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November 2019 Issue
In this issue:
  • Nov. 10 Lecture: “The Lost History of Potomac Marble”
  • Dec. 15:  LHS Annual Meeting at Lovettsville Museum
  • The German-American Zweitürhaus in Lovettsville
  • Nearby events of interest
  • Archive of back issues

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

"The Lost History of Potomac Marble"

Presented by Paul Kreingold

Conservation Director of the Loudoun County Chapter
of the Izaak Walton League of America.

Sunday, November 10, at 2:00 p.m.

Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol: Columns made of Potomac Marble

When the Capitol of the United States was rebuilt after the British burned Washington in 1814, the famed columns in the old House and Senate chambers were built with what is called “Potomac Marble,” found on both sides of the Potomac River, in Loudoun County in Virginia, and in Montgomery and Frederick Counties in Maryland.

On November 10, naturalist and historian Paul Kreingold will tell how he rediscovered a number of these historical quarries, in the concluding presentation in the Lovettsville Historical Society’s 2019 Lecture Series.

Kreingold will tell the fascinating story of how the destruction of Washington in 1814 by the invading British challenged President James Monroe and his administration with the task of rebuilding the edifices which had been destroyed.  As did Washington and Jefferson earlier, they understood that the principal buildings of the United States government were not mere offices, but symbols of the aspirations of the Republic. These buildings had to be more than functional; they had to be beautiful. As classicists, their notions of beauty were derived from the ancient Greek and Roman Republics. 

Like the Greeks and Romans, the preferred building material was marble. The question was: where was such building material to be found?

The building material which was discovered and used was Potomac Marble, which exists in abundance on both sides of the Potomac River in this area, extending on the south to Leesburg and beyond. It is not actually marble, but a limestone conglomerate.  Architect of the Capitol Benjamin Latrobe and President Monroe rode all up and down Loudoun County opening up quarries, and despite many problems and political opposition, Latrobe was able to build the beautiful columns on the House and Senate sides from this marble.

In the process of his research,  Kreingold has re-discovered some of the 200-year old quarries, and has polished samples from these local quarries for display.

He will also discuss:
1. The step-by-step invasion of the British from the Patuxent River to DC.
2. The methods the British used to actually burn the stone buildings; after all, how do you burn stone?
3. How stone was quarried in the early 19th century, along with sample quarry tools; and
4. The utilization of George Washington’s Potomac Canal to ship the stone to D.C. for carving.

Kreingold is a certified Virginia Master Naturalist in the Banshee Reeks Chapter of the  Archeological Society of Viginia.  He is also the Conservation Director of the Loudoun County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America.   He has presented his findings to the Northern Virginia Mineral Club, and the Banshee Reeks Master Naturalists, among others.

The presentation will be held at St. James United Church of Christ, at 10 East Broad Way in Lovettsville.  The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations and are welcome to defray expenses of the program.  

For more information, visit or email

GoogleMap the Lecture Venue
Annual Membership Meeting of the
Lovettsville Historical Society

Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 2:00 pm
Lovettsville Museum
The Lovettsville Historical Society will hold its Annual Membership Meeting at 2:00 on Sunday, December 15, at the Lovettsville Museum, 4 East Pennsylvania Avenue in Lovettsville (in front of the Town Hall).
The meeting is open to all members and prospective members, and will include a report on the past year's activities and acquisitions, as well as upcoming events for 2019.  Elections for the 2019 Board of Directors will be held. Voting is restricted to paid-up members, so if you are not a member, or if your membership has lapsed, we urged you to join, or renew, today, using the button below, and your credit card.
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A Hidden Lovettsville Treasure:

The German-American Zweitürhaus

Why does that house have two front doors?
One little-known feature which gives the Lovettsville area a distinctive Germanic flavor, is the presence of a number of two-door houses – that is, two front doors – which are representative of the thousand-year old tradition of the German Two-Door House (Zweitürhaus).

In 1985-86, an architectural historian was researching German houses while doing graduate work at George Washington University.  After discovering that Lovettsville was a German-American town, the student, Dennis Domer, came out to conduct a survey to locate houses in this area with distinctive German architecture.  He was assisted in finding these houses by local residents Eliza Myers and Susanne George.

