MIDDLEBURG, VA, Oct. 26, 2023 – The Land Trust of Virginia (LTV), the Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area Association (VPHA) and the Piedmont Fox Hounds Conservation Fund (PFHCF) are pleased to announce the protection of 137 acres in Loudoun County, in the village of Unison. The landowners have generously donated a permanent conservation easement to LTV, ensuring that this open farmland, with its historic and highly visible landscapes, will remain intact and free from development pressure. VPHA contributed to the stewardship costs associated with the easement with a distribution from its Janet Whitehouse Fund, established in 2013 in honor of Janet Whitehouse, one of the organization's principal founders, to further their mission to preserve the historic landscape of the Heritage Area. The Land Trust of Virginia also provided substantial funding through its Deborah Whittier Fitts Battlefield Stewardship Fund, and additional funds were generously provided by the Piedmont Fox Hounds Conservation Fund (PFHCF).
“We are the luckiest landowners in the world and have been here for 42 years," stated the landowner. "We enjoy the tranquility that we’ve had the pleasure experiencing here and we want others to continue enjoying it when we’re gone.”
The property is entirely within the core of the Civil War Battle of Unison, fought between October 31 and November 2, 1862, as well as being entirely within the Unison Battlefield Historic District, listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. The property contains a beautiful springhouse dating to 1840, which is listed as a contributing resource to the Historic District. In addition, the property is also partially within the study area for the Civil War Battle of Upperville (June 1863). It is also listed as being part of the Loudoun County designated Beaverdam Creek Historic Roadways District, the County’s only Historic Roadways District.
“We are extremely excited to be able to contribute towards the preservation of this invaluable local historic resource located in the heart of the Heritage Area,” said Alexander Nance, executive director of VPHA. “We are extraordinarily fortunate to be able to work with partners like LTV and PFHCF to recognize the work of our preservation-minded neighbors and stewards in the community, and the landowners of this property are a prime example of that community spirit and dedication to protecting our history and landscape.”
Natural resources now protected include 107.5 acres of soils defined as ‘Prime Farmland Soils” or “Farmland Soils of Statewide Importance”, 57 acres of forest classified as having “High” conservation value by the Virginia Department of Forestry’s Forest Conservation Value model, 0.44 miles of Beaverdam Creek, and 0.56 miles of intermittent tributaries to Beaverdam Creek.
Ashton Cole, Executive Director of LTV, comments, “Community partnerships with organizations like VPHA and PFHCF, are critical to ensuring the protection of our nation’s history. This property is located within a high density of other conserved lands and so we are thankful fill in another piece of the puzzle, strengthening the effect of these collective easements.”
Dulany Morison, Chair of PFHCF, adds, “This beautiful property is integral to the Unison Battlefield, Piedmont hunt territory, and historic environs of Quaker Lane and we are overjoyed to know it is now permanently protected with a conservation easement.”
This easement in Unison was the 247th conservation easement recorded by the Land Trust of Virginia. For more information about their work, please visit http://www.landtrustva.org. For more information about VPHA, please visit https://www.piedmontheritage.org/. For more information about PFHCF, please visit https://pfhconservationfund.org/.