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Jahrules

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Today, I learned that one of the BGW RR crossings was nicknamed Camp Wallace after the nearby actual Camp Wallace.

They referenced it in a ticket:

Screenshot_20211104-141835.png

And some Google-fo led me to an uncredited reference in Wikipedia:


"Busch Gardens Williamsburg also named a railroad crossing after Camp Wallace on the Busch Gardens Railway"
 
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Mar 18, 2017
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So, did you know that where BG and Kingsmill are now was Camp Wallace? It was an abandoned military installation to practice amphibious assault landings. If you have ever seen the cliffs where Kingsmill is the thought was it would be similar to Normandy.

Then, move to the late 60's and AB wanted to build a brewery between New Hampshire and Florida. Originally they bought the land west of where Ft. Eustis is. It is an industrial park now and a large distribution center for military exchanges. Apparently some negotiations took place to "trade" Camp Wallace for this land. Yeah, the brewery and BG almost ended up in Newport News. BG would have been much smaller, if at all. Eventually the land where Kingsmill, BG and the brewery are located was planned and developed. I remember in the early 70's the developer organized hunting parties to reduce the deer population. Long story.

I'm 70 and have been here since all of this happened. Have gone to BG every year since they opened in 1975. Coincidentally we will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary the same year BG celebrates it's 50th. Not sure if anybody remembers but when they first opened the transportation from the gravel parking lots to the entrance was by double decker busses like the one they used in front of the Globe theatre more recently. There was only 3 countries and Italy didn't exist at all. When they first opened the "free" beer from the brewery was dispensed at the location where the German clock is by Land of the Dragons. So many changes. Some good, some not so good. It's nice to reminisce sometimes. I could probably write a book on all the changes.
 
Oct 7, 2011
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It's nice to reminisce sometimes. I could probably write a book on all the changes.
I’m sure I speak for more than just myself when I ask you to please share many more memories here.

As with any place — there is a richness to history that exists most vividly in the recollections of those who were there to bear witness at the time. There is no substitute for it, and no way to collect it if we don’t hear it directly from those who know.

I first went to the park in 1985, but you have been there from the very start. You would have an appreciative and eager audience here.
 

horsesboy

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That is mostly correct. It was not to the best of my research used for landing practice. It was used for Anti Aircraft artillery training and the are some areas not on the currently used BGW property that there are concerns about unexploded ordinances. It was also used to test a cable lift system for ship to sure caro transfers that the miltary rejected. That might be what you are thinking of as it was pre D-day.
 
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Jonesta6

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I'd think by now that there would have been interest in locating and safely removing any unexploded ordinance on the property so that should there ever be a need to develop any further area (even if it's just a trail and not expansion to the park, golf course, or Kingsmill) that would be one less headache to deal with.

Having no real knowledge of what happens when that stuff sits around, is it possible that it may explode on its own via degradation or through stuff like a tree falling on it?
 

Jahrules

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I'd think by now that there would have been interest in locating and safely removing any unexploded ordinance on the property so that should there ever be a need to develop any further area (even if it's just a trail and not expansion to the park, golf course, or Kingsmill) that would be one less headache to deal with.

Having no real knowledge of what happens when that stuff sits around, is it possible that it may explode on its own via degradation or through stuff like a tree falling on it?

Most likely it's buried deep enough that the main risk would be digging... But you never know. We could finally answer the question about the tree falling in the woods...
 

horsesboy

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I'd think by now that there would have been interest in locating and safely removing any unexploded ordinance on the property so that should there ever be a need to develop any further area (even if it's just a trail and not expansion to the park, golf course, or Kingsmill) that would be one less headache to deal with.

Having no real knowledge of what happens when that stuff sits around, is it possible that it may explode on its own via degradation or through stuff like a tree falling on it?
It falls on the Army Corps of Engineers currently their stance is that the training rounds used don't pose a significant risk and that no action is required. There have been several groups nainly from Kings Mill that question that decision and have requested further studies but the decision as if the last study which was done in 2013 by the Corps was that no action was needed.
 
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warfelg

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It falls on the Army Corps of Engineers currently their stance is that the training rounds used don't pose a significant risk and that no action is required. There have been several groups nainly from Kings Mill that question that decision and have requested further studies but the decision as if the last study which was done in 2013 by the Corps was that no action was needed.
To expand on this some....

There's a fair number of places that tend to buy land like this and don't plan to touch it because they can point to it at some point in regards to environmental offsetting to say they will trade off never developing it for no environmental offset in a project. We had a situation like this in Lancaster PA. My former School District needed to build a new elementary school next to an RPA buffer on their side. They were told no because the farm side didn't have RPA and they had cows, so they couldn't guarantee the RPA buffer would survive. So the school bought the farm, promised not to touch the RPA on that side and let the farm land become reclaimed land, and got the school approved.
 

Jahrules

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To expand on this some....

There's a fair number of places that tend to buy land like this and don't plan to touch it because they can point to it at some point in regards to environmental offsetting to say they will trade off never developing it for no environmental offset in a project. We had a situation like this in Lancaster PA. My former School District needed to build a new elementary school next to an RPA buffer on their side. They were told no because the farm side didn't have RPA and they had cows, so they couldn't guarantee the RPA buffer would survive. So the school bought the farm, promised not to touch the RPA on that side and let the farm land become reclaimed land, and got the school approved.

I thought in Lancaster all that was needed was for the Amish Mafia boss to grease a few wheels...
 
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