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A Week in the Life of Learning at Belle Grove

In just six days—October 16 to October 21 Belle Grove reached a milestone in educational outreach serving more than 3,320 area students. 

On Friday, October 16, on the eve of the commemoration events for the Battle of Cedar Creek, Belle Grove hosted free tours for area 4th grade Virginia History students. Classes circulated around the property for hands-on activities on battle lines and military drills, signaling, cavalry, civilian life, and blacksmithing.

On Tuesday, October 20 and Wednesday, October 21, Belle Grove participated in the World of Work (WOW!) career expo in Winchester. The fair served 3,000 7th grade students from seven counties. Belle Grove introduced students to careers in historic preservation.

Meanwhile, back at Belle Grove, Program Assistant, Rich Coyle was meeting with a Shenandoah University history class that has been studying slave narratives this semester. The image above shows the class at the slave cemetery, where new signage was installed this year thanks to a gift from Teva Hite and David Robins to honor their ancestor James Cornelius Hite. Discovering more about the 276 enslaved individuals who were owned by the Hite family at Belle Grove between 1783-1851 is a high priority and is opening new opportunities for archaeological, archival research, and educational programs. Slavery is a challenging topic to face and to research but we are committed to documenting as much about Belle Grove as possible. Our openness is creating meaningful conversations with visitors and demonstrating that Belle Grove is a place that is actively engaging with history.