in the corn crib. This was done to physically protect them, and the installation actually improved the visual on the individual signatures – which include James Osbourn 1861; C M + S M (1883); and D. H. F. (Daniel H. Folk).

Betty Snyder Lowe helped identify Daniel in her book “The Folks of Swan Pond”. The Folks purchased Mountain View Farm as a wedding present for their daughter. At the time the Folk Family owned the Lord Fairfax Northern Neck Estate House off Route 45 west of Shepherdstown. Thanks for initiating this JT!

Sign Installation at the Osbourn Farm

This week, Martin Burke installed the first of two signposts at the entrance to the Osbourn Farm.

Then on Saturday, SBPA VP Steve Alemar and Martin installed the second one which includes the SBPA sign!

Stop by and see how good they look! Great job, Martin and Steve!

Battlefield Updates for the Shepherdstown Museum

Dr. Nickerson has been working with Museum staff to update their info on the Battle of Shepherdstown, successful preservation efforts and the activities of the SBPA. The info they had on hand was quite old, some was inaccurate, and they had nothing about the efforts to preserve properties in the battlefield. They now have accurate text, maps, place names, preserved properties, and SBPA info.

SBPA Info Table at a Local Festival

Next up, my daughter convinced me to set up a Battlefield booth at a music festival just out of town on Flowing Springs Road. As I have everything ready to go, I agreed.

So, on Saturday, August 19 from 3 – 8 pm we will have books, maps, artifacts, pamphlets and MORE at the Tomato Jam Festival off Flowing Springs Road between Witmer and French Roads. Anyone who wants to take a shift at the booth contact me. Otherwise, Rosemary and I will set it up and take it down. It should be a fun event with local music, crafts, etc. For more info:

Picnic on the Osbourn Farm

That brings us to the Battlefield Picnic on the Osbourn Farm coming up on August 26 from 4 – 6 pm. A highlight of the 2023 summer! The picnic is ‘sold out’ at a maximum of 55 people for the event. The SBPA took the lead on renting a tent, tables and chairs, which will be delivered and set up on Friday, August 25. We have arranged a local bank from Packhorse Ford to play at the event, they are “Paul the Resonator and the Potomac Valley Dustbusters”. There will be catered appetizes from Grazefull, LLC.,. from Martinsburg.

The event will be a greet and graze session with music from 4 – 4:45 pm. Then talking, awards, Farm history, etc. from 4:45 – 5:45 pm. Then a return to mingling and music till 6:30. I will bring everything I have for a SBPA table. Including our banner. I’ll be there from Saturday at 2 pm on thru cleanup. RM and Hannah have also agreed to help.

Afterwards, whoever wants to can stay at the Farm to enjoy beers, wine, etc. for us! The fireflies are still pretty amazing!

SBPA to co-sponsor ‘Shepherdstown during Antietam’ video at the Opera House

This is an event happening on September 17th and co-sponsored by the Shepherdstown Museum, Opera House, George Tyler Moore Centre, and the SBPA. Jim Surkamp is leading a tour before the video premiere of buildings used as hospitals during and after Antietam. Then the video will be shown at the Opera House. Owners Harriet and Steve Pearson will be attending the August 26 picnic so say hello. The Surkamp effort seems to be mostly a rehashing of Kevin Pawlak‘s excellent book. The Opera House seems to be leading the advertising for this effort. I don’t know if tickets are needed, etc but info will be posted on the Opera House website.

MN talk to SAIL

The SAIL organization (Shepherdstown Area Independent Living) requested a speaker about the Battle and efforts to preserve the Battlefield at their September meeting at noon on Friday, September 22. I have not been given the location but it may be in the clubhouse of the new development across the road and up the hill from the Shepherdstown Daycare Center.

That’s enough for now! Hope to see you all soon or on August 26 which promises to be a very nice event.

I can’t resist showing another great picture from the Streetfest and our ‘Kids with the Musket’ photo shoot: