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Highlights,  January 2016

  The Building Tells Us What to Do, 30 January 2016:
Canal Warehouse in Restoration, Scottsville, VA, 30 January 2016
Canal Warehouse in Restoration, 30 January 2016
Shown above is the Canal Warehouse in Scottsville which is undergoing a massive restoration at the direction of its owner, Walter Neighbors of Neighbors Construction Company.  Walter is adamant, however, in saying, "We don't own the building; it owns us.  It tells us what to do!"  Walter and his team are studying the building and creating all of the replacement parts needed to restore it to its original specifications.  On Saturday at the old Dollar Store in Scottsville, Walter and John Neighbors, Robert Coles, and a large volunteer team demonstrated several of the restoration processes to a fascinated group of visitors interested in the history of this building and its restoration.  Included in these demonstrations were sash construction (windows) and reglazing windows; fabrication of the original crown; rebuilding the copper gutter troughs for the warehouse roof; and removing loose mortar around its bricks and repointing up bricks with special formula mortar.  Also on display were the tools originally used to perform these jobs when the warehouse was first built.

The Warehouse was built between 1836 and 1844 to hold farm goods waiting to be loaded onto boats on the James River and Kanawha Canal or to receive manufactured goods on the canal for eventual shipment to the Shenandoah Valley via wagon trains from Scottsville.  Timbers are massive on each of the Warehouse's three floors and basement, and walls of the building are constructed of locally-made bricks that are 18 inches thick.  This brick is set in English bond with many patches showing different colors of brick and mortar joints.  The gambrel roof has four dormers to the west as shown in the photo above. 

This presentation by the Neighbors Construction team was sponsored by Scottsville Museum and Town of Scottsville's Architectural Review Board.  To see some wonderful photos of this presentation by Eduardo Montes-Bradley, visit "Canal Warehouse Restoration." 

Salute to Samuel Earl Newton, Museum Volunteer and WWII Historian, 26 January 2016
Earl Newton, October 2007 On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, Samuel Earl Newton passed away at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville.  Earl was born on October 4, 1952, in Charlottesville, a son of Samuel Ernest and Marie (Gentry) Newton of Scottsville.  Earl served with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and after his honorable discharge, he joined the Albemarle County Police in 1983.  Earl served with the police department for 21 years, retiring in 2004 as a lieutenant.

In his retirement, Earl was an active member of the All-American Honor Guard (AAHG) of Charlottesville and the Scottsville Museum.  He was a huge supporter of the Museum's popular WWII exhibit, "Small Town, Big War."  Earl loaned the Museum his substantive collection of WWII artifacts that belonged to his maternal ancestor, Raymond Gentry, as well as artifacts that Earl personally collected as a member of AAHG.  Earl's collection added many historically fascinating relics from the War to the Museum's displays as well as important WWII teaching points for the exhibit's visitors.

Additionally, Earl was the driving force behind the Veterans' Appreciation Weekend in October 2007 that was cosponsored by Scottsville Museum and AAHG.  During the weekend, a living history program was featured at Canal Basin Square (CBS) with period displays from almost every era in U.S. military history from Jamestown through WWII.  Over one thousand visitors attended this powerful salute to all veterans and learned more about U.S. military history.  Shown at left above is a photo of Earl in naval uniform as he smiled broadly with all of the history education going on about him at CBS.  Earl was a remarkable leader and a friend who was always willing to help.

Thank you, Earl, for all you did for history education and for the Scottsville community.  Our condolences go out to Earl's beloved wife, Gloria; their two daughters, Heather and Erica and their families; and to Earl's parents, siblings, and many friends.  A funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, January 30, 2016, at Antioch Baptist Church (4422 Antioch Road, Scottsville, VA 24590).  Internment will follow in the church cemetery.

"The Building Tells Us What To Do," 30 January 2016
Canal Warehouse, Scottsville, VA
Old Canal Warehouse, ca. 1925-1930

What's happening at the Canal Warehouse?  Join us on Saturday, January 30, at 2 p.m. when Walter Neighbors and his crew will put on a demonstration of the techniques and tools they are using to restore this historic building in Scottsville.  The program will be held at the old Dollar Store on Valley Street.  Entitled "The Building Tells Us What To Do," the presentation will discuss the processes of finding and working with traditional tools and materials.  The program is sponsored by the Scottsville Museum and the Town of Scottsville's Architectural Review Board.

