In late 2010, Botetourt County became involved with the Lewis & Clark Eastern Legacy Trail. The Town of Fincastle, because of its strong historic ties to Lewis & Clark, was invited to participate in an “eastern legacy trail Special Resource Study” by the National Park Service. Its objective was to determine the feasibility and suitability of extending the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail eastward.
Eleven years later, this discussion has evolved into an implemented Virginia Lewis & Clark Legacy Trail that keeps growing. Currently, there are 13 documented Lewis & Clark-connected historic sites or locations, 14 participating counties and five cities along the Great Valley Road route and in Eastern Virginia. Each county/city has a volunteer project chair or contact who coordinates trail and L&C historic sites’ research and other activities in their localities. In August 2020, the Virginia Lewis & Clark Legacy Trail, Inc. (VLCLT) became a 501C-3, tax-exempt organization, and is guided by a 17-member board of directors who represent localities along the trail routes and includes Angela and John Sengson, the owners of Santillane in Fincastle. With a need for up to an anticipated 44 Historic Highway Markers and other trail signage in the future, Santillane was the site of a fundraiser for the VLCLT this past September.
Once again, the childhood home of Julia Hancock, who William Clark married, the majestic Santillane house and grounds will be on display for the 2022 Historic Garden Week tour in Virginia on Saturday, April 30. Visitors will be welcomed by William Clark.
In partnership with Botetourt County’s Attic Productions, William Clark (local actor Steven Aaron) will greet visitors and share a brief story about his marriage to Julia from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
According to Marsha Campbell of Attic’s board of directors, “We are excited to play a small part in the 2022 Garden Tour event at Santillane and think our recommendation for actor Steve Aaron is perfect for a portrayal of William Clark.”
Aaron loves history and says he is honored to have the opportunity to play William Clark. “We are blessed with a wealth of history, and we continue to learn more about our heritage. It is so important for us to preserve and present as accurately as possible so we are able to fully appreciate and understand not only our local history, but also all cultures,” he said.
Tickets to attend may be purchased at www.vagardenweek.org.