Camp Nelson National Monument adds Glass Farm, 25-year effort

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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – The Camp Nelson National Monument has acquired the 85.84-acre Glass Farm from Jessamine County, the culmination of a 25 year effort to preserve Camp Nelson in continuity.

The transfer to the National Park Service (NPS) was finalized on July 13.

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During the Civil War, land that made up the center of Camp Nelson consisted of over a dozen buildings that included warehouses, shops, offices and a bakery. These structures supported the U.S. war efforts of over 10,000 people who were soldiers, civilian workers and refugees who escaped enslavement by coming to Camp Nelson. After the Civil War, this acreage reverted to farmland and in the early 20th century it became known as the Glass Farm.

The Jessamine County Fiscal Court purchased the farms to the immediate north and south of the Glass Farm, in 1997 and 2000 respectively, to create the Camp Nelson Heritage Park. In 2015, the Fiscal Court bought the Glass Farm. By Presidential Proclamation in 2018, the county heritage park was converted to Camp Nelson National Monument.

The Glass Farm acquisition means the national park now encompasses 464.97 acres.

“We are grateful for the partnerships that were instrumental in finalizing the land transfer to help conserve, connect and restore this historic property for future generations. Without the effort and vision of so many community members and the willingness of landowners, Camp Nelson National Monument would not exist,” said Camp Nelson National Monument Superintendent Ernie Price.

Price added, “This is a great example of a locally led conservation effort that not only makes an important historical landscape accessible to everyone but will increase tourism and provide more open green spaces for healthy recreation.”

The NPS is developing management plans and will invite public involvement on the planning for the new acreage. A Cultural Landscape Plan is currently underway to determine the most effective ways to preserve the integrity of the site while providing access to it.

There will also be an archaeological survey followed by a trail plan to provide access to the area that contained some of the camp’s warehouses, industrial shops and the camp bakery. Additionally, the property will continue its tradition of support to the Camp Nelson site with the inclusion of the park’s future maintenance facility.

For more information, visit the Camp Nelson National Monument website and Facebook.