Chris Calkins, manager of Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park, has received the 2014 Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). He received the award for his dedication to preserving the Civil War battlefield landscape of Virginia.
“The Leadership in History Awards is AASLH’s highest distinction, and the winners represent the best in the field,” said Terry Davis, AASLH president and CEO. “This year, we are pleased to distinguish each recipient’s commitment and innovation to the interpretation of history, as well as their leadership for the future of state and local history.”
Calkins was named the first fulltime manager of the state park in 2008 after serving 34 years with the National Park Service. His career with the NPS included positions at the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and Petersburg National Battlefield.
“Chris is well-respected by his colleagues, by the community and by all those committed to the preservation of Virginia history and American history,” said Craig Seaver, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation interim state parks director. “This award is well-deserved for Chris’ life-long commitment to history, and it reflects how well-respected he is across the country. Chris has been instrumental in helping make Sailor’s Creek Battlefield a more attractive destination for our visitors.”
The Leadership in History Awards Program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation and interpretation of state and local history throughout America. Each nomination is peer-reviewed by AASLH’s state captains. Final awards are decided by the awards committee, comprised of AASLH’s 14 regional representatives and the national awards chair.
Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park is the site of the last major Civil War battle in Virginia. The park is located at 6541 Saylers Creek Road, Rice, Virginia, 23966.