March 2019 Issue
In this issue:
  • Next Lecture:  Recruiting Virginia Unionists into the Potomac Home Brigade
  • Upcoming lectures
  • New light on our 1762 stove plates
  • From the Archive: 1930s Schools Petitions
  • Nearby Events of Interest

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

"'The Rebels is running over our Parents':  Recruiting Virginia Unionists into the Potomac Home Brigade" 

Presented by Travis Shaw,

Public Programs Coordinator at the Mosby Heritage Area Association

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

On Sunday, March 10, we will hear the story of the Potomac Home Brigade, as the March feature of the Lovettsville Historical Society’s 2019 Lecture Series. Our presenter will be Travis Shaw, public programs coordinator at the Mosby Heritage Area Association (MHAA).

In the spring of 1861 Francis Thomas, former governor of Maryland, put out a call for the creation of a “Home Brigade” to defend western Maryland from rebel incursions. Three regiments of infantry and one of cavalry were raised, and these men spent much of the war guarding the vital transportation networks that ran through Maryland and West Virginia. Their war was primarily a guerrilla war, although occasionally the Home Brigade would be called into more active service when Confederates crossed the Potomac.

From the beginning the Home Brigade was also a refuge for numerous Virginia Unionists driven from their homes. About 600 men from Virginia and West Virginia served with the Potomac Home Brigade. Shaw’s research has also found over forty men from Loudoun County who served with the Home Brigade including several from the Lovettsville area, who were escaping the “reign of terror” around their homes.

 MHAA Public Programs Coordinator Travis Shaw will examine these Virginians in Union service by exploring the recruiting of these refugees, their motivations, and their combat experiences.

Travis Shaw is a native of Frederick County, Maryland, with a deep interest in the American Civil War. He received a B.A. in history from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an M.A. in public history from American University. He currently works with the Mosby Heritage Area Association as the public programs coordinator and is also a library associate at the Thomas Balch Library in Leesburg. Shaw has well over a decade of experience in the fields of historic preservation, archaeology, and museum education, working with both private and public institutions, including Historic St. Mary’s City, Mount Vernon, and Oatlands Historic House and Gardens. In his free time, Shaw enjoys visiting historic sites, blogging about the Civil War, and participating in 18th and 19th century living history events.

The lecture will be held at St. James United Church of Christ at 10 East Broad Way in Lovettsville. The program will be followed, as is customary, by questions and discussion.

Admission is free, but donations and are welcome to defray expenses of the program and to support the activities of the Lovettsville Historical Society.

For more information, visit or email

Below:  The monument to the Potomac Home Brigade at Gettysburg

Upcoming Lectures
April 14 "The Historic National Road--The Road That Built a Nation." The National Road was the nation’s first federal highway intended to expand and populate America’s untamed west. Tiffany Ahalt, Marketing & Development Director for the National Road Museum in Boonsboro, will discuss the Road during the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as its importance during the Civil War. The National Road Museum is Maryland's first museum dedicated to the Historic National Road, and we will also hear about new paintings and programming planned for the Museum.

May 19 “American Indians and Early Explorers in the Potomac-Loudoun Area.”  Renowned map-maker and local historian Eugene Scheel will present his latest map, depicting early explorers (1692-1716), and American Indian villages and farms,  in the Potomac River/Loudoun County area.

June 9 –  "The Shenandoah Valley's German Heritage" presented by Karen Good Cooper, president of the Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum in Shenandoah County, Va.  Mrs. Cooper will describe how the German settlers in the Valley (and in the Lovettsville German Settlement), brought their ideas, methods, and customs to this area, and how the “Shenandoah Deutch” affected so much of how we behave and work today.

To be rescheduled:  Daniel Morgan: American Rifleman Commander, a profile of one of General Washington’s most successful commanders of the Revolutionary War, presented by Randall Flood, an instructor at the American Revolution Museum in Yorktown, and CEO and Co-Founder of the American Revolution Institute for Civic Education. 
GoogleMap the Lecture Venue
Explore Our Website
New information discovered
about our @1762 iron stove plates
The earliest German-American artifact in the Lovettsville Museum is a five-plate jamb stove, one of the plates of which is shown here, with an inscribed date of 1762.  This was found near Long Lane. We have recently learned that stove plates of similar design were discovered at Antietam Furnace in Washington County, Maryland, and that the casting molds for these plates may have been made in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area. Click below for the rest of the story.
Keep Reading
From the Archives:
More Lovettsville School Petitions
from the 1930s
The 1930s was period of school consolidation in Loudoun County – sometimes to the distress of the parents, as seen in the Morrisonville parents’ petition in our last newsletter. According to a 1938 School Board memorandum, Consolidation was not carried out primary for reasons of economy, i.e. to save money, but in order to give students more opportunity. However, the consolidation of schools did save money as well.

