Next in the Lovettsville Historical Society's 2018 Lecture Series
“George's Mill Farm: Memories of the Past”
Presented by Fran Wire, Proprietor
George’s Mill Farm B&B Sunday, May 20 @ 2:00
Memories of the past at George’s Mill Farm will brought to mind on Sunday, May 20, by Fran Wire, proprietor of George’s Mill Farm B&Band a former Board member of the Lovettsville Historical Society & Museum.
Fran will discuss the history and the colorful past of George’s Mill Farm, which is located just west of Lovettsville, off Irish Corner Road.
During the last year of the Civil War, the school house at George’s Mill was used as headquarters for Union cavalry troops, and was the site of a Confederate raid in January 1865. An enduring memory is the courting of Samuel George’s daughter Lizzie both by a New York Cavalry officer, and also by Christopher “Lum” Wenner, a neighbor and a Confederate soldier.
The farm’s recovery after the Civil War will be a focus of Fran Wire’s presentation, describing the farm’s way of life in the years before and after that period of turmoil.
Georges Mill Farm can be dated through records going back to 1774. At that time, the land was owned by John George, who had come here, to the German Settlement, around 1732 from Germany via Pennsylvania. George's Mill Farm has remained in the hands of the George family for eight generations.
The program will be held at St. James United Church of Christ, 10 East Broad Way, Lovettsville, at 2:00 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome to defray expenses of the program and to support the activities of the Lovettsville Historical Society.
Special Event With Live Music
to Benefit the Lovettsville Historical Society & Museum
This Wednesday, May 2, 2018
On Wednesday, May 2, 2018, the 1836 Kitchen and Taproom will donate 10% of the proceeds from its sales, to benefit the Lovettsville Historical Society & Museum. 1836 Kitchen and Taproom is located at 34 E. Broad Way, Lovettsville, VA. Hours on Wednesday, March 21st are 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm for dinner, and the bar opens at 4:00 pm. No reservations are required. Parking is in the back. To preview the menu, see www.1836kitchenandtaproom.com/menus
The Short Hill Mountain Boys(Sam Kroiz and John Bestwick) will be performing that evening from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The Short Hill Mountain Boys play their own blend of bluegrass, old-time, Cajun, classic country, and folk music with a rare passion. Their harmony vocals, fiddling, and guitar picking are tight and practiced like the suit-and-cowboy-hat bluegrass acts, but imbued with the authenticity, spontaneity, and infectious good time of old time mountain music, in which they are well steeped. Visit the fanpage for this local performance duo.
Hope On the Hill:
The Story of Harpers Ferry's
A Lecture Presented by Guinevere Roper (2017)
151 years ago, in 1867, Storer College, one of the first desegregated schools in American history, opened in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and welcomed former slaves who sought an education. It grew from a one-room schoolhouse into a degree-granting college open to all races, religions, and sexes. Many of the graduates became teachers in the 19th- and 20th-century "colored" schools of Loudoun County, Virginia. Presented on August 13, 2017 by Guinevere Roper, National Park Service Ranger.
The impact of segregation on Loudoun County schools was the topic of the July 9, 2017 lecture presented by Larry Roeder, the Principal Investigator for the Edwin Washington Project, which is exploring the segregated era of Loudoun education, covering the period from 1846 to 1968. This is being done mainly through the study of official records, many which were lost until very recently.
The Lovettsville Historical Society & Museum – which in early 2017, found some school ledgers dating from the 1890s -- is cooperating with the Edwin Washington Project in researching the history of public schools in this area.
The primary focus of the project, which began in 2014 following the discovery of some long-lost records from “colored” schools, is on the impact of segregation on African-Americans; but the team of 14 volunteers is also looking into the white schools, to compare the curriculum and building styles, as well as the general distribution of resources between the white and the “colored” schools.
As a result, the project has been able to provide regular assistance to people studying the Lovettsville-area schools, as well as Purcellville, Lincoln, Sterling and the Unison-Bloomfield school. Larry revealed some of the dramatic human stories that have emerged from the research, and he invites the public to participate as partners in revealing this important part our joint history.
Above, Edwin Washington Project principal investigator Larry Roeder sees the Lovettsville Colored School Ledgers for the first time, before borrowing them for digitization. Also present were (left-to-right): Lovettsville Historical Society board members Sam Kroiz, Fred George, Ed Spannaus, and Judy Virts-Beard Fox; plus Edwin Washington Project deputy head, Tony Arciero. Below, a closeup look at some of the ledgers. Photographs by LHS board member, Melani Carty.
