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February 2022 Issue
In this issue:
  • Bicentennial Costumes Donated to Museum
  • In Memoriam: Fran Wire
  • Feature:  Charlotte and Emanuel
  • County studying options for Mount Sinai Cemetery
  • Linden Hall restoration continues
  • Comments on "Aircraft piece from 1940 Lovettsville crash donated to Museum"
  • Volunteers needed!
  • Nearby Events
  • About us
  • Archive of back issues

Susan Kretsinger Geary with the costumes, and the tricorn hat, that she brought to the Lovettsville Museum on January 22.

Bicentennial Costumes Donated to Museum

The costumes worn by Michael and Julia Kretsinger during the 1976 Bicentennial celebration in Lovettsville have been donated to the Lovettsville Museum by their family. Susan Kretsinger Geary, pictured above, presented the costumes to the Museum on January 22.

Michael Kretsinger was the Pastor of New Jerusalem Lutheran Church from 1954 until his death in 1993. His wife Julia was the organist and music director until her retirement in 2020. Julia Kretsinger passed away in October of 2021.The costumes were made by Julia’s mother, the late Elizabeth Yost of Biglerville PA.

We will be looking for volunteers to wear these beautifully-crafted outfits during the upcoming 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution in 2026!

Fred George and Fran Wire at Fran's presentation on George's Mill to the Lovettsville Historical Society on May 20, 2018.  Photo: John Flannery for the Brunswick Citizen.
In Memoriam:  Fran Wire

The Lovettsville Historical Society is saddened by the death of Fran Wire, the proprietor of George’s Mill, who was a leader of the Historical Society for many years. Fran served on the Board of Directors for at least 15 years, and was Chairperson for a number of years from the late 1990s into the 2000s. 

It was in 1988 when Fran and her husband Bob Wire joined the Board of Directors of what was then called the “Lovettsville Museum.”  A little history is in order here.  

In 1979, the “Lovettsville Museum and Library” emerged out of the “Lovettsville Restoration Committee,” which had been appointed by the Town in 1975 to restore the Potterfield Meat Store for the 1976 Bicentennial. At the same time in 1979, the name of the building was changed from the “Butcher Shop Museum and Library” to the “Lovettsville Museum and Library.”

The building at first had a small library in the front room, and museum artifacts in the back room.   The library was so popular, and grew so fast, that the County took it over in 1985, and by 1987 it  had expanded so much so as to squeeze out the museum, so that the museum's contents were packed up and put into storage until the new library was constructed on Light Street.

At that point, the group became simply known as the “Lovettsville Museum.”  It was during the next year, 1988, that Bob Wire and then Fran Wire were invited to join the Board of Directors. Within a few months of the Wires joining, the name was changed to the “Lovettsville Historical Society”  and the group’s focus changed more toward compiling and preserving local history. One of the first things that the Wires did, was to visit the Frederick Historical Society and Museum to obtain some ideas for the new focus. (Others visited the historical societies and museums in Charles Town and Shepherdstown WV.)

It seems clear that the time when Fran and Bob Wire joined was a turning point, where what had been simply a Board of Directors for the Museum, changed into a broader membership organization, with a new mission focusing on the history of Lovettsville and the surrounding area. This is reflected in the minutes for the next few years, where the emphasis becomes gathering materials on local history, putting more attention on genealogy, and sponsoring outside speakers for lectures held at the Community Center.

Even after she resigned from the LHS Board in 2013, Fran retained her interest in the organization and and in local history.  In May 2018, she gave a presentation on George’s Mill and the George Family as part of the LHS’s monthly lecture series, which was well-attended and which elicited a lively write-up in the Brunswick Citizen.  Fran offered the house at George’s Mill for LHS meetings, and was always willing to show the house to visitors. She loved history, she was gracious, and was full of stories, and she will be deeply missed by all who knew her and worked with her.

