New Historic Mobile Tour Explores Battle of Bristoe Station

| October 4, 2013 | 0 Comments | Arts & Entertainment

One of the sites in the historic Bristoe Station mobile tour is located in suburban Bristow.

History and technology unite as Prince William and Fauquier counties launch a new mobile tour that takes visitors through the stories, personalities and outcomes of the 1863 Battle of Bristoe Station.

Thanks to a partnership with Discover Prince William & Manassas, the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division secured a Virginia Tourism Corporation Civil War Sesquicentennial Marketing Grant to create the Bristoe Station Campaign Mobile Tour which connects visitors to the events that took place in Northern and Central Virginia back in the fall of 1863.

“We are thrilled to work with our partners to secure grants like this that help enhance the visitor’s experience,” said Discover Prince William & Manassas President/CEO Ann Marie Maher. “This is a unique way to connect visitors to the rich history we have right here in Prince William & Manassas.”

The mobile tour includes seven stops on a 50-mile route that spans between Prince William and Fauquier counties and takes visitors on some of the same roads soldiers traveled during the 1863 Bristoe Station Campaign.

Even though it’s close to home, Virginians are encouraged to plan at least an afternoon around the historical tour as historians say the tour can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day. Some of the more local stops along the tour include Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, the Buckland Races, the Old Jail Museum in Warrenton and the Battle of Rappahannock Station.

Those from Prince William and Fauquier tourism industry are excited to see their counties featured in such a noteworthy historical tour.

“Partnerships like these, which span various jurisdictions, are incredibly important to heritage tourism,” said Fauquier County Tourism Coordinator Catherine Payne. “Visitors do not see county or town borders, but seek comprehensive information about the sites and happenings that occurred during these historic events. This partnership allows visitors to easily access information about all of the sites important to the Bristoe Station Campaign.”

And while the tour will transport visitors back to 1863, in another sense it is firmly set in the new millennium. That is because the tour includes QR codes at each stop that link visitors to the tour’s mobile web site, complete with images, maps and 90-second narratives.

“The Bristoe Mobile Tour is an innovative way to use technology to reach travelers and historians of all ages, and it allows us to interpret many sites in detail for the first time,” said Rob Orrison, Historic Site Operations Supervisor for Prince William’s historic preservation division. “We hope this is just the beginning of using technology to reach different audiences.”

Orrison lauds the tour not only for its use of technology, but for the beauteous landscapes it encourages Virginians and tourists to explore.

“The stops are along scenic roads, so we hope it attracts not just history lovers, but also those who visit the region for its scenery and rural landscapes,” Orrison said.

The launch of the new mobile tour kicks off the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bristoe Station. The little known battle, which took place right here in Bristow, was one of General Robert E. Lee’s last offensive campaigns of the Civil War. It is also noteworthy as the last battle to take place in Prince William & Manassas-where the Civil War erupted in 1861.

On Oct. 5,  Northern Virginians and friends are invited to commemorate the 150th Battle of Bristoe Station with a bus tour that stops at the battlefields and sites that were important to the 1863 campaign. Commemoration events continue the weekend of Oct. 12 with living history demonstrations and encampments, lectures, tours and musical performances.

For more information on the new mobile tour and commemorative events, visit


© 2013, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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