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ARC Launches "Civil War: The Home Front" Mapguide to Appalachia

April 2011


WASHINGTON, April 21, 2011—The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) today announced the new "Civil War: The Home Front" mapguide to Appalachia at the historic West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling, West Virginia. Developed to observe the 150th commemoration of the American Civil War and boost tourism in the Appalachian Region, the mapguide showcases the diversity of Appalachia's Civil War heritage attractions.

While most Civil War stories focus on battles and military history, few narratives have explored how sites away from the battlefields on the home front were affected by the war. The mapguide highlights these places and the social and technological history behind them. Visitors are invited to see the heritage farms, railroads, restored houses and historic downtowns, national parks and memorials, living history museums, and many other attractions integral to the Civil War era.

The mapguide was created in partnership with American Heritage Publishing and the members of ARC's Tourism Advisory Council. Its 150 sites were selected from over 500 nominations for destinations and stories.

It is available as an insert in the spring 2011 issue of American Heritage magazine. In addition, copies have been distributed by the tourism offices of the 13 Appalachian states to targeted traveler mailing lists, regional welcome centers, and tourism trade shows.

The mapguide is also available as an interactive feature online at, where additional information specific to each Appalachian state is available.

The cultural tourism promoted by the mapguide is an important component of the Appalachian economy. According to U.S. Travel Association estimates, tourism is a $704.4 billion industry employing more than 7.4 million people in the United States (2009 data). The cultural heritage tourism sector has been growing at twice the rate as the overall travel market, and Appalachia boasts six of the top 10 states most visited by travelers from this sector.