Domer’s particular interest was the Zweitürhaus, the “German Two-Door House,” which he and others have documented as going back over a thousand years in the Germanic areas of Europe. Domer located ten such houses in the Lovettsville/German Settlement area, and he went back and wrote a graduate paper which featured eight of the Lovettsville-area homes he had found.
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Nearby Events of Interest
Nov. 1–30 – Exhibit:  Illustrated Letters from the Rust Archives, by Laura Christiansen. Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg.
Fri., Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. -- Lost Legacy: The Untold Story of Slave Labor at Catoctin Furnace. Nearly four decades ago, a highway expansion project resulted in the excavation of 35 unmarked graves in Catoctin Furnace, a village near Thurmont, MD. Initial analysis identified the remains as Africans associated with the late 18th and early 19th century operation of the Catoctin Furnace iron works. Additional research has enabled us to learn about the life histories of these individuals and their involvement in furnace operations. The event's speaker, archaeologist Elizabeth Comer, will bring to life the history of the Catoctin Furnace and the long-lost stories of these laborers and their families.  Myersville Fire Hall, 301 Main Street, Myersville , MD 21773. Call 301-508-7019
 Fri.-Sat., Nov. 1-2 at 9 a.m to 4 p.m. -- Sharpsburg Museum of History Open House. The Sharpsburg Museum of History invites the public to an open house on November 1 and 2, 2019 to mark the  will include exhibit space, storage and processing areas for artifacts, and an administrative office. Sharpsburg Town Hall, 106 East Main Street, Sharpsburg, Maryland. For more information, contact the museum's director, Ed Beeler, at (301-800-6877) or
Sat., Nov. 2, at 2:30 p..m. -- Gettysburg: The Aftermath. Director of the Blue and Gray Hospital Association Mark Quattrock discusses the aftermath of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War – Gettysburg – and the crisis that took place after both armies left Gettysburg. We will look at the factors which helped to create this crisis with our focus on the 23,000 Union and Confederate Wounded and the 200 Union and Confederate surgeons that stayed behind to treat them. Second, we will look Dr Henry Janes, the man who Dr Jonathan Letterman had put in charge of treating the wounded and transporting to General Hospitals. We will look at how he handled the crisis and the steps he took to take care of the wounded and the creation of Camp Letterman. Finally, we will look how the Aftermath still impacts us today when it comes to treating Battlefield casualties. Delaplaine Randall Conference, National Museum of Civil War Medicine,  48 East Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21701. Call 301-695-1864.
The program is included with admission and is FREE for museum members.
Sat., Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m. -- "Sword of the People" Play at the Old Opera House, Charles Town. A one-act play based upon the life and letters of John & Mary Brown. The time is the end of November, 1859. The place is the county jail in Charles Town, Virginia, (today West Virginia), and also the home of abolitionist Lucretia Mott near Philadelphia. John Brown has spent the last forty days of his life in the jail cell. During this time he has received many visitors, given interviews and composed over one hundred letters to acquaintances, friends, and members of his family, including his wife, Mary. Brown tells the audience his story, expounding on his life, his beliefs, and what he considers his God-given mission to destroy the evil of slavery. From another part of the stage Mary writes to him from Lucretia Mott’s home, where she has stopped on her journey to see him one last time. She also addresses the audience directly, telling the story of her life with her famous husband to "Mrs. Mott." Presented by: Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry Park Association and The Old Opera House (Proceeds benefit the park’s interpretive and educational programs.)  Old Opera House, 204 North George Street, Charles Town, WV.
Sun., Nov. 3, at 2:00 p.m. -- 27th Annual Loudoun History Awards. The Thomas Balch Library Commission presents the 27th annual Loudoun History Awards. This year’s honorees are Lee Lawrence and Carol Lee. The Loudoun History Awards honor individuals who have made significant contributions to preserving Loudoun County’s past through the collection of documents and memorabilia, preservation of historic landmarks, visual arts, writing, and long-time commitments to local history organizations. The public is cordially invited to attend the awards ceremony. Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg.
Mon., Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. -- Action Along the Track: The Civil War on the B & O’s Upper Potomac Line,  Part II: Paw Paw to Rowlesburg, by Steve  French.  As the B&O passed through remote sections of the Potomac Valley and across the Allegheny Mountains; it presented Rebel raiders excellent opportunities to strike at isolated Union outposts guarding the line. The talk will focus on Herculean efforts by Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley to stymie these lightening raids. Also included will be discussions of the Battle of Oldtown, MD, Rosser’s capture of New Creek,WV, McNeill’s attack on the shops at Piedmont, WV, and “Grumble” Jones’s raid on Oakland, MD and Rowlesburg, WV.  Hagerstown Library, 100 South Potomac Street, Hagerstown, MD.
Thurs., Nov. 7, at 10 a.m. -- Preservation for Home Archives.  Gabrielle Sanchez, Contract Archivist and former Library Reference Associate at Thomas Balch Library, will introduce participants to the basics of preservation and discuss the best ways to house and protect personal archives. Topics will include proper ways to handle letters, books, photographs, and other media; common conservation needs; threats to paper and electronic media; and the dangers of non-archival storage products. Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg.
Sat., Nov. 9, at 11 a.m., and Sun., Nov. 10, at 2 p.m. -- The history of the American Indians of Loudoun County, with Eugene Scheel. Noted historian Scheel will discuss the seven main tribal nations: the Sioux, Algonkian, Iroquois, Susquehannock, Conoy or Kanawha, Tuscarora, and Piscataway; where they lived, and during which years, their travel routes (plain paths), and what happened to each nation. He will also discuss the four earliest explorers routes, 1692-1712, each to find out 'what the Indians were up to.' Free materials will be given out, and Scheel will have his new American Indian map of Loudoun County for sale as well as the Civil War map and Potomac River map. The lectures will take place at the Rust Library, Leesburg, on Saturday at 11 a.m.; and at the Cascades Library in Lower Loudoun, on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. – Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable: Artillery at Antietam, with James Rosenbrock. Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg.

Thurs., Nov. 14, at 6:45 p.m. -- Frederick County Civil War Roundtable: The experiences of common soldiers. The constant marching and fighting during the Overland Campaign exposed soldiers to unrelenting physical and psychological pressures. To understand how these men coped with the stresses of war, Dr. Peter will focus on the experiences of three Union soldiers, relying heavily on their own written words to uncover their strategies for survival and their emotional responses to the killing fields of central Virginia. As an added benefit, Dr. Carmichael will bring copies of his recent book for purchase and autographing. Attendees may purchase the book for $25 (cash or check only); retail price is $35. Please note that this presentation will be at the C.Burr Artz Library, 110 E. Patrick Street,
Frederick, MD. Free for members, $5 suggested fee for non-members.
Thurs., Nov. 21, at 7:00-8:00 p.m. -- Oliver Wendell Holmes with Stephen Budiansky. Join celebrated author Stephen Budiansky as he discusses his latest book - a biography of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Learn about Holmes’s military career in the American Civil War, including his local connection to the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. A reception will follow the book talk, and books will be available for purchase. Loudoun Museum, 14 Loudoun Street S.W. Leesburg.  Tickets $10.00 and up.
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 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 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.
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