Highlights, August 2015
History of Little's White Oil, 17 August 2015:
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:
On 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:
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 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:
The Rushes of Chestnut Grove: One Family's Journey from Slavery to Freedom
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:
Congratulations to John Settle, Our College-bound Museum Volunteer:
Feedback from Museum Fans:
Highlights, April 2015
|Salute to Dorothy Woody, Museum Volunteer, 20 April 2015:
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:
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:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Salute to Sykes Scherman, Museum Volunteer, 9 March 2015:
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: 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:
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, Englishman in the 19th VA Infantry :
To learn more about Private Dickerson, visit:
John Everett Dickerson, PVT, Co. C, 19th VA Infantry..
Feedback from Museum Fans:
Highlights, December 2014
Christmas in Scottsville, 2014:
Scottsville Festival of Lights, Dec. 1, 5-8, and 13-15:
Friday, December 5th: 12 Noon to 6:00 pm
Scottsville Christmas Parade of Churches, Dec. 7:
Highlights, November 2014
Museum's 2015 Membership Drive:
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 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
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, visitTwilight 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:
Highlights, October 2014
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 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!
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:
On 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 (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.
Business Ledgers of Scottsville Area, 1817 - 1926:
New Educational Activities For Kids: To explore these new educational activities for kids, please visit
New Educational Activities For Kids:
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To view calendar events for the 2015 season, visitCalendar.
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