Restoring an old building presents many challenges.  The Neighbors Construction Company has had to rediscover old methods of constrution and build its own tools.  Among the processes on view will be assembling the copper gutter trough, restoring windows, fabricating a metal cutter and cutting a section of exterior crown molding, and removing loose mortar and pointing the brick walls with a special formula.  Tools originally used to perform these jobs will be on display.

Walter Neighbors has spent his career working in historic restoration in Richmond and the Washington, DC area.  Back home now in Buckingham County, he has taken on the daunting project of restoring the Canal Warehouse, originally constructed around 1844.  After the demise of the canal in 1880, the warehouse was used for many other purposes, including as an antique store, residential apartments, and storage.  Older residents remember fondly the Saturday dances once held in its spacious interior.  Fires, floods, decay, and neglect have taken their toll, but the more he studies the building, the more admiration he has for its original design and construction, says Mr. Neighbors.

What will happen to this warehouse when its restoration is finished?  Neighbors says he has no idea, but it is simply doing the best job he can to bring it back to life.  Come and see what's going on.  Admission is free, and all are welcome!

For more information, please call Evelyn Edson at 434-286-3466.

Highlights,  December 2015


Christmas in Scottsville, 2015:
As the 2015 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 2016!

Scottsville Festival of Lights, 10-13 December 2015:
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:

Thursday, Dec. 10: Silent Auction and Reception, 6-8pm
Friday, Dec. 11: Festival of Lights 3-9 pm
Saturday, Dec. 12: Festival of Lights, Noon to 9 pm
Sunday, Dec. 13: Festival of Lights, Noon to 6 pm

The Scottsville Sun Online, 01 December 2015:

Scottsville Museum is pleased to announce that 40 editions of the 1952 Scottsville Sun newspaper are now online on our website!  During this past summer, Scottsville resident, Robert K. Spencer, shared his collection of these newspapers for scanning and research use by the Museum.  Nicole Penn, our 2015 intern from the University of Virginia's Institute for Public History (IPH), scanned Mr. Spencer's newspapers for the Museum and created finding aids for each newspaper dating from 1952-1960s.  Museum staff just completed processing the 1952 newspapers for online use and will continue processing the rest of the newspapers for upload to our website over the next few months.

The Scottsville Sun was organized in October 1951, thanks to the efforts of Scottsville's Lions Club, and was published by the Amherst Publishing Company.  The newspaper's first editor was J. Bernard McDearman, and its first managing editor was Elizabeth Wimer. As a newspaper dedicated to serving the Scottsville community living in Albemarle, Fluvanna, and Buckingham counties, the Scottsville Sun covered local news and events in addition to publishing columns on subjects ranging from politics, to farming techniques, to housekeeping advice.  This newspaper maintained a circulation of roughly 500 to 1000 readers, and was active from 1951 into the 1960's.

Kudos to Nicole for her excellent internship product, and special thanks to UVA's Music Library which allowed Nicole to use their large format scanner to complete our project!  To learn more about this project and view scanned images of these newspapers, please visit: The Scottsville Sun.

Highlights,  November 2015
  Local Time: The Ups and Downs of Running a Small-Town Museum
by Evelyn Edson, November 2015, Perspectives on History
Scottsville Museum, Courtesy of Connie Geary Check this out, Scottsville!  Thanks to the American Historical Association for sharing this feature article in the November 2015 issue of Perspectives on History.  In this article, Evelyn Edson, President of Scottsville Museum, discusses the joys and challenges of running a small-town museum.

"As a historian of medieval cartography, I thought the last thing I would ever do was get involved with the local museum in my town, Scottsville, Virginia.  Many small towns have one: a museum of local history founded by patriotic citizens and run on a shoestring by a legion of unpaid volunteers.  Having studiously avoided American history in college and graduate school, I knew myself to be supremely unqualified. But my neighbors felt differently..."

