The Mosby Heritage Area Association, the Northern Virginia Piedmont preservation and education organization, has selected three individuals to receive the organization’s annual Heritage Hero Award.  This year’s awards go to Gayle and Tom DeLashmutt and Paul Ziluca.

The Heritage Hero award is given to individuals or groups in the Mosby Heritage Area who have demonstrated stewardship responsibility over many years. The awards were presented at a recent ceremony at the National Sporting Library and Museum.

Gayle DeLashmutt

Gayle has lived in Loudoun County for over forty-five years. She has served on many boards, including Grafton School, Fauquier-Loudoun Garden Club, Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter, the National Historic Landmark Stewards Association.

She has been a dedicated volunteer with various groups including The Journey Through Hallowed Ground and she served as President of the Mosby Heritage Area Association from 2006-2008.

In 1992, with her husband, Tom,  Gayle began the task of restoring the gardens, outbuildings, and tenant houses of their home, Oak Hill, near Aldie. Oak Hill was the home of President James Monroe.

Gayle is a gracious host, allowing hundreds of school children to visit her home with the Aldie Triangle field trip program each April.

Tom DeLashmutt

Tom is the President and CEO of Barcroft Apartments, a family business for decades that is located in Arlington. Tom and his family have owned Oak Hill, near Aldie for 67 years.

Oak Hill was the home of President James Monroe and Tom, along with his wife Gayle, have been dedicated stewards, preservationists, and hosts, opening it for many groups and events, allowing the public into a presidential home.

Tom has also owned and preserved Berkeley House in Aldie for 50 years. Berkeley House is one of the most historic homes in the village of Aldie, and has been carefully preserved and maintained.

Paul Ziluca

As chair of the Citizens Committee for the Historic Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg and Upperville, Paul obtained a grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program to map these three battles employing advanced technology.  The project was completed in 2004. 

He also succeeded obtaining recognition from the Civil War Preservation Trust that these three battles were among the 10 most endangered Civil War battlefields in our country. 

He is an advisor to the Special Committee that has guided the work of mapping and protecting the battle of Unison and has consulted with Fauquier County as it has begun the process of formulating comprehensive plan provisions for the protection of the 12 Civil War battlefields located in that County.

Before he began his Civil War battlefield work, Paul served as chair of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation for 8-years (1994-2002) during which VOF’s conservation easement holdings increased from 80,000 to 250,000 acres.

Paul is a former Chairman of the Loudoun County Republican Party (4-years), a former member of the Republican State Central Committee (12-years), and a former fox hunter (15-years).

He received an AB from Harvard University and a MS from George Washington University.  He served in the U.S. Air Force with 14 of his years of service overseas in Japan, Germany, Greece and Vietnam. 

He served in the Pentagon as a nuclear planner, as a Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics in Europe and as an installation Commander near Athens, Greece. 

Previous winners of the Heritage Hero Award include Senator John Warner, Karen Hughes White, Janet Whitehouse, Hope Porter, Linda Newton, Robert H. Smith, Su Webb, Lori Kimball, Bob Sinclair, Robert Lee, Walter Nicklin, John Fishback, Mary Fishback, Mitch Diamond, David Blake, and Scott Kasprowicz.