2017 Doucette Achievement Award Winner

Barbara Finfrock

Barbara Finfrock’s 24 years of tireless labor have had a significant impact on making the Gettysburg National Military Park what it is today. For all her accomplishments, the Gettysburg Civil War Round Table would like to thank her by selecting Barbara as this year’s Cal Doucette Achievement Award winner.

Barbara retired from the Library of Congress in 1993, moved to Gettysburg, and soon became a member of the Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg (FNPG). Over the years her involvement with the organization grew as she served as FNPG President/Chair from 1999-2001, and Chair from 2003-2006.

In the late 1990s the FNPG completed its first major project...the removal of utility lines along the Pickett’s charge area of Emmitsburg Road. Subsequently, lines have been removed along Mummasburg Road near the Peace Light, and in the Devil’s Den area. The tower is gone, and as President of the FNPG, Barbara made “a few appropriate remarks” at the Tower Demolition Day festivities. The Home Sweet Home Motel is now a memory. Although not intended to be built on NPS property, Barbara campaigned against the proposed Gettysburg casino, stating that establishment of a casino in Gettysburg would be “inappropriate, insensitive, and detrimental to the hallowed ground our members are dedicated to preserve.”

Thanks to the annual June volunteer work weekend instituted by Barbara and the FNPG, one is now greeted by barns and farmhouses which are nicely painted, miles of fences have been built along fence lines which existed in 1863, cleaned, painted head stones in the National Cemetery. Visitors who come to Gettysburg for Remembrance Weekend can now see the inspiring luminaria first presented by the Friends in November, 2003, and the many cannon carriages on the battlefield have been maintained in the cannon carriage repair shop which the Friends leased for the National Park Service starting in 1999.

For several years people had been calling for the construction of a new visitor center on the battlefield, and for that purpose the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation was founded. Soon that organization and the Friends realized that missions and fund raising goals of both groups could be enhanced by them joining together. On June 30 2006, after in depth negotiations with which Barbara was deeply involved, the Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg merged with and into the Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum Foundation to become The Gettysburg Foundation. Barbara signed the merger documents on behalf of the Friends and became the Vice Chair of the Foundation, a position which she holds to this day. Barbara is also serving the public as Chairman of the 10 member GNMP Advisory Commission, and because of her vast experience with and leadership of the FNPG and the Gettysburg Foundation, she has become a willing resource of advice for other groups seeking to form Friends organizations based on the Gettysburg model.

The Cal Doucette Achievement Award, was created in memory of a CWRT Board member who felt that recognition should be given to honor people who do something special for the Park and for the study of Civil War history. Barbara has been doing something special for years, and although we will be presenting her with a plaque at our September 28 meeting, in reality (with apologies to General Sickles), the whole Battlefield is Barbara’s monument. Please try to attend.

Previous Recipients:
2016: Ed Hamilton
2015: Bobby and Matt Housch
2014: Joan Pore

CalDoucetteCal Doucette was an active member of the Civil War community in Gettysburg, as well as a member of the Civil War Roundtable’s Board of Directors. As a Board member Cal proposed the idea that the CWRT create an award to be given to a person whose activities helped people learn about and appreciate the significance of Gettysburg and the Civil War, enhanced the experience of Gettysburg visitors and stirred the interest of children in learning more about our history. When Cal passed away in December 2013 the Board voted to create the award and name it after him. Cal Doucette Achievement Award nominee’s qualifications include projects and activities that:

• Stimulate the interest of children and young adults.
• Enrich the overall visitor experience and appreciation of the Park.
• Inspire new interest in the Civil War among those with no interest.
• Contribute to the preservation and maintenance of the Park and surrounding areas.
• Participate in further research/study of the battle to bring to light new/ unknown information.
• Participated in, or supported, living history events which interpret what life was like during the Civil War.
• Increase the public’s understanding of the meaning and significance of