To read more of this article by Evelyn, visit:
Local Time:  The Ups and Downs of
Running a Small-Town Museum
The Scottsville Museum is housed in an 1846
building that was formerly a Disciples of Christ church.  Photo courtesy of Connie Geary, Scottsville Museum.

A Scottsville Leader: Virginia McCraw Lumpkin
Virginia McCraw Lumpkin, 2009 Virginia Lavinia (McCraw) Lumpkin is shown at right tending her beloved orchids at her Scottsville home in 2009.  She has been a much beloved business woman and leader in Scottsville's hotel and restaurant business for 65 years.  Virginia began working at the Traveler's Rest Hotel in 1950, and soon became its manager.  In 1962, Virginia and Hollis Lumpkin purchased Lee's Restaurant on Valley Street (now Amici's Restaurant) which they operated until they built and began operation of their very successful Lumpkins Restaurant at the north edge of Scottsville.  Postings on Yelp from diners at Lumpkins rave about its hospitality and great food: "The locals, food, and atmosphere were more than enough to make this a memorable experience"; "God Bless Mrs. Lumpkin and her family, she is wonderful, tells tons of stories and is still going strong!";  "A cornerstone of the community and an old-fashioned restaurant!"; "It makes me happy."

To read more about Virginia Lumpkin and her leadership in Scottsville, visit Virginia Mcraw Lumpkin.

Museum's 2016 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 2016.  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:

Highlights,  October 2015


Photos from October's Twilight Tours Through Scottsville History, 24-25 October 2015
Twilight Tours 2015 Photos
The Twilight Tours 2015 Begin!

History came alive on the streets of Scottsville during this past October weekend with the Museum's very successful Twilight Tours through Scottsville History.  Attendees of the 2015 Twilight Tours on 24-25 October 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 Anne Cox Scott, wife of Scottsville's founder, Edward Scott; Randolph Jefferson, owner of Snowden plantation and brother of Thomas Jefferson; Lt. Richardson Mallet, a Confederate soldier assigned to picket duty during the Civil War; Ella Rush, an emancipated freedwoman after the Civil War, who lived near Esmont; President Teddy Roosevelt, who used his rustic cottage at Pine Knot as a getaway for his family and himself from 1905-1908; Frances Farrish Butler, who farmed her brother's Buckingham farm while he and her husband served nearly 5 years in the U.S. Army during World War II; and Anna Anderson Manahan, who lived at Fair View Farm near Scottsville and believed she was the Grand Dutchess Anastasia Romanov.

Actors reenacting individuals from Scottsville's rich history included:  Ruth Klippstein as Anne Cox Scott; Kit Decker as Randolph Jefferson; Kate and Liam Decker as Randolph Johnson's children; John Settle as Lt. Richardson Mallet; Kathy Cumisky as Ella Rush; Ralph Lewis as President Teddy Roosevelt; Miranda Burnett as Frances Farrish Butler; and Terri Long as Anna Manahan aka Anastasia. 

To see additional photos of Twilight Tours reenactors and guides, visit Twilight Tours 2015.

Created and organized by Museum volunteer, Miranda Burnett, the 2015 Tour provided a wonderful re-enactment of some chapters of our rich town history.  Our guides for the Twilight Tours were Shannon Bittner, Museum Docent; Barry Grove, Mayor of Scottsville; B. Maxwell, History Teacher; and Irene Ballowe, Museum Docent.  Security for the Tours was provided by Jack Maxwell, and all Twilight Tour artwork was by Elisha Courts.

Feedback from Museum Fans:
Petite Craddock, former BOS for the Scottsville District:  "We just got back from a wonderful Sunday in Scottsville.  We (about 14 of us....Craddocks, Butlers, and Wards) visited Baines, RiverTown Antiques, did The Spirit Walk and dined a The Tavern on the James.  Kudos to the folks that do The Spirit Walk!  We have attended every year, and this year was great.  The actors and actresses do a wonderful job recreating their characters on a perfect fall evening.  Our superb guide for the evening was Mayor Grove." (As published in the Scottsville Weekly, Issue #279, October 31 - November 6, 2015.)

Joyce Kidd, Scottsville, VA:  "We so enjoyed the Twilight Tour....great job to all!  We will be there next year, too!"