June 10, 2018 – “Waterford: A Village in Time,” by Neil Hughes, based on his new book, A Village in Time 1660-1990: Discovering American History in a Small Virginia Quaker Village. For the past 30 years, Neil Hughes has lived in an 1819 house in the National Historic Landmark village of Waterford, Virginia -- a beautiful old town 45 miles from Washington, D.C. in northern Loudoun County, miraculously preserved in time. Hughes' book grew out of his research into the people who built and lived in that very house and village. In 1744, John Hough, the grandfather of Samuel Hough, who later built the house, left Bucks County, Pennsylvania and settled in what would become the town of Waterford. As a senior surveyor for Lord Fairfax, John Hough befriended and mentored young surveyor George Washington, who then forged his military career in the French and Indian War, particularly in the battle of Braddock Heights, about twenty miles from Waterford. Both Washington and Hough were visionaries, who became partners in attempting to develop water access to the midwest through their Patowmack Canal Company. Through the history of his Waterford home, Hughes examines significant historical events affecting every facet of an evolving portrait of America.
July 8, 2018 - “Rebecca and Thomas: A Civil War Spy Tale.” In September 1864 during the Civil War, Thomas Laws, a slave, collaborated with Rebecca Wright, a Quaker, to deliver vital military information to Union General Philip Sheridan. This information helped lead to a decisive Union victory at the September 19, 1864, Third Battle of Winchester, the largest battle ever fought in the Shenandoah Valley. The battle was the beginning of a string of Union victories that gave the Federals permanent control of the Valley (and Winchester) and helped ensure Abraham Lincoln’s reelection that November.
August 12, 2018 - "The Last Lynching in Northern Virginia: Seeking Truth at Rattlesnake Mountain." Jim Hall explores lynchings that occurred in Virginia, including one of the most puzzling, a 1932 incident in Fauquier County, when Shedrick Thompson, a fugitive accused of assault and rape, was captured and hanged by his neighbors on Rattlesnake Mountain. The official verdict was that Thompson committed suicide, but Hall builds the case for murder while exposing a complex and disturbing chapter in Virginia history.
Sept. 16, 2018 - In his newest book Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination, Dennis E. Frye, Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry NHP,warns us that history is the original "fake news." A professional historian himself for the last forty years, Dennis has evolved from a youthful worshipper of history into a respected skeptic who has devoted his career to challenging historians, especially within the Civil War genre. Dennis Frye is known for challenging convention and sparking provocation. Antietam Shadowsturns much of what you think you know inside-out and upside-down.
Oct. 14, 2018 - "Dr. James Willard and Willard Hall in Lovettsville." Willard Hall, the stately brick building on Pennsylvania Avenue, is one of the oldest dwellings in Lovettsville, likely dating to the 18th century. In 1868 it was purchased by Dr. James Willard, an Army surgeon from Ohio who served with the 13th Maryland Infantry (USA), also known as the Potomac Home Brigade.
The Lovettsville Museum has quite a few farm and household implements and tools from the 19th and early 20th centuries, which have been grouped together as a look-and-touch interactive display and guessing game of "pre-digital era" technology, with answer cards attached. Many of the objects in our museum truly puzzle modern kids, who are amazed that two wooden boxes connected by wires are actually telephones and can transmit voices.
For your consideration and puzzlement, presented here is one of the mystery objects in our exhibit.
Can you guess what this object is ---
and what it does?
(Hint: the answer is at the bottom of this newsletter.)
Visit our "What the Heck IS This Thing?" mystery-objects exhibit and guessing-game, on Saturdays between 1:00-4:00 at the Lovettsville Museum, 4 East Pennsylvania Avenue, next to Lovettsville Town Hall. Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/PY3noLRzHXF2
Nearby Events of Interest
May – Washington County Museum Ramble. The 15th annual Washington County Museum Ramble will be held throughout the month of May. The Ramble has more than 30 participating museums and historic sites located in Washington County, Md., most of which open their doors free of charge. Many have special programming planned for the weekends of the Ramble. Information is also available online at https://bit.ly/2vK2E6m or look for Museum Ramble tab on visithagerstown.com.
