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Highlights,  April 2014

  Salute to Annie Payne White, 18 April 2014:
Annie Payne White, 2005, at 100 yrs of age On Friday, 18 April 2014, Annie Payne White passed away at 105 years of age in Charlottesville, Virginia.  She was born on 01 November 1908 at Payne's Mill Farm in Buckingham County, a daughter of the late Nathan Thomas Payne and Mary Cecilia (Arnold) Payne.  In addition to her parents, Annie was preceded in death by her husband, Frazier Caldwell White; four brothers, James Russell, Nathan, and Sylvester Payne; and one sister, Violet Hines.  A graveside service for Annie was conducted on Wednesday, 23 April 2014, at Scottsville Cemetery by the Reverend James C. Jetton.

Annie was much beloved by everyone who knew her and will be greatly missed.  She was a homemaker, farmer, and miller at Payne's Mill, which was a 20th century grist mill located about 4 miles down the James River from Scottsville.  Annie and her mother helped run this mill until the late 1950's.  Customers for their finely ground 'Old Fashion White Corn Meal' came from all over Buckingham, Fluvanna, and Albemarle Counties.  As one fan of Paynes' mill recalled his joyful memories of taking corn to the mill for grinding into meal, "Annie would come down and open the mill and sluice gate.  The water would then start to flow and the big wheel would turn and grind the grain that we poured into a big hopper.  Out came the corn meal which we would bag and take home to eat.  For a little boy, it was all very fascinating and great fun."

Our condolences go out to Annie's family and friends.  Annie is fondly remembered in Scottsville and will be greatly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting her.

Museum's Spring Opening Reception, 06 April 2014:

Audience gathers for opening program at Scottsville Museum.

Scottsville Museum reopened for the 2014 season on Sunday, April 06.  The featured program, "Things That Tell a Story", highlighted artifacts from the Museum collections and showed how they contribute to the history of Scottsville.

Ruth Klippstein showed examples of food containers and ladles made from gourds, illustrating how the Monacan Indians made use of natural products to create useful tools for living.  S.J. McNamara presented his large collection of fishing lures, currently on display in the Museum. Most of the lures were gifts from his father-in-law, Randolph Phillips, and were used for catching fish in the James River. He told of long-ago fishing trips, floating down the river in heavy wooden boats and coming home with a string of fish.
Ruth KlippsteinS.J.McNamara

Ruth Klippstein and S.J. McNamara

Fannie Louden's artifact was a 1909 photograph of the children in Esmont's Loving Charity Lodge School.  This school was a private one for African-American children at a time when there were no public schools for them.  Among the children in the photo were her father, Thomas Louden, and two of her paternal aunts.

Ron Smith spoke about money printed for the Bank of Scottsville beginning in the 1850's.  He told the audience that the bank was a chartered one and paid six per cent interest on bonds.  This bank faltered during the Civil War when bonds and currency issued by the Confederate government gradually lost their value.  The Museum's display of currency is on loan from Robert Tharpe.
Fannie LoudenRon Smith

Fannie Louden and Ron Smith

Describing "What General Sheridan Left Behind," Connie Geary observed that, while the raiding Union army of 1865 mostly took things (horses, provisions, etc.), General Sheridan gave something of his own to Mollie Graham, a young citizen of Scottsville.  To find out what that artifact was, visit the Museum, look in our Civil War case, and ask the docent for the story of Sheridan meeting Mollie.

Scottsville Museum will be open from now through October, Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm and Sundays from 1-5 pm.  It will also be open on Memorial Day, Batteau Day (June 18), and July 4th, or by appointment.  Our current exhibit, "Where The River Bends," describes Scottsville's relationship with the James River.  Admission is free; donations are gratefully accepted.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS - Scottsville Museum's Spring Opening, 06 April 2014:

Highlights,  March 2014

  Docent Tea, 16 March 2014:
Docents Lani Bittner, Evelyn Edson, Marilyn Schwartz, and Lisa Bittner

Leanne Grove, Docent CoordinatorLeanne Grove, Docent Coordinator for Scottsville Museum (see photo at right), hosted an appreciation reception for Museum docents at her Scottsville home on Sunday, March 16.  A wonderful afternoon of friendship and museum discussion ensued.  Leanne reviewed opening and closing procedures for the Museum and the training sessions she's planning for new docents to include a session for any docents who would like some refresher training.  Our President Evelyn Edson discussed her plan for our 2014 opening program on Sunday, 6 April, and some roles available to our docents to discuss the history behind select artifacts in several of our exhibit display.  An interesting discussion ensued with the docents about questions that frequently arise as well as how our individual enthusiasm for local history can be infectious with our museum visitors.  We're pumped up for the 2014 season -- thank you, Evelyn and Leanne!

Each year over forty volunteers volunteer their time each month to serve as docents at the Museum.  Our docents' donation of time allows the Museum to continue our free admission policy for the public from April through October each year.  If you would like to become a Museum docent, please call Leanne at (434-286-4840) or contact us via e-mail at:

Museum Website Receives One Millionth Hit, 13 March:

On 13 March 2014 at 21:04 EST, the Scottsville Museum website received 3 visitors that took us over the one million mark in visits to our webpages!  Many of our visitors are researching local history or their family's genealogy, and often they teach us more about Scottsville's history as they share their photos, research, and family stories with us.  We are grateful for your support -- do keep on visiting our website as we add new historical material uncovered in our research or that shared with us by Scottsville history fans.  Let's learn more together!

War Comes to Scottsville by Richard Nicholas:
2015 will mark the 150th anniversary of one of the most important events in the history of Scottsville since its official founding in 1818.  It was during the week of March 6-10, 1865, that Scottsville was occupied by Union soldiers under the command of Civil War General Philip H. Sheridan.  While the event was of little significance within the context of the overall Civil War, it had an enormous, enduring, and very personal impact on the people of Scottsville and the neighboring countryside that were caught in the path of ten thousand marauding Yankee cavalrymen. 

For the full feature article by Richard Nicholas that tells this historic tragedy with emphasis on some of the people in our community who were directly affected, visit War Comes to Scottsville.

Highlights,  February 2014

  James Langhorne Presents The Virginia Langhornes, 22 February 2014
An intrigued audience began gathering at the Museum nearly an hour in advance of James Langhorne's presentation on his history of The Virginia Langhornes.  This Virginia family began with John Langhorne, who came to Virginia about 1670 and settled on the James River.  Future generations of the Langhorne family resided across Virginia as far as Lynchburg, and in Albemarle County, the Langhorne families lived at Scottlands (near Scottsville), Mirador, Nydrie, and Greenfields.

At the request of his family, James Langhorne began this family history in earnest about three years ago.  Since his teens, James has been interested in his Langhorne family history and filled many notebooks with research about whatever he came across about his family.  He acknowledged that "most of those who will read it are in some way responsible for its existence, and it is with them I gladly share any credit for the result."   As his audience at the Museum will unanimously tell you, "James knows not only the history of the Langhorne family but the realities of Virginia life from colonial days to 20th century and how family members adapted to the demands of planter life along the James River."  His presentation on this family history was quite interesting -- thank you, James Langhorne!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR - The Virginia Langhornes, 22 February 2014:
The Virginia Langhornes

On Saturday, 22 February 2014, at 3 pm, Scottsville Museum is pleased to invite the public to a presentation by James C. Langhorne (shown at right) on his new book, The Virginia Langhornes.  Admission is free!

John Langhorne, ancestor of the Virginia Langhornes, was a merchant of Bristol, England, who came to Virginia about 1670 and settled in Warwick County on the James River.  There he built a house, raised tobacco, and took a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses.  Many generations of Langhornes followed his example. 

Author James Langhorne has compiled a catalogue of these Virginia Langhornes, including photographs or paintings of both people and their houses, and appendices with letters, wills, inventories, and some autobiographical fragments.  Growing up, James says, the Langhorne family history "seemed to begin and end with five pretty girls."  These were the famous Langhorne sisters, who lived at Mirador in Albemarle County.  One of them, Irene, married the artist, Charles Dana Gibson, and was the model for the glamourous "Gibson Girl."  Another sister, Nancy, married Waldorf, Viscount Astor, and became the first woman to sit in the British Parliament.  Langhorne's book uncovers many of his less famous relatives and intertwines their stories with the history of Virginia.

All proceeds from sales of The Virginia Langhornes benefits the Sandusky Foundation whose mission it is to preserve, restore, and interpret the historic Sandusky House in Lynchburg  The Sandusky House was built in 1808 by Charles Johnston, an ancestor of our author, and restored by his cousin, Dr. Peter Houck of Lynchburg.  Copies of this book may be ordered online at

Bay Watershed Academy Visits Museum, 08 February 2014:

Bay Watershed Academy Participants at the Museum. Photo by Ruth Klippstein

About thirty enthusiastic sixth grade teachers from across Virginia toured Scottsville Museum on Saturday, February 08.  These teachers are participants in the Bay Watershed Academy-Piedmont Region, a professional development opportunity that introduces them to the academic content in the Virginia Science Standards of Learning (SOL) related to the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and the land surface it drains.  This professional development training helps participants instruct these standards as well as integrate meaningful watershed educational experiences into their teaching.  The Academy is co-sponsored by the Green Adventure Project, a non-profit located on the grounds of Triple C Camp on Rte. 20 South, that offers professional development opportunities to educators.  Other sponsors of the Academy are the Virginia Department of Education and Virginia Resource-Use Educational Council.  The visiting teachers will participate in two Academies this year and three next year.