Twilight Tours Through Scottsville History, 24-25 October 2015
Scottsville Museum is proud to announce a guided tour through Scottsville's history which will be presented on Saturday and Sunday, 24-25 October.  The project is led by Museum Board member, Miranda Burnett, 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 Anne Cox Scott, wife of Edward Scott, reminisces about colonial life in Scotts Landing in 1750, and hear how Randolph Jefferson, younger brother of Thomas, succeeded as an obscure farmer at Snowden.  Listen to the story of Ella Rush, who lived as an emancipated freedwoman near Esmont, VA, and dreamed of owning land, even a few acres.  Three other historical figures in the Scottsville area complete the cast and cover events from the Civil War through World War II.  Your guided stroll will take you past landmarks such as the Barclay House, Scottsville Methodist Church, and Canal Basin Square,

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 William Schneider, Museum Volunteer and Oral Historian, 07 October 2015:
On Wednesday, 07 October 2015, William Paul Schneider passed away at his residence in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Bill was born in 1918 in the Bronx, New York, the only child of William Schneider and Anna (Cirofici) Schneider.  When WWII broke out, Bill served as a mechanic in the 760th Tank Battalion in campaigns in North Africa and Italy.  He married his wife, Lina (Bobbie) shortly after the war ended, and for the next 37 years, Bill worked in varying capacities at The Woodlawn Cemetery.  Upon his retirement, Bill and Bobbie moved to Scottsville where they participated in many local activities, including Scottsville Museum where he served as a faithful docent for many years.  In 2006, Bill participated in the Museum's WWII oral history project and shared his amazing photographs of war scenes in Africa and Italy which became an important part of the Museum's 2007 exhibit entitled "Small Town, Big War."

Bill was a most positive member of the Museum's volunteer team, and it was always a pleasure to work with him on our history preservation mission.  Thank you, Bill, for your inspiration and support to the Scottsville community.  Our condolences go out to his two sons, Frederick Schneider of Charlottesville and James Schneider of Scottsville. 

Highlights,  September 2015


Descendant of Theodore Little Visits Museum, 10 September 2015:
On this lovely September afternoon in Scottsville, Sue Brickley of Bloomington, MN, met with Museum staff at the Barclay House.  Sue is the great, great granddaughter of Theodore Wallis Little, who lived in Scottsville in the 1842-1866 time frame and invented and patented Little's White Oil, a horse liniment.  Sue presented the Museum with a circa 1905 photo of the surviving children and grandchildren of Theodore and his wife, Sarah Amelia (Bragg) Little.  Included in this photo were their five surviving children, who were born in Scottsville, VA: Frances Amelia (Little) Ross, Charles Church Little; Ella Ann Little; James Mason Bragg Little; and Eben White Little.  Sue also donated copies of her Little family group sheets to the Museum for future researchers use and date from the birth of Theodore's father, Ebenezer Little, in 1793 in Shirley, MA, through to Sue's family in Minnesota.  Thank you so much for your donation, Sue!

Next Museum staff drove Sue to the location on East Main Street where Theodore and his family lived in a boarding house at the time of the 1860 census of Scottsville.  Additionally, Sue was shown Lot 134 just north of the old livery stable at the corner of Valley and Main Street.  This lot was owned by Theodore's brother, Charles, and part of it became a blacksmith shop where Charles worked with G.W. Coleman.  Sue also was shown the property Charles Little owned and sold to the Scottsville Presbyterian Church in 1864 for the purpose of it becoming a cemetery, now known as Scottsville Cemetery.

During her Museum visit, Sue also met with Jack Hamner (shown in photo at right), who had helped her locate and purchase an original Little's White Oil bottle via eBay a few weeks earlier.  In the photo, Sue and Jack each held a Little's White Oil bottle and were clearly thrilled that these original artifacts once contained liniment created by Sue's ancestor.  Jack also shared copies with Sue and the Museum of the original directions for use of this liniment which Theodore Little packed with each bottle.  Included with the directions were several most positive testimonials from Theodore's liniment customers, who clearly found his liniment helpful with the muscular aches and pains of both animals and humans.

