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April 2021 Issue
In this issue:
  • Young Visitors; Lovettsville Museum is open by appointment
  • The Strange Journey of the Hawker Log Store
  • Mount Sinai Cemetery families seek County assistance
  • Mount Sinai Church: A Forgotten Gem of Lovettsville History
  • Nearby (mostly virtual) events of interest
  • About us
  • Archive of back issues
Museum Visitors: Two young Lovettsville citizens, Colleen and Zoey, visited the Lovettsville Museum recently, accompanied by their friend, Stacey Thomas. As part of "remote learning," the girls were assigned to learn three things about Lovettsville. They left with that, and a lot more!

As long as the Covid-19 restrictions are in place, the Museum will remain open, but only by appointment. In this way, we are able to continue to serve the community and those seeking to do historical research on Lovettsville and the German Settlement.  Call 540-822-9194 for an appointment.
The Hawker Store building, now in Lovettsville

In our backyard:

The Strange Journey
of the Hawker Log Store 


By Sarah Searle 

When my husband and I purchased our small farmstead on Purcell Road, just outside the town limits of Lovettsville, it was through the eyes of two people who had grown up here and who were familiar with the types of buildings you might encounter in an area with historic rural heritage. Many farmsteads have a collection of buildings and outbuildings that span several eras. Ours was no different: a main house that dated to the turn of the century, some sheds most recently updated in the 1980s, and a log cabin that seemed the oldest of the structures — but that we knew very little about. Based on the huge American Chestnut timbers and the building style, it seemed reasonable that the cabin could have been the first structure built on our property, sometime in the 1700s or 1800s, perhaps — but we had no information about that upon purchase.

The cabin had clearly been maintained fairly recently. Its large hearth and chimney were in good shape and operational, it had electricity run out to it, and a few period furnishings transferred with the sale of the property, indicating that it had been used for family dinners or special occasions. The upstairs of the cabin was boarded off, in less good shape, with birds, mice, and other critters taking up residence.
Read more about the Log Store
Part of Mount Sinai Cemetery, with grave markers obscured by weeds and overgrowth, late 2020.
Family & Friends of Mount Sinai Cemetery seek assistance of Loudoun County
Board of Supervisors

The Family & Friends of Mount Sinai Cemetery, consisting of families of those buried in the Mount Sinai Free Will Baptist Cemetery near Lovettsville, as well as neighbors and others, have appealed to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors for assistance in their efforts to restore this cemetery, which has been abandoned and neglected over the years.

The Family & Friends group, operating under auspices of the Lovettsville Historical Society, is also partnering with the Loudoun Freedom Center and its Executive Director, Ron Campbell. The Loudoun Freedom Center has undertaken similar efforts with regard to neglected black cemeteries in Loudoun County.

After first bringing the Mount Sinai issue to the attention of Catoctin District Supervisor Caleb Kershner on February 15, the group then contacted Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall at the end of February. Chair Randall immediately referred the matter to the Loudoun County Heritage Commission, which advises the Board of Supervisors regarding preservation of historic properties and sites.

The Heritage Commission delegated the matter to its African-American Resources Protection subcommittee. The subcommittee invited the Family & Friends group to make a presentation at its March 16 meeting. The presentation was made by Claudette Bard (LHS Board Member who is related to some of those interred at Mount Sinai); Gilbert Timbers (related to Pvt. Samuel Timbers and others buried at Mount Sinai); and Ed Spannaus of the Lovettsville Historical Society (who has been researching the history of Mount Sinai). The meeting discussed various options for obtaining access to the property and for carrying out its restoration.

On April 6, the full Heritage Commission will hear a report from the subcommittee and will consider recommendations to be made to the Board of Supervisors.

Meanwhile, the Family & Friends group has obtained the property owners’ consent to begin cleaning and clearing the cemetery portion of the property, which is expected to begin this month. Over the long term, the group hopes to clear and restore the entire property, including the area around the old church foundation, so that this important facet of Lovettsville history will be hidden no more.

Contribution to support this effort may be made to the Lovettsville Historical Society, with the notation “Mount Sinai Cemetery.” The Lovettsville Historical Society is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


Mount Sinai Church:
A Forgotten Gem
of Lovettsville History

by Edward Spannaus
The abandoned Mount Sinai Church building, as it appeared before it was burned around 1980

The 19th-century Mount Sinai Free Will Baptist Church, at “Little Britain” southwest of Lovettsville, has a history which is unique among the churches – black and white – in Loudoun County.