In the 1928-29 school year, there were 33 teachers teaching on one-room schools in the County, and ten in two-room schools. By the 1938-39 school year, this had been reduced to eight one-room teachers, and eight two-room teachers.

The School Board memorandum stated that teaching in a one-room school was a “lonesome, difficult task” for a teacher, often causing dissatisfaction. And of course, by having to teach system of different grade levels in one classroom, limited the amount of attention that could be given to each grade, and the number of subjects that could be taught.

Physical conditions were also better in the larger schools, which tended to be newer. For example, the Lovettsville School, both elementary and high school, occupied an eight-room building which was built in 1927 to then-modern standards; in 1937, three more rooms were added. This was in sharp contrast to the one-room and two-room schools in the countryside around Lovettsville which were closed over time and the students transported to Lovettsville.

County-wide, the total number of teachers – elementary had high school – had been reduced from 135 to 112 over this ten-year period, for a savings of almost $23,000 in teachers’ salaries. This was offset somewhat by increased costs of transportation of over $17,000, due to children having to be bused to further-away schools.

This month we publish two more parents’ petitions, these having to do with transportation.

Petitions are provided courtesy of the Edwin Washington Project.
  • Parents whose children had been attending Bolington school, but who now attend the Lovettsville graded school, say that they “realize the advantage of a graded school for the scholars and regret that we did not take advantage of the opportunity of having a wagon to haul the children” as had been previously offered by the School Board. They know see that this was a mistake, and now “we do insist that a wagon be started to haul the children that they may attend the graded school at Lovettsville. (date unknown, but the Bolington school closed no later than the 1920s)
  • 1934-- Parents ask for a change of bus route: “That the buss (sic) route which you recently established from Lovettsville to Taylorstown section, be so arranged to come as far as The crossroads, at the end of The hard surface road, running from Lovettsville to Wheatland.
    They complain that “under the present set up we feel we are forced to bear more than our share of the expenses, `1st’, by helping to pay to operate a Buss (sic) we get no service from, 2nd, by paying the transportation of our own children to school. This we beg of The County School Board, to give our children, the same right, same priviledge (sic), and the same opportunity, granted some many other children in the County.”
    Schools in that area: Milltown (taught by Laura Cross, and then Emma Wenner/Downs), seems to have closed in 1935. Tankerfield (taught by Catherine Miller, and then Sue Wire) likely closed in 1934. The Crossroads school (at Taylorstown and Compher Roads) closed in the 1920s). Wheatland school (taught by Lillian B. Lawson and then Mildred Painter) probably closed in 1934.
Nearby Events of Interest
Sat., March 2, at 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. – “Discover Your Family Tree” at Shenandoah Valley Heritage Day. Heritage Day includes information tables hosted by research organizations and free expert-led lectures on preserving family heirlooms (10:30 a.m.), beginning genealogy (1:30 p.m.), and the Library of Virginia remote access collections (1:30 p.m.). Chick-fil-A lunch will be available for purchase from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. (cash only). Heritage Day activities are free to all; lecture tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 10 a.m. Heritage Day information table hosts include: Handley Library’s Stewart Bell Jr. Archives; the Josephine School Community Museum; the Library of Virginia; the Newtown History Center of the Stone House Foundation; the Shenandoah County Historical Society; the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project; The Heritage Museum/Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Historical Society; the Thomas Balch Library; the Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution (Colonel James Wood II Chapter); the Warren Heritage Society; the Winchester VA Family History Center; and the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society. For more information, click HERE. Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst Street, Winchester, VA 22601. 540-662-1473.

