Historian John V. Quarstein speaks to the Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg about early aviation

John V. Quarstein spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg during their weekly luncheon. The topic was early aviation on the Peninsula. John is an award-winning historian, preservationist, lecturer, and author. He served as historian for the city of Hampton's 400th anniversary. He previously worked for 31 years as the director of the Virginia War Museum and as consultant to The Mariners' Museum's Monitor Center. Quarstein has been involved in a wide variety of historic preservation initiatives including the creation of Civil War battlefield parks like Redoubt Park in Williamsburg or Lee's Mill Park in Newport News as well as historic house museums such as Lee Hall Mansion and Endview Plantation. His current preservation endeavors feature the Rebecca Vaughan House, Lee Hall Depot, Causey's Mill, Big Bethel Battlefield and Fort Monroe. He has served on several boards and commissions such as Virginia Civil War Trails, Virginia War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission Advisory Council and the Newport News Sesquicentennial Commission. He has written 14 books, including "Fort Monroe: The Key To The South"; "A History Of Ironclads: The Power Of Iron Over Wood"; and "Monitor Boys: The Crew Of The Union's First Ironclad." His newest book is "Sink Before Surrender: The CSS Virginia."
Quarstein has produced, narrated and written several PBS documentaries, such as "Jamestown: Foundations Of Freedom" and the film series "Civil War In Hampton Roads," which was awarded a 2007 Silver Telly.
Quarstein is the recipient of the national Trust for Historic Preservation's 1993 President's Award for Historic Preservation; the Civil War Society's Preservation Award in 1996; the United Daughters of the Confederacy's Jefferson Davis Gold Medal in 1999; and the Daughters of the American Revolution Gold Historians Medal in 2009. Besides his lifelong interest in Tidewater's Civil War experience, Quarstein is an avid duck hunter and decoy hunter and decoy collector. He lives on Old Point Comfort in Hampton, and on his family's Eastern Shore farm near Chestertown, MD.

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