The Bay Watershed Academy participants visited Scottsville to learn more about the James River and its impact on the local history, economy, and way of life.  Their area visit began at Hatton Ferry for a talk by Steven Meeks about its history and to take a short ride on the ferry across the James.  Next the teachers visited Canal Basin Square in Scottsville to learn about its transportation history.

Then the Academy visited Scottsville Museum and toured our exhibit, "Where the River Bends."  This exhibit tells Scottsville's story and its historical relationship to the James River from the Monacans through the founding of the town, its batteau and canal eras, the Civil War, the great floods, and the recreational uses of the river today.  Next the group went to the James River Brewery towarm up and hear some local music.

We were delighted for this opportunity to work with Miriam Rushfinn, executive director of Green Adventure Project, and these dedicated teachers --a perfect fit for the Museum.  Come back anytime, teachers and Bay Watershed Academy!

Highlights,  January 2014

  Business Ledgers of Scottsville Area, 1817 - 1926:
Fleming Turner Ledger, 1822-1827 Shown at right is the Fleming Turner Daybook, dated 1822-1827, that details the products and daily costs of Mr. Turner's farm in New Canton, Buckingham County, VA.  This ledger is one of approximately 45 historic ledgers of local farms and businesses for the time period 1817 - 1926 which are preserved in the collections of Scottsville Museum.  Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Sydney Morgan and Julia Spong, Institute for Public History interns at the Museum in 2012-2013, these ledgers were photographed and collection finding aids developed for 20 of them.  Each ledger includes an inventory of the ledger contents, a detailed name index of business and patron names, and the research results on the farm and/or business owner who recorded transactions in that ledger.  These finding aids have been added to our Museum website, and to learn more, please visit,

Snowden Dairy:
A Snowden Dairy Milk Bottle Recently Angela Erickson of Lexington, N.C., contacted the Museum to tell us that she and her husband had been digging around an old railroad track in the Lexington area.  Quite by surprise, they uncovered an old milk bottle, which was slug plated "Snowden Dairy, Scottsville, VA;" see photo at right.  Angela said she excitedly began researching Snowden Dairy but had not found additional information about the dairy, and so she contacted Scottsville Museum.  We were intrigued by her query as we, too, did not have information about the Snowden Dairy in our files.  In an effort to learn more, we contacted two avid Snowden researchers, Joanne Yeck and Richard Nicholas.

Joanne said that she had been told that a German man bought part of the Snowden lowlands circa the mid-20th century.  In October 2013, Joanne uncovered a clue to a possible dairy farm when she visited the Snowden Farm: namely old, vine-covered equipment and structures still sitting on these Snowden lowlands just across the James River from Scottsville. 

Richard added the German man's name, Dominik Stillfried, who was an ex-German soldier that came to Virginia after WWII,  Stillfried started working at Snowden for the farm's owners at the time.  Stillfried performed so well in his farmhand role that the owner named him farm manager of Snowden. 

With the name, Dominik Stillfried, we quickly found an autobiography by Dominik's wife, Elko von Krogh Stillfried, entitled Leaves in the Wind: Thirty Years Spanning the Continents, and learned that Dominik came to the U.S. in the winter of 1951.  He took a job as a farm laborer at Snowden Farm, which his wife stated was a small dairy farm across the river from Scottsville.  To learn more about Stillfried and this dairy, please visit, Snowden Dairy.

Feedback from Museum Fans:
Mavis Slawson, textile historian and docent at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Md:  "Thank you very much for this information about the Scottsville woolen factory during the Civil War.  I will use this in my talks on the Confederacy."
Marvin Moss, President of Fluvanna Historical Society, Palmyra, VA:  "Thanks so much for the information about F. Pierson Scott of Donegal -- it was enormously helpful!"

Highlights,  December 2013

  Christmas in Scottsville, 2013:
As the 2013 holiday season unfolds, Scottsville Museum wishes to thank all of our volunteers for your support this year.  Your generosity and continued support makes it possible for the Museum to maintain our buildings, build new historical exhibits, and develop and implement educational projects for local area students.  We are most thankful to have you all on the Museum team.  And may you be blessed by the warmth of family and friends at this beautiful time of year.  Happy holidays to you, and we hope to see you at Scottsville Museum when we reopen in April 2014!