Sat., March 2, at 2:30 p.m. – Civil War Medicine Origins – Dr. Benjamin Rush. Join Dr. J. Richard Casuccio on Saturday March 2 at 2:30 PM as he discusses an often forgotten signer of the Declaration of Independence who changed American medical history forever – Benjamin Rush. Benjamin Rush was a man born and educated in the 18th century, and a true apostle of the Enlightenment. He was a caring physician, an educator, an outspoken abolitionist, and a feminist who felt that women should be educated. He promoted public health and personal hygiene, quarantine for contagious illnesses, and vaccinations for all. He pleaded temperance for both alcohol and tobacco, crusaded for prison reform, and recognized mental illness as an illness that should be diagnosed and treated as such thus, Rush became the Father of American Psychiatry. Above all, he was a man of honesty and integrity, who, on occasion, was at odds with the more recognized Founders, Washington, Adams Jefferson and Henry. He was their doctor and, occasionally, their conscience. Rush, the physician, the politician, the philosopher was one of the catalysts who took United States out of the 18th century and pushed it toward the 20th century. The presentation is included with museum admission and free for museum members. National Museum of Civil War Medicine, 48 East Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21701. For more info, call 301-695-1864.

Sun., March 3, at 2 p.m. – “Married to a Mosby Ranger,” by Eric Buckland. The author provides entertaining anecdotes and little-known facts about some of the extraordinary women who married members of the famed Mosby’s Rangers. Many of the women equaled, and perhaps even surpassed, the accomplishments of their noted husbands. In several cases, their legacies continue to this day. Eric Buckland has written several books about some of the men who rode with Mosby’s Rangers during the American Civil War. His writing and research about the Rangers has garnered recognition from the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who have awarded him two Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medals. Buckland is President of The Stuart-Mosby Historical Society and a volunteer with the Mosby Heritage Area Association. He is featured in a C-Span 3 American History Program entitled “The Leadership of Confederate Colonel John S. Mosby.” Thomas Balch Library, 208 W. Market Street, Leesburg, VA. 703-737-7195.

Sun., March 3, at 5 p.m. – National Road Museum Open House. The National Road Heritage Foundation invites you to attend a free, open house at the site of Maryland's first museum dedicated to the Historic National Road. Visit the museum located in Boonsboro, MD to view renderings of planned exhibits and to learn more about programming. Meet their board members and project consultants who will gladly talk to you about funding and volunteer opportunities associated with the museum. There is no fee to attend, but an RSVP is requested; send a message to if you plan to attend. National Road Museum, 214 North Main Street, Boonsboro, MD 21713. For more info, call 240-626-0963.

Thurs., March 7, at 10 a.m. – “Researching Using Northern Neck Land Grants” with Wynne Saffer. Life-long Loudoun resident Wynne Saffer will discuss the history of land grants of the Northern Neck Proprietary and how to locate them using resources available at Thomas Balch Library. Saffer has completed numerous local research projects, mapped the county by land ownership in 1860, and written several books about Loudoun's history. Thomas Balch Library, 208 W Market St., Leesburg VA. 703-737-7195.

Fri., March 8, at 6–8 p.m.-- Culture & Cocktails: The National Road Museum, with Tiffany Ahalt. Enjoy a drink and have a think! At Culture & Cocktails, a lecture program at the Miller House Museum, we tackle a historical topic with the help of a little liquid fortitude. The National Road has been a major US trade route for most of American history. Learn more about the new museum highlighting its legacy. Your ticket price will include your first drink, and refills will be available for a small fee. This event is for adults ages 21 and older, please! For more information, please don't hesitate to get in touch! Miller House Museum, 135 West Washington Street, Hagerstown, MD 21740. Click here for tickets.

Sat. March 16, at 10 a.m. – Civil War Walking Tour of Leesburg, with Richard Treat Gillespie. With its key geographic location just two miles from the Potomac Frontier that divided the Confederate and United States, Leesburg was bound to see a good deal of the Civil War. The Walking Tour will examine the surviving Civil War townscape and watch the War develop and engulf the county seat of Loudoun. In a circuit of the historic district, the emphasis will be on what the 1,500 residents of the town would have seen at various places and what they would have experienced during 1861-65. The two-hour chronological tour will provide ample spots to sit for the weary and will paint some vibrant historic portraits to keep people enthralled. Included in the tour will be three skirmish sites, outside stops at two churches, the courthouse lawn, “the best street in town,” Harrison Hall where General Lee stayed, and the Episcopal cemetery. Richard Treat Gillespie, former Executive Director for Northern Virginia’s Mosby Heritage Area, is a founding member of Loudoun’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Steering Committee, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Lovettsville Historical Society. The tour will leave from Thomas Balch Library parking lot at 10 AM. Note: This tour requires good walking shoes.