History Feature:
Charlotte and Emanuel

By Lori Hinterleiter Kimball

There are times when doing historical research that something – a person, an event, a reference – grabs the researcher’s attention and beckons to be investigated.  Sometimes that work can start immediately and sometimes it has to be put on hold until time allows.  For me, that attention-grabber was an 1822 advertisement in the Leesburg newspaper, The Genius of Liberty.  “Sundry slaves for sale in the German Settlement” caught my eye while I was searching for advertisements related to a different project.  Ads like this were placed frequently in local and regional newspapers, but it was the first I could recall seeing for Lovettsville.  I wanted to learn more.
Find out the story of Charlotte and Emanuel
Mount Sinai Church and Cemetery property in December 2021. Left: remains of a hog pen erected where unmarked graves are thought to exist. Right: grave markers which have been cleaned by volunteers.
County studying options for
Mount Sinai Cemetery Restoration

Loudoun County officials and staff are currently examining various options for the preservation and restoration of Mount Sinai Cemetery, an abandoned African-American burial ground on Mountain Road south of Lovettsville.  On the initiative of Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randal and Catoctin District Supervisor Caleb Kershner, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on November 3 to direct County staff “to explore options for the purchase and/or protection of the historic Mount Sinai Cemetery and Church property, and return to the Board with recommendations. Recommendations should also include ways to coordinate with the Family and Friends of Mount Sinai Cemetery group.” 

The initiative also states that the Family and Friends group, working with the Lovettsville Historical Society, have documented 29 [now 30] burials, and “would like to work with the County archeologist to survey the property using Ground Penetrating Radar to discover others buried at the cemetery.  This research would help document the history of the sacred ground.”

County agencies reportedly involved in the Mount Sinai project team are the Department of General Services; the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services; and the County Attorney’s office. The team is expected to finalize its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors over the next couple of months.
Linden Hall Farm barn restoration continues

In our August issue, we reported on the restoration of a 19th century barn on Linden Hall Farm on the Berlin Turnpike north of Lovettsville.  Co-owner Bart Hodgson reports further progress with the barn, the laying of a gravel floor.  Pictured is Fred Lee George III, caught in the act of putting down the gravel.  Mr Hodgson tells us that Fred would not accept payment for his work, so in lieu of payment, the Hodgsons will be making a donation to the Lovettsville Historical Society. For more on the Linden Hall restoration, click the link below.
See more photos of Linden Hall

Some reactions to "Aircraft piece from 1940 Lovettsville crash donated to Museum"

We have received some interesting responses to our article in last month's newsletter about the aircraft part from the August 31, 1940 plane crash near Lovettsville, which was donated to the Lovettsville Museum by Robert Zirkle and Carol Sue Zirkle of Shenandoah, Virginia.  

From Tom Hickman:

I remember vividly when the plane crashed when spending the summer with Aunt Mattie and Uncle Harry Hickman. What excitement plus that Sunday at New Jerusalem Church. The crash was the big topic well ahead of any comment on the sermon.

From William A. George:

Very interesting article about the plane donation to the museum.  Quite an acquisition and certainly glad the plane piece was not thrown away.  I don't know anything about a Righter family in Loudoun but I do remember going to high school (Loudoun Valley) with John Zirkle....  I can place a Zirkle family in Loudoun in 1966.  Not really important.  What is important is the piece has a home in Lovettsville.

Certainly was different back in the day when the locals could just walk thru and rummage among the wreckage!  You could not get anywhere near these days.  I remember [old-timer's name deleted] laughing that the plane wrecks were the only ones where the casualties carried no money!  No pocketbooks or cash was ever found at these sites!  Interesting observation.

For more on the story of the 1940 crash, see the documentary video shown as part of the LHS Lecture series in 2016, and other news articles and reports on our website.

Volunteers needed!

This year, put your enthusiasm for history and your talents to work for the Lovettsville Historical Society & Museum. Part-time volunteers are sought to help with:

  • Social media
  • Event planning and organizing, including use of video, streaming, and meeting platforms.
  • Museum guides and docents (we will train you)
  • Scanning documents into our digital data-base;
  • and lots of other things we haven’t even thought of, but you may have.

Contact us at


Nearby (virtual & in-person) events of interest:


Feb. 1–28 -- Thomas Balch Library Exhibit in Margaret Mercer Room - Friends of the Arcola Slave Quarters. Thomas Balch Library, 208 W Market St., Leesburg. call 703-737-7195 or email for more information.