Scottsville Festival of Lights, Dec. 1, 5-8, and 13-15:
Victory Theater on Valley Street is once again the center for Scottsville's annual Festival of Lights.  Come enjoy the display of Christmas trees decorated in many different styles by local businesses, churches, and organizations.   Sponsored by the Scottsville Community Chamber of Commerce and the Scottsville Center for Arts and Nature, this annual Christmas tree display is open to the public at no cost on the following dates and times:

Sunday, December 1st: 12 Noon to 8:00 pm
Thursday, December 5th: 5:00 to 8:00 pm
Friday, December 6th: 5:00 to 8:00 pm
Saturday, December 7th: 12 Noon to 8:00 pm
Sunday, December 8th: 12 Noon to 8:00 pm
Friday, December 13th: 5:00 to 8:00 pm
Saturday, December 14th: 12 Noon to 8:00 pm
Sunday, December 15th: 12 Noon to 8:00 pm

Christmas Parade and Fair, Dec. 7:
Come join Scottsville area churches for the 2nd Annual Christmas parade on Saturday, December 7th!  The parade starts at 6:00 PM and will come right through Downtown Scottsville.  Also on Saturday, December 7, the Scottsville Fire Department will hold a Christmas Fair from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the firehouse on 141 Irish Road in Scottsville.  For great family at Christmas time, we hope to see you in Scottsville on Saturday, December 7th!

Highlights,  November 2013


Museum's 2014 Membership Drive:
Our Museum has become an example of what a small town museum can accomplish.  In order to continue the preservation and promotion of our local history, we need your help.  Please renew your membership today for 2014.  Even a $25 donation will help, but $50 will help twice as much.  Thank you again for your continuing, generous support.  You are our strength.  For additional membership information, please visit

Online Donations:  If you would like to donate to Scottsville Museum online, using Paypal or a credit card, please click on the 'Donate' button below:

Photos from October's Twilight Tours Through Scottsville History:

Lizz Koedam, a Twilight Tours Guide. Photo by Elisha Courts

History came alive on the streets of Scottsville during the last weekend of October with the Museum's very successful Twilight Tours Through Scottsville History.  Over 220 people joined the Twilight Tours on 26 and 27 October and saw notable places in Scottsville and listened to the stories of local people brought to life from the pages of our history.  Participants in each Twilight Tour met a Monacan Indian girl in Bruce Park; Dr. James Turner Barclay in the Barclay House; former Scottsville Mayor Jackson Beal at Victory Theater as portrayed by his great grandson and current Scottsville Mayor, Barry Grove; a very British Colonel Joshua Fry on Main Street; and Scottsville Civil War soldiers that included the notable Dr. Oriana Moon and Captain Henry Gantt of the 19th Virginia Infantry. 

Created and organized by Museum volunteer, Lisa Bittner, the tour provided a wonderful re-enactment of some chapters of our rich town history.  Tour guides included Marilyn Schwarz, Irene Ballowe, Lizz Koedam, and Miranda Burnett with Ralph Lewis, Jacob Gillispie, and Jack Maxwell providing lighting and security for the event.  All proceeds went to benefit the Museum. 

Following are just a few of the rave reviews received by Lisa and her volunteer team regarding their successful Twilight Tours:

Leanne Grove, Scottsville: "Kudos and congratulations on the fabulous success of your Twilight Tours!!!"

Anonymous: "I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful job you all did last night!  We really enjoyed hearing all of your stories and learned so much new info about Scottsville.  Thank you so much for all of your work and energy!"

Dan Gritsko, Scottsville Town Council: "Your team was wonderful!  Thanks to each and everyone of you for putting on a simply delightful tour.  I have the honor of working fulltime in the tourism industry, as a planner and a licensed Washington, D.C., guide myself.  I was just so blessed by the tremendous effort and successful execution of a simply lovely tour of our town.  Thanks to each and every one of you.  My friend, who is also a Tour Guide for the company I work for (WorldStrides), said, "Colonial Williamsburg will need to take notice", referring to the programs they provide in the evenings there, and how the quality of the tours in Scottsville this weekend excelled in all regards.  While I am certain a lot more will be said of your collective efforts, on behalf of the Scottsville tourism committee, and I am sure all of us on the Town Council,  Thanks for showing our town so well!"

Barry Grove, Mayor of Scottsville: "The Town Council and I thank and congratulate you for conceiving, organizing, publicizing and operating the highly successful Scottsville Spirit Walk.  The feedback I am getting from the public is extremely positive and complimentary.  Judging by your tally, almost half of the Town population attended, and that is indeed remarkable.  Thanks, too, go to the actors and guides.  I know how much effort goes into researching a character, writing and memorizing a script, creating a costume and then giving 12 performances over two nights.  They were all great, but it was your infectious enthusiasm that brought us up to the mark.  We are lucky to have a person like you supporting our Town and our Museum.  Sincerely, Barry Grove (aka Jackson Beal), Mayor.

