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Tourism efforts being made

December 16, 1999

see also: Region using Civil War as lure

Major Civil War tourism efforts in the four-state area include:

n of file Plans for a new visitor's center and museum at Gettysburg (Pa.) National Military Park in three to five years. The old visitor's center and Cyclorama are to be torn down to restore the battlefield.

* Creation of a South Mountain Battlefield state park in Washington and Frederick counties. A report to the Maryland General Assembly is due Jan. 19.

* The Maryland Civil War Trails program to promote the state's Civil War sites and develop a system of trails to encourage tourists to get off the highways and spend more time and money exploring historic sites. The idea is modeled on a program that Virginia has and Pennsylvania is pursuing.

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* A cooperative "Civil War Crossroads" advertising program between the tourism agencies in Washington and Frederick counties.

* A proposed Smithsonian Civil War Museum in downtown Hagerstown. The target opening date for a $30 million to $40 million museum is September 2002.

* A conference of Civil War re-enactors is being planned for Hagerstown in February 2001. In September of that year, there will be a re-enactment to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.

* The Shenandoah Rail Initiative Inc. is working on a Civil War train tour that would run between Winchester, Va., and Martinsburg, W.Va.

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