Sat., May 5 at 3:00 pm – One Vast Hospital – Civil War Walking Tour in Downtown Frederick. Join historian John Lustrea for a First Saturday walking tour of Downtown Frederick focused on the city’s role as a makeshift hospital in the final months of 1862. In September 1862, a newspaper correspondent from the Philadelphia Inquirer referred to Frederick as “one vast hospital.” In the aftermath of America’s bloodiest day at Antietam on September 17, 1862, thousands of wounded soldiers, Union and Confederate, were brought to make-shift hospital wards in Frederick’s churches, schools, hotels, and private homes. The “City of Clustered Spires” received more than 8,000 patients from the battlefields in Maryland. Lustrea will lead a guided tour to numerous locations that were used as hospitals during this chaotic time in the city’s history. This will be a “pay-what-you-please” program. Early registration is encouraged. National Museum of Civil War Medicine, 48 East Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21701. Visit Website or call 301-695-1864.
Sunday, 6 May, 2:00 pm – Dunmore’s War: The Last Conflict of America’s Colonial Era, presented by Glenn F. Williams. Known to history as “Dunmore’s War,” the 1774 campaign against a Shawnee-led Indian confederacy in the Ohio Country marked the final time an American colonial militia took to the field in His Majesty’s service and under royal command. Led by John Murray, the fourth Earl of Dunmore and royal governor of Virginia, a force of colonials including George Rogers Clark, Daniel Morgan, Michael Cresap, Adam Stephen, and Andrew Lewis successfully enforced the western border established by treaties in parts of present-day West Virginia and Kentucky. The campaign is often neglected in histories, despite its major influence on the conduct of the Revolutionary War that followed. Supported by extensive primary source research, the author corrects much of the folklore concerning the war and frontier fighting in general, demonstrating that the Americans did not adopt Indian tactics for wilderness fighting as is often supposed, but rather used British methods developed for fighting irregulars in the woods of Europe, while incorporating certain techniques learned from the Indians and experience gained from earlier colonial wars.
Glenn F. Williams, a senior historian at the US Army Center of Military History, Fort McNair, Washington, DC, has served as historian of the National Museum of the US Army Project, the Army Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration, and the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. Thomas Balch Library, 208 W. Market St., Leesburg. See http://balchfriends.org/calendar.
Wed., 16 May, 7:00 pm – Clerk’s Office Tour, Loudoun County Courthouse Historic Records. Meet in the parking lot of Thomas Balch Library by 6:45PM. Eric S. Larson, Historic Records Manager for LoudounCounty, will lead a tour of the Clerk’s Office. He will discuss the extent of Loudoun County’s records holdings, where tol ook for records of births, deaths, marriages, and deeds, and how to use these records in research. No one is permitted to enter restricted areas of the Clerk’s Office after 7:00PM, so the group will leave the library promptly at 6:45PM.
Fri,, May 18, 7:00 pm – Fort Loudoun Day Lecture: "Braddock's Defeat: A Pivotal Moment in American History," and Reception, French & Indian War Foundation, Winchester. Award-winning historian Dr. David L. Preston will recount details of an important event that would lead to the onset of hostilities between the British and French known as the French and Indian War in North America and the Seven Years War in Europe. Reception to follow the lecture. Lecture attendance not required to attend reception. Reception attendance by $15 tax-deductible donation to the French & Indian War Foundation of Winchester. Snacks will be provided. Cash Bar available. An RSVP by May 8 for the reception, including number of guests, will be appreciated. E-mail email@example.com or call 540-678-1743.
My Memories of Lovettsville
and the African Chapel
by Claudette Lewis Bard Lovettsville Historical Society Board Member & Researcher
As far back as I remember, I have heard family stories of Lovettsville and Purcellville, Virginia. They were nostalgic tales on how relatives on my mother’s side gathered at Aunt Grace’s house (my two-times great aunt, Grace Anderson Smith) in Purcellville for family reunions and how family members brought tons of food for the celebration. Relatives traveled from nearby Lovettsville as well as from Washington, D.C., Rockville, Md. and other locales, to reconnect with relatives, catch up on life’s events, meet cousins they had never met, and welcome those new to the family, either by way of marriage or by birth.
Additionally, I heard about Uncle Ray (my two-times great uncle, Ray Anderson). He and his wife, Sarah Edna, had 14 children, twelve of whom lived to adulthood. Relatives talked about how he lived on Quarter Branch Road.
