Mosby Heritage Area Association
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (June 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
The Mosby Heritage Area Association was founded in 1995 in Middleburg, Virginia, as a membership-driven 501(c) 3 nonprofit preservation and historic organization. MHAA's mission is to educate about, and advocate for, the preservation of the extraordinary historic, cultural and scenic resources in the Northern Virginia Piedmont.
Although MHAA is interested in the complete history of the area, it is named for the famed Confederate Cavalry officer John S. Mosby, whose rangers fought throughout the region during the American Civil War. As a history-oriented organization MHAA is focused on the complete history of the area, although the Civil War always will be a crucial part of the area's past, since so much of the war took place in Virginia. The Mosby Heritage Area was hit hard by the war, and an important part of the Association's mission is to study and teach its history, not to romanticize it. The Association's annual Civil War Conference, held each October, brings the nation's top scholars in the field for a weekend of lectures and field trips.
When the Civil War ended, John Mosby disbanded his men and befriended President Ulysses S. Grant. Mosby went to work for the Grant Administration as a lawyer in the Interior and Justice Departments. Later, he served as Consul to Hong Kong under Presidents Hayes, Garfield, and Arthur. Back in the U.S., Mosby went to work for President Theodore Roosevelt as an assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice.
The Mosby Heritage Area is located about one hour's drive west of Washington, D.C., and is bound by the Bull Run Mountains to the east, the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west, the Potomac River to the north and the Rappahannock River to the south. It encompasses the Virginia counties of Loudoun, Fairfax, Fauquier, Clarke, Warren and part of Prince William, some 1,800 square miles (4,700 km2). This unique area of the country consists of gently rolling hills, cool deciduous forests, lively winding creeks and broad rambling rivers. Accented by stunning vistas and an abundance of open space, the region is crisscrossed by scenic byways and historic thoroughfares once used by Native Americans, early settlers and soldiers.
Portions of Evergreen Mill Road in Leesburg, in the heart of the Heritage Area, were once part of the historic Old Carolina Road, one of the most-used Colonial roadways in Virginia. That road originally functioned as a north-south migration route for Native Americans, who also followed the buffalo along what is now U.S. Route 50 (John S. Mosby Highway). Route 50 and Braddock Road in Colonial times were the main east-west corridors linking the port city of Alexandria to Winchester.
During the Civil War the area was known as Mosby's Confederacy. The charismatic Mosby and his regiment of partisans were known for their daring raids behind Union lines, and for ambushing Union supply depots, transport lines, and troops.
MHAA has its offices in the historic Caleb Rector House at Atoka, Virginia, four miles (6 km) west of Middleburg. It was in this house that Col. Mosby signed the documents on June 10, 1863, officially organizing his Civil War Rangers into Company A of the 43rd Battalion of the Virginia Cavalry. The house is now owned by the Atoka Preservation Society.
The Mosby Heritage Area retains much of the landscape and many of the original historical landmarks from the past three centuries and provides a rich and rewarding environment for residents and visitors alike. The organization's mission is to preserve that rich legacy for future generations.
The MHAA is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors and Advisory Board and has a paid executive director and education director. Many volunteers work on the organization's many programs and services, which are designed to inspire area residents and visitors of all ages about the region's historic and scenic resources, encouraging them to support our preservation goals.
Programs offered by the Association include:
- Mosby, Heritage, and You: A Classroom Program for 4th Grade Virginia Studies,” an interactive classroom program provided free of charge to local public and private schools.
- Cavaliers, Courage, and Coffee: Mosby Owned the Night, monthly on-site programs presented by MHAA's all-volunteer Gray Ghost Interpretive Group a two-hour family program by lantern-light exploring nooks and crannies of the little Civil War village of Atoka.
- Civic Group Programs, providing speakers to local civic groups on the state of preservation in the Area.
- The annual Civil War Conference, held each October at the Middleburg Community Center, in which national experts offer two days of seminars and field trips.
- "Profiting From Preservation: The Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation in the Mosby Heritage Area," a report that shows the impact of historic preservation on the area's economy and establishes that preservation in its various aspects generates a positive return to entrepreneurs, local governments and all the citizens of the region.
- Mosby Descendants Reunion, held in 2008 and 2009, which brought together descendants of Mosby's Rangers, and included presentations by the MHAA Gray Ghost Interpretive Group and Civil War music by the Tuscarora Brass Band. MHAA collected information brought by descendants about their Ranger ancestors, including photographs, documents, newspaper clippings, which were scanned, with copies given to local libraries and the Manassas Museum.
- Saturday Morning Specials, held four times per year, in which the Education Director leads groups on localized tours of the area's historic towns, villages, battle sites and other areas of historic significance.
- Written and recorded walking and driving tours of historic sites in the area available from the Mosby Heritage Area Association's office in Atoka, and on line at the MHAA web site.
- Mosby Heritage Area Association Website
- Podcast and RSS feed of July 16, 2009, talk by Cokie Roberts sponsored by Mosby Heritage Area Association at historic Oak Hill (James Monroe's home outside Leesburg, Virginia) on Shenandoah Valley Radio
- Mosby Heritage Area Association Facebook page
- Middleburg Eccentric article on Cokie Roberts talk at Oak Hill
- Loudoun Independent article on Cokie Roberts talk