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Highlights,  July 2016

  MARK YOUR CALENDAR - Independence Day in Scottsville, 04 July 2016:
Fourth of July Parade in Scottsville
Fourth of July Parade in Scottsville

The Fourth of July is a day for family fun, and Scottsville is once again the place to be.  This holiday falls on Monday this year, and by 8 a.m., festive crowds will begin forming on the Museum's front lawn to be ready for the parade that starts down Valley and Main Streets at 9 a.m. 

Please join us to watch the Scottsville Volunteer Fire Department's parade which will proceed from James River Road (east) down Valley Street (Route 20) to East Main Street (Route 6).  These streets will be closed from 8:45 a.m. until approximately 10:30 a.m.

Street and Road Closure Information: There will be no parking on Harrison Street from 6:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.  Any vehicles parked on Harrison Street during this time will be towed.  Starting at 7:30 a.m., James River Road between Blenheim Road an Valley Street will be limited to parade traffic only.  Traffic on James River Road will flow from Blenheim Road towards Valley Street. Starting at 9:00 a.m., the following roads will be closed to traffic:

                    --James River Road between Blenheim and Valley Street
                    --Valley Street between James River Road and East Main Street
                    --East Main Street between Valley Street and Poplar Spring Road

After the parade, vendors will be available all day at Dorrier Park.  The annual fireworks display in Scottsville begins at dusk at Dorrier Park.

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

Highlights,  June 2016

  MARK YOUR CALENDAR - Batteau Night in Scottsville, 22 June 2016:
The Lady's Slipper Arriving in Scottsville
Lady's Slipper Arriving in Scottsville 

The 31st Annual James River Batteau Festival begins on Saturday, June 18, and runs through Saturday, June 22.  This festival features authentic replicas of the sleek, shallow-draft merchant boats which were used during the late 1700's to transport tobacco, grain, and other goods on the James River from areas of central Virginia.  Each year a small fleet of batteau travel 120 miles from Lynchburg to Richmond, stopping mid-way in Scottsville for music, fun, and festivities.  Batteau will begin arriving in Scottsville in mid-afternoon on Wednesday, 22 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.

Highlights,  May 2016


Opening Day at Scottsville Creamery, 1910:
Opening Day of Scottsville Creamery, 1910 Shown at right is the crowd standing in front of the Scottsville Creamery on West Main Street during its 1910 opening day celebrations.  This business venture evolved in 1909 as Scottsville sought new industries in their town, which they felt was geographically situated so as to command good trade from all of Virginia if it produced the goods that the state wanted.  Scottsville sat midway between Lynchburg and Richmond on the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway and with farmlands and raw materials in abundance.

In the Fall of 1909, Samuel R. Gault, Scottsville's postmaster and a local farmer, concluded that a creamery might prosper in Scottsville. He incorporated a creamery in Scottsville with   $5000 capital and appointed himself its general manager.  To learn more about Scottsville Creamery and how the business fared, visit Opening Day at Scottsville Creamery, 1910.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: What's happening at the Canal Warehouse?  07 May 2016
Scottsville's Canal Warehouse
Join us on Saturday, May 07, from 2-5 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, Preservation Piedmont, and the Town of Scottsville's Architectural Review Board.  Admission is free!

Highlights,  April 2016


Condolences on the Passing of Raymond Thacker, 11 April 2016:
"I just wanted to send my condolences to all of you who so appreciated Raymon Thacker, on his passing last Feb. at the age of 106."

"We came to Scottsville when Raymon was 99, looking for the echoes of our family past.  He was wonderful, giving us a tour of the Scottsville Museum, telling us about our tie in with the Barclay House and Sen.Thomas Staples, and how the Staples sisters were the ones who were the sisters on Walton's Mountain, making "Pappa's Recipe".  He helped make some of our family history come alive for me with his knowledge and stories.  I know from reading the Scottsville Museum Newsletter how instrumental he was in the work of the Museum, the government of Scottsville, and in preserving the history of the area.  We know that our family member, Beverly, owned a mill west of town, was a trustee when the decision was made to build the church they attended, and that he lived at Spring Hill Farm, west of town, during the Civil War.  Scottsville, I am sure, was at a center of much of his parents' lives and his families' lives.  Raymon helped us understand that.  I just wanted to share again, my appreciation for Raymon.  He was a marvelous representative of Scottsville!"  Kathy Herrick, The Villages, FL.

