Scottsville Museum, Return to home pageNews and Events
HomeExhibitsAboutVisitingNewsOur HistoryPhoto ArchiveFor KidsContactYour HelpSearch

Highlights,  March 2015

  Salute to Sykes Scherman, Museum Volunteer, 9 March 2015:
Sykes SchermanSykes Scherman of Scottsville, VA, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 9, 2015, at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville.  Sykes grew up between New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut, where he met his future wife of 70 years, Gertrude 'Trudy' Achelis.  Sykes attended the University of Virginia for two years before WWII, which gave him a great fondness of Jefferson's University, Charlottesville, and the Virginia countryside. 

When World War II broke out, Sykes served as an ambulance driver with the American Field Service (AFS), aiding troops from Britain and Australia in North Africa.  Upon completion of his AFS tour, Sykes enlisted in the Army and quickly rose to the rank of Tech Sergeant and served as a weapons instructor at Camp Blanding, FL, until the war ended.  Sykes and Trudy married in December 1944, and they drove back to Connecticut where Sykes worked in advertising until 1962.  Next the Schermans moved south to Sykes' beloved Albemarle County and made their home in Scottsville.  Eventually 3 of the Schermans' 4 children would join their parents in Albemarle County.

Sykes and Trudy were faithful docents for and contributors to Scottsville Museum for many years.  What an attentive docent team they were!  If a visitor had a question about Scottsville history, Sykes and Trudy carefully listened and answered many of these questions.  If any question stumped them, the Schermans made notes and worked with Museum historians to get that question answered soonest and thoroughly.  In 2008, Sykes was interviewed by the Museum regarding his WWII service.  He had kept amazing photos of his AFS service in Africa which he shared with the Museum.  Sykes' interview material and his war photos were the centerpiece of a Museum exhibit in 2009-2010 that honored the service of more than 150 WWII veterans from the Scottsville area. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with Trudy and their family.  We all will miss Sykes' warm smile, and generous spirit -- thank you, Sykes!

150th Anniversary of Sheridan's Raid on Scottsville, 6-10 March 2015:

19th VA Infantry Reenactors
This past weekend, Scottsville streets teemed with local citizens and visitors of all ages anxious to learn more about the impact of Sheridan's Raid on Scottsville.  And learn they did via fascinating Civil War exhibits, reenactors, and presentations on the Raid and local life during the Civil War.  Shown above are reenactors from the 19th Virginia Infantry, who set up an encampment in Scottsville's Canal Basin Square for visitors to learn more about Confederate soldier life curing the war.  To see more photos from the past weekend of Civil War history events in Scottsville, visit Sheridan's Raid.

The Museum wishes to thank its many volunteers for their work on this project as well as the Town of Scottsville, Mayor Barry Grove, Virginia History Mobile, Albemarle County Historical Society, Richard Nicholas, Lin Harris, Vern Harris, Regina Rush, Sam Towler, Brian Coffield, Roger Nelson, Jack Hamner, Robert Tharpe, Heather Harris, Bill Parker, Lydia Wilson, Steven Meeks, John Langhorne, Margaret Coles Anderson, John Settle, 19th VA Infantry, Fannie Louden, Ruth Klippstein, Nancy Gill, Ron Smith, George Goodwin, Summer Chaffman, Miranda Burnett, Village Square Shopping Center, James River Inn, and High Meadows Vineyard Inn.  Special kudos to the Museum's President Evelyn Edson, who spent the past year planning with her volunteer team and producing Sheridan's Raid event.  A job most well done by all -- thank you!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Sheridan's Raid on Scottsville, 6-8 March 2015:
General Phillip Sheridan The weather was cold and rainy, and the James River was high when the Union troops under General Philip Sheridan came to Scottsville in March of 1865.  The town was undefended, and the Union troops stayed for a few days, appropriating supplies (food and horses), setting fire to several buildings and canal boats, and destroying the canal. 

