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May 2020 Issue
In this issue:
  • Closings and Openings
  • More great history resources online 
  • Community Center update 
  • History Feature: Loudoun County: Federalist Stronghold in Virginia
  • About us
  • Archive of back issues

Closings ...  and Openings

Under the provisions of Governor Northam's March 23 and March 30 Executive Orders, the Lovettsville Museum must be closed through June 10, and thus our April and May lectures -- and maybe more after that -- have been cancelled. We will keep you advised as soon as we are able to resume normal activities. 

Meanwhile, exciting new opportunities are opening up to dive into history online, from the convenience of your home.  Many libraries and history organizations have gone to great effort during this public health emergency, to present virtual lectures and other events, and to post many more videos on their websites.  In this newsletter, we will continue to point out some of these online resources.

And, since our April 19 lecture on "Loudoun County: Federalist Stronghold in Virginia," by Nancy Spannaus, had to be postponed,  Nancy agreed to write an article on the subject, which we publish below as our History Feature.  And we hope to be able to hear Nancy live and in person later this summer or fall.

As soon as we can resume our lecture series and other activities, we will let you know.  Meanwhile, enjoy some of the online resources and history videos we've listed below!

More great history resources online

In last month's newsletter, Rich Gillespie introduced us to some fabulous online resources -- which we update and expand this month.

Rich started with our very own Lovettsville Historical Society website at, with old photographs, articles on Lovettsville and northern Loudoun history, videos of some of the most popular presentations given during the Lovettsville Lecture Series — and lot, lots more.

And then there's the Mosby Heritage Area Association (MHAA) website as well:  The "See it, Save it" blog has articles on a number of famous people, places, and events that took place in our region.
MHAA also has planned some upcoming virtual events:
May 3, 2:00 p.m. – “Saving Monticello” with Mark Leepson
May 7, 7:00 p.m. – “Historians on Tap: 1862 - 2 Hot to Handle” on the MHAA Facebook page.
MHAA has some great videos online, including one on the history of the Village of Aldie (April 24), and “John Lederer and the exploration of the Shenandoah” (April 20)

Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, has videos, stories, blogs, and tours to explore in Frederick County etc. Event calendar, with many on Facebook, is here.

National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick has many programs online, including lectures and “Virtual Q&A.” The partial calendar of events for May is here:


Military history:

The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, part of the Army War College at Carlisle PA is offering regular videos of lectures and webinars. Some examples of upcoming events:
May 20, 6:30 pm Original Americans: Native Americans in Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders During the Spanish-American War, Brooks E. Kleber Memorial Lecture Series with Dr. Mark Sheftall
Past lectures from the Army Heritage and Education Center are online here and here.
Videos of webinars from the Army Heritage Center Foundation, and dozens of military history videos are available online.
Video: ARMY NURSES OF WWI- Service Beyond Expectations


Library Databases:

Our own local history library, the Thomas Balch Library of History and Genealogy, has many databases available here, which can be accessed from your home.

The Loudoun County Public Library, the Frederick County Public Library, and others have expanded access to online databases, including and in some cases, which you can use from home.

The Washington County and Western Maryland Library website has an extensive digital collection, including materials related to Antietam.

Other general history resources:

The National Archives and the National Archives Foundation have lots of videos and documentary materials available online.

The Internet Archive has created a free National Emergency Library of 1.4 million digitized books.

Smithsonian magazine has compiled a collection of 68 online culture, history and science collections you can browse from the comfort of your living room.



Heritage Commission asks Supervisors to stop demolition of Lovettsville Community Center

    Adding pressure on the Board of Supervisors to halt the planned demolition of the Lovettsville Community Center building, the Loudoun County Heritage Commission sent a letter to the Supervisors on March 31 supporting the Lovettsville Historical Society and the Lovettsville Alumni Association in their efforts to save the historic sections of the building, and stating unequivocally that “we oppose demolition of the historic community center.” 

The Historical Society and the Alumni Association propose either building the new Community Center across the street on a portion of the Community Park site, while preserving the old building for community use, or renovating the old building as was the original plan, while preserving the old classrooms which date to the 1927-1940 period. 

Although there was some confusion in the April 29 Town Council candidates’ forum, we want to emphasize that no one is opposed to having a new Community Center. The issue is to stop the demolition of the historic section of the Community Center building where many Lovettsville residents and their parents and grandparents attended school. As stated in our own letter to the Board of Supervisors, “we believe the best plan would be to construct the new Community Center across the street, and then turn the old Community Center building over to either the Town of Lovettsville, or to a coalition of community groups, who would maintain and operate it.” 

The Heritage Commission is responsible for advising the Board of Supervisors on history and preservation issues, and has a special responsibility for making recommendations regarding county-owned historic properties. The Commission’s letter expresses its concern that the County violated its own policies when it decided in 2014 to demolition the Community Center building, by disregarding the County’s Historic Preservation Plan, which is part of the County’s Comprehensive Plan.  The Commission also notes that it was not consulted in the County’s discussions about the disposition of the historic building.  
Read the Heritage Commission letter
Lovettsville Historical Society
& Lovettsville Alumni Association
Letters to Board of Supervisors

The Lovettsville Historical Society and the Lovettsville Alumni Association have both sent their own letters to the Board of Supervisors, urging the Supervisors to halt the demolition of the old Lovettsville School classrooms which are now part of the Community Center building.

Both lettters can be read by clicking the butttons below.
Read the LHS letter to Board of Supervisors
Read the Lovettsville Alumni Association letter
Read more about the Lovettsville Community Center
History Feature:

Loudoun County:

Federalist Stronghold in Virginia
By Nancy Spannaus

In the Hamilton-vs.-Jefferson conflict that raged throughout America in the early Republic, there weren’t many parts of Virginia which consistently elected opponents of Thomas Jefferson, but one of them was Loudoun County. From the Constitutional ratification convention on into the late 1830s, Western Virginia, including Loudoun, served as a stronghold[ of the Federalist Party of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, and consistently elected proponents of the Federalist program of internal improvements to both Richmond and Washington. Loudoun County was considered the strongest Federalist center in the state.

While the names of the successful Federalist politicians may not be well known today, their accomplishments are all around us.  There’s the town of Middleburg and the Little River Turnpike, both founded by the man considered the founder of the Federalist Party here, Leven Powell. There’s the town of Aldie, founded by Federalist Charles Fenton Mercer, as well as the remnant of his most renowned accomplishment, the C&O Canal. There’s Nolands Ferry, whose owner William Noland was a Federalist delegate in Richmond … the list could go on and on.

These men were elected to the Virginia House of Delegates and the U.S. Congress, despite the virtual lock-grip on the political process by the Jeffersonian party through the courthouse system. To do that, they had to win the support of their fellow citizens, most of whom were small farmers. While the lists of those citizens are not currently available, I will focus in this report on the two most prominent leaders, Powell and Mercer.
Read More of this History Feature
Thanks to Dinner Belles Kitchen Cupboard and Back Street Brews  for providing coffee and snacks for our Open Houses at the Lovettsville Museum after the Feb. 9 and March 8 lectures. Both Dinners Belles and Back Street Brews are offering pick-up service during this time of social distancing:  Back Street Brews has window pick up, and Dinner Belles has curb-side pick up. We urge you to patronize our supporters and all our local businesses.
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.
*   *   *   *   *

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.
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