On Saturday, September 10th, Richmond National Battlefield Park cut the ribbon on its newest unit, Rural Plains, which is located on the Totopotomoy Creek battlefield in Hanover County.
The site, which includes the 18th-century Shelton home and Civil War earthworks, was transferred to the National Park Service from the Totopotomoy Battlefield at Rural Plains Foundation in 2006. Since then, the park has performed stabilization work on the house, conducted historical landscape and archeological surveys, and is about to complete a structural and historical analysis of the house.
The multi-faceted history of Rural Plains is exceptional. Its location at the heart of the Totopotomoy Creek battlefield makes it extremely significant. And the historic Shelton house and plantation story give visitors a unique ability to understand the impact of the war on a Virginia family.
The dedication program included the park superintendent and representatives of state and local governments, including Virginia Delegate Chris Peace and Debbie Winans and Chuck McGhee from the Hanover County Board of Supervisors. They were joined by Andy Shield and Robert Bluford, both of whom were instrumental in the preservation of the property.
The Rural Plains unit includes new interpretive signage, a parking area, and a two-mile walking trail with a published guide available at the site. The house will be open to the public only during special events.