EN Participates in Selma to Montgomery 50th Anniversary
Eastern National was on hand to support the National Park Service at Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail and the events surrounding the 50th anniversary of the 1965 voting rights marches. EN sales were over $66,000 for March 2015 versus $6,400 for March 2014. New items produced for the anniversary events included T-shirts, caps, pins, patches, magnets, key chains, hiking medallions, buttons, pencils, mugs, mason jars, and church fans. Top sellers were all products with 50th anniversary logos and dates.
Jubilee 2015 events were held from March 5 to 9. This 50th anniversary commemoration of the “Bloody Sunday” march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge featured a host of dignitaries, including President Barack Obama and Congressman John Lewis. EN provided funding for green rooms for the visiting dignitaries.
EN also provided support for Selma to Montgomery NHT’s “Walking Classroom” (March 20-25), a five-day, 54-mile trek through Dallas, Lowndes, and Montgomery counties in Alabama that retraced the footsteps of the 1965 marchers. EN employees manned both NPS visitor centers on the day the “Walking Classroom” began on the steps of the capitol in Montgomery so NPS staff could attend. Approximately 200 to 300 participants embarked each day, and the EN store was open extended hours as visitor traffic dictated.
Eastern National Announces First Quarter Sales and New Centennial Products
Sales for the first quarter of Eastern National’s fiscal year 2015, November through January, were $4,408,264. This is a 16.5 percent increase over 2014 sales and 10.6 percent ahead of budget.
EN is currently working on developing a line of custom and generic centennial merchandise lines, along with some new publications. Product should be ready by early summer or sooner. On April 2, the National Park Service Centennial “Find Your
Park” advertising campaign kicked off in New York City. This campaign will raise awareness about parks and drive visitation; having centennial-related product will help to boost sales both this and next year.
Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park and Hampton National Historic Site Join EN’s Partnership of Parks
Eastern National is proud to announce the formation of new partnerships with two national parks: Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in Paterson, New Jersey, and Hampton National Historic Site in Towson, Maryland. EN will operate educational museum stores at both parks and provide additional staff and assistance as needed.
Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park was established in 2011 to interpret America’s early industrial heritage and to preserve the Great Falls of the Passaic River, designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1967. Paterson, New Jersey, was established in 1791 by founding father Alexander Hamilton, as America’s first planned industrial city. A system of water raceways that harnessed the power of the Passaic River and the Great Falls powered the numerous textile, firearms, and locomotive manufacturing mills in the area.
Established in 1948, Hampton National Historic Site preserves a remnant of an 18th-century estate owned by the Ridgely family from 1745 to 1948. The site includes a Georgian manor house, notable for its Georgian Revival architecture, extensive formal gardens, grounds, and the original stone slave quarters and other outbuildings. A variety of programs are available at the site, affording visitors an opportunity to experience what life was like on an 18th-century plantation.
“We’re thrilled at the opportunity to provide support to Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park and Hampton National Historic Site, two very diverse and historically important sites,” said Megan Cartwright, EN’s director of retail. “We look forward to enhancing visitors’ experiences by providing a broad selection of educational products whose sales will support interpretive programs at these sites.”
Educational museum stores operated by Eastern National at Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park will begin operation on April 21, 2015 and the store at Hampton National Historic Site will begin operation on April 24, 2015.
Appomattox Court House Sesquicentennial
In anticipation of the 150th anniversary of Appomattox Court House, Eastern National has updated and redesigned the popular National Park Civil War Series title The Campaign to Appomattox. The fresh, new design features many new full-color images throughout. The book retails for $9.95 and can be ordered from eParks.com.
Appomattox sesquicentennial anniversary events run from April 8 through 12, 2015, and along with the regular Eastern National museum store, which underwent a brand-new “face-lift” in time for the anniversary, we will sell from an outdoor tent store. Alongside, 18 authors will sign their books in a special authors’ tent over the fiveday event, and EN’s tent will offer
their books for sale.
Additional commemorative items for sale include a 150th anniversary pin, custom jewelry featuring a period image of the McLean House and stones native to Virginia, and 150th anniversary apparel items. EN is also selling signed and numbered prints of Mort Kunstler’s final painting in his Civil War Series, entitled Respect of an Army.
America’s National Parks Press Books
Eastern National’s series of national-park related history books have been flying off the shelves! The six different titles, available at Dollar Stores nationwide, include: The Battle of Gettysburg, The Civil War, Black Soldiers in the Civil War, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln. Printed under the trademark name America’s National Parks Press, titles in the series have been reordered by Dollar Tree Stores for second and third print runs. A total of 350,000 copies have been produced.
The series of books also recently received honorable mention in the “Publication of the Year” category at the 2015 Association of Partners for Public Lands Partnership Awards. The award category recognizes a publication that embodies innovation in ducating and interpreting public lands to its readers and impacts a substantial audience. Designed to reach an audience that may not normally visit national parks, the books encourage readers to discover and explore national parks online and in person.
EN Employees Help Make a Most Successful Maple Sugar Time Festival at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
All of us here at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore would like to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts demonstrated by two of Eastern National’s finest. Cathy Nagle-Ervin and Dawn Sloboda performed at an exceptional level during this year’s Maple Sugar Time festival and the associated school program days.
Staffing the empty visitor center at the Chellberg Farm was an excellent idea and proved to be a great success. The random daily visitors along with the teachers and parents purchased more product than ever before.
Sales during the actual festival were the best on record. We feel this is in part due to the new maple syrup products and other wisely chosen items. Our average transaction increased over $3.50. For the four festival days, the sales were $12,236. For the past several years, sales have been between $3,914 and $5,933. The associated school program sales added an additional $982. Our sales for March 2015 was higher than July or August of 2014. These are typically our bestselling months.
We would like to recognize the above-and-beyond efforts of both of our EN representatives – Dawn with her innovative approach and marketing skills and Cathy’s last-minute trip to Harris’s Sugar Bush to restock depleted inventory. By the way, plenty of product for the event was ordered. No one could have anticipated the perfect weather and increased sales.
(Submitted by Jean-Pierre Anderson, Park Ranger at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore)
Catoosa County Schools Receive Transportation Funding to Visit Park
On March 23, 2015, Eastern National presented a check to the Catoosa County Public Schools that will assist schools with transportation costs for students to visit Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is excited about the partnership with Catoosa County Public Schools. In 2015, the National Park Service is asking the American public to “Find Your Park,” and these funds will definitely help students find their local national park.