Donations will be matched by Brandywine Conference and Visitors Bureau CHADDS FORD _The Brandywine Valley Bed & Breakfast Association has launched a “Reservations for Preservation” program to help save the historic Brandywine Battlefield Park.
“One of the major attractions in our area, the Brandywine Battlefield, is in danger of closing due to a cut back in funding from the Pennsylvania Museum and Historical Commission,” said Glenn Mon, Vice President of the Brandywine Valley Bed & Breakfast Association. “This site is one of the most significant attractions in the Brandywine Valley, not only from a historical perspective, but from a visitor perspective as well.”
The state commission announced last month that Brandywine was one of a number of state sites under consideration to be closed. A final decision is expected in June.
According to Rick Carro, President of the Association, 87 percent of the membership of the Bed & Breakfast Association has joined the Reservations for Preservation program. Each member will donate $1 per reservation to the Brandywine preservation fund. The group averages almost 5,000 reservations per year. The Brandywine Conference and Visitors Bureau has agreed to match the contributions up to $5,000. The battlefield certainly needs more than the $10,000 that the Reservations for Preservation program expects to raise,” Carro said. “But we hope that our efforts will spur support from other businesses and groups in the region and possibly beyond.”
“The Brandywine Battlefield is one of the premier attractions in Delaware County and Brandywine Country,” commented Tore Fiore, Executive Director of Delaware County’s Brandywine Conference and Visitors Bureau. “The Brandywine Conference and Visitors Bureau will work hand in hand with the Battlefield and the Bed & Breakfast Association and reach out to our local and state elected officials for assistance and support in this endeavor to save the battlefield.”
The Brandywine Battlefield Park Associates are looking into ways to maintaining the battlefield park as a publicly-accessible historic site. The state has indicated it is looking for another group to run the park or to turn the park into passive space but the associates group is committed to maintain the historic integrity of the site.
“In 1777 we fought the Red Coats at the Brandywine Battlefield, now we’re fighting Red Ink,” said Linda Kaat, President of the Brandywine Battlefield Park Associates. “We are very appreciative of the efforts of the bed and breakfasts of the Brandywine Valley in their efforts to assist us to maintain this valuable area attraction as a viable operation.”
“The Brandywine was the site of one of the most important events in the history of the United States,” said Bruce Mowday, author of the book on the battle, September 11, 1777, Washington’s Defeat at Brandywine Dooms Philadelphia, and former President of the Battlefield Associates. “This was the main engagement of the Philadelphia campaign, the largest land battle of the war, the first fight that included Lafayette. Future Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall also fought there, among many other historic figures. The Continental Congress fled Philadelphia that night because of the loss. This historic site should not be allowed to be turned into a passive park. It is an outrage.”
Brandywine Valley Bed & Breakfast Association members that are participating in the Reservations for Preservation program are:
1732 Folke Stone B&B 610.429.0310