Join us in Scottsville on 6-8 March 2015, the 150th anniversary of Sheridan's Raid, and learn more about the long-lasting impact of this raid on our town and its citizens.  In memory of this Civil War moment in Scottsville, we'll see a new Civil War exhibit in the Scottsville Museum and presentations about Sheridan's raid, the James River and Kanawha canal, and the African-American community in Scottsville.  There will also be a free walking tour map available for self-guided tours of important Civil War sites in Scottsville. 

On the weekend of 6-8 March 2015, Scottsville Museum invites you to walk our streets and see stories of the Civil War in rural Albemarle County.  All events are free and open to the public.

Sheridan's Raid Schedule of Events:

History Mobile:  A traveling museum of the Civil War in Virginia.   Saturday (March 7), 9am to 5pm.   Location: Village Square Shopping Center in Scottsville.  

Museum Exhibits:  Featuring artifacts of Sheridan's raid, the lives of African-American families, and women in mourning after the war.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (March 6-8). Friday, 10am to 5pm;  Saturday, 10am to 4pm.  Sunday, 1pm-5pm.  Location: Scottsville Museum, 290 Main Street, Scottsville.

Union Cavalry Reenactors Parade:  2nd U.S. Cavalry, Saturday, (March 7), 11 am  
Cancelled due to inclement weather in Pennsylvania, home of the cavalry reenactors.

Living History group - 19th Virginia Infantry (Confederate reenactors):   Saturday (March 7), 11:30am - 3pm.   Location: Across from Scottsville Museum on Main Street. 

Sheridan's Raid & Scottsville:  Saturday (March 7), 4pm.   Presentation by Richard Nicholas, author of Sheridan's James River Campaign.  Copies of his book will be available for sale and signing.  Location: Victory Hall, 401 Valley Street.

African-American Families in War and Reconstruction:   Sunday (March 8), 3pm.   Presentaion by historians, Sam Towler ("The Families of Liberty Corner")   and Regina Rush ("The Rush Family of Chestnut Grove").  Location: Victory Hall, 401 Valley Street.

James River and Kanawha Canal:  Sunday (March 8), 4pm.   Presentation by Roger Nelson and Brian Coffield of the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society.  Location: Victory Hall, 401 Valley Street.

Walking Tour:  Pick up a free map and guide to Civil War sites in Scottsville.  Maps and information available at Victory Hall and the Visitor's Center on Main Street.

Highlights,  January 2015

  John E. Dickerson, PVT,  Co. C, 19th VA Infantry

John E. Dickerson, Englishman in the 19th VA Infantry :
Three years ago Sara Dickerson Thielen of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, contacted the Museum regarding her research on her great-great grandfather, John E. Dickerson.  In 1861, this Englishman worked as a broom maker in Scottsville.  When the Civil War broke out in Virginia in April 1861, John joined Co. C, 19th VA Infantry along with many other Scottsville men.  We worked with Sara to learn more about her ancestor's Civil War Service and to hopefully locate a photo of her ancestor.  However, no photo was found...until Sara received this 1890 photo of John from another of his descendants and immediately recontacted us to share it and more information about his Civil War service.  Thank you, Sara!

To learn more about Private Dickerson, visit:
John Everett Dickerson, PVT, Co. C, 19th VA Infantry..

Feedback from Museum Fans:
Brett Staples,Charleston, WV:  "I just wanted to send a quick note to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed your website!  I have been very impressed with the amount of historical information and pictures, and I hope to visit the museum in-person at some point in the near future. Keep up the great work!"

Highlights,  December 2014


Christmas in Scottsville, 2014:
As the 2014 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 2015!

Scottsville Festival of Lights, Dec. 1, 5-8, and 13-15:
Scottsville Shopping Center is the location for Scottsville's annual Festival of Lights.  This joyous collection of holiday trees creates a wonderland to amaze young and old alike and is open to the public at no cost on the following dates and times:

Friday, December 5th: 12 Noon to 6:00 pm
Saturday, December 6th: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday, December 7th: 12 Noon to 6:00 pm
Friday, December 12th: 12 Noon to 6:00 pm
Saturday, December 13th: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday, December 14th: 12 Noon to 6:00 pm

Scottsville Christmas Parade of Churches, Dec. 7:
Come see a festive Christmas Parade sponsored by Scottsville area churches on Saturday, December 6th!  The parade starts at 6:00 PM and will come right through Downtown Scottsville on Valley Street and conclude at the Farmers Market.  At the Farmers Market there will be free, hot chocolate, cookies, Christmas music, and Santa Claus!