Actors reenacting individuals from Scottsville's rich history included: Bob Schwarz as Dr. James Barclay, B Maxwell as Captain John Lee Pitts, Kit Decker as Colonel Joshua Fry, Gypsy McMillian as Miss Edith Taggart, Emily Gillispie as a Monacan Indian, John Settle as Colonel Henry Gantt, Mayor Barry Grove as Mayor Jackson Beal, and Paige McGrath as Dr. Oriana Moon.  Additionally, all artwork and many of our photos are by Elisha Courts.  To see additional photos of Twilight Tours reenactors and guides, visit Twilight Tours 2013.

Highlights,  October 2013


Twilight Tours Through Scottsville History, 26-27 October 2013

Scottsville Museum is proud to announce a guided tour through Scottsville's history which will be presented on Saturday and Sunday, 26-27 October.  The project is led by Museum volunteer, Lisa Bittner, and staffed by volunteer guides and local actors and actresses.  Come and take a lamplight stroll through historic Scottsville.  With your tour guide, you will encounter town residents from bygone eras.  Hear their tales and recollections, see notable places and people brought to life from the pages of history.  From a Monacan Indian to a 20th century switchboard operator, you'll meet characters--from the common to the legendary--who lived, worked, and left their mark on the place we call Scottsville, 'where the river bends.'  Your guided stroll will take you past local landmarks such as the Barclay House, Canal Basin Square, Bruce Park, the Beal Building, and Victory Hall Theater.

Tours depart every 30 minutes from the Scottsville Museum, and last about an hour.

Each ticket costs $5.00, and all proceeds go to the Scottsville Museum, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of history.

Donations are also welcome.

Please note, no refunds will be given.

The tour is not handicap accessible.

Please dress appropriately for an outdoor, evening walk.

If more information is needed, contact the Museum at 434-286-2247 or e-mail:

Scottsville Museum to Close for 2013 Season, 31 October 2013:
At the end of October, Scottsville Museum closes for the 2013 season.  The Museum will reopen for the 2014 season in April 2014 with regular hours on Saturdays (9 am - 5 pm) and Sunday (1 - 5pm).  In the interim, Museum tours are available for groups of all ages by appointment.  For additional information, please contact the Museum at or call 434-286-2247.

Highlights,  September 2013


New Shutters Installed on Museum, 10 September 2013:

New shutters on Museum, September 2013
The Museum's New Shutters (photo by Ruth Klippstein)

Scottsville Museum is delighted to announce that new shutters were installed this week on our beloved Museum building.  These new historically-accurate shutters replace old shutters that were crumbling due to wood rot over the ages.  The new shutters were financed by a special fund-raising drive in 2012, which was supported by many donors and especially generously by Judy Brown, Tom Thomson, and the 20th Century Merchants' Fund.  Key to the shutter's successful installation were our Museum's Building and Grounds team members, George Goodwin and Robert Schwartz, and our President, Evelyn Edson.  Do come and admire the Museum's new shutters during Community Day in Scottsville this Saturday, 14 September!  And again, many thanks to our faithful supporters of Scottsville Museum--it is lovely to see the Museum building looking so well!

Twilight at Monticello with Alan Pell Crawford, 08 September 2013:
On 08 September 2013, Scottsville Museum hosted a presentation by Alan Pell Crawford on his book, Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson.  As described on his website, Alan's book is "...a beautifully written, evocative portrait of the 'Sage of Monticello' in his retirement years."  Based on new archival information and drawing on correspondence of Thomas Jefferson's children, grandchildren, other relatives, and some of his neighbors, Crawford has researched many unexamined special collections from around the country.  The book does not only tell about Jefferson's later years, but covers many aspects of his earlier life.  As highlighted in The Washington Post review of this book, the book is "a well-researched narrative of Thomas Jefferson's post-presidential years... Crawford deserves credit for focusing on less trampled ground and for shedding new light on Jefferson's dysfunctional family life..."

Alan Pell Crawford at Scottsville MuseumMr. Crawford gave an informal presentation of his new book after asking the audience how well they knew Monticello.  He told us that when Thomas Jefferson died, the white classical pillars we see on the front facade of Monticello were poplar tree trunks--Jefferson was too poor then to have all his grand ideas carried out!  In fact, Monticello was then a noisy, busy, possibly even smelly place, far from the dignified 18th-century calm portrayed today.  Crawford talked about Jefferson's various endeavors, relations with his Snowden brother, Randolph, and his slaves, and his money problems, emphasizing the modern-type of contradictions Jefferson encompassed: he loved and courted society, but he often had to escape it to be happy.  In a lively question and answer period, Crawford said he was motivated to write about such a much-written about character because he was able to use new material from more-distant relatives and neighbors, people whose views of Jefferson are not usually consulted.  Copies of Twilight at Monticello may be purchased at local bookstores or online at

