Civil War Geocaching Trail Kicks off Aug. 10 at Camp Virgil Tate ; Morgans Kitchen in St. Albans among the Designated Sites

By Calwell, Ben | The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV), July 24, 2013 | Go to article overview

Civil War Geocaching Trail Kicks off Aug. 10 at Camp Virgil Tate ; Morgans Kitchen in St. Albans among the Designated Sites


Calwell, Ben, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)


bcalwell@cnpapers.com 304-348-5188

Armed with global positioning satellite receivers or smartphones, history buffs will soon be able to explore the state's connection to the Civil War through geocaching.

The new West Virginia Civil War Geotrail will start with a kickoff ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at Camp Virgil Tate. The all-day event will include a Civil War encampment and other activities. A "meet and greet" is also scheduled the night before, on Aug. 9.

Through a partnership of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, the Division of Culture and History and the West Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission, the trail will take geocachers to 75 Civil War sites throughout the state.

The Civil War Geotrail is the brainchild of Robin Taylor, program director of Imagination Library and the ExploreWV GeoChallenge of the Department of Education and the Arts.

Taylor and her family are avid geocachers. Geocaching is an activity that has gained in popularity over the years as a fun way to explore the outdoors while hunting for hidden caches with the help of GPS units and smartphones.

The first ExploreWV GeoChallenge was the Geocoin Challenge three years ago.

"We started that in 2010 with 30 caches across the state," Taylor said.

Those who completed that challenge received special, commemorative coins. The new Civil War Geotrail will also offer special coins as incentives to hunt for the caches.

The Civil War Geotrail will include five zones in West Virginia, with 15 caches in each zone for a total of 75 caches.

"If you find eight out of 15 caches (in a zone), you get a coin for that zone," Taylor said.

Those who find at least eight caches in each of the five zones will earn a coin for each zone that's decorated specifically for that zone. Once a geocacher has five coins, those coins will fit together to form the state of West Virginia.

On Aug. 10, geocachers will be able to log onto www.geocaching.com and find the coordinates for each cache site.

"I submitted the coordinates to a reviewer to make sure they (the caches) are in a safe location and not within 528 feet of another cache," she said.

The caches will be hidden at sites that have connections to the Civil War. One cache will be hidden at the Morgan's Kitchen Museum on MacCorkle Avenue in St. Albans. The cabin was constructed in 1846 and served as a kitchen for the John Morgan estate in Putnam County.

According to a roadside maker at Morgan's Kitchen, Union troops were fed from the kitchen on the day before the Battle of Scary on July 16, 1861. …

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