Highlights,  November 2014


Museum's 2015 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, 24-25 October 2014
Irene Ballowe and Lizz Koedam, Tour Guides
      Irene Ballowe and Liz Koedam, Tour Guides
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 260 people joined the Twilight tours on 24-25 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 Dr. James Turner Barclay, a trained pharmacist and first Disciples of Christ minister in Scottsville in 1846; Lt. David Patteson, a Confederate soldier; Mollie Patteson, David's wife who was widowed before the Civil War ended; Tom Bruce, Scottsville's pharmacist for forty years; Mayor Percy Harris, Scottsville's Mayor from 1943-1953; Miss Willie Hickock, who began teaching in Scottsville's first public school in 1871, with two of her most attentive students; a colonial tavern keeper and her thirsty customer; and Marquis de Lafayette, looking fondly toward the site of the old Albemarle Courthouse and applauding Joshua Fry's leadership in the early chapters of Albemarle County history.

Actors reenacting individuals from Scottsville's rich history included: Bob Schwarz as Dr. James Barclay, John Settle as Lt. David Patteson, Miranda Burnett as Mollie Patteson, Larry Barnett as Tom Bruce, Ralph Lewis as Mayor Percy Harris, Ruth Klippstein as Miss Willie Hickock, Kate and Liam Decker as Miss Hickock's students, Shannon Bittner as a colonial tavern keeper, John Bittner as a tavern customer, and Kit Decker as Marquis de Lafayette.  Additionally, all Twilight Tour artwork was by Elisha Courts. 

To see additional photos of Twilight Tours reenactors and guides, visit Twilight Tours 2014.

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, Barry Grove, and B. Maxwell with Jack Maxwell providing security for the event.  All proceeds went to benefit the Museum. 

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

Mayor Barry Grove, Scottsville: "I thought the Dress Rehearsal was terrific.  Our line up of re-animators this year is even stronger than last, and will certainly be well received.  Thank you so much for your efforts which are really putting Scottsville "on the map."  Regards, Barry!!!"

Joni Zimmerman and Rich Logghe, Newberg, Oregon: "My husband and I were in Scottsville yesterday to visit the museum, and we ended up going on the 6:00 pm Twilight Tour.  I am the great great great grand daughter of Dr. Barclay, and it was so fun to have him as one of the spirits on the tour and to learn more of the history of Scottsville.  Your museum is wonderful, as is your town.  Fascinating history!  We enjoyed it so much!  We are sorry we weren't able to stay longer - we had to leave right after the tour as we had hotel reservations in Staunton.  We live in Oregon and are on our way back home now.  We have a son living in Washington, DC, so just had a visit with him.  We especially enjoyed visiting with Dr. Barclay!"

Feedback from Museum Fans:
Katherine Bunch, 4th grade teacher at Elon Elementary School, Madison Heights, VA:  "Hi, I did a google search on Monacan Indians because it's Native American Month, and came up with your website's resources---can I say, wow?!!!  Thank you so much for all of the information you share!!  I have a student who is Monacan, so I'm very glad to have even more information to share.  Thanks again! :)"

Highlights,  October 2014


Twilight Tours Through Scottsville History, 25-26 October 2014
Scottsville Museum is proud to announce a guided tour through Scottsville's history which will be presented on Saturday and Sunday, 25-26 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.  Listen as Marquis de Lafayette reminisces about his experiences defending Virginia in the Revolutionary War and hear how a 20th century country doctor helped usher in a new industry that transformed Scottsville from a rural village to an industrial town.  Your guided stroll will take you past landmarks such as the Barclay House, Harris House, Scottsville Methodist Church, and other notable features.

Tours depart every 20 minutes from the Scottsville Museum and last approximately an hour.  Ticket prices are $5.00 and proceeds go to the Scottsville Museum, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Scottsville's history.