Highlights,  August 2013


New Film Released on White House Butler From Scottsville Area, 16 August 2013:
On 16 August 2013, a new historical drama film directed by Lee Daniels will open in theaters everywhere.  Entitled Lee Daniels' The Butler, the film tells the story of a White House butler, who served eight American presidents over three decades.  The movie is loosely based on the real-life story of Eugene Charles Allen, an African-American man from Albemarle County, who worked in the White House for 34 years and served as an eyewitness to some of the most important social and political events of the 20th century before retiring as head butler in 1986.  In the movie, Eugene's name has been changed to Cecil Gaines, and Forest Whitaker stars as Cecil whose White House experiences included attending presidents from Eisenhower through Reagan.  The movie features an A-list cast including Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey as his wife, Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, and Alan Rickman and Jane Fonda as President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy.  The film premiered in Los Angeles on Monday, 13 September, and hits theaters everywhere on Friday.  Do check it out!

Eugene Charles Allen (shown at left) was born on July 14, 1919, in Buckingham County, VA, to the late Kate Allen Tapscott.  Eugene was raised by his aunt and uncle, Susie and Charlie Brown, on Shirland Farm near Scottsville, VA.  He married his lovely wife, Helene Lee of Conway, NC, in northeast Washington, DC, on November 4, 1943, and one son, Charles, was born in 1946 to the Allens.  In 1951, Eugene went to the White House to interview for a vacant Pantryman position, and soon advanced the ranks from Pantryman to Butler and then to his final position as maitre d' of the White House under President Ronald Reagan.  In his 34-year White House career, Eugene served 8 presidents and their families before retiring in 1986.  Eugene passed away on March 31, 2010, at the age of 90.

For more information on Eugene Allen, please visit Eugene Charles Allen.

The Smithsonian Institute's website has additional information on Eugene Allen at: Hear From the Real Butler of the White House, Eugene Allen

Highlights,  July 2013


StoryLine Project Students Visit Museum, 09 July 2013:
StoryLine Project brought approximately 30 rising fourth- through sixth-graders to Scottsville Museum on Tuesday as they began a 3-day exploration of transportation.  This project is a hands-on summer camp that teams students with local artists, poets, historians, and other community members to help them build a broader view of what it means to live in the Charlottesville area.  'Transit' is this year's theme for the camp, which is supported by the Piedmont Council for the Arts, Charlottesville Parks and Recreation, and other art and transit partners. 

The students had planned to spend a day canoeing on the James River to sketch the landscape and learn how Virginia rivers influenced our industrial life and transportation history over the years.  However, their canoeing was cancelled that morning due to high water on the James.  Instead campers toured Scottsville's Canal Basin Square where they learned more about transportation via batteau on the James and later packetboats on the James River and Kanawha Canal.  The kids walked on the levee that now protects Scottsville from James River floods, and afterwards sat by the riverbank to draw their impressions.  To conclude their day studying boat transportation, Ruth Klippstein introduced camp members to Scottsville Museum's featured exhibit, "Where the River Bends: Scottsville on the James."  After touring the exhibit, students recorded their observations of the day's travel in their sketchbooks in both words and images.  Shown above are the happy campers and their 12 counselors on the Museum's front steps in a photo by Peter Krebs, an artist who has been actively involved with the StoryLine Project for five years.

The second day of camp, students biked through Charlottesville neighborhoods to gain practical experience in following maps and bike safety rules while helping them gain historical perspective on what it means for a community to change over time.  On the third day, students rode the Free Trolley in Charlottesville to show them convenient ways to explore the world around them, all while creating poetry with a local artist.  On Thursday, campers created a mural depicting their week's travels and insights on the Community Chalkboard on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville.  A wonderful week was enjoyed by campers and counselors!

Institute for Public History Discussions, 09 July 2013:
On Tuesday, Connie Geary hosted an on-site visit to Scottsville Museum by Dr. Phyllis Leffler, Director of UVA's Institute for Public History (IPH).  IPH's mission is to form partnerships with public history organizations such as Scottsville Museum that provide UVA student interns with opportunities to work and learn.  This summer, Caroline Gonya and Julia Spong accepted IPH-sponsored internships at Scottsville Museum. 

Caroline began our school oral history project with great enthusiasm and will interview about 14 former students at Scottsville and Esmont High Schools this summer.  After her first two interviews this week, we are very excited about the fond memories Caroline is collecting from local students about their teachers, fellow students, studies, and school activities.  Caroline has considerable experience with oral history projects and completed the oral history of the Friends School of Baltimore for its 225th anniversary.  We are thrilled to have Caroline leading our school oral history project this summer!

