Turn the Mill Around Campaign
P.O. Box 207
Broad Run, VA 20137
February 1, 2015
As stewards of the historic Chapman – Beverley Mill in Thoroughfare Gap, the Turn The Mill Around Campaign vigorously opposes any alignment of a Dominion transmission line in the direct line of sight of the Mill and the surrounding viewshed. In reviewing the maps and documents of Dominion’s draft proposal for a 230K line and substation to serve development in Haymarket, it appears that the alignment known as “the Western Alternative” parallels Beverley’s Mill Road and John Marshall Highway as this historic road traverses the Gap. The construction of 110-foot transmission towers and their attendant cables on such an alignment would prove chilling to the historical integrity of the Gap, the Mill and indeed, the entire viewshed of this important cultural heritage area.
A National Register property and a strategic landmark during the Civil War, Chapman – Beverley Mill was built in 1742, stood at the center of 18th Century Virginia industry and economy, survived and thrived through five U.S. wars and was considered of such historical and cultural importance that the course of I-66 was altered to preserve it. Archeological research and artifacts further reveal Thoroughfare Gap to have been an important migratory passage for bison, a Native American corridor and trading place, and a literal thoroughfare for European westward colonization.
Saving and preserving Chapman – Beverley Mill as a community resource has been at the core of TTMAC’s efforts since our non-profit organization acquired the property following the 1998 arson fire that devastated the structure. With the help of $1.2 million in grants and community support, TTMAC thus far has stabilized and preserved the ruin of the Mill. Now, with funding from Commonwealth and federal sources, widespread community investment and the blessing of Prince William County, Turn The Mill Around Campaign this spring will embark on the implementation of our Master Plan – a massive redesign and engineering of the land around the Mill, transforming the area into a secure park complete with parking and universal access to the entirety of the historical and archeological site. It is the goal of TTMAC to open the grounds and the structure to visitors free of charge on a continuing basis and to continue to work with historical preservation and educational communities to better understand and disseminate the details of the site’s history. To be embarking on this nearly half-million dollar project under the shadow of a potential massive transmission line is beyond sobering. Indeed, our very fund-raising efforts and thereby the viability of our park project are threatened by this proposed alternative.
In the last 15 years it has become clear that the Mill is much more than merely a landmark on I-66, as important as that is. Chapman – Beverley Mill today is a cherished icon of our cultural landscape, a community resource in which the community itself is vested. In light of this and the overarching historical importance and integrity of the area, we respectively request that you immediately remove the “Western Alternative” from any proposal of a future transmission line to Haymarket.
Turn the Mill Around Campaign
Chapman – Beverley Mill Historic Site