Salute to Anne Shirley Dorrier, Museum Volunteer, 11 October 2014:
Anne Shirley (Bruce) Dorrier, 2002 On Saturday, 11 October, Anne Shirley (Bruce) Dorrier passed away peacefully at her farm near Scottsville, Virginia.  Anne Shirley was born in Scottsville to her parents, Thomas Ellison and Mary Estes (Browne) Bruce.  She graduated from Scottsville High School and Randolph-Macon Woman's College, marrying her childhood sweetheart, Lindsay Gordon Dorrier, in 1941.  Together Anne Shirley and her husband raised their four children (Lindsay, Claire, Bruce, and Richard) on their farm near Scottsville.  Anne Shirley also earned a Master's Degree from the University of Virginia and taught fifth grade at Belfield School for over 20 years.  Her husband passed away in 1996, and Anne Shirley continued living on her farm and participating in many Scottsville activities as a volunteer and an active contributor to our town and to Albemarle County.

Anne Shirley served as a Museum trustee, volunteer, and docent for many years.  She was passionate about our town's history and generously shared her wonderful collection of William E. Burgess photos with the Museum, which depicted local citizens, businesses, and events of the 1900-1930 time period.  Listening to her talk about Saturdays in Scottsville was simply electrifying as she depicted streets teeming with area citizens, who had come to town to shop and visit with frineds.  Anne Shirley fondly spoke of her joyful opportunities to fish, canoe, and swim in the James River from her childhood through adulthood.  As she described the James in her oral history, "The James River was a huge part of our summertime in Scottsville!" And Anne Shirley spoke most charmingly of the long walks she took her young children on each summer afternoon up the tree-lined road to the Uniroyal Tire Plant and back downtown to Bruce's drugstore for ice cream.  Anne Shirley loved her Scottsville life and made us all smile as we listened to her sun-filled, happy stories of her local life.  And because of Anne Shirley's efforts, we Museum volunteers want to continue preserving our town's history as she did for so many years as a faithful Museum volunteer.  Thank you, Anne Shirley, for your inspiration and support to Scottsville history preservation.

The Rising Wind For Sale at the Museum!
Virginia Moore The Rising Wind, a Civil War novel by Virginia Moore, is now available at the Scottsville Museum for $20.  Set in the Shenandoah Valley, the story follows the life of Mary Patch, the free-spirited daughter of a printer and ends with the Battle of New Market in May 1864.  The book was first printed in 1928 and was Moore's first published work and only novel.  Long out of print, it has been reprinted through the efforts of Charles Miller, a retired college professor, who lives in New Market.  Miller praises Moore's painstaking on-site research and her "exceptionally captivating writing style."

Highlights,  September 2014

  Hidden History with Lynn Rainville, 27 September 2014:
After her book talk, Author Lynn Rainville autographed books for attendees. Photos by Ruth Klippstein

Lynn Rainville, anthropological archeologist and Research Professor in Humanities at Sweet Briar College, knows how to grab an audience, keep their attention, and offer them ordered, accessible information--with plenty of time for questions.  Her quest to find and record African American burial sites in Central Virginia, many of them at risk from development, the land of most of them no longer owned by the relatives of those interred, fired us with a sense of the urgency of the mission.

Lynn spoke of the importance of family groupings of graves, showing relationships, rather than emphasizing the supremacy of the individual.  Only 5% of graves she's found have engraved names on them, but through other documentation she can often make educated guesses.  She's learned about the general location of slave grave sites on plantations--high on a hill or ridge, farther from the big house than the white family's site.  She's discovered how to see depressions that might be graves, and small stones that might be markers.  Among the most interesting possibilities she's recorded is the use of various English letters, perhaps inverted--looking like mistakes--as codes telling more about the dead.  Like signals in quilts along the Underground Railway, they hint at lost patterns and memories.  Rainville urges us to help keep the graves themselves from being lost.