Museum's Spring Opening Reception, 03 April 2016:

Dr. William Trout and Nancy Koenig discuss batteau history on the Museum's front steps.

Scottsville Museum reopened for the 2016 season on Sunday, April 03, with its current exhibit, "Where the River Bends: Scottsville on the James.".  The opening program featured a new display with two large pieces of a mid-19th century batteau/canal boat discovered in the Rappannock River and now on loan to the Museum from Fauquier History Museum in Warrenton.  Dr. William Trout of the Virginia Navigation and Canal Society of Virginia provided an interesting explanation of this batteau's history and the construction differences between it and the James River batteau.

Also featured in the opening program was the "Mystery Painting" by Scottsville artist, Elias Kanarek, of Eddie Rickenbacker and two of his crewmen in a life raft after their plane crashed during World War II.  Ruth Klippstein spoke on the most interesting results of her research on this Museum artifact.  President Evelyn Edson spoke about the restoration and history of Mary Browne Bruce's dress which she wore at the 1910 wedding of Scottsville High School's Principal, William Day Smith, and Annie Parker Harris.  The expert restoration of this dress was accomplished by Museum volunteer, Miranda Burnett.  To conclude the Spring Opening, delicious punch and pastries from Crust and Crumb were served to all attendees!

To see more photos of this opening program, visit Spring Opening 2016.

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 22), and July 4th, or by appointment.  Our current exhibit, "Where The River Bends," describes Scottsville's relationship with the James River.  Admission is free; donations are gratefully accepted.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Scottsville Museum Spring Opening, 03 April 2016:

Painting of Rappahannock Canal by Les Moffett
Painting of Rappahannock Canal Boat by Les Moffett, Fauquier History Museum

On Sunday, 03 April, Scottsville Museum reopens for the 2016 season with its current exhibit, "Where the River Bends: Scottsville on the James."  The exhibit displays the role the river has played in Scottsville's history from its earliest residents, the Monacans, to present day. Sunday's opening program will highlight Scottsville's "Mystery Painting" by Polish-American painter, Elias Kanarek, and attendees will learn more about this painting's story and its artist who lived in Scottsville when he painted it.  Also on display will be pieces of a mid-19th century batteau/canal boat, discovered in the Rappahannock River in 1953.  These pieces reveal much about the construction of these boats, which were an important part of Scottsville's history.  This boat display is courtesy of the Fauquier History Museum.  Another addition to our exhibit is the dress worn by Scottsville's Mary Browne Bruce at the 1910 wedding of Scottsville High School's Principal, William Day Smith, and Annie Parker Harris.  Mrs. Bruce was the wife of Scottsville's pharmacist, Thomas Ellison Bruce, and her dress was lovingly restored by Museum volunteer, Miranda Burnett.

On Sunday, 03 April, the Museum opens at 2:00 pm. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served!  We look forward to seeing you at the Museum!

Highlights,  March 2016


Barclay Window Restoration, 31 March 2016:
Barclay Window Sill Restoration A priority project, undertaken by the Scottsville Museum this winter and spring, is the restoration of several deteriorating windows in our Barclay House.  Leading the project is Museum Trustee, Robert Schwarz, who has been working with a wood craftsman with extensive restoration experience in Albemarle County.  Shown at right is a photo of one of the Barclay's front windows whose crumbling sill was replaced with appropriate wood from the same time period.  Next step of this window restoration project will be to reglaze the window panes and repaint the windows.  Many thanks to Robert for his dedicated efforts to restore the Barclay House windows, an important aspect of the architectural character of this building.

