The Botetourt County Historical Society Inc. is sponsoring a free public program on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Fincastle Community Meeting Room directly behind the Old Jail in Courthouse Square, Fincastle.

The guest speaker is Peggy Crosson and she will be presenting a program on “Virginia’s Great Valley Lewis & Clark Eastern Legacy Trail Initiative.” She will be providing an update on the status of the effort to create the trail in central and southwestern Virginia and specifically the status of the trail in Botetourt County. Joining her will be Kip Burton, the Botetourt County chairperson of the citizens committee working on the effort to promote the trail in Botetourt County.

Crosson has been involved with the Lewis & Clark Eastern Legacy Trail Initiative since 2010. With the aid and support of Del. Terry Austin, she helped achieve a 2015 General Assembly adoption of HJ # 566 that proclaimed the trail as a state trail in the Commonwealth. Since then, she has formed and led Lewis & Clark Trail committees from Washington County to Albemarle County in pursuit of the 258-mile trail’s implementation.

“One major and unique feature of this trail, compared to others, is the wealth of extant historic structures that are Lewis & Clark connected that can be seen and/ or visited along the trail. Botetourt County has so many the National Park Service had to list them separately on their map,” she said. “These structures, along with the travel history and relationships formed by both explorers in the county, are significant for enhancing the county’s tourism efforts.”

Crosson was born in Charlottesville, raised in Roanoke, and educated in Virginia. She earned a B.A., Social Studies, Mary Baldwin University; and, an M.A. Social Studies, Hollins University, with a focus on “Group Dynamics.”

She retired from Carilion Health System after 26 years, having served as Director of Patient Services (non-medical) and Volunteer Services.  She had participated in major projects such as building the first Ronald McDonald House of Southwest Virginia, and converting the patient and volunteer services entities into a viable business unit of hospital operations, and later merging these programs from two hospitals. During the last 10 years of her healthcare affiliation, and under Gov. Mark Warner’s administration, she chaired a Southwest Virginia regional coalition of businessmen, educators, and government officials to design the first Workforce Development Model for the Commonwealth.

Upon retiring from Carilion Health System, she became executive director of Historic Fincastle Inc. A major accomplishment involved working with the Town of Fincastle to fund and assist the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to re-survey the existing boundaries of the town’s historic district. Fifty additional historic sites were added to the roster of “contributing buildings.”

All interested persons are invited to attend. This is a public information meeting and is free and open to members of the Botetourt County Historical Society and the general public. For more information, contact the historical society at 473-8394.

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