While I have visited Lovettsville many times over the years, I recall one particularly warm summer afternoon. My great Uncle Raymond Waters led a “tour” of Lovettsville. He wanted to show a group of us where the family once lived and wanted to do this while he was still able to drive, for both he and his sister, Percie Waters Brown, were getting up in age. The four of us -- Uncle Raymond, my Grandmother Percie, my mother, Carolyn Waters Lewis, and me — made the trek to Lovettsville. My genealogy research journey began around this time and, therefore, the information I was about to learn would prove enlightening.
Uncle Raymond let us know that the road in the picture (above), West Broad Way, led to the Stevens Farm where he and his family once lived. He mentioned the area was called Short Hill and the family worked on a farm before emigrating to Rockville, Maryland, where they sought better opportunities. Additionally, he let us know that Aunt Orph (my two-times great aunt, Orpha Anderson Redmond) lived along this road as well. Her husband, Dave, died tragically in a house fire that I recall hearing about in the mid-1960s. She predeceased him by a few years. Our tour guide, Uncle Raymond, has long passed but every time I visit and look down this road, it evokes memories of him.
On this occasion, we had the opportunity to enter the African Chapel and I later learned we were setting foot unto land and entering a chapel that is an important piece of Lovettsville African-American history. I recently learned from Vanessa Giles, the property’s Executive Trustee, that we were on the very land that was purchased by six formerly enslaved men who traveled from Orange County, Virginia. They had the fortitude to come to Lovettsville, a German Settlement, where the populace did not believe in slavery and every man should be free to own property. Shortly after the Civil War, the men purchased this land for $60. The original founders were Samuel Rustin, Lee Simons, Claiborne Bailey, Joseph Rivers, Matthew Harvey, and John W. Lee and Ms. Giles stated that the original deed specified the intended use was for church and for school. On this warm summer day, when my grandmother spoke of the time she attended school there (approximately 1915-1920), this small structure had rows of desks in which each row was a different grade—the first row was the first grade, the second row was the second grade and so on. This hallowed ground and this sacred building played host to many black families in Lovettsville who regarded it as a place for fellowship and to gather. Along with my family whose surnames are Waters and Anderson, Ms. Giles let me know that the Morgan, Moten, Gray, Brown, and Curtis families as well as countless other families all shared in the history of the chapel. Woody and Sally Berry were caretakers and members of that family recorded the minutes for meetings held there.
I know it’s a cliché, but if the chapel’s walls could talk, they would have much to say since 1869. They would spew out the thousands of sermons and Bible passages preached by countless ministers who set foot in this chapel. Lessons were taught to hundreds of black children who despite segregation learned their school lessons that were being communicated by dedicated and devoted teachers. Many of these educators received their degrees from nearby Storer College in nearby Harpers Ferry. Its walls would repeat the myriad of conversations that took place during social gatherings occurring in its space, conversations of those who have come and gone, many of whom are buried in the adjacent cemetery.
One person who I tried to imagine may have set foot in the chapel is my two-times great grandmother, Sarah Jane Anderson. I know very little about her other than she gave birth to eight children and died at age 33. Pictured is her gravestone and she is interred in the adjacent cemetery along with dozens of other African Americans who once lived, worked and were residents of Lovettsville and the surrounding area. This picture was taken years ago by my mother. The inscription reads:
Sacred to the Memory Sarah J. Wife of George W. Anderson Born Jan 28, 1858 Died Jan 6, 1892 33yrs, 11mo, 8dys
Her husband, George Washington Anderson (my two-times great grandfather), is buried there as well, although I have been unable to locate his gravestone. His death certificate indicates he is buried there. I would imagine he is buried beside his beloved wife.
The pilgrimage I participated in on that summer’s day is such a cherished memory and the lessons I learned are those I will always treasure. I would like to thank Vanessa Giles for providing me with the information about the different families who played a huge role in the history of the African Chapel and about the six formerly enslaved men who had the determination to purchase the land and who contributed so much to those African Americans who came after them. I would also like to compliment Ms. Giles on the work she has done in preserving this significant part of African-American history. Her dedication to this project would truly make those six original founders exceedingly proud. Those men and those early black residents have inspired me to represent my ancestors as a member of the board of directors of the Lovettsville Historical Society.
In 2018 the Lovettsville Historical Society 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 to participate in supporting the Lovettsville Historical Society & Museum 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, and publicizing our activities. We are always in need of guest speakers in support of our historical education program and also 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.
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