Gov. Terry McAuliffe visited Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing, Virginia on Saturday.
During his visit, McAuliffe was given a tour by park manager Scott Bowen. Later, he participated in a reenactment and enjoyed lunch at the Karlan Mansion.
“The governor is a big history buff, so it was neat to be able to have the fort operating for him to see. It was a positive experience for the staff and volunteers that were there, and it was a real pleasure,” said Park Manager Scott Bowen.
Bowen spoke with McAuliffe to discuss the future of an overnight facility, camping at the park and other tourism opportunities in Lee County.
More than 15 volunteers and reenactors gathered in Martins Station to show McAuliffe what it would look like during the late 18th century.
Reenactors portrayed a scene where colonial settlers were forced to dedicate their loyalty to the crown or the colonies. Many of the settlers stood for the colony with little reluctance, so the flag of Virginia was flown at the front of Martin’s Station.
A cannon was fired in honor of Patrick Henry and the beginning of independence for the colony.
After the reenactment segment, McAuliffe was awarded a special souvenir from Chief Park Ranger Billy Heck. Heck is a blacksmith and reenactor who handcrafted an authentic tomahawk in the same manner as a settler during the 1770s.
“It’s really an honor to be able to give him a hand-forged tomahawk that I made. It’s just way too cool and I hope he enjoys the authenticity of the fort and everything we have here,” said Heck.
Over the weekend, McAuliffe visited Natural Tunnel State Park and the Remote Area Medical Clinic at the Wise County Fairgrounds as well.
Wilderness Road State Park is the 19th park visit for McAuliffe. He plans to visit all of the Virginia state parks during his term as governor.
Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.