GEORGIA: C.A.M.P. Continues Efforts to Save Civil War Memorial

LITTLE VALLEY, Ga. — The red painted brick building sits vacant, as it has for more than a decade, but the new owners hope to raise funds and save the Cattaraugus County Civil War Memorial.

The Cattaraugus County Civil War Memorial in Little Valley, formerly the county museum, still sits vacant despite efforts to restore the structure.

Last July, the Cattaraugus County Legislature voted to sell the Civil War Memorial on Court Street here to C.A.M.P. (Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation) for $1,079. But not much has changed in the nine months since the more than 100-year-old memorial changed hands.

C.A.M.P. started a public fundraising campaign on GoFundMe, which has raised $1,200 from 20 people in the past six months.

Initial estimates on the cost to restore the memorial to its former glory were in the $700,000 range. It could be more, officials caution.

Legislators had voted to demolish the former Cattaraugus County Museum at Court and Seventh streets soon after the Board of Elections moved from the adjoining building nearly five years ago. Individuals who later formed C.A.M.P., led by Thomas Stetz of Allegany, urged legislators to restore and preserve the memorial instead.

Legislators resisted due to the high cost of renovating the building, which had suffered water damage from a lack of maintenance. The land the building sat on was deeded to the county and could not be sold, C.A.M.P. was told.

Then, in late 2016, spurred by public opinion and prodding by C.A.M.P. members, the county went to state Supreme Court in a bid to clear the title of a reversion clause and was successful.

The volunteer-driven C.A.M.P. continues to work toward the preservation, restoration, re-use and re-dedication of the memorial.

The Landmark Society of Western New York placed the building on it’s Five to Revive list in 2015, and continues to advise C.A.M.P. members.

The Society has praised the group’s efforts, especially buying the property last year. It notes, however, “CAMPers still have a long way to go to develop plans and raise funds to rehab the building.”

Now what?

C.A.M.P. members plan to meet Wednesday in Little Valley to discuss the next fundraising steps, the group’s Memorial Day activities at the memorial and building repairs, according to Stetz. They will meet at 6 p.m. at the Little Valley Municipal Building.

Stetz said he will talk about the state’s consolidated funding application (CFA) and the process of submitting an application in July.

“I and one other C.A.M.P. member are going to a workshop on the state application process in Fredonia on Tuesday,” Stetz said.

C.A.M.P. met recently with a representative of State Sen. Catharine M. Young, seeking funding for the memorial.

“We also applied for a Pomeroy grant for one of the blue and gold state historic markers,” Stetz said.

The group started selling memberships earlier this year. A gift of $20 or more entitles a donor to an individual C.A.M.P. membership. A couple donating $40 or more would receive two individual memberships.

To donate online, visit

C.A.M.P. will conduct a Memorial Day ceremony at the Civil War Memorial, at Court and Seventh streets, in the first such ceremony since the group closed on the sale of the building last August.

The village’s Memorial Day Parade will stop in front of the Civil War memorial and the band will play a patriotic song, and C.A.M.P. will lay a memorial wreath, Stetz said in an interview Sunday night.

“We’re getting an estimate on the cost to bring the former Board of Elections Building up to code so we can rent it out and get revenue to preserve the memorial.”

The group plans to have a presence outside the Civil War Memorial during the town of Little Valley’s Bicentennial celebration Aug. 25 and 26.

Also, the 154th Regiment reunion will be held outside the Civil War Memorial during the town’s bicentennial celebration, Stetz said.

“It’s going slow, but we’re plugging away,” Stetz said.