Media Contact: Jim Schepmoes
804-493-8038 ext. 8119
For Immediate Release
STRATFORD, VA, (February 12, 2008) – Guided tours through the Great House at Stratford Hall were up 8.75 percent in 2007, driven largely by the 200th anniversary of Robert E. Lee’s birth in January and by events such as the Northern Neck Food and Harvest Festival held in September. In addition, Great House tour tickets were included as part of the overnight guest stays at the Cheek and Astor Guest House for the first full year in 2007.
“We are very appreciative of the increase in Great House tours this past year,” said Paul C. Reber, Executive Director. “These gains occurred even though the Great House and grounds was a major construction site for most of the year due to the installation of a geo-thermal heating and cooling system.”
Besides increased Great House tours, contributions also increased in 2007 with a 30 percent increase in gifts in December. Contributions to Stratford Hall were made in the following categories: Friends of Stratford, Lee Circle, Coaching, and for the Parsons Foundation matching grant.
“This strong support in 2007,” added Reber, “will help us continue to move forward with the Lee Interpretative Plan and other educational efforts that will make a lasting impact on future generations just as the Lee family did in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.”
Stratford Hall is one of the great houses of American history. Its magnificent setting on a high bluff above the Potomac River and its bold architectural style set it apart from any other colonial house, but its highest distinction is the family of patriots who lived there, the Lees of Virginia. Stratford is the birthplace of Robert E. Lee and the home to the only two brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence, Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee.