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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan,, 804-786-2292.

Date: May 12, 2004
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442,

Historic Re-enactment at Chippokes May 15-16

(SURRY, VA) - Chippokes Plantation State Park will host its first historic reenactment May 15 and 16, when the Isle of Wight Militia recreates a July 5, 1781, skirmish between British and Colonial forces at Crafford's Mill.

The reenactment takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, however park visitors are encouraged to arrive by 1 p.m. to allow for transportation to the site, which will be on foot and by park wagon. Motor vehicles will not be allowed in the reenactment area. Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of Chippokes. Chippokes Plantation State Park is one of 34 state parks managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

In addition to the reenactment, historic encampments of American and British troops will be established along the Quarter Lane (College Run Trail) between the River House and the Chippokes Mansion, which also will be open to the public. Encampment hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Discovery of the remnants of an old road has led to research that links the history of Chippokes Plantation to the American Revolution.

Dating as early as 1659, the road served as an early overland route from a landing at College Run on the James River to Chippokes Plantation, Bacon's Castle, and other points inland.

Chief Ranger Luke Brackett, who now works at Raymond R. "Andy" Guest Jr. Shenandoah River State Park in Warren County, began research two years ago on the road, dubbed "Chipoax Road" by park officials from historic references.

Historians believe the skirmish between Isle of Wight Militia and Lord Cornwallis' men occurred on the "Chipoax Road," and the reenactment will take place on the exact site of the original skirmish.

Grant funds are being sought to develop the road into a multi-use trail that will allow the interpretation of more than three centuries of history at Chippokes Plantation. One section of the road to the Crafford's Mill site has been cleared, mostly through the efforts of volunteers.

"Discovery of the Chipoax Road was an exciting find," said Park Manager Danette Poole, "not only from the perspective of its significance in linking the history of Chippokes Plantation to neighboring sites, but also in highlighting Chippokes' only known connection with the American Revolution. We are delighted to offer this program for the public and appreciate the role the Isle of Wight Militia has played as a partner."

The event is free and open to the public. A $3 per vehicle, $10 per bus, parking fee is charged. Historic Area passes are available for $6 for adults and $3 for children for admission to the mansion and Farm and Forestry Museum. Hearth cooking will also be demonstrated at the Brick Kitchen on Saturday.

For more information about the reenactment at Crafford's Mill, contact the park at (757) 294-3625, or Robert Friar, President of the Isle of Wight Militia, at (757) 357-9250.

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