Its origins were in the Free Will Baptists of New England, especially Maine, who formed an anti-slavery society in 1843, and were vigorous campaigners for abolition.  After the Civil War, the Free Will Baptists established Storer College in Harpers Ferry – which had strong ties to Mount Sinai in Lovettsville.

During the Civil War, some Free Will Baptists joined the Union Army as soldiers or chaplains, while others travelled to accessible areas in the South to open schools and churches for newly freed slaves. One of these was Rev. Nathan C. Brackett who, considered to be physically unfit for the army due to a bronchial condition, became an agent for the U.S. Christian Commission, and was assigned to Phil Sheridan’s Cavalry Corps in the lower Shendandoah Valley. At war’s end, Brackett located in Harpers Ferry to conduct missionary work among formerly enslaved persons.  Brackett used his dual positions with the Freedmen’s Bureau and the Free Will Baptist missionary society, to start a school for freed slaves. Brackett and his colleagues also established schools in Charles Town, Martinsburg, and Shepherdstown.

By 1867, the school at Harpers Ferry grew into a teachers college, first known as the Storer Normal School, and later as Storer College. Storer trained many teachers for the black schools in Loudoun County and elsewhere, and eventually developed into a full four-year college.

Simultaneously, the Harpers Ferry-based Free Will Baptists established churches. In 1868, the Harpers Ferry Quarterly Meeting of the Free Will Baptists was organized, with three congregations in the West Virginia panhandle; they eventually expanding into Maryland (Pleasant Valley) and Virginia, including Lovettsville.
Continue reading about Mount Sinai history

Nearby (mostly virtual) events of interest:


April 1 to April 30 – Exhibit: “Gallivanting Around the World: Trinkets and Souvenirs from the Morven Park Collection.” The exhibit will be on display at Thomas Balch Library through the month of April. Appointments can be made for Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10AM to 12PM, and 1PM to 3PM. Please call 703-737-7195, email, or fill out a request here.

Opens April 9 – New Exhibition at Loudoun Museum “A Fragile Republic: 1800 – 1825.” The conclusion of the American Revolution ended a war for independence against Britain, but began an internal struggle over the new nation’s identity. “A Fragile Republic: 1800 -1825” explores the political and social environment of this period locally, nationally, and globally. Opens to the public Friday April 9, 2021. Hours of Operation: Friday-Sunday, 10AM- 4PM. Loudoun Museum, 16 Loudoun St. SW, Leesburg.


Mon., April 5 at 7:00 p.m. – “Targeted Tracks: The Cumberland Valley Railroad in the Civil War, 1861-1865” (Livestreamed), by Scott Mingus. The Cumberland Valley Railroad connected Hagerstown, Maryland, to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Its location enhanced its importance during some of the Civil War’s most critical campaigns. Because of its proximity to major cities in the Eastern Theater, the CVRR was an enticing Confederate target. As invading armies jostled for position, the CVRR’s valuable rolling stock was never far from the minds of Rebel leaders. Northern military and railway officials knew the line was a prized target and coordinated—and just as often butted heads—in a series of efforts to ensure the railroad’s prized resources remained out of enemy hands. When they failed to protect the line, as they sometimes did, Southern horsemen wrought havoc on the Northern war effort by tearing up its tracks, seizing or torching Union supplies, and laying waste to warehouses, engine houses, and passenger depots. This virtual program is presented as part of the John C. Frye Western Maryland Room's annual McCauley Historical Lectures series. This program will be livestreamed at WCFL videos and does not require prior registration or a Facebook account. It will become available at 7:00 pm on April 5, and remain available for some time. Washington County Free Library, Hagerstown.

Wed., April 7 at 7:00 p.m. – “Band of Strangers” with Jim Cullen. (Online) The story Band of Strangers, a World War Two Memoir of the Battle of the Bulge, is gripping in its honest depiction of war from the perspective of a young man dropped into the chaos of battle. Nothing was familiar, not even the men on either side of him. What sets Band of Strangers apart from other World War II stories is that it addresses the unrecognized, but vital, Army Combat Replacements. The author’s squad, 2nd squad, 1st Platoon of the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment were complete strangers who met for the first time on the battlefield. These men had not trained together, never marched together in formation, never heard company reveille together, never drank together, never learned each other’s strengths nor weaknesses. Despite the fact they were strangers, they knew what they had to do, and they pulled together to get it done. US Army Heritage Center. Register here.

Thurs., April 8 at 7:00 p.m. – History on Tap: “April Fools.” Online presentation from the Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area. The historians take a look at some of history's greatest blunders and mistakes. This program will be presented live on the VPHA Facebook page .

