November 20, 2019

Warner & Kaine Join Wexton in Letter to National Park Service Seeking Study to Designate George C. Marshall’s Dodona Manor in Leesburg as an Affiliated Area

Washington, DC -- Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) sent a letter along with Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) requesting that the National Park Service (NPS) conduct a reconnaissance survey to evaluate the suitability of designating the George C. Marshall House, known as Dodona Manor, in Leesburg as an “affiliated area” under NPS.

“Designating the George C. Marshall House as an affiliated area under NPS would bring increased public interest and awareness of Dodona Manor and would produce additional funds to further assist in its preservation,” said the lawmakers in the letter. “Dodona Manor has a clear historic value to our nation. To honor General Marshall’s life and legacy, it would be fitting for Dodona Manor to become an affiliated area under NPS to ensure its preservation for future generations.”

General Marshall led a lifetime of public service, serving as Chief of Staff to the Army during America’s entry into World War II, as Secretary of State where he orchestrated the historic Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe following the war, and as Secretary of Defense after the onset of the Korean War.

Dodona Manor is currently registered as a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior and has been designated by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a Virginia Landmark.

The Marshall House has been an integral part of the Leesburg community for over two centuries. General Marshall and his wife Katherine purchased the property in 1941 as a weekend retreat house, and regularly spent time at the property throughout General Marshall’s tenure as Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense.

Today, the property hosts international exchanges, historical exhibits, community events, and educational programming about the life and legacy of the Marshall family.

The full text of the letter is available here and below.

November 20, 2019

The Honorable David Vela
Deputy Director, Operations
Exercising the Authority of the Director
National Park Service
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240

 

Dear Deputy Director Vela:

We write to urge the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct a reconnaissance survey to explore the suitability of designating General George Catlett Marshall’s home and gardens, known as Dodona Manor, located at 217 Edwards Ferry Road in Leesburg, Virginia as an affiliated area under NPS. Dodona Manor has great historical and educational significance and NPS’s designation would help preserve the property for future generations.

As one of only five individuals to serve the United States as a five-star General of the Army, General George C. Marshall was known for his integrity and selfless service that made him an American visionary and hero. General Marshall’s Dodona Manor is rich in history. General Marshall and his wife Katherine purchased Dodona Manor in 1941 and they lived there during the most important period of General Marshall’s career. The Marshall family owned the House during General Marshall’s tenure as U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Special Envoy to China, Secretary of State, President of the American Red Cross, Secretary of Defense after the onset of the Korean War, and Chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission. Notably, General Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953, the only professional soldier so honored, for his leadership and contributions to the economic recovery of Europe following World War II while living in Dodona Manor.

Dodona Manor is now used to preserve and advance General Marshall’s life’s work and legacy. The Marshall home has been impeccably restored to museum standards with original Marshall furnishing, which accurately displays a picture of how this American hero lived to the public. It also presents in an educational format how the Marshall family dedicated themselves to public service and supports educational programming based on General Marshall’s desire to inspire future leaders. By hosting international exchanges, historical exhibits, and community events, Dodona Manor perpetuates his memory and contributes directly to the character and viability of Leesburg.

General Marshall’s House is currently registered with the Department of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark and has been designated by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a Virginia Landmark. Designating the George C. Marshall House as an affiliated area under NPS would bring increased public interest and awareness of Dodona Manor and would produce additional funds to further assist in its preservation.

 Dodona Manor has a clear historic value to our nation. To honor General Marshall’s life and legacy, it would be fitting for Dodona Manor to become an affiliated area under NPS to ensure its preservation for future generations. Therefore, we would appreciate your consideration of our request to conduct a reconnaissance survey. Thank you for your attention to this matter and we look forward to your response.

Sincerely, 

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