Rappahannock Batteau Artifact Arrives, 24 March 2016

Rappahannock batteau artifact arrives at Museum
Rappahannock batteau artifact arrives at Museum  Photo by Philip de Vos, VCNS

On Thursday, 24 March, a moving crew brought two pieces of a ca. 1849 batteau/canal boat from the Fauquier History Museum, who are loaning these artifacts to Scottsville Museum as an extension to our Canal display.  This batteau was in use on the Rappahannock Canal from 1849 until 1862 when it was tied up during the Civil War and then abandoned.  These two artifacts were excavated from beneath seven feet of earth on the bank of the Rappahannock River in 1953 and were parts of one of the two batteaus tied to trees and abandoned when the canal company closed during the Civil War.

Assisting Museum President Evelyn Edson with the placement of these two batteau pieces in our canal display were Dr. William "Bill" Trout and Philip de Vos of the Virginia Canal and Navigations Society (VC&NS).  Dr. Trout advised that this batteau is a descendant of the original James River Batteau type, adapted for navigation on the Rappahannock River, which had locks and dams and deep, flat water, unlike the more turbulent James.  The sides of this batteau are higher, with an additional upper bench which served as the walkboard for poling.  The Rappahannock had no towpath, and so the boat was poled, as on the James.

These batteau artifacts will be on display at Scottsville Museum during the 2016 season. To see these batteau parts and learn more about this 1849 batteau, visit Scottsville Museum on Opening Day, 03 April, when they will be on display for the first time.

Docent Reception, 13 March 2016:

2016 Docent Reception

Leanne Grove, Vice President and Docent Coordinator of our Museum, hosted an appreciation reception for Museum docents at the former home of her father-in-law, Jesse B. Grove, Jr., at the corner of Byrd and Harrison Streets in Scottsville.  A wonderful afternoon of friendship and museum discussion ensued!  Leanne introduced our new docents: Kathy Cumiskey, B Maxwell, Adam Schwartz, Mo Sykes, Maxene Bowers, and Kathy Wildauer.  Leanne also reviewed the Museum's opening and closing procedures and advised that she plans to host a training session for all interested docents before the Museum reopens for the 2016 season on 03 April.  President Evelyn Edson also described several new displays that have been added to include the painting by Scottsville's Polish-American painter, Elias Kanarek.

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:

Highlights,  February 2016


Tribute to A. Raymon Thacker, 21 February 2016:
Arthur Raymon Thacker, longtime Mayor of Scottsville and its savior from future flooding, passed away on Sunday, 21 February 2016, at the age of 106.  Raymon was born on 14 October 1909 in Stuarts Draft, VA, and was the son of Arthur Lewis Thacker and Edna Bell (Carey) Thacker.  The Thacker family moved to Scottsville in 1911 via horse-drawn carriage, and Scottsville has been Raymon's home since that time.  Raymon is survived by his loving wife, Arbutus May (Deihl) Thacker, and their son, Matthew Lewis Thacker and wife, Donna, all of Scottsville; his daughter, Virginia Lee Bishop and husband, Arthur, of Yorktown, VA; his son, Cary James Thacker and wife, Arlene (Napier) Thacker of Charleston, SC; and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.

Funeral Services will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2016, in the chapel of Thacker Brothers Funeral Home, Scottsville, by Rev. Peter Way and Rev. James Jetton.  Internment with Masonic Rites will follow in the Scottsville Cemetery.

Raymon and his brother, Homer, operated Thacker Brothers Funeral Home in Scottsville for 57 years.  Raymon also served on the Scottsville Town Council for 6 years before being elected Mayor of Scottsville, a position he held for 30 1/2 years.  As Scottsville's Mayor, he organized its Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, and the local Lions' Club.  Raymon's legacy as the town's longest-serving mayor includes building a modern public water and sewage system in Scottsville; extending the town's boundaries so it continues to change and grow; and being the inspiration and persistence behind building the A. Raymon Thacker Levee that was dedicated in 1990.  Since 1990, Scottsville has not been flooded, thanks to the Thacker Levee.

Raymon also worked with the Tompkins family to acquire the old Disciples of Christ Church in Scottsville and immediately converted it to the