Sat., March 16, at 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Jefferson County Museum 2019 Opening Reception. The Jefferson County Museum will celebrate the beginning of the 2019 season with a free, public reception on Saturday, March 16. Visitors can view three new exhibits, “Businesses in Jefferson County, 1900 - 1950,” “100 Years of Dolls,” and “Four Who Served in World War II,” and enjoy refreshments from Alfredo’s Mediterranean Grille. Jefferson County Museum, 200 East Washington Street, Charles Town, WV 25414.

Sun., March 17, at 2 p.m. – Purcellville Exhibit: “The Color Line,” by Reggie Simms. The Exhibit runs from March 15 to March 17, and displays images and short histories of many of Purcellville’s residents. It also includes Mr. Simms’ map of Purcellville’s historic African-American neighborhood. On Sunday, March 17, at 2:00, Mr. Simms will discuss his experiences growing up in, and then returning to, Purcellville, and the dedication that he, and his community, had to the community and the country. Proceeds will go to the Grace Church project. For more information, visit

Wed., March 20 at 7 p.m. -- History of Christ Reformed Church, Middletown, Md. This congregation was formed in 1745, and had connections with other congregations, including the Reformed Church in Lovettsville (now St. James UCC).  Come learn about the history of this landmark. Christ Reformed Church Chapel, 12 South Church St., Middletown Md.

Thurs., March 21, at 6:45 p.m. – "September Mourn: The Dunker Church at Antietam." The Dunker Church is one of the most iconic structures of the American Civil War. Surprisingly, few people know much if anything about its fascinating story or the role it played within the community of Sharpsburg and its importance during and after the Battle of Antietam.Join the Frederick County Civil War Roundtable and author Alann D. Schmidt. Free for members; $5 suggested fee for non-members. National Museum of Civil War Medicine, 48 East Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21701. For more info, call 301-695-1864.

Thurs., March 21, at 7:00 p.m. – “Bullets, Canister, Case and Shrapnel: Archaeology and GIS at the Piper Farm, Antietam National Battlefield,” presented by Stephen Potter, Regional Archaeologist Emeritus for the National Capital Region of the National Park Service. Potter's research, with contributions by Tom Gwaltney and Karen L. Orrence, will focus on the Union and Confederate forces that fought at Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American military history with nearly 23,000 dead, wounded, and missing. Some of the fiercest fighting occurred around the Sunken Road -- the northern boundary of the Henry Piper farm. Over four field seasons, archaeologists conducted systematic metal-detector surveys of the 16-acre Piper Orchard, site of the Confederates’ retreat from the Sunken Road and their stand to hold the center, the Union advances of Caldwell and Brooke’s brigades, and the senseless charge of the 7th Maine Infantry Regiment. A combination of GIS analysis, 3-D terrain modeling, viewshed analysis, and a review of the historical record, resulted in the identification of unit positions and movements derived from an examination of 2,033 military artifacts. This research provides a more detailed understanding of the events at Piper Farm, reveals actions not documented in historical records, and demonstrates potential applications to other battlefield landscapes. This lecture is free and open to the public, and will be held at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education, 213 N. King St., on the Shepherd University campus. More information can be found on the George Tyler Moore Center's website at For questions, please contact Jennifer Alarcon at 304-876-5429 or

Wed., May 22, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Thomas Balch Library Spring Seminar: German Genealogy. James Beidler, professional genealogist and instructor from Berks County, Pa., will present a four-session seminar on German immigrants and how to research them. Pre-registration is $20 for Friends of Thomas Balch Library, $25 for non-members, and $35 at the door. Seating is limited. For more information see
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 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 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 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.

Photographs, courtesy of Melani Carty.
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 Archive of Back Issues
As a subscriber to our free monthly magazine, you get a sneak preview of the articles that we share throughout the month on our Facebook page and in the Lovettsville Mayor's Newsletter.  In case you missed a month, here are links to our Back Issues, for your reading enjoyment.
  October 2018 
September 2018 
August 2018 
July 2018 
June 2018 
May 2018 
April 2018 
March 2018 
February 2018 
January 2018 
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