To learn more about the Little family and their White Oil liniment, visit Little's White Oil.

Highlights,  August 2015


History of Little's White Oil, 17 August 2015:
Little's White Oil Bottle, 1842-1866

In 2004, an archaeological team, conducting an excavation in Bowen's Prairie, IA, unearthed the fragments of an old glass bottle, which contained an embossed label reading, "Little's White Oil, Scottsville, VA."  The archaeologists quickly contacted Scottsville Museum in hopes of learning more information about the contents and purpose of this bottle.  At that time, Jack Hamner of the Museum Board identified an intact Little's White Oil bottle (see above) with accompanying directions for its successful use as a liniment for both animals and humans.

Earlier this month, Sue Brickley of Bloomington, MN, contacted Scottsville Museum to tell us more of the story behind Little's White Oil.  Sue is the great great granddaughter of Theodore Wallis Little, who compounded and patented this liniment in the 1830's.  Theodore moved from Wayne County, NY, to Scottsville in 1842 and established a drug business with his brother, Charles Ebenezer Little.  Together the two brothers manufactured and marketed this liniment in 23 states (mostly Southern states) between 1842-1866.  In 1866, having lost a small fortune due to the Civil War, Theodore and his family moved from Scottsville to Bowens Prairie, IA, where his parents had lived since 1848.  For the trip to Iowa, Theodore transported the family's few remaining possessions, including some bottles of Little's White Oil in a wagon.  Thus the likely source of the Little White Oil bottle fragments, discovered in the Bowen's Prairie dig in 2004, was the Theodore Little family.  Thank you, Sue Brickley, Jack Hamner, and Richard Nicholas, for helping the Museum piece together the answer to the mystery of the Little's White Oil bottle fragments!

To learn more about the Little family and their White Oil liniment, visit Little's White Oil.

Highlights,  July 2015


Nicole Penn Briefs Museum Board on Her Internship Results, 25 July 2015:
Museum President Evelyn Edson and Nicole Penn (L to R)

Robert Spencer at Scottsville MuseumOn Saturday, Nicole Penn met with Museum Board members at the Barclay House to brief them on the splendid results of her 2015 Institute for Public History (IPH) internship at the Museum. For the past two months, Nicole has archived Robert Spencer's collection of The Scottsville Sun newspapers dating from the 1950s to 1960s.  Mr. Spencer (shown at right) worked for this newspaper in the mid-1950s right after he graduated from Scottsville High School.  Nicole's work on this project included interviewing him about his newspaper experiences and making full-page, searchable scans of over 300 newspapers.  Additionally Nicole authored a collections finding aid which will be placed on the Museum's web site with the digital copies of The Scottsville Sun for researcher use.  When the addition of these materials to our web site is completed later this year, their availability to researchers will be announced here -- stay tuned!

Organized in October 1951, thanks to the efforts of the Scottsville Lions Club, The Scottsville Sun was particularly important to Scottsville as the town had been without a newspaper for about a decade.  The Sun was published by J. Bernard McDearman, who owned several newspapers in and around Albemarle and Fluvanna counties, and the Sun's managing editor was Elizabeth F. Wimer.

Nicole's study of the content of these newspapers noted that they are a perfect snapshot of the political, social, and cultural situation in Scottsville during the 1950's-1960's.  Additionally, the Sun contained many biographical glimpses of town residents such as the feature of the January 8, 1953 edition by Ms. Wimer on "Mr. and Mrs. Milton Cohen: Too Busy for Hobbies, But Take Lively Interest in Community."  The Cohens ran "Scottsville's only family clothing store" in 1953, and the article describes the young Jewish couple's connections to Scottsville, their involvement in the community, and the hobbies that they indulged in when they were not "too busy."

Nicole also found numerous articles in the Sun that will help researchers better understand the history of Scottsville.  This newspaper detailed many important local events from county fairs to the opening of new structures such as the Post Office on West Main Street in 1953, news from local high schools, and accident and crime reports.  During the Summer of 1954, the Sun published a 6-part series, written by Robert Spencer, on the history of Scottsville that is well researched and an excellent read.

The Museum is quite delighted with Nicole's excellent internship work to preserve these newspapers by scanning them into a searchable format, which our online researchers of Scottsville history will find quite valuable.  Thank you so much, Nicole, for your dedication and superb internship product -- congratulations on a job most well-done!

Highlights,  June 2015


MARK YOUR CALENDAR - Batteau Night in Scottsville, 24 June 2015:

Batteau arriving in Scottsville
Batteau Arriving in Scottsville 

The 30th Annual James River Batteau Festival makes a stop in historic Scottsville, Virginia, on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015.  The highlight of this FREE, family-friendly festival is the afternoon arrival of a flotilla of 15-20 historic replica, hand-crafted batteaux....long wooden, flat-bottomed, poled boats that were once used to ferry tobacco, grain, other goods, and passengers on the James River.  Each batteau carries a full crew, dressed in period costume.

Scottsville is the halfway point of the 120-mile river journey from Lynchburg to Richmond, which takes eight days.  The batteaux will dock at designated locations along the route, and each boat crew will camp out each night along the riverbank.  The Scottsville Batteau Festival is a town-sponsored event that draws well-wishers and visitors from throughout the region.  There will be a variety of activities... including an acoustic bluegrass jam, traditional artisans and crafters, food vendors, historic re-enactors, special exhibits, walking tours, and more!

Part of the mission of the James River Batteau Festival (along with the parent organization, Virginia Canals and Navigations Society) is to preserve the heritage of this historic mode of river transport that was a vital presence on America's Founding River from 1775 to 1840.  The shallow-draft batteau boats allowed for easier access to trade routes that supplied goods for our new nation and expansion to the western frontier.  At one point, there were more than 500 batteaux plying the waters of the James River...carrying tobacco, grain, and passengers...which expanded routes that helped open trade to the West.

Scottsville Museum will be open on Batteau Day from 1-8 pm, with our special exhibit entitled "Scottsville in the Civil War."  Admission is free, and all are welcome!

Visitors to Scottsville may also take a self-guided tour of Canal Basin Square (249 Main Street, Scottsville, VA 24590), a year-round, outdoor Transportation History Park, on the site of the old James River and Kanawha Canal Turning Basin.

Do join us in Scottsville on Wednesday to see these wonderful boats and their enthusiastic crews in full costume.  There will acoustic music jamming from 4-7 pm with local musicians, and Hoe Down from 7-9:30 pm at the Farmers' Market Pavilion.

Nicole Penn Begins Internship at Museum, 03 June 2015:
Nicole Penn, shown at right, began her summer internship at Scottsville Museum on Wednesday, 03 June.  Nicole is an intern from the University of Virginia's Institute For Public History, and her assignment this summer is to inventory and digitize a collection of Scottsville newspapers from the 1940-1970 time period which are culturally and historically important.  This collection has been loaned to the Museum for this scanning project by Robert Spencer of Scottsville.  One of the goals of Nicole's internship is to produce a collections finding aid that contains an inventory of key articles contained in these newspapers and to upload this inventory and the newspaper images to our web site for researchers' use.

Nicole is an accomplished May 2015 graduate of the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts and a double major in history and foreign affairs with a minor in French.  She has an impressive list of work activities prior to her graduation which include serving as a Community Liaison Office Assistant at the U.S. Embassy, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, as well as prior summer internships at Ash Lawn-Highland and the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello.  We are looking forward to working with Nicole this summer and learning from her internship work at the Museum. Welcome, Nicole -- we are delighted to be working with you on this newspaper project!

Highlights,  May 2015

  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 am to 5 pm  Come visit the Museum and see our current exhibit, Scottsville in the Civil War.  We hope to see you in Scottsville on Memorial Day!"

MARK YOUR CALENDAR - 23rd Annual Monacan Powwow, Elon, Virginia, 15-17 May 2015:
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.

