Antietam Battlefield Guides Launch New Website

Antietam Battlefield Guides Launch New Website

(Sharpsburg, Md.)- The Western Maryland Interpretive Association (WMIA) is proud to announce the launch of a brand new website for the Antietam Battlefield Guides. The website provides details about the guide program, reservation instructions and individual guide pages. Three of the guides currently have personalized pages detailing their interest in the Battle of Antietam, and more will be added.
"We hope that all of the guides will eventually be featured on the site, and also have their group photo, which will be taken soon," said Antietam Battlefield Guide Jeff Driscoll. "Every guide has the option of having a personal page or pages created."
The battlefield guides have a variety of backgrounds. Some are retirees and others are local scholars who have studied the battle throughout their lives. All guides must pass a written and verbal test to prove they have significant knowledge of the battle, as well as give a tour to one of the Antietam Park Rangers. In addition to knowledge of the battle itself, they must be familiar with all the area landmarks and features of historical interest.
There are currently 10 guides available for tours of Antietam. Tours can take place anytime during regular park hours. They can be scheduled for weeks in advance and in some instances, guides who live close to the park are available for walk-ups. Typical tours last for two hours and cost $50 for up to six people. They cover the Battle of Antietam and the Maryland Campaign of 1862. Customized tours can be scheduled if planned in advance.
"The guide service is a great addition to Antietam Battlefield," says Antietam Battlefield Guide Dr. Tom Clemens. "Live guides enhance the visitor's experience by offering a more personalized tour. Answering questions, visiting off-the-beaten-path sites and tracking a particular unit through the battle are just a few of the custom services only a live guide can provide. It is the personal touch that visitors tend to remember."
Last year, the Battlefield Guide service conducted approximately 350 guided tours. September 17, 2007, marks the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. A variety of special events are planned locally and at the battlefield to commemorate the anniversary. Park officials expect to see an increase in visitation and increased interest in the battle. Park guides say that they plan to be busier, as well.
"We felt it was necessary to have a web site that told potentially interested people about the guides' program, a little bit about the guides, and a site that directed them where to book tours with an official Battlefield Guide," explains Driscoll. "We hope in time it will increase awareness of our guides' program, attract more people to the park, and help everyone."
The Antietam Battlefield Guides website can be viewed online at www.antietambattlefieldguides.com. It was design by Icon Graphics in Hagerstown, Md.
The Western Maryland Interpretive Association, the Antietam Battlefield Guides Program, and Icon Graphics are all members of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more information, see: www.marylandmemories.com.

This information was provided by the Hagerstown/Washington County Convention and Visitor's Bureau - www.marylandmemories.com