Julia began photographing and researching our collection of historic Scottsville business ledgers dating from 1848-1910.  She has made tremendous progress on this project by photographing and creating name indices for 14 of these ledgers to date.  Now Julia is busily researching the people and businesses she has identified in each ledger and will write collections finding aids for each ledger.  Once completed we will publish Julia's finding aids on our web site for research use.  Julia has a terrific knack for deciphering old cursive writing and finding valuable research resources locally and at UVA's Alderman Library and Special Collections that are helping unravel the mystery of local businesses, their products, and customers in the late 19th century.

Shown in the photo at right are (left to right): Caroline Gonya, Dr. Phyllis Leffler, and Julia Spong.  Scottsville Museum wishes to thank Dr. Leffler, IPH, Caroline, and Julia for continuing this most productive and exciting partnership with Scottsville Museum.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR - Independence Day in Scottsville, 04 July 2013:
The Fourth of July is a day for family fun, and Scottsville is once again the place to be.  This holiday falls on Thursday this year, and by 8 AM, festive crowds will begin forming on the Museum's front lawn to be ready for the parade that starts down Valley and Main Streets at 9 a.m. 

After the parade, vendors, refreshments, and bounce houses will be available all day at Dorrier Park.  Music at Dorrier Park will be available from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., and the annual fireworks display in Scottsville begins at dusk at Dorrier Park.

The Museum will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on 4 July.  Do plan to come to Scottsville and join this annual and very fun celebration of our country's independence!

Tree Crash Won By The Bell, 01 July 2013:
For no known weather reason, a huge tree branch cracked off and fell to the ground between the Museum and Barclay House today.  Agnes Johnson, tenant of our Barclay House apartment, alerted our Museum's Building and Grounds team, who quickly investigated.  The photos above show the branch fell around the historic Town Bell of Scottsville on display on the Barclay patio.  Fortunately the bell won the battle with the tree and has no damage except to the metal stand on which the bell freely swung.  A tree service has been called in to investigate the health of the remaining tree structure and to remove all tree debris.  Next we will remount our historic Town Bell for all to enjoy.  Go Bell, GO!

Feedback from Museum Fans:
Dick Barnes, Brownsburg Museum, Brownsburg, VA:  "Thanks so much for the most informative information on your Museum in a Trunk.  This will assist greatly in designing our program.  I feel sure the co-chairs of our committee will be in touch with you with questions they may have as they proceed with the project."

Highlights,  June 2013

Batteau arriving in Scottsville
Batteau Arriving in Scottsville  (Photo by Lauren Turek)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR - Batteau Night in Scottsville, 19 June 2013:
The 28th Annual James River Batteau Festival begins on Saturday, June 15, and runs through Saturday, June 22.  This festival features authentic replicas of the sleek, shallow-draft merchant boats which were used during the late 1700's to transport tobacco, grain, and other goods on the James River from areas of central Virginia.  Each year a small fleet of batteau travel 120 miles from Lynchburg to Richmond, stopping mid-way in Scottsville for music, fun, and festivities.  Batteau will begin arriving in Scottsville in mid-afternoon on Wednesday, 19 June, and tie up at Scottsville's Ferry Street public boat landing.  Visitors can also stroll along the levee by the James River in Scottsville while waiting for the batteau to arrive.

Do join us in Scottsville on Wednesday to see these wonderful boats and their enthusiastic crews in full costume.  Scottsville Museum will be open on Batteau Day from 1-8 pm  There will be food and craft vendors at Canal Basin Square on East Main Street between 2 pm - 7 pm.  The schedule for live music at Canal Basin Square is as follows:

2:00 - 3:00 pm - Bluegrass Jam
3:00 - 4:30 pm - Red & the Romantics (Folk/Americana)
5:00 - 6:30 pm - Rockfish Gap (Bluehgrass/Folk)

For more info on the Batteau music festival in Scottsville, please visit
Batteau Festival in Scottsville.  For additional info on Batteau Festival activities from Lynchburg to Richmond during the week of 15-22 June, please visit the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society's web site at Batteau Festival.

Lewis Family Quilt Top on Exhibit at Virginia Quilt Museum, June 2013:
HEXED is a new exhibit at the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg, VA, and features hexagon quilts spanning almost 300 years of textile art by women mostly from Virginia.  Hexagon quilts have been favored by quilters since the early 1800's.  At right is a gorgeous hexagon quilt top on display with this exhibit, which was probably made by a Lewis family member at their Cliffside home in Scottsville, VA, in the early 1800's.  The quilt has wonderful examples of imported fabrics available to Scottsville residents during that era.