The Rushes of Chestnut Grove: One Family's Journey from Slavery to Freedom
by Regina Rush
Reginia Rush, 2015 My pursuit of information about the Rush branch of my family began shortly after I began working as a Reference Coordinator in the Albert and Shirley Special Collections Library in the late nineties.  Researchers streamed through the library on genealogical quests, ferreting out information about ancestors ranging from the famous, to the not-so-famous, to the down-right infamous.  Before long, a fervid desire to know my family's history had taken a hold of me, and I embarked on a journey to find out about the Rushes of Chestnut Grove.  What I knew about my family's history could be summed up in a paragraph--a very short one at that.  My paternal grandparents were James Neverson and Roberta Brooks Rush.  They raised eleven children in a place called Chestnut Grove, a small unincorporated community nestled in the Green Mountains of Southern Albemarle County, Virginia.

For the full feature article by Regina Rush that tells of her discoveries about the Rush family's life on Southern Albemarle plantations beginning in 1845, visit The Rushes of Chestnut Grove.

Salute to Gerald Haeckel, Museum Volunteer, 07 May 2015:
Gerald B. Haeckel Gerald Burseth "Jerry" Haeckel passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 7, 2015, in Charlottesville, VA.  Jerry was born in Lewistown, Montana, and was the son of Anne Burseth Haeckel and Christopher Adam Haeckel.  Jerry started his career in the investment department of New York Life Insurance Company, and married Joanne "Joey" Louise Dings in 1956.  Jerry and Joanne would raise three children (John, Peter, and Stephen) while following Jerry's professional opportunities to Dallas, New Canaan, Winter Park, Denver, and Houston.  After a most successful career, Jerry and Joey retired to his beloved farm in Scottsville, VA, where he spent most of the next 32 years engaged in farming activities he loved and frequent visits from his beloved family.  Jerry keen sense of civic responsibility led him to serve numerous community organizations including Scottsville Museum where he served many years as its Treasurer and a Director.  Jerry leaves a legacy of industry, charity, and uncompromising principals leavened with personal warmth and a good sense of humor.  He will be missed by all who knew him, and our sympathies go out to his two sons, John and Stephen, and their families.  A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, May 16, 2015, at Christ Church Episcopal, Glendower, with the Rev. Randy Haycock officiating.  Internment will follow in the church cemetery.

John Settle

Congratulations to John Settle, Our College-bound Museum Volunteer:
John Settle graduates from Fluvanna County High School on Saturday, May 23, 2015.  John has been a Museum volunteer for three years and served on the Sheridan's Raid committee this past year.  John also played the role of David Patteson in each of the Museum's two Twilight Tours; David was a Confederate soldier from Scottsville, who died of his wounds in the last month of the Civil War.  John is an enthusiastic Confederate re-enactor and loves history.  Fortunately for the Museum, John will be attending Bridgewater College at first, and the Museum can still hope to use John's talents in our history projects as his time permits.  Thank you, John, for all of your contributions to the Museum, and we wish you all the best in your collegiate career!

Feedback from Museum Fans:
Brandy Clements, Ashville, NC:  "I read quite a bit of your history pages on your web site--how fascinating!  Great archives and especially photos.  My grandmother, Ida Clements, wrote her life story, and it appears that she actually lived in Scottsville and had some really endearing things to say about the town.  I think her history would fit in well with your excellent collection of photos and histories on your web site, which I loved reading!  Whoever put together that info on your web site did a great job!"

Brooke Krueger, fisherman, writer, and mom:  "As an assistant troop leader for my daughter's girl scouts, I just wanted to send you a quick thank you note for making your web page with GPS information -
Letterboxing Activity.  With summer on the horizon, we've been trying to find some fun outdoor, educational projects for the girls.  One of the member's father gave the girls a presentation on geocaching - the girls loved it and had a blast (so did I haha!)  We've been looking for resources to share with the troop, and your web page has been a big help!  Thanks again for making it!"

Highlights,  April 2015

  Salute to Dorothy Woody, Museum Volunteer, 20 April 2015:
Dorothy Beatrice Woody Dorothy Beatrice Woody of Scottsville, VA, passed away peacefully at her home on Monday morning, April 20, 2015.  She was the daughter of the late John Wesley and Florence (Johnson) Wood of Beals Lane, Scottsville.  Dorothy married Fitzhugh Woody in 1936, and they became the proud parents of six children.  In 1965, Dorothy Woody graduated from the University of Virginia (UVA) as a Licensed Practical Nurse and worked at the UVA hospital in that capacity for a number of years. 