Hidden History: African American Cemeteries in Central Virginia, 27 September 2014:
Hidden History: African American Cemeteries in Central  Virginia by Lynn Rainville

Lynn Rainville, AuthorOn Saturday, September 27 at 2 Scottsville Museum will host a book presentation and book signing event on Saturday, 27 September, at    2 p.m. at the Museum on 290 Main Street in Scottsville.  Lynn Rainville will present her latest book, Hidden History: African American Cemeteries in Central Virginia, a book chronicling 200 years of African-American Cemeteries in this area and the stories behind the individuals buried in them. 

In Hidden History, Rainville travels through the forgotten African American cemeteries of central Virginia to recover information crucial to the stories of black families who lived and worked there for over two hundred years.  The subjects of Rainville's research are not statesmen or plantation elites; they are hidden residents, people who are typically under represented in historical research but whose stories are essential for a complete understanding of our national past.

Rainville visited over 150 historic African American cemeteries to study and provide an overview of mortuary and funerary practices from the late eighteenth century to the end of the twentieth century.  She studied gravestones and graveside offerings in these cemeteries and analyzed available documents such as wills, obituaries, and letters. Rainville's findings shed light on family genealogies, the rise and fall of segregation, and attitudes toward religion and death.  As many of these cemeteries are either endangered or already destroyed, the book includes a discussion on the challenges of preservation and how the reader may visit and help preserve these valuable cultural assets.

Scottsville Museum is located at 290 East Main Street in Scottsville.  Admission to the book signing is free and open to the public.  Copies of Hidden History will be available during the presentation for purchase and signing by Dr. Rainville.  Hope to see you there!

Founders Day in Scottsville, 13 September 2014:
Joshua Fry and his wife, Mary Saturday, 13 September 2014, marked the 270th anniversary of the founding of Albemarle County with Scottsville (originally called 'Scotts Landing') as its county seat.  To commemorate this special anniversary for Scottsville, a Founder's Day was held to celebrate and remember the area's history.  Mayor Barry Grove of Scottsville formerly recognized special guests including Jane Dittmar of Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, several past county supervisors, and former Scottsville Mayor Robert Spencer.  Dittmar read a proclamation recognizing Scottsville's Founder's Day and the 270th anniversary of the founding of Albemarle County in Scottsville (then called Scott's Landing).

Joshua Fry and his wife, Mary (shown at right as reenacted by Kit Decker and Miranda Burnett), bid all attendees a warm welcome to our town.  When Albemarle was created, Joshua Fry was named chief surveyor of Albemarle and was responsible for finalizing claims on tracts of land throughout the county.  right are Joshua Fry and his wife, Mary.   "It is my pleasure to bid you a warm welcome to Scott's Landing this cold autumn morning in the year of our lord, 1745."

To see more photos of the Founder's Day celebration at Scottsville Museum, visit Founder's Day at the Museum.

Highlights,  August 2014

  Local School Oral History Project, 25 August 2014:
Caroline Trezza, 2014 IPH Intern at Scottsville Museum During Summer 2014, Caroline Trezza served as an Institute For Public History (IPH) intern at Scottsville Museum on our School Oral History Project.  In the first 6 weeks of her work, Caroline interviewed 11 students who attended Scottsville High School or Esmont and James P. Burley High Schools.  Shown at right, Caroline also digitized the school-related photographs, newspaper clippings, and other school memorabilia that these former students shared with us.  She also attended the Reunion of Scottsville's Class of 1959 at Roland Leap's house in early June which led to several good interview leads!

In early July, Caroline took an internship sabbatical to undertake a 6-week University of Virginia semester abroad at Cambridge, UK.  In addition to a fascinating course of study in Cambridge, Caroline also managed to travel on the weekends around the UK and to Belgium and France.  She returned to UVA to begin the 2014 Fall Semester at UVA where she is majoring in American Studies and Economics.  On 31 August, Caroline met with Museum Volunteer Connie Geary to prioritize the work remaining in her Museum internship which she will continue part time during this fall.  We are very excited about Caroline's progress in this internship to record students' memories and memorabilia of Scottsville High School, Esmont School, and Burley High School.  Thank you, Caroline, for your excellent progress on this local school project.  And let's give a round of applause to Caroline's oral historians: Ruth Ward (Esmont and Burley), Florence Nicholas Marriott (Scottsville), Thomas Stargell (Scottsville), Anna Boling (Esmont and Burley), LeRoy Thomas (Esmont and Burley), Harvey and Sallie Carmichael (Scottsville), Shirley Cunningham Eye (Scottsville), Everett Sturm (Scottsville), Martha Golladay Newcomer (Scottsville), Marie Cobb Melton (Scottsville), Denise Davis (Scottsville), and Marvin Ripley (Scottsville).  Thanks to all for your support to Scottsville Museum on this school history project!

