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The Monroe County Historical society (MCHS), which consists of over 300 members and a Board of Directors of 15 community leaders, has been publicly committed, both philosophically and financially, to the successful acquisition and proper development of the River Raisin Battlefield site. Thus MCHS proudly endorses H.R. 5132, which directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to determine the suitability and feasibility of including the River Raisin Battlefield into the National Park System.

By way of additional background, MCHS has acquired an additional valuable riverfront parcel to expand the various options for optimal development of the River Raisin Battlefield. This parcel – called the Riverfront Pump House Parcel – includes a one-story brick, reinforced concrete and wood frame structure, with a basement, commonly referred to

as the Paper

“Pump House” and built in 1918 by the






River Raisin the Port of

Monroe has accepted title to the Pump House Parcel and entered into a development agreement with the Society.


The Monroe County Historical society believes that the completed acquisition of the 34 acre Battlefield parcel and acquisition of the Riverfront Mill Pump House Parcel sets the stage for the optimal preservation, interpretation and development, in perpetuity, of the River Raisin Battlefield for future generations of American citizenry.

The Monroe County Historical Society has recently incorporated a separate Michigan non-profit corporation named – River Raisin National Battlefield Foundation – for the primary purpose of receiving and administering funds for the acquisition, archeological investigation, historical preservation, public education, and comprehensive development of the River Raisin Battlefield site located in present day Monroe, Michigan.

The Articles of Incorporation provide that:

“The River Raisin National Battlefield Foundation (RRNBF) will seek to educate people about the War of 1812 and the Battle of the River Raisin – the largest battle ever fought on Michigan soil, as well as the subsequent River Raisin Massacre, in which over 60 unarmed Americans were murdered by British and hostile Indians. The RRNBF will seek, explore, and engage in both public and private partnerships to obtain the appropriate financial resources to develop, operate, and maintain a world-class visitor center and museum at or near the battlefield site. The RRNBF will seek and develop exhibits, programs, and services to visitors that will enhance their understanding of the causes of the War of 1812, the significance of the Battle of the River Raisin, and the consequences of the war for America. The RRNBF will seek both public funding (city, county, regional, state and federal dollars) and private philanthropic dollars to achieve its objectives.”

The first meeting of the RRNBF Board of Directors, which consists of representatives from the County of Monroe, City of Monroe, Monroe County Community College, and

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Monroe County Historical Society, as well as directors at large, will occur later this summer.

For over the past eight years the Monroe County Historical Society has pursued the Battlefield Project with passion and dedication. In fact, MCHS has provided significant financial leadership and has spent over $500,000

during the past eight years




to fund proper environmental

archeological assessment,

environmental liability insurance and Riverfront Pump House Parcel. MCHS

acquisition of the has been saluted by








the continuity, the commitment necessary to ultimately succeed

and the financial resources in acquisition of the River

Raisin Battlefield and the Riverfront Pump House Parcel….

The inclusion of the River Raisin Battlefield in the National Park System is consistent with the battlefield’s historic significance and will provide immediate credibility, visibility and fund raising momentum to the River Raisin National Battlefield Foundation. The River Raisin Battlefield, as a unit of the National Park System, will promote citizen involvement and productive partnerships with federal, state, tribal and local governments, as well as productive partnerships with Canada, Great Britain, private organizations and businesses. MCHS also submits that the interpretive and educational potential of the River Raisin Battlefield is outstanding. In addition, the socioeconomic impact that the National Park Service designation will promote are equally impressive. Fortunately, the River Raisin Battlefield is ideally located for inclusion into an historic and natural resource gateway into the State of Michigan on Interstate 75.

The Monroe County Historical Society stands ready to assist the Secretary of the Interior in conducting a special resource study of the sites in Monroe County, Michigan, relating to the Battles of the River Raisin. We believe that “Remembering the Raisin is an important and essential dimension of understanding the War of 1812 and our national identity.

Respectfully submitted,

William H. Baunlich, President Monroe County Historical Society __________


1806 by Ralph Naveaux

Looking Forward to the Bicentennial of the Battle of the River Raisin in 2013

River Raisin, Sept. 4, 1806:

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