Obituaries marking the death of Charles Printz last month rightly lauded and detailed his many contributions to the community. They overlooked, however, one important thing: his dedication to land conservation.
In 2005 he placed a conservation easement permanently protecting 59 acres of his property at the corner of Engle-Molers Road and Trough Road in Jefferson County. Confederate soldiers passed through this intersection in September 1862, coming from their success at Harpers Ferry, on their way to Antietam, where they arrived in time to have an impact on the outcome of the battle. They came through again after Antietam, when the intersection became the rear area of the Battle of Shepherdstown.
Printz was determined to protect his key acreage at the southeast corner of the intersection, persevering until the easement document was signed.
Although he got payment for half the value of the easement from the American Battlefield Protection Program, transmitted through the Jefferson County Farmland Protection Board, he donated the other half of the value of the easement.
As you travel through the intersection, please remember his dedication to protecting this important piece of historic land.
Land Trust of the Eastern Panhandle, Harpers Ferry