Highlights,  July 2014

  July 4th Celebrations in Scottsville, 04 July 2014:
July 4th at Scottsville Museum
The Fourth of July Parade passes right by Scottsville Museum, 04/July/2014  (Photos by Ruth Klippstein)

The Fourth of July Parade in Scottsville began promptly at 09:00 AM on July 4th and was comprised of approximately 100 entries.  This annual parade in Scottsville celebrates our country's independence, celebrating our nation's birthday, was sponsored by the Scottsville Volunteer Fire Department.  As is demonstrated in the above photo, the front yard of Scottsville Museum provided an excellent vantage point to see each parade entry roll by as parade watchers sit comfortably on the Museum's brick wall and sidewalk.  On this hot July 4th, Museum goers also greatly enjoyed a chance to cool off in our air-conditioning as they toured our exhibit, "Where the River Bends: Scottsville, Virginia".
July 4th celebrants visiting Scottsville Museum, 2014
The celebration in Scottsville continued on into twilight when celebrants enjoyed a brilliant fireworks display sponsored by the Fire Scottsville Fire Department, which proudly carried on the words of John Adams --""Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more." Once again the Fourth of July celebrations in Scottsville reminded us of how fortunate we are to have the freedom that has been entrusted to us all by our forefathers.

Highlights,  June 2014

  Salute to Katherine Ellis, Museum Volunteer, 28 June 2014:
On Saturday, 28 June, Katherine Ellis passed away peacefully in Charlottesville,Virginia.  Katherine was the daughter of the late James McFarland, Sr., and his wife, Helen Harris, of the Scottsville Harris family.  After completing first grade in Scottsville, Katherine and family moved to Charlottesville where she completed her undergraduate education; Katherine then attended the University of Virginia and later Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas.  She spent most of her married life in Lafayette, Louisiana, but after the passing of her husband, Dr. A. Clayton Ellis, Katherine returned to Scottsville in 1993 to be near her remaining family.

Katherine became an active contributor to Scottsville Museum's mission by taking on regular docent assignments herself and also filling in for docents, who were unable to take their regular assignment due to illness or conflicts in their schedules.  Katherine also was a tremendous help to the Museum as she shared her many photos and historical records and excellent knowledge of the Charles Bascom Harris, Sr., and Helen (Crafton) Harris family, who resided at Fairview (now High Meadows) and operated the Harris Merchandise store in Scottsville.  Katherine's knowlege of this family's history was so extensive that the Museum developed a rich display on them for our 2002 exhibit entitled Whispers from the Past. Additionally, Katherine permitted the Museum to digitize her collection of historic photos and documents of Scottsville's history for our website and digital archives.  Katherine was an encouraging leader and a most positive contributor to Scottsville Museum's mission. We are proud to have worked with and learned from Katherine --- she will be greatly missed.  Our thoughts are with her daughter, June, and family at this difficult time.  (Photo of Katherine Ellis by Gwynne Daye)

Institute for Public History Discussions, 25 June 2014

Phyllis Leffler, Lisa Goff, and Caroline Trezza
(L to R): Dr. Phyllis Leffler, Dr. Lisa Goff, and Caroline Trezza

On Wednesday, Connie Geary hosted an on-site visit to Scottsville Museum by Dr. Phyllis Leffler, Director of UVA's Institute for Public History (IPH), and Dr. Lisa Goff of UVA's American Studies Program.  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 Trezza accepted an IPH-sponsored internship at Scottsville Museum.