Dorothy was an active volunteer in Scottsville all of her life.  She was a member of the Union Baptist Church in Scottsville where she served as Church Clerk, a choir member, usher, and Missionary Board member.  She also served as a volunteer for JABA at the Scottsville Senior Center and as a faithful docent at the Scottsville Museum.  Dorothy always met visitors to the Museum with a warm and friendly smile and a sincere, "How may I help you learn more about Scottsville history?"  And most helpful she was as Dorothy connected visitors to potential sources of additional information on their ancestors or on a particular business or local church of interest to them in the Scottsville area.  Dorothy would have excelled as a teacher had she chosen that career!  She had great empathy for others, and, remembering how much she treasured photos of her own parents, Dorothy knew that often even a tidbit of new information about a visitor's ancestor could make that family member come alive.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Dorothy's family at this difficult time.  Our Museum volunteers remember Dorothy most fondly, and she will be greatly missed by all.  Thank you, Dorothy, for all you have taught us and for all your wonderful smiles!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Scottsville Museum Spring Opening, 12 April 2015:

On this 150th anniversary of the Civil War's end, Scottsville Museum unveils a special exhibit entitled 'Scottsville in the Civil War.'  Shown above are some of the Civil War artifacts and replicas on display in this exhibit.  Come and learn more about the Civil War's impact on Scottsville soldiers and their families. 

Who were Scottsville's soldiers in this war?  What medical items were used to tend the wounded and ailing in Scottsville's Confederate hospitals?  How did widows wear the symbols of mourning?  See a display illustrating African-American's life in the period after the Civil War.  When Union General Sheridan's men came to Scottsville in March 1865, his soldiers left behind artifacts along their route to and from town; see these artifacts discovered by Scottsville's Jack Hamner!  "Scottsville in the Civil War" will be on display in the Museum through October 2015.

On Sunday, 12 April, the Museum opens at 1:00 pm with a special program at 2:30 pm.  Admission is free, and refreshments will be served!

Scottsville Civil War Soldier Featured on Wisconsin TV News, 09 April 2015:
On this 150th anniversary of the Civil War's end, WQOW News 18 in Eau Claire, WI, featured Scottsville's John Everett Dickerson in a news story about his service in the 19th VA Infantry.  John was born in Cambridgeshire, England, in 1837, and moved to the U.S. about 1858.  He worked first as a broom maker in Scottsville, VA, and became a horse breeder when his broom factory burned down.  When the Civil War broke out in 1861, John enlisted in the Confederate Army (19th VA Infantry).  Meanwhile his brothers, William and Charles, lived in Eau Claire, WI, and enlisted in the Union Army (31st Iowa Infantry). The brothers never faced each other in battle, and after the war, they reunited in Eau Claire and moved forward with their lives.

Featured in this news story was John's great, great granddaughter, Sara Dickerson Thielen, who conducted much of the research on him and his his brothers in the Civil War.  To learn more about Sara's Civil War research results on John and his brother, William, in the Civil War, visit: Eau Claire Family Remembers Civil War Battle of 2 Brothers.

Highlights,  March 2015

  Docent Reception, 29 March 2015:
Leanne Grove, 2015 Miranda Burnett, Marilyn Schwarz, and Liz Koedam, 2015
Leanne Grove Miranda Burnett, Marilyn Schwarz, and Liz Koedam (L to R)
Leanne Grove, Vice President and Docent Coordinator of our Museum, hosted an appreciation reception for Museum docents at her lovely home on Jackson Street in Scottsville.  A wonderful afternoon of friendship and museum discussion ensued!  Leanne introduced two of our new docents, Miranda Burnett and Liz Koedam, and also reviewed our opening and closing procedures.  Leanne plans to host a training session for all interested docents before the Museum reopens for the 2015 season on 12 April.  President Evelyn Edson detailed the new Civil War exhibit which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's end.  On display will be artifacts of Sheridan's raid, the lives of African-American Families after the war, and women in mourning in Civil War times.

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 Scottsville Museum (434-286-2247) or contact us via e-mail at:

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, 10 am to 5pm;  Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm.  Sunday, 1-5 pm-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!"

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.

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