Jan. 15, 2022 until Jan. 2023 – “Contributions: African Americans in the Shenandoah Valley.” African Americans have contributed to the shaping of the Shenandoah Valley for more than 300 years and their influence can be found throughout the MSV Collection. With art, objects, and documents, “Contributions” tells the stories of those who endured enslavement, resisted oppression, and achieved success. More than 40 significant African Americans in the northern Shenandoah Valley’s history—from the 1700s to today—are highlighted in the exhibition. On view through January 16, 2023, “Contributions” will be updated with new discoveries, ongoing research, and community collaborations. Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst St, Winchester, VA 22601


Thurs., Feb. 3, at 10 a.m. – INTRODUCTION TO GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH (Virtual). Norah Schneider, Thomas Balch Library Genealogy Associate, will discuss basic genealogical research methods, records, and sources for those just getting started researching their family history. Make sure to bring your questions. Pre-registration is required for this event. Please call 703-737-7195, email, or register online.

Fri., Feb. 4 at 1:00 p.m.-- “The Exception Not the Rule: Unanesthetized Surgery in the Civil War.” (Virtual event) Join us on Facebook for a livestream hosted by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Director of Education John Lustrea will talk with Membership and Development Coordinator Kyle Dalton about his research of Civil War surgeries on both sides that were conducted without anesthesia, and why this was a rare occurrence. You can tune in by visiting at the scheduled time.

Fri., Feb. 11 at 1:00 p.m. – “The French Connection – How the French Influenced the Civil War.” (Virtual event) Join us on YouTube for a livestream program hosted by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. John Lustrea, Director of Education, will discuss with volunteer Brad Stone the little known connections between France and the American Civil War. The French were instrumental in many medical developments that would make an impact on American soldiers who were fighting a Civil War across the Atlantic. John Lustrea and Brad Stone will discuss the impact French medical schools had on U.S. medical education, the influence of the Napoleonic War on treatment of casualties, and much more! You can tune in by visiting at the scheduled time.

Wed., Feb. 16, at 1:00 p.m. – “Between Freedom and Equality” (Virtual Event). Thomas Balch Library presents a panel discussion with authors Barbara Boyle Torrey and Clara Myrick Green and family members James Fisher and Tanya Gaskins Hardy. Between Freedom and Equality begins with the life of Capt. George Pointer, an enslaved African who purchased his freedom in 1793 while working for George Washington’s Potomac Company. It follows six generations of his descendants as they lived and worked on the banks of the Potomac, in the port of Georgetown, and in a rural corner of the nation’s capital. By tracing the story of one family and their experiences, Between Freedom and Equality offers a moving and inspiring look at challenges free African Americans have faced in Washington, DC, since the District’s founding. Pre-registration is required for this event. Please call 703-737-7195, email, or register online.

Wed., Feb. 16, at 6:30 p.m. – “Let the Records Speak: African American History at the Loudoun County Courthouse” (Virtual Program). African American history is intertwined with the Courthouse’s history through its laws and legal records, actions by judges and juries, and activities held on the grounds. Learn about the new brochure that documents the historic record from 1757 through the present day. Presented by: Gary Clemens, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Historic Records Division; and the Black History Committee of the Friends of the Thomas Balch Library. Go to:

Wed., Feb. 16, at 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – The United States Colored Troops. Roughly 209,000 Black troops fought for the Union Army and Navy in the Civil War. Author Bob O'Connor discusses his research, which uncovered the records of 2,642 Black troops who were prisoners of war and thousands of others who were casualties of major battles. Cascades Library, Meeting Room A.

Thurs., Feb. 17, at 12:00 p.m. – Lunch & Learn Webinar: “Sarah's Fight for Freedom” (Virtual Program) hosted by the Museum of the Shendandoah Valley, Winchester. Join MSV Curator of Collections Nick Powers for this online discussion about the life of Sarah, a woman enslaved by the Wood family of Glen Burnie in the late 1700s and early 1800s. When her legal right to manumission was challenged, Sarah turned to the courts to fight for her liberty in a case that ultimately challenged the system of slavery in the Shenandoah Valley. Pay what you can. Register by February 16; visit or call 540-662-1473, ext. 240. After registering, you will receive an email confirmation with the Zoom link for the program.

Wed., Feb. 23, at 12:00 p.m. – “In Their Own Voices” (Virtual program). For a little over half a century, black enslaved workers comprised a substantial part of the workforce at Catoctin Furnace. These workers were involved in every aspect of life in the village: some worked in the ironmaster’s manor house, some worked in the vineyards and fields of the furnace owners’ farms, and many worked in the furnace as miners, blacksmiths, colliers, founders, and forgeman. By the second quarter of the nineteenth century, it became more economical to hire free labor than to maintain a slave population, and, by the time of the Civil War, the number of enslaved workers in the village had declined sharply. Actors from Silver Oak Academy will portray young workers and servants in vignettes based on actual events in the village. Heritage recipes will be shared as part of the program. The virtual event will be premiered on the Catoctin Furnace You Tube Channel on February 23, 2022. Please visit the events page on for a link to the program. The ruins of historic Catoctin Furnace are located within Cunningham Falls State Park. “In Their Own Voices” partners include Frederick County Public Libraries and Harriet Chapel, Catoctin Episcopal Parish.

Wed., Feb. 23 at 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p..m. – Using Photographs for Research. Laura Christiansen, Curator of Manuscripts and Archives at Thomas Balch Library, introduces techniques and tools for locating and using archival photographs in your research. She focuses on finding and using photographs as evidence in both historical and genealogical research. Thomas Balch Library’s new online visual collections catalog will be featured. Rust Library, Leesburg, Large Meeting Room.

Wed., Feb. 23, at 7:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m. – Lincoln's Bodyguard. Abraham Lincoln's bodyguard spent every single day with the president except that fateful night at Ford's Theater. Author Bob O'Connor describes Ward Hill Lamon's relationship with Abraham Lincoln and why he wasn't there to protect him. Purcellville Library, Robey Meeting Room.

Thurs., Feb. 24, at 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. – The United States Colored Troops. Roughly 209,000 Black troops fought for the Union Army and Navy in the Civil War. Author Bob O'Connor discusses his research, which uncovered the records of 2,642 Black troops who were prisoners of war. His talk focuses on the records of soldiers born in Loudoun County. Ashburn Senior Center, 20880 Marblehead Dr., Ashburn.

Sat., Feb. 26, at 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. – “Rosa Parks and Friends,” Children’s program presented by Bright Star Touring Theatre (Virtual). Learn about the history and heroes of the Civil Rights Movement as you meet Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison and Sojourner Truth. The link to this program will be added before the program start time. Please visit and subscribe to our YouTube Channel – Loudoun County Public Library Online Programs – for more programs.

Visit the Lovettsville Museum

We are open to visitors on Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., or by appointment. Call 540-822-9194, or write to:
Explore Our Website
Membership Information
About Us
Our Mission:
The mission of the Lovettsville Historical Society is to foster a sense of place and community by preserving, protecting, and educating about the history and heritage of Lovettsville and the  German Settlement.  

   We achieve this by:
    1.  Operating, maintaining, and expanding the Lovettsville Museum in order to acquire, display, and preserve artifacts, documents, and records which relate to our local history;
    2.  Maintaining and operating a physical and online research library for use by historians, genealogists, and the public;
    3.  Educating the public about Lovettsville area history through programs, printed and online resource materials, and events.
Members and volunteers needed

The success of our mission relies heavily upon our membership, which provides the needed resources and also committed volunteers who share our passion for local history. Please encourage your friends, family, and others to join the Lovettsville Historical Society (LHS), or renew their annual membership, to ensure our continued success in preserving and promoting our local heritage.

There are many opportunities for members and others to participate in supporting the Lovettsville Historical Society and also meet others who share in our passion for preserving and promoting our local history. This includes volunteering to help with the museum, fundraising, organizing events, website and social media, and publicizing our activities.  We enjoy hosting special presentations for groups such as Scouts, school classes and tourists. Lastly, the donations of local historical artifacts such as family documents and pictures (or digital scans thereof), ensure that we can continue our efforts to expand our presentation of local genealogical information.

The Lovettsville Historical Society, Inc. is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions and membership dues are tax deductible under Internal Revenue Code Section 170.  The Society has been deemed to be exempt from registration under the Commonwealth of Virginia's charitable solicitation law.
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Lovettsville: The German Settlement is available for sale at the Lovettsville Museum.
 Archive of Back Issues
 In case you missed any past issues of our monthly newsletter, here are links to our recent Back Issues, for your reading enjoyment.

January 2022

December 2021
November 2021

October 2021 
September 2021
August 2021
July  2021

June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021

December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020

April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020

December 2019
November 2019 issue
October 2019 issue

September 2019
August 2019
July 2019 October 2018 
September 2018 
August 2018 
July 2018 
June 2018 
May 2018 
April 2018 
March 2018 
February 2018 
January 2018 

December 2017 
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017

If any of the above links don't work correctly, please let us know by email at
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