Historic grounds reopens after shutdown

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Moores Creek National Battlefield in Pender County draws more than 70,000 visitors each year.

But, the government shutdown closed our area’s only national park for more than a month. Today, that changed.

“People come here for the historical value, but not only that, the community uses it as walking trails, walk their dogs, picnics,” said Acting Superintendent Matthew Woods.

But, during the 35-day government shutdown, Moores Creek National Battlefield joined the host of other federal sites across the country and closed its gates to history, knowledge and scenic views. Woods says the shutdown came right after the park closed for six weeks because of Hurricane Florence damage.

“About three quarters of the park was underwater,” said Woods. “The water stayed in here for about 21 days before it finally receded.”

The Patriots Hall Community building, which is used for demonstrations, remains closed.

“During the same time we had Hurricane Florence, we lost a couple of staff members to retirement and to transferring,” said Woods. “We haven’t been able to fill those positions, and so it has slowed us back a little bit.”

Woods says if the government shuts down again in the next few weeks the 234th anniversary of the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge might be cancelled.

He says the battle reenactment requires at least 200 volunteers, but another shutdown would reduce that turnout. The event would then have to be combined with another small event later in the year.

Categories: Local, Pender

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