Fri., April 9 at 1:00 p.m. – “Invisible Wounds: A Perspective on Mental Health Issues During the Civil War.” The knowledge, diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues were basically non-existent during the American Civil War. As a result, great damage was inflicted on thousands of soldiers as well as civilians, endangering the overall war effort and increasing postwar societal upheaval. This digital program examines the extreme psychological stress suffered by the average Civil War soldier and compares that experience to today’s understanding and treatment of trauma-induced mental health issues. Special emphasis will be given to the condition we now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).You can tune in live by visiting at the scheduled time. National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Frederick.

Sun., April 11 at 4:00-5:30 p.m. – Waterford WalkingTour. Offered as part of Virginia Architecture Month. Organized by the Historic Waterford Foundation, this in-person walking tour will focus on the history and architecture of the village of Waterford over time. Settled by Quakers in the 1730’s, Waterford was a farming community with wheat mills built along the creek. By the early 19th century, the town was a commercial center with structures that often served as both a dwelling and business. The town has an extraordinary collection of original 18th- and 19th-century buildings. The majority of existing houses were built before 1861. Due to the high degree of integrity, the village is designated as a National Historic Landmark District. Open to the public. 1.5 LU|Elective. $20, Registration required.

Wed., April 14 at 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – On Tour with the National Museum of Civil War Medicine at Harpers Ferry (Virtual Program) Education Coordinator John Lustrea and NPS Ranger Jeff Bowers will take virtual viewers to important medical sites at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park for the premiere of the Museum’s “On Tour” series. Together they will highlight locations around the park related to medical care throughout the Civil War. From field hospitals to contraband camps and beyond, there are many medical sites to showcase. Viewers will also have the chance to see inside buildings normally closed to the public. To give the team time to move around the battlefield, there will be a few short breaks throughout the program. Send us your questions in advance on Facebook or by email ( and tune in to the Museum’s Facebook page for what is sure to be an exciting program. During this FREE program, you’ll hear about different aspects of healthcare on the front lines and in hospitals during the most destructive conflict in our nation’s history that continues impact us today. We are here to answer your questions about Civil War medical care! You can tune in live by visiting at the scheduled time.

Wed., April 14 at 6:00 p.m. – Walking Tour of Old Winchester. The Harpers Ferry Civil War Round Table sponsors a tour of Civil War Winchester at 6 pm, Wednesday, April 14, meeting at the pedestrian mall entrance of the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum (old Court House), 20 N. Loudoun St., Winchester. Note that extra time will be needed to park off-site and walk to the meeting place. Our guide, Jerry Holsworth, will lead us around Old Town Winchester, with a focus on sites that made the city a crucial part of the Civil War story. After the walking tour (around 7:30), there is an opportunity for a curator-guided tour inside the nearby Stonewall Jackson Headquarters Museum at a charge of $4/person. This will only be offered if an ample number reserve, so indicate your desire for this extra experience when you reserve your space for the walking tour. This tour will involve walking and standing on flat, paved surfaces. Masks are required, and social distancing will be encouraged. There is no charge for the walking tour, but reservations are required and numbers will be limited. To reserve your space, contact Chris Craig at or 304-433-1260.

Thurs., April 15 at 10:00 a.m. – Researching Using Court Records, A Virtual Workshop. Jeanette Irby, Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge and former Leesburg Town Attorney will discuss how to use court records and other resources for data that are frequently overlooked in genealogical and historical research. Irby will demonstrate how to mine court records for clues that can be used to collect information for genealogical research. Examples of these records include real estate records, chancery suits, estates, and indexes. This is a virtual class that will be offered online. Registration is required. Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg.

Thurs., April 15 at 12:00 noon–1 p.m. – Lunch and Learn: “Conflicts of Liberty.” In this online program, MSV Curator of Collections Nick Powers discusses “A Dissertation on Slavery: With a Proposal for the Gradual Abolition of It in the State of Virginia” by St. George Tucker, published in 1796. Nick will explore the origins of this document, the principles of liberty expressed during the American Revolution, and how Macky, a Winchester physician and Revolutionary War veteran, came to own it. Pay what you can. Register by April 14; register online or call 540-662-1473, ext. 240. You will receive an email with a Zoom link before the date of the program. Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester.

Sun, April 18, 4:00-5:30 p.m. – Waterford Walking Tour - Black History Sites. Offered as part of Virginia Architecture Month. Organized by the Historic Waterford Foundation, this in-person walking tour will focus on the history and architecture of the village of Waterford, focusing on Black History Sites. Waterford was within the part of Loudoun County known as the Underground Railroad route. It was also a haven for free Blacks. Settled by Quakers, the village offered more opportunities for African Americans than most other places in the south. Black historic sites in the village are numerous, and include Second Street School, a one-room school funded by Quakers; a Freedmen's Bureau which served Black residents from 1867 to 1957; and the John Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church, a Gothic Revival church built by and for African Americans in 1891. The town has many other well preserved homes and workplaces where free and enslaved African Americans lived and worked. Open to the public. 1.5 LU|Elective. $20, Registration required.

