Old Court House Civil War Museum, Winchester, Va. (Linda Wheeler/For The Washington Post)

The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, a battlefield preservation nonprofit headquartered in New Market, Va., has, for the first time, taken on the responsibility of administering and operating a Civil War museum. It is located in Winchester, Va., close to the Third Winchester battlefield, one of the Foundation’s major accomplishments in terms of saving property important to the history of the Civil War.

The Old Court House Civil War Museum, which opened to the public in 2003, shares with visitors the graffiti left behind by soldiers treated at a makeshift hospital located within the courthouse as well as by prisoners of war who were held in that same building. The museum’s display of about 3,000 war-related artifacts came from the personal collection of Harry and Trish Ridgeway, who were responsible for the vacant building’s new role as a museum. They each served as officers on the museum’s board of directors.

According to a joint press release, the Ridgeways have entered into a “co-owner trust agreement to permit the transfer of an ownership interest of the Ridgeway Civil War collection,” housed in the museum to the Foundation.

The Foundation will assume the lease for the building and continue to exhibit “the core pieces” of the Ridgeway collection already on display as well as handle the operation, administration and management of the building.