The HEXED exhibit will be on display from now until August 24, 2013, at the Virginia Quilt Museum.  The museum is located in an antebellum house on Main Street near the campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg and is open Tuesday - Saturday, from 10 am to 4 pm.  Tours of the museum's antebellum house and more than 125 antique and contemporary quilts on view can be arranged for special groups.  Please contact the museum's director, Meg Carr, for arrangements at

Special Thanks to Barbara Taylor and Val Schleicher:
In early June 2013, we received an e-mail from Barbara Taylor asking if we would be interested in receiving 540 photos of Scottsville Cemetery gravestones that she and Val Schleicher had taken during a recent family history research trip to Scottsville.  Included in their photos were many gravestones dated after 2006 when the Museum's last inventory of gravestones was compiled.  We were thrilled to accept their offer and are busily adding their photos and post-2006 gravestone records to our website's
Scottsville Cemetery listing.  Thank you, Barbara and Val!

Highlights,  May 2013


MARK YOUR CALENDAR - 21st Annual Monacan Pow-wow, Elon, Virginia, 18-19 May:
Come to Elon and learn more about the Monacans who were the first settlers on the horseshoe bend of the James at the place we now call Scottsville.  This Monacan pow-wow will provide a wonderful opportunity for visitors to share the spirit of the Monacan community as well as its music, dancing, and food.  To learn more, visit
Monacan Pow-wow.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR - HEXED, Virginia Quilt Museum, Harrisonburg, VA, 21 May - 24 August:
The HEXED exhibit presents quilts made from hexagons and includes the contemporary quilt, "Star Struck", by national award-winning quilt maker, Cheryl See of Ashburn, VA.  This quilt is comprised of more than 12,000 tiny hexagons specifically cut to show off features in the printed fabrics Cheryl used.  Also viewers will see the same technique in historic antique hexagon or "mosaic" quilts never before exhibited.  For Scottsville history lovers, one of these historic quilts belonged to the Lewis family of Scottsville, who resided at Cliffside in the 19th century.  For more information, visit
Virginia Quilt Museum

MARK YOUR CALENDAR - Memorial Day in Scottsville, 27 May:
Scottsville honors its men and women, who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, by decorating their graves at our local cemeteries.  On this holiday, Scottsville Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Come visit the Museum and see both our current exhibit, Where the River Bends, and a special exhibition entitled, The Picturesque James.  This exhibition by Geraldine Kiefer is comprised of postcards and engravings of the James River from the 1870s through the 1920's.  We hope to see you in Scottsville on Memorial Day!"

1856 daguerreotype of James Turner Barclay Family:
Dr. James T. Barclay and wife, Julia Barclay, and daughter, Sarah Barclay, 1856 Michael Novak of San Clemente, CA, contacted Scottsville Museum with an incredible offer: he wanted to donate copies of an 1856 daguerreotype of the James Turner Barclay family!!  Michael, a retired professional firefighter, has collected pre-1870 images of firefighters for over thirty years.  Recently, he began buying an occasional non-fire related daguerreotype here and there with enough available information to make a little research enjoyable for him.  So Michael purchased the daguerreotype at right which contained a handwritten inscription in its case reading: Taken in Cincinnati, Ohio, July 1856 and presented to J.D. Pickett.  Dr. J.T. & Julia Barclay and daughter, Sarah, of the family that had been a missionary to Jerusalem.  As he began his research on the Barclay family history, Michael soon discovered our Museum's web site and additional history on the Barclay family and their two missionary trips to Jerusalem in 1850 and again in 1858.  Michael contacted the Museum and sent us an 11x14" enlargement of this daguerreotype as well as a high resolution digital copy of it.  Needless to say, we were overjoyed to accept his most generous gift.  Thank you so much, Michael Novak, for helping us preserve this historic image of the Barclay family for Scottsville and Barclay researchers in the future!

New Educational Activities For Kids:
Scottsville Museum is proud to announce we have added new educational activities to our web site for children in Grades 3 and 4.  These activities are based on six selected themes in Scottsville's history from 1732 to present: The Monacans; A Community Begins (1744-1762); Batteau Era; Canal Era (1830-1881); Civil War (1861-1865); and Floods.  These activities were created by Rachel Gottlieb, a former Institute For Public History intern at the Museum, who earned a Masters of Teaching from the University of Virginia.  Rachel's online educational materials include a teacher's guide, historical fact sheets for each theme, and activities that may include role playing, critical thinking, comparing and contrasting exercises, and matching games.   Rachel geared these activities to Virginia's Standards of Learning (SOL) for Grades 3 and 4.  These activities will be available for children visiting Scottsville Museum in 2012 and online for parents and teachers seeking supplemental educational materials to teach local Virginia history, geography, government, and critical thinking.  Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your superb teaching skills with students of Albemarle County history!

To explore these new educational activities for kids, please visit More Activities.

Events Calendar


To view calendar events for the 2014 season, visit Calendar.

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