Thurs., April 22 at 7:00 p.m. – “A Stitch In Time.” Online presentation from the Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area. Our panel of local experts explore the fascinating history and traditions of sporting clothing through the ages, as well as its contemporary manufacture and wear. Panel includes Mark Metzger of Highcliffe Clothiers, Christopher Wilson of Hunt Country Clothiers, and Devon Zebrovious of the Side Saddle Chase Foundation. This program will be presented live on the VPHA Facebook page and will also be available on our YouTube channel after broadcast.

Sat., April 24 at 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – “Trails Less Traveled:” 19th Century Virginius Island Tour. This hike will take visitors past ruins of factories and dwellings, discussing how the island—now consumed by nature—was once a thriving industrial and residential community. As a bonus, expect an abundance of Virginia bluebells to adorn the way. Our leader is David Gilbert, author of A Walker’s Guide to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia; and Waterpower: Mills, Factories, Machines, and Floods at Harpers Ferry. 1 mile, rated EASY, with no elevation gain, but on dirt paths over uneven terrain. Proceeds from this program benefit the Harpers Ferry Park Association’s ongoing mission of supporting the park’s interpretive and educational programs and providing aid to conservation and preservation projects. $10 Donation Per Person, Open to Public, includes Virginius Island Trail Guide. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there are limited spaces available. Registration is required. We also require masks and social distancing measures to keep our guides and visitors safe. For more information and registration, go here.

Wed., April 28 at 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – “The French Paradox” (A Wine County Mystery, 11) - A Virtual Conversation. Join Ellen Crosby in a virtual conversation with Thomas Balch Library Director, Alexandra S. Gressitt, about the art of writing and her latest Wine County Mystery: The French Paradox. In this volume Lucie Montgomery's discovery of her grandfather's Parisian romance unlocks a series of shocking secrets in a gripping new Wine Country mystery. Ellen Crosby is the author of the Virginia wine country mystery series; her latest book, The French Paradox will be released in the US on 6 April 2021. Register in advance for this program:

Wed., April 28 at 7:00 p.m. – Danger 79er: The Life and Times of Lieutenant General James F. Hollingsworth (Online) with Dr. James H. Willbanks. Lt. Gen. James F. Hollingsworth was a three-time recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross along with four Silver Stars, six Purple Hearts, and a host of additional medals and commendations. In World War II, while leading tanks in Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army, Hollingsworth encountered dug-in German defenders. He lined up his thirty-four tanks and issued a command rarely heard in modern warfare: Charge! Patton later recognized Hollingsworth as one of the two best armored battalion commanders in the war. Twenty years later, Hollingsworth served in Vietnam, where he became identified by the radio call-sign of “Danger 79er,” a designation that remained for the duration of his career. He later served in South Korea commanding I Corps (ROK/US) Group, the largest combined field army in the world. Even after retirement from active duty, Hollingsworth continued to serve as a military adviser during the Cold War. US Army Heritage Center. Register here.

Fri., April 30 at 12:00 p.m. – “Indignant, Excited, Alarmed” – Clara Barton and the Pratt Street Riot. A virtual program hosted by Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. After the bloodshed in Baltimore on April 19, 1861, wounded soldiers of the Sixth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry made their way to Washington in need of medical care. Join Director of Interpretation Jake Wynn of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine as he explores the experiences of Clara Barton in the aftermath of the Pratt Street Riot. You can tune in live by registering in advance. Click here to register.

The 2020-2021 Issue of the Bulletin of Loudoun County History is Now Available

The Bulletin began in the 1950s and through its own history has published ground breaking research papers. In this issue, the Bulletin explores the People Enslaved by President Monroe, a lynching in the 1930s, the County Poor House Farm of Loudoun, the Struggle by Black teachers for Salary Equality, and Suffrage in Loudoun.                                                                                                                                                        
This issue also contains articles by two members of the Lovettsville Historical Society: "Loudoun County: Federalist Stronghold," by Nancy Spannaus; and "Loudoun Ranger Reunions," by Edward Spannaus. 

The new issue is on sale at the Lovettsville Museum, and is also available from
Visit the Lovettsville Museum

We are open to visitors by appointment. Call 540-822-9194, or write to:
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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.
*   *   *   *   *

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.

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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