Letter To Dominion on Potentially Impacted Historical Sites

To Dominion Power,

I am writing to voice my opposition to the installation of the proposed high voltage power lines through a historic area of the Rural Crescent in Haymarket, Virginia of Prince William County. The Rural Crescent was designated by Prince William County in 1998 to control urban growth in this area of the county. The 2008 Comprehensive Plan states, and I quote, “the primary function of the Rural Area as reflected by the Long-Range Land Use Plan Map is to maintain open space, protect native habitats, allow for large-lot residential development, allow for agricultural activities, and provide potential sites for community facilities.

This area of Northern Virginia is known for its significant historical value. We are very proud of our deep roots in history.  Many of the sites that are proposed for desecration by erecting these high voltage towers have historical background such as; the location of the original Village of Waterfall, Antioch Baptist Church and the cemetery connected to it, La Grange Winery, two old family cemeteries that are located close by that were associated with the La Grange property, and Oakrum Baptist Church.  Burying high voltage lines is even worse as nothing will survive in the path they will take when an easement is cleared, and digging into the ground to bury the lines takes place.  I live on Waterfall Road, and am the Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Black Horse Camp #780 in Warrenton, Virginia.  We take a hard stand against the desecration of all Historical sites, Civil War battle sites, and gravesites, especially those of our Confederate ancestors. There are several gravesites in the proposed path for these new towers.  Erecting these eyesores will not only disfigure the land, distract from the beautiful views many of us, and those who visit this part of the Mosby Heritage Area enjoy.  It will reduce property values in the area, and it is disrespectful to all those buried under these disgusting looking towers, not only our Confederate Veterans, but all American Veterans, and everyday citizens. The cemetery at Antioch Church is still an active cemetery. There are people buried there and on other affected sites who have been part of 6th Virginia Cavalry, 8th Virginia Infantry, 17th Virginia Infantry, 43rd Virginia Cavalry (better known as Mosby’s Rangers), 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry, Prince William Rifles, men from the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Viet Nam. These are the ones we know of and more than likely there are other Veterans too. There is even a slave cemetery close to the proposed route.  Once these traces of history are disfigured or wiped out they are gone forever, and missing for all future generations.  History is history, yours and mine, and it should not be desecrated or destroyed.

One question that comes to my mind is; Why is Dominion Power coming into an area they do not serve?

There have been several cases where stray voltage has been proven to affect milk production in cattle, (Potomac Edison Company vs. Edward M. Burdette, March 10, 1987) for one, and there are many documented studies about the affects of stray voltage on the behavior of cattle and horses.  There have also been studies to the effect that stray voltage has on causing ill effects, cancer, and leukemia in children. You need only to stop your car on Route 66 under the high voltage lines just before the Route 243 bypass that go overhead and listen to the power lines above you.  Would you want your livestock, or you and your children exposed long term to what you can hear?  If you can hear it, and feel it, there IS something there. And it does have detrimental effects on people and animals.

I implore our elected State, County, Local delegates and officials to do the right thing and stand with all of us in the community to stop these power lines. Together we will make a difference.


5 Replies to “Letter To Dominion on Potentially Impacted Historical Sites”

  1. Please include the Ewell civil war home, Dr. Ewell and Gen Ewell family home and 2 family grave sites all on Largo Vista drive on your list of impacted historical sites. Our neighborhood has been designated as a historical site and has the marker as a hallowed ground stop visible as soon as you turn from Rt 15, to Loudoun, and then to largo Vista Dr. We are 1/4 mile off of Loudoun drive off of Rt 15 north of Logmill. The transmission lines will cross directly over 2 homes in our Edgehill neighborhood. One lot directly affected by the poweline contains The civil war hospital that Dr Ewell built to take care of the soldiers. This same lot has a civil war era family graveyard. I have lived in this neighborhood for 25 years and have the original books written by Mrs Ewell about the civil war events and history of this neighborhood.

    Thank you,
    Laura Whitford

    1. Hi Laura Whitford – I live on the other side of Black Branch Creek from you, in Rose Hill Estates, and am so pleased that you have pointed out the history of our neighborhoods. I too have read Maude Ewell’s books about the history and historical sites throughout all portions of Prince William, and most particularly right here in our communities at this northern-most end of the county. ALL of our state and local officials must be held responsible to protect this land from anything Dominion Power is trying to do. The points you made at the Jan 12 Town Hall were right on the mark! We need you and more people like you to ensure this opposition is successful in preventing the Comprehensive Plan of 1998 from being violated, and to guard what is precious to us, our children, and will be to all of our children’s children.

      Karen Sheehan

  2. The argument about the health effects of power lines is very strong from an emotional point of view but suffers when looked at unemotionally; the evidence just isn’t there. The National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, and the American Cancer Society have all stated that they cannot say with any assurance that there is a cause-and-effect relationship. It has been suggested that the cause may actually be socio-economic, in that the people living near power lines tend to be poorer and hence more exposed to unhealthy food, water, air, and chemicals in the home.

    We have many strong arguments having to do with economics, esthetics, security, safety, and other things; surely we can get along without this one weakly-supported claim.

  3. It is well documented that stray voltage from power towers causes milk reduction in dairy cows and abnormal behavior in horses.

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