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Conservation Partnerships Lead to Historic Battlefield Protection

The Land Trust of Virginia and the Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area Association work to protect 75.9 acres of Unison Battlefield.


MIDDLEBURG, VA, May 20, 2024 – The Land Trust of Virginia (LTV) and the Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area Association (VPHA) are pleased to announce the protection of 75.9 acres in Loudoun County.


The historic “Crednal” property, located in southwestern Loudoun County about two miles southwest of Unison, is now protected by a permanent conservation easement donated to LTV. The owners of the property, Stanley and Anna Dees, spent nearly a half-century restoring, preserving, and protecting the property’s historic resources. In 2010, they spearheaded the successful effort to get Crednal individually listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. The property was originally owned by a branch of Virginia’s renowned Carter family, and the original federal-style brick dwelling (ca. 1814) remains intact and well cared for. In the lead up to the Civil War, the land was owned as a plantation by J. Armistead Carter, and the property contains a Carter family cemetery, as well as an unmarked slave cemetery. The property is entirely within the Unison Battlefield Historic District. On the evening of Nov. 1, 1862, J.E.B. Stuart and his staff officers dined at Crednal, and the following day, the property was at the center of the fighting during Phase 6 of the battle.


In discussing their motivations, Stanley and Anna said that “placing an easement on the property was necessary to ensure the future protection of Crednal, as well as to increase a larger preserved area in threatened Loudoun County.”


The property also includes significant natural resources that will be protected by the conservation easement. More than 75% of the property’s soils are classified as “Prime Farmland Soils” or “Farmland Soils of Statewide Importance”. The property also contains a pond, stream, and associated floodplain that will now be protected.


The Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area Association (VPHA) contributed generous funding to help cover the costs associated with the easement donation. Executive Director Alexander Nance stated, “We are proud to provide financial support for this easement from our Bondi Family Land Conservation and Battlefield Preservation Fund and are honored to work with the Land Trust of Virginia on this important project. This property is located in the heart of the Unison Battlefield area, and support from the Bondi Family Fund is critical to ensuring the continued preservation of this important historic resource.”


LTV also provided funding through its Deborah Whittier Fitts Battlefield Stewardship Fund.


Ashton Cole, Executive Director of LTV, comments, “It was wonderful working with Stanley and Anna to help them realize their goal to permanently protect their property. They have done an amazing job taking care of Crednal over many decades, and thankfully, it will now remain protected for future generations to appreciate and learn from. As with other recent easements, it was wonderful to partner again with VPHA to accomplish this high priority preservation goal.”


This easement in Unison was the 259th 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/.

 

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About Land Trust of Virginia


The Land Trust of Virginia is a nonprofit organization that partners with private landowners who voluntarily protect and preserve properties with significant historic, scenic, or ecological value. LTV has conserved a total of 33,674 acres in 34 counties in Virginia. 


About Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area


The Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area’s mission is to educate and advocate for the preservation of the extraordinary historic landscape and culture of the Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area for future generations.

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