For Immediate Release: 07/19/02
National Preservation Group Urges Gettysburg to Stop Dumping on Battlefield
CWPT urges borough council to halt dumping operations at McAllister's Mill
(Gettysburg, Pa.) - In a letter today to Gettysburg Borough Council President Theodore H. Streeter, the national Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) urged borough officials to remove a dump located near historic McAllister's Mill on Gettysburg battlefield.
"It is difficult to believe that the borough condones dumping within the Gettysburg battlefield historic district," noted CWPT President James Lighthizer. "Mountains of rubble have replaced the woodland where Union and Confederate troops once maneuvered and fought. The dump is, without question, the worst possible use of historic ground."
McAllister's Mill was a key objective for Union and Confederate forces during the July 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. The area around the mill was contested by both armies during the decisive struggle for Culp's Hill. In addition, McAllister's Mill is one of the few documented sites on the Underground Railroad.
For the most part, the property surrounding the mill maintains its Civil War-era appearance. According to Edwin C. Bearss, the Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, "the property conveys the time and place better than any I know in the area."
Earlier this year, CWPT learned that the Borough of Gettysburg has been dumping road debris near McAllister's Mill for more than a decade. Although the dump rests on borough property, it is located on land that has long been targeted for preservation. The enormous pile of rubble that has developed over the years sits adjacent to Rock Creek and may be contaminating that stream, a branch of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Even worse, the gate to the dump is not locked, meaning that nearly anyone can dump waste at the site.
In his letter, Lighthizer urges the removal of the dump near McAllister's Mill. "The dump is an awful blemish on the battlefield as well as the borough council's own reputation," Lighthizer states. "Dumping on the property should be halted immediately and followed by plans to clean up the site and return it to its Civil War-era appearance."
CWPT is a 40,000-member 501(c)(3) nonprofit battlefield preservation organization. Its mission is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds.