April 2019 Issue
In this issue:
  • Lecture April 14:  "The National Road:  The Road that Built a Nation"
  • Book Talk & Signing April 7:  "Hamilton versus Wall Street"
  • Upcoming lectures
  • More info on our 1762 stove plates
  • From the Archive: 1930s Schools Petitions
  • Feature:  Capt. Luther Slater: A Life of Service
  • History Mystery: "Stone Jail Street" in Lovettsville?
  • Nearby Events of Interest

Next in the Lovettsville Historical Society's
2019 Lecture Series:

"The Historic National Road--

The Road That Built a Nation"

Presented by Tiffany Ahalt

National Road Museum,

Boonsboro, Maryland

Sunday, April 14, at 2:00 p.m.


On Sunday, April 14, Tiffany Ahalt, the Marketing & Development Director for the National Road Museum in Boonsboro, will discuss the National Road, the nation’s first federal highway intended to expand and populate America’s untamed West. The National Road, which ran over 800 miles from Baltimore to Vandalia, Illinois near St. Louis, paved the way for hundreds of thousands of industrial migrants, whose search for a better life spurred economic growth and helped to unify the young nation.

In Frederick County and much of western Maryland, the National Road – also known as the “National Pike,” follows Md. Route 144 and U.S. Route 40 (or Alt. 40). Then through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, it roughly follows U.S. 40 – although travelers today mostly zip by on Interstates I-68 and I-70, paying no attention to the national treasure just a short distance away.

During the “Heyday” of the National Road (1810-1850), it was a primary east-west route and the gateway to the “Old Northwest.” During that period, many people from the Lovettsville area and “the German Settlement” traveled westward along the National Road, and their descendants can still be found in east-central Ohio, in communities along old U.S. 40. Mileposts, mile houses, inns and taverns, and stone arch bridges from this period still line the road.

Mrs. Ahalt will discuss the significance of the National Road during the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as its importance during the Civil War.

She will also tell us about the National Road Museum in Boonsboro, Maryland's first museum dedicated to the Historic National Road, and we will also hear about new displays and programming.

The mission of the museum, slated to open in early 2020, is to:

  • First, ensure future generations have an appreciation and understanding of the impact of the National Road on local, state and national history;
  • Second, preserve the historical and cultural perspectives of historic roads for future generations;
  • Third, to collect, restore, present and preserve artifacts through exhibits, programs, and special events for the local and nearby communities , and for byway enthusiasts.

The lecture will be held at St. James United Church of Christ at 10 East Broad Way in Lovettsville. The program will be followed, as is customary, by questions and discussion.

Admission is free, but donations and are welcome to defray expenses of the program and to support the activities of the Lovettsville Historical Society.

For more information, visit or email



Nancy B. Spannaus

Lovettsville Museum

Sunday, April 7,
at 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

On Sunday April 7, Lovettsville author Nancy Spannaus will discuss and sign her new book, Hamilton Versus Wall Street: The Core Principles of the American System of Economics at the Lovettsville Museum, from 3 to 5 pm. Mrs. Spannaus, a member of the Lovettsville Historical Society, will also be available to sign books on Saturday, April 6, at the same time and place.

Hamilton Versus Wall Street is focused on the major contributions that Alexander Hamilton made to creating and building the American nation, and how those principles can be applied today. Using Hamilton’s major state papers, especially his Report on Manufactures, Mrs. Spannaus elaborates on the key elements of his system, and then pursues the trail of those great American statesmen who implemented his American System: John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Richard Sylla, author of Alexander Hamilton, The Illustrated Biography, has described Spannaus’s book as follows:

“In our time of crumbling infrastructure, anemic economic growth, and dysfunctional government, Spannaus points to a better path, the American System of economic policy initiated by Alexander Hamilton more than two centuries ago. Hamilton encouraged long-term investment and productivity growth, and discouraged short-term speculation and financial instability. His policies made America great, and a return to them can make America great again.”

Hamilton Versus Wall Street will be available for purchase at the Lovettsville Museum. It can also be ordered from and Barnes & Noble. In soft cover or e-book.
Upcoming Lectures and Events
May 11,  at 3-5 pm -- Author book signing:  "1777 -- Danbury on Fire! A novel of the American Revolution for young folk and historians, by M. B.  H.  Hughes. (at the Lovettsville Museum)

May 19 “American Indians and Early Explorers in the Potomac-Loudoun Area.”  Renowned map-maker and local historian Eugene Scheel will present his latest map, depicting early explorers (1692-1716), and American Indian villages and farms,  in the Potomac River/Loudoun County area.

June 9  "
A Conversation with Walter Fleming."  Lifetime resident Walter Fleming will discuss growing up on a farm near Lovettsville during the Great Depression, what farm work was like in the 1930s and ‘40s, going to school in a one-room school house, walking to Brunswick and playing in the railroad yard, and many things that kids -- and adults -- here today could never imagine.

July 14 -- “Making Something Out of Nothing: Geniuses of the Frontier - James Rumsey and John H. Hall.” Jim Surkamp will discuss how the frontier tradition of making do and being resourceful, gave the world the seed of modern steam technology and the American Factory system, with a focus on Shepherdstown steamboat inventor James Rumsey, and John M. Hall, who developed mass-production of rifles at the Harper's Ferry Arsenal.
August 11 --  Daniel Morgan: American Rifleman Commander, a profile of one of General Washington’s most successful commanders of the Revolutionary War, presented by Randall Flood, an instructor at the American Revolution Museum in Yorktown, and CEO and Co-Founder of the American Revolution Institute for Civic Education. 
Sept. 8 -- "The Shenandoah Valley's German Heritage" presented by Karen Good Cooper, president of the Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum in Shenandoah County, Va.  Mrs. Cooper will describe how the German settlers in the Valley (and in the Lovettsville German Settlement), brought their ideas, methods, and customs to this area, and how the “Shenandoah Deutch” affected so much of how we behave and work today.

Oct. 13 – “Germanna 101: the Story of Virginia’s First German Settlement.” Ashley Abruzzo, Germanna Foundation Membership Development Manager and Germanna descendant, presents an overview of of the Germanna Colony's history starting in 1714, how the Germanna Foundation was created, and its present-day mission to preserve, protect, and educate on Virginia's early German heritage.
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More information discovered
about our @1762 iron stove plates

One of the plates from our five-plate jamb stove at the Lovettsville Museum

We recently saw a chimney with an opening for a five-plate jamb stove, at the Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum near Toms Brook, Virginia.

As we reported in our last issue, the earliest German-American artifact in the Lovettsville Museum is a five-plate jamb stove, one of the plates of which is shown here, with an inscribed date of 1762.  This was found near Long Lane. We have traced back the property, and have discovered that the first German-American to own this property was Jacob Potterfield (1767-1815). Jacob was a son of Hans Adam Bottenfeld (1725-1804), and grandson of Johannes Bottenfeld (1688-1785) who emigrated from Bottenfeld, Hesse, in the German Palatinate.

Johannes and sons Hans Adam and Philip arrived in Pennsylvania in 1750, and lived in York County, Pa. (just west of Lancaster). Johannes and Hans Adam came to Loudoun around 1770 and bought property at the foot of the Short Hill, along what is now Long Lane.  Hans Adam bought 130 acres of farm land plus a 28-acre wood lot on the mountain. 

Jacob purchased an additional 272 acres in 1813, near the other Potterfield property on Long Lane. This is where the stove plates were found on the ground a few years ago, being used as paving stones.

Five-plate jamb stoves were replaced by free-standing six-plate stoves, and then by 10-plate stoves in the 1770s. The earliest Potterfield will we have found which mentions a stove is the 1823 will of Jacob's brother Henry which lists two ten-plate stoves valued at $20.00.

Click below for our earlier story on the stove plates.
Keep Reading
From the Archives:
More Lovettsville School Petitions
from the 1930s
The Edwin Washington Project has located many parents' petitions from the 1930s. This was of course the time of the Great Depression, when resources were scarce all around. Many of the petitions from parents of African-American children dealt with school conditions -- since schools for white and "colored" students were not only separate, but quite unequal.

This was also a  period of school consolidation in Loudoun County, which was the subject of many of the petitions from white parents, often concerning transportation issues. We featured some of these petition in previous issues of this newsletter.

The list reprinted below appears to be a list of children (with their ages) who attended the Lovettsville Colored School around 1934; parents listed are Cecil Berry, Ray Anderson, Rosa Moten, Addie Nickens, Lula Brown, and Charlie Wallace. Also listed are two Hogan children.
We don't know why this list was prepared, or whether it was part of a petition.

African-American children living in Lovettsville attended the school in the African Chapel (AME church), at the intersection of the Berlin Turnpike and West Broad Way. For more information on thee African Chapel, see Claudette Bard's article "My Memories of Lovettsville
and the African Chapel," in our May 2018 newsletter, and also the Edwin Washington Project's page on the Lovettsville Colored School, here.

Petitions are provided courtesy of the Edwin Washington Project.

Capt. Luther W. Slater:
A Life of Service

By Edward Spannaus

Luther Slater is the only commissioned Union officer from the Civil War who is buried in Lovettsville. He was the highest-ranking elected officer in the Independent Loudoun Rangers, and but for his serious and disabling wounds, he almost certainly would have become its commanding officer over time. After the Civil War he served as Lovettsville postmaster for two years, and then accepted a position in the War Department in Washington, where he remained for over forty years, first in the medical corps, and then as a top official in the Records and Pension Office. Here is his story – an updated version of a lecture given to the Lovettsville Historical Society on August 14, 2011.
Read More

Lovettsville History Mystery:

"Stone Jail Street" --

What's that all about?

In the new Keena development behind the 1836 Taproom, the plans show a number of new streets.  One of the new streets, running from the cul-de-sac on Frye Court to Locust Street (shown here under construction), is called "Stone Jail Street"?  Do you know why?  Send your answer to
Nearby Events of Interest
Mon., April 1, at 7 p.m. -- “Hagerstown Railroading from the Franklin Railroad to the Present."  Presented by Randy Anderson.  100 South Potomac Street, Hagerstown, MD

Sat.–Sun., April 6-7 -- Civil War medical care comes to life at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, in a special living history event featuring the Blue and Gray Hospital Association. Members of the Blue and Gray will be at the museum throughout the day describing the medical history of America’s bloodiest conflict. Dressed in Civil War-attire and armed with period medical equipment, the unit brings a unique perspective to understanding the conflict. The Blue and Gray Hospital Association are a Civil War living history organization that includes members from PA, MD, VA, & WV. Founded January 1, 2012, the Blue and Gray participate in a variety of different educational activities which include living histories, historical workshops, field trips, lectures and presentations. The association includes a medical staff, a chaplain, privates, nurses, laundress, seamstresses, and cooks. Included with Admission to the Museum; FREE for members of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. 48 East Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21701.  For more info, call 301-695-1864.
Monday, April 8, at 5:00 and 7:00  p.m. – “Tolson's Chapel and African Americans' Pursuit of Freedom and Equality After the Civil War." What was life like for free and previously enslaved African Americans after the Civil War ended? How did they adapt to an entirely new world order and how did they take control of their lives and their education?  Please join us to learn how African Americans’ experiences in Sharpsburg and the modest but powerful institutions they built resonate in the history of our nation. Tolson’s is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a Reconstruction-era African American church, cemetery, and school from the Reconstruction era.
              First, Edie Wallace, President of Friends of Tolson’s Chapel, will offer a special opportunity to see inside the historic church, school, and cemetery and experience its sense of place. On this one hour tour, she will provide highlights of its history and the Friends’ years of work to preserve it. 5:00-6:00 PM at  Tolson’s Chapel and School, 111 E High St, Sharpsburg, MD 21782. Contact: Edie Wallace,
              Second, Historian and author, Evelyn D. Causey, will present an illustrated history of Tolson’s Chapel & School and tie it to important trends happening across the southern and border states following the Civil War. She will explain why Tolson’s is an outstanding example of the widespread and nationally significant movement within African American communities to build their own churches, schools, and cemeteries during Reconstruction. Institutions such as Tolson's Chapel and School formed the backbone of African American life throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries and sparked a revolution in public education in the South. 7:00 pm, at Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center, 5831 Dunker Church Rd, Sharpsburg, MD 21782. 301-432-5124 
Wed., April 10, at 7:30 p.m. – Harpers Ferry Civil War Roundtable: “William Powell the Iron Man” presented by Richard A. Wolfe. William Powell was born in Wales and immigrated to the United States at a young age. Powell became an engineer and executive in the iron industry. He recruited a company in the 2nd West Virginia Cavalry becoming its captain. He rose to the rank of colonel commanding the 2nd Cavalry. Powell Commanded a brigade and then a division earning a promotion to Brigadier General. By the end of the war he was appointed a Brevet Major General. And along the way he was wounded, captured, and earned the Medal of Honor. A family-style meal will be served at 6:30 PM prior to the program. The cost of the meal is $15.00 per person. Reservations for the meal must be made no later than Sunday, April 7th with Christopher Craig or call at 304-433-1260. Dinner 6:30 PM; Program 7:30 PM. Camp Hill Methodist Church, Harpers Ferry, WV.
Thurs., April 11, at 7:00 p.m. -- "The U.S. Constitution and Secession: A Documentary Anthology of Slavery and White Supremacy." Five months after the election of Abraham Lincoln, Confederates fired on Fort Sumter and the fight for the Union began in earnest. This documentary reader offers a firsthand look at the constitutional debates that consumed the country in those fraught five months. At issue in these debates is the nature of the U.S. Constitution with regard to slavery. Editor Dwight Pitcaithley provides expert guidance through the speeches and discussions that took place over Secession Winter (1860–1861)—in Congress, eleven state conventions, legislatures in Tennessee and Kentucky, and the Washington Peace Conference of February, 1861. The anthology brings to light dozens of solutions to the secession crisis proposed in the form of constitutional amendments—90 percent of them carefully designed to protect the institution of slavery in different ways throughout the country. And yet, the book suggests, secession solved neither of the South’s primary concerns: the expansion of slavery into the western territories and the return of fugitive slaves. What emerges clearly from these documents, and from Pitcaithley’s incisive analysis, is the centrality of white supremacy and slavery—specifically the fear of abolition—to the South’s decision to secede. Dwight T. Pitcaithley is a college professor of history at New Mexico State University. He is a former chief historian of the National Park Service. Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education, 213 N. King Street, Shepherdstown, WV. This event is free but REQUIRES AN RSVP. To reserve your seat, please contact Jody Brumage at or 304-876-5648.
Sat., April 13, 9:30 a.m. -- Walking Tour of Culp's Hill and Soldiers' Letters Interactive Program, Gettysburg.   Dr. James Broomall (Shepherd University), Dr. Peter Carmichael (Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College), and NPS Ranger Chris Gwinn (Gettysburg National Military Park) will lead a walking tour of Culp's Hill at Gettysburg National Military Park. This event is free and open to the public. Those wishing to attend should meet at Spangler's Spring in Gettysburg National Military Park at 9:30am. The walking tour will return to Spangler's Spring and conclude at 12:30pm. Participants should wear appropriate footwear for a three hour walking tour on the battlefield.
              At 1:30pm, Dr. Broomall, Dr. Carmichael, Ranger Chris Gwinn, and John Heckman (The Tattooed Historian) will lead an interactive program featuring voices from the Battle of Gettysburg. This program is free, open to the public, and will take place at the Gettysburg Heritage Center located at 297 Steinwehr Avenue, Gettysburg, PA. Many thanks to Gettysburg National Military Park, Shepherd University, Gettysburg College, and the Gettysburg Heritage Center for sponsoring the day's events. For up-to-date information, please visit the Facebook event page at
Thurs., April 18, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.: Virginia in the American Revolution. Trace the rich history of the American Revolution in Virginia, including the role of Loudoun County, over the ten-year period from 1774-1783. Discover the three phases of the conflict from the Fight for Freedom to Fortifying the Frontier to Impeding the Invasion. Presented by Jeff Thomas, Vice President of the Virginia Sons of the American Revolution, at Dragon Hops Brewery, 130 E Main St., Purcellville. 21+
Thurs., April 18 at 6:45 p.m. -- “Evading Capture: Union Cavalry Escape from Harper's Ferry, September 14, 1862.”  Frederick County Civil War Roundtable. The presentation covers the key players involved in organizing and carrying out the escape, the escape route, the capture of a confederate ammunition train, and those who were credited with planning the escape. Free for members, $5 suggested donation for non-members.  National Museum of Civil War Medicine, 48 East Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21701
Sat., April 27, 9 a.m. -12 p.m. -- Leesburg WalkingTour. James Roberts, a native of Leesburg, former member of Thomas Balch Library Advisory Commission, 2008 recipient of a Loudoun History Award, and recognized in 2011 by Loudoun Laurels, will lead a walking tour of Leesburg. The tour is an insider’s commentary of local people, places, and points of interest both in and around Leesburg. Particular detail is paid to how Leesburg has grown and evolved through the years architecturally, economically, and racially. Factual, historical, and anecdotal information is intertwined and presented in storytelling fashion as only someone who lived through it and thoughtfully observed it, can do. This unique tour will leave from Thomas Balch Library parking lot at 9 AM. Note: This tour requires good walking shoes. Thomas Balch Library, 208 W. Market Street, Leesburg, VA. 703-737-7195.
Sat., April 27, at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. – Frederick Douglass in Frederick and Washington Counties, Md.  Historian and journalist John Muller will tell of the little-known history of Frederick Douglass' post-Civil War appearances in Frederick and Washington Counties. Muller's new book is "Frederick Douglass in Washington, D. C. : The Lion of Anacostia." Talks at 11:30 am and 2:00 pm. Newcomer House, 18422 Shepherdstown Pike, Keedysville, MD  240-308-1740
Mon., April 29, at 7 p.m. -- "Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War." Book Discussion and Signing with Dr. David Silkenat. Join the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War for Dr. David Silkenat's presentation of his latest book, "Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War." Dr. Silkenat will explore how the American Civil War began with a laying down of arms by Union troops at Fort Sumter, and it ended with a series of surrenders, most famously at Appomattox Courthouse. But in the intervening four years, both Union and Confederate forces surrendered en masse on scores of other occasions. Indeed, roughly one out of every four soldiers surrendered at some point during the conflict. In no other American war did surrender happen so frequently. Looking at the conflict from the perspective of men who surrendered, Silkenat creates new avenues to understand prisoners of war, fighting by Confederate guerillas, the role of southern Unionists, and the experiences of African American soldiers. The experience of surrender also sheds valuable light on the culture of honor, the experience of combat, and the laws of war. Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education, 213 N. King Street, Shepherdstown, WV.

Wed., May 22, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Thomas Balch Library Spring Seminar: German Genealogy. James Beidler, professional genealogist and instructor from Berks County, Pa., will present a four-session seminar on German immigrants and how to research them. Pre-registration is $20 for Friends of Thomas Balch Library, $25 for non-members, and $35 at the door. Seating is limited. For more information see
About Us
In 2019, the Lovettsville Historical Society & Museum continues its mission of preserving and promoting the heritage of Lovettsville, and also our surrounding area formerly known as “The German Settlement."  The success of our mission relies heavily upon on our membership, which provides the needed resources and also committed volunteers to share our 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 the 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.

Photographs, courtesy of Melani Carty.
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Lovettsville: The German Settlement is available for sale at the Lovettsville Museum.
 Archive of Back Issues
As a subscriber to our free monthly magazine, you get a sneak preview of the articles that we share throughout the month on our Facebook page and in the Lovettsville Mayor's Newsletter.  In case you missed a month, here are links to our Back Issues, for your reading enjoyment.
  October 2018 
September 2018 
August 2018 
July 2018 
June 2018 
May 2018 
April 2018 
March 2018 
February 2018 
January 2018 
December 2017 
November 2017
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