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Sharpsburg applauded for preserving history

May 05, 1999

SHARPSBURG - Sharpsburg officials have gotten several letters from around the country lauding them for protecting the area and not commercializing it, Mayor George Kesler said Monday.

The letters were in reaction to an Associated Press article about Town Council members deciding not to join the Civil War Heritage Area. The story ran in several papers across the country.

The council reversed its decision last month, voting 5-1 to endorse an application for a proposed Civil War Heritage Area, but the town may withdraw later.

Washington, Frederick and Carroll counties are applying to the state to be recognized as a Civil War Heritage Area. Under the proposal, most of southern Washington County and all municipalities in the county would be included.

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The recognition would make towns in those areas eligible for tourism and financial benefits and the entire heritage areas would be eligible for state grants, loans and income tax credits.

Town officials put off voting on the endorsement because they were concerned it would encourage more tourism and development in and around the town, which they are trying to preserve.

The letters have come from Boston, Cleveland, Fredericksburg, Va., and include a letter from Mary Tyler Moore's father in California. Moore has family ties to the area.

"These are people across the country that are concerned about sprawl and history," said Councilwoman Denise Troxell. Troxell said she would respond to the letters.

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