Caroline began our school oral history project in May 2014 and to date has interviewed 9 students who attended Scottsville High School and 3 students who attended Esmont High School.  Additionally, Caroline attended the SHS Class of 1959 reunion in June and gained excellent insights into these students' memories of their teachers, fellow students, studies, and school activities.  We are very excited about the results of her interviews and also the many photographs, yearbooks, and school memorabilia that Caroline has scanned and digitized for our Museum's digital archives. 

Caroline will begin her fourth year at UVA this fall where she is majoring in American Studies with a Southern States concentration.  She is also a member of the University Guide Service where she regularly interprets and discusses the history of UVA with tourists from around the U.S. and the world.  On 03 July, Caroline will interrupt her internship for 6 weeks as she flies to Oxford where she will take two courses in a UVA Summer Abroad program.  When she returns to Charlottesville in mid-August to begin UVA's Fall semester, Caroline will complete her internship at the Museum as she interviews two more of Scottsville's former students. 

Scottsville Museum wishes to thank Dr. Leffler and Caroline for continuing this most productive and exciting partnership with Scottsville Museum.  Additionally, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Goff to this partnership and look forward to working with her when she becomes the leader of the IPH intern program in 2015. 

Native American Dancing at the Museum, 18 June 2014:

Native American Dancers Performing at Scottsville Museum: 
(L to R): Luke Pierce, Max Yamane, and Emily Gillispie

Volunteer Emily Gillispie organized a fun event at the Museum on Wednesday, Batteau Night in Scottsville.  Last October Emily starred in our Twilight Tours of Scottsville as a Native American reenactor, and as batteau crews and spectators walked the nearby town streets this sunny June day, Emily and two friends, Max Yamane and Luke Pierce, performed traditional Native American dancing at the Museum.  Emily's goal was to entertain and to educate -- and her goal was achieved excellently as more knowledge was gained by all attendees about the history of Native Americans as well as their role in society today.  And everyone had fun!.

First Max, a student at James Madison University with a double major in Violin Performance and Cultural Anthropology, explained the elaborate regalia he was wearing that consisted of vivid red and yellow colors on his leather shirt and breeches and elaborate feathers of the same colors on his arms, back, and head.  Max is highly experienced in Native American culture and has won men's Fancy Dance competitions.  Even as an accomplished Fancy Dancer, Max says his style is still evolving.  Max wowed us all with his speedy footwork and swirling feathers as he joyfully danced around the Museum floor.

Max YamaneEmily Gillispie
Emily demonstrated a woman's dance that was slow and graceful as she twirled around the dance floor in a lovely blue and purple traditional dress.  She also played the hand drum as Max and Luke danced around the floor. Finally, Emily, Max, and Luke lead the entire audience in a Friendship dance around the floor.  An excellent time was had by all!
Friendship Dancing at Scottsville Museum
And then everyone headed down to the banks of the James River in Scottsville to watch the batteau, "The Spirit of Buckingham", come ashore.  A blast of its cannon announced the arrival of this batteau ...and the beginning of Batteau Night in Scottsville!
The Spirit of Buckingham, 18 June 2014

Museum Volunteers Visit the Valentine Museum, 17 June 2014:

Civil War-era mourning dress
At left, a Civil War mourning dress.  At right, Lin Harris and Evelyn Edson at the Valentine Museum

Evelyn Edson, Lin Harris, and Ruth Klippstein took a field trip to the Valentine Museum in Richmond to explore new ideas to help enhance Scottsville Museum's Civil War display for the 2015 commemoration of General Phillip Sheridan's Raid through Scottsville.  Our volunteers were met by Jackie Mullins, the Valentine's Collections Manager, who prepared for their visit by bringing out dresses, hats, and a variety of mourning gear worn by women during Civil War times.  We loved the ruched and beribboned mourning dresses, the hair jewelery, veils in a variety of weights, and a wonderful black beaded Bertha collar, a heavy, deep piece worn over a plain dress.  This Valentine visit with Jackie generated lots of possible ideas for our Museum's enhanced Civil War display.  Thank you so much, Jackie and Valentine Museum!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR - Batteau Night in Scottsville, 18 June 2014:

Batteau arriving in Scottsville
Batteau Arriving in Scottsville 

The 29th Annual James River Batteau Festival begins on Saturday, June 14, and runs through Saturday, June 21.  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, 18 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 - 3:30 pm - Scottsville Showcase Folk Open Mic: Special Guests and Local Talent!
3:30 - 4:45 pm - John Tracy, Singer/Songwriter/Recording Artist, Folk/Americana/Inspirational
5:00 - 7:00 pm - Tara Mills Music featuring Yankee Dixie, "Original Blue Ridge Mountain Folk"

For more info on the Batteau music festival in Scottsville, please visit
Scottsville Batteau Festival.  For additional info on Batteau Festival activities from Lynchburg to Richmond during the week of 14-21 June, please visit the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society's web site at Batteau Festival.

Book Signing at the Scottsville Museum, 14 June 2014, 2 p.m.
Thomas Jefferson: From Boy to Man

Jayne d'Alessandro-Cox will speak about and sign copies of her latest book, Thomas Jefferson: From Boy to Man, at the Scottsville Museum on Saturday, June 14, at 2 p.m.

We hear a lot about the Founding Fathers, but perhaps we forget that they were once little boys, even foolish teenagers.  D'Alessandro-Cox presents Jefferson before he became famous, chronicling his school days, his family life, including early loss of his father, even his "wild year" at the College of William and Mary.

Although Thomas Jefferson kept records of the minutiae of his daily life, he seldom talked about his feelings.  D'Alessandro-Cox mines some of his personal letters, as well as his autobiography, and assembles a fictional journal, imagining his thoughts as he embarked on his public career.  She pictures him seated on a rock overlooking his Albemarle County home on August 17, 1774, the 17th anniversary of his father's death.  Here, at age 31, he reviews his early life experiences and dreams about the future.

A native of Farmingdale on New York's Long Island, d'Alessandro-Cox has lived in Virginia for more than forty years.  She writes, "I fell in love with the rolling hills and mountain views of Charlottesville the day my Piedmont Airlines flight touched down on December 31, 1981."  Her research for the book took her to many Jefferson sites throughout Virginia, and the book is illustrated with a collection of beautiful and rare photographs.

Scottsville Museum is located at 290 East Main Street in Scottsville.  Admission to the book signing is free and open to the public.

Highlights,  May 2014

  Caroline Trezza, Intern at Scottsville Museum, 07 May 2014:
Caroline Trezza On Wednesday, Connie Geary hosted an on-site training session for Caroline Trezza, our summer intern from UVA's Institute For Public History (IPH).  During her internship at Scottsville Museum, Caroline will continue our school oral history project and plans to interview about 12 former students at Scottsville and Esmont schools.  She is looking forward to her personal interactions with these former students as they share and relay 20th century history in a conversational setting.

Caroline just completed her third year at UVA where she is majoring in American Studies and Economics.  She is a member of the University Guide Service where she regularly interprets and discusses the history of UVA with diverse tourists from around the world.  Additionally, she has served as a facilitator for the course, "History of Mr. Jefferson's University", where she engaged in similar discussions with students from a variety of University backgrounds.  Caroline is also a volunteer in Adopt-A-Grandparent, a UVA volunteer program where she weekly visits with a senior citizens in an assisted living facility in Crozet and has enlightening conversations with them about their families, upbringing, travels, and careers.  Caroline is excited for the opportunity this internship gives her to more closely study school history in Scottsville and Esmont.  We are thrilled to have Caroline leading our school oral history project this summer -- welcome, Caroline!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR - 22nd Annual Monacan Powwow, Elon, Virginia, 16-18 May 2014:
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 powwow 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 Powwow.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR - Memorial Day in Scottsville, 26 May 2014:
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 our current exhibit, Where the River Bends.  We hope to see you in Scottsville on Memorial Day!"

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.

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,

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 2015 season, visit Calendar.

Home         Exhibits         About         Visiting       News       Our History       Archive       For Kids      Contact       Your help       Search