Woman named to post at Civil War battlefields

January 09, 1997


Staff Writer

Flintstone, Md., resident Susan Trail has been named assistant superintendent of the Antietam and Monocacy battlefields, park officials said Tuesday.

Trail, currently chief of cultural resource management at the C&O Canal National Historical Park, officially assumes her new duties Jan. 19. She will be stationed at Monocacy and will have responsibilities at the 1,647-acre park near Frederick, Md., and the 3,267-acre Antietam park.

Trail, 37, is a 17-year veteran of the National Park Service. She said she is looking forward to broadening her focus.

"I'm very much excited about it," she said. "I'll be able to look at all of the park operations. It's just a very different kind of job."


John W. Howard, superintendent of the parks, said Trail is highly qualified to tackle her new challenges.

"Susan has a tremendous background in cultural resources and history," he said. "I feel very lucky we can get someone of her - not only academic credentials - but her field experience."

Howard said Trail will focus primarily on Monocacy, where she will manage day-to-day operations and develop a long-term development plan.

The park's visitors center was severely damaged by flooding last year, Howard said. He said the park plans to build a new facility in a different location and also craft new programs.

"For some odd reason, they want to get it out of the flood plane," Trail quipped.

Trail began her career in 1979 as a seasonal archaeologist in the Washington, D.C., area. She also has served as park archaeologist at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

Since 1993, Trail has been responsible for documenting and researching the C&O Canal park's historical and archaeological resources.

Trail also was heavily involved in recent flood recovery efforts along the canal.

Trail earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Virginia and a master's degree in anthropology from the College of William and Mary. She is working on a Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Maryland.

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