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December 2021 Issue
In this issue:
  • Christmas at Mount Sinai -- 1886
  • 'Tis the season for year-end giving
  • The Luther Potterfield Stable, and the Block That Was Too Big for Itself
  • Volunteers needed!
  • Nearby Events
  • About us
  • Archive of back issues

Merry Christmas from the Lovettsville Historical Society!

Christmas at Mount Sinai -- 1886
The following reports of activities at Mount Sinai Free Will Baptist Church, located at the intersection of Mountain Road and Britain Road southwest of Lovettsville, were published in the Loudoun Telephone in November and December 1886. The first article tells of a revival and described the progress in almost completing the construction of the church which began in 1886. The second tells us what Christmas celebrations were like at this now-forgotten African-American church. Read more about Mount Sinai Church here and here.
A Grand Revival.
            LEWISVILLE, VA., Nov. 12, ’86.   There has been a revival going on for two weeks, at Mt. Sinai Church, under the supervision of Rev. F.P. Lewis.  It has already resulted in the conversion of six souls, and more asking for mercy. Bro. Lewis has received eight for baptism, which will take place on the third Sabbath in this month, at 11 o’clock A.M., a short distance from the church. Bro. Lewis seems to be doing a good work here. Our church is completed excepting the benches, and we shall soon have them.
            JNO. W. PARKER, Ch. Clerk.

Christmas at Mt. Sinai.
            LEWISVILLE, Va., Dec. 25, ‘’86.—There was a Christmas tree at Mt. Sinai Free Will Baptist Church, on Christmas day, and a meeting of rejoicing all day; and at night, speaking and singing. After that the tree was picked. It contained beautiful presents for the Pastor and his family.  Mrs. F.M. Lewis, the Pastor’s companion, was presented with a handsome bed quilt. There were also nice presents for many others. It was a strange scene in this community. It was the first ever seen by many that were there. It was a day of great pleasure to all that were present. It seemed as if the whole community was changed from drunkenness to sobriety—not only to sobriety, but to christianity.  Bro. F.P. Lewis has been laboring with us for two years, and, thank God, his labor has not been in vain, for the Lord has blest him in all his efforts.  He has been the cause of our membership increasing from twenty to fifty and has by the assistance of God built us a beautiful little church. We all feel greatly indebted to him. May the Lord bless Bro. Lewis and crown him with success.
            J. W. PARKER.

'Tis the time for year-end giving

A generous member has recently made a substantial contribution of appreciated stock to the Lovettsville Historical Society, and we would like to encourage others to do the same. If you can donate it, we can handle it!

Contributions of money and of stock are always welcome, but especially now. The Covid pandemic has severely infringed on our revenue-generating activities such as lectures and special events – and of course on direct fundraising as well.

With our plans for expansion of the Museum proceeding, we will be gearing up fundraising for the Museum Expansion Fund, which we launched in 2016 in anticipation of either expanding our existing facility, or purchasing a new one. With the Town government’s enthusiastic response to our proposals for expanding our existing building as part of the Lovettsville Municipal Complex, we are hoping to be able to enlarge the present Museum over the next year or two. You can be part of this exciting venture!

Your contributions can be designated either for the Museum Expansion Fund, or for operating expenses.

The Lovettsville Historical Society has been designated as a charitable organization by the IRS and the Commonwealth of Virginia, and contributions are tax-deductible under the Internal Revenue Code.

Checks can be sent to: Lovettsville Historical Society, P.O. Box 5, Lovettsville VA 20180,. or contact us at, or call 540-822-9194..

History feature:

The Luther Potterfield Stable, and the
Block That Was Too Big for Itself

Some of you may have noticed the restoration work being done on the red barn at the corner of Locust Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. That structure was once a livery stable which was probably built or rebuilt by Luther H. Potterfield in the late 19th century – although there was already a stable on that site before Potterfield bought the property in 1878. Sometime in the 20th century various sheds were tacked onto it – including chicken coops and an outhouse, which have been removed over recent years by the owner. The recent removal of the shed on the front of the stable restores it to its original footprint.

The structure is referred to as a “landmark” by some old-timers, and it was literally used as a land mark in the court case that was brought by the Freedom (Masonic) Lodge against store-owner Beatrice McClain in 1974. At issue in that case was a five-foot strip of land between the McClain Store (now the Catoctin Bible Church), and the Masonic Lodge (still there).

As is the case with many old deeds, the property descriptions (“metes and bounds”) are hard to pin down today, since they often refer to a tree or a stone which is long gone. In the case of the Trustees of the Freedom Lodge versus Beatrice McClain, surveys were commissioned by both property owners – and both found that the boundary lines for the entire block were too small for the four property tracts contained within it.
Keep reading about the Potterfield Stable

Volunteers needed!

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, including website management and Facebook
  • 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:


Dec. 1 – 31. Lovettsville Library: Christmas Comics Exhibit,
showcasing a variety of Christmas and winter-themed comics, past and present. 12 N. Light St., Lovettsville.

Dec. 1 - 31. Thomas Balch Library Exhibit: Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area Association. A new exhibit presented by the Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area Association will be on display at Thomas Balch Library through the month of December, 2021. It may be seen during regular library hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10am-4pm [closed for lunch 12-1 pm],  Wednesday 2 pm-7:30 pm. Please call 703-737-7195, email for more information.Thomas Balch Library, 208 W Market St., Leesburg.


Thurs., Dec. 2, at 10 a.m – “Researching Using Deeds” (Thomas Balch Library Virtual Class). Local historian Wynne Saffer, author of Loudoun County, Virginia 1860 Land Tax Map, will use a case study to demonstrate how to establish chain of title using deed indexes and other types of land ownership changes such as wills, marriages, old advertisements, and chancery cases. Pre-registration is required for this event. Please call 703-737-7195, email, or register online.

Thursday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. – Civil War Meeting and Talk: “Targeted Tracks - The Cumberland Valley Railroad in the Civil War, 1861-1865.” The Hagerstown Civil War Round Table sponsors a talk by Scott Mingus. The Cumberland Valley Railroad played an important strategic role in the Civil War by connecting Hagerstown, Maryland to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Its location enhanced its importance during some of the Civil War’s most critical campaigns. Despite the line’s significance to the Union war effort, its remarkable story remains little known. Because of its proximity to major cities in the Eastern Theater, the Cumberland Valley Railroad was an enticing target for Confederate leaders. Northern military and railway officials, who knew the line was a prized target, 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. Homewood Suites, 1650 Pullman Lane Hagerstown, MD. Dinner at 6:30 pm, open to non-members as well as members, is $25 (reservations required by November 26) and the talk at 7:30 pm is $5 for non-members, both payable at the meeting. For more information visit wrt/home, search for: Hagerstown Civil War Round Table, email, or call Dennis Graham at 240 625

Sat., Dec. 4, at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – 11th Annual Traditional Village Christmas at Catoctin Furnace. Join us for a European style Christmas Market complete with artisans, music, traditional holiday bake sale, food, children’s activities, wreath decorating, and a visit from Belsnickel. Purchase unique holiday gifts suitable for the entire family! Each year at Traditional Village Christmas, volunteers for the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society decorate wreaths to your design. This year, we will be offering both undecorated wreaths as well as decorated ones. You may choose a theme and color and allow us to make a lovely wreath for you with bows, pinecones, ornaments, icicles and many other decorative items. Or just allow us to surprise you! We will feature in-person wreath decorating at Traditional Village Christmas on December 4 between 10 am and 4 pm (socially distanced). For more information, visit

Sat., Dec. 4, at 6 p.m. – Antietam Memorial Illumination. Antietam National Battlefield will present the Annual Memorial Illumination on Saturday, December 4, 2021 to honor the 23,000 casualties from the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862. The event is a driving tour open to the public starting at 6:00 pm. Cars enter the park by traveling west on Route 34 and lining up on the shoulder of the road. Cars are allowed to enter the event until midnight. Walking is not allowed. The temporary visitor center is closed that day except for the park store which will be open from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. Visitor services during the day will be limited and only porta johns are available. The northern end of the park, north of Route 34, will close at 3:00 pm. Antietam National Battlefield, 5831 Dunker Church Rd. (Visitor Center), Sharpsburg, MD 21782. 301-432-5124.

Friday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. – “Washington County and the Crossroads of the American Revolution.” During the American Revolution, 87 Washington Countonians enlisted in the famed German Battalion at the beginning of the war. These men saw service in the disastrous New York Campaign, as well as the Ten Crucial Days Campaign that followed. Featuring Brett Peters, Curator of the Washington County Historical Society. Join us for an exploration into Washington County’s role in the campaign that changed the trajectory of American history! The featured cocktail will be: The cherry bounce! This colonial drink was a favorite of many of America’s Founding Fathers, including George Washington. For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! Culture & Cocktails 2021 has been made possible by the generous support of the James and Mary Schurz Foundation. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Miller House Museum, 135 W. Washington St., Hagerstown, MD 21740. 301-797-8782. Register Here

Thurs., Dec. 16, at 6:30 p.m. – History on Tap: Holiday Cheers. Sponsored by the Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area. Put on your ugliest Christmas sweater and join us for a festive and fun night of history. We'll be sharing tales of Christmases past and other weird and wild winter stories. This program is free and open to the public. Old Ox Brewing, 44652 Guilford Dr. #114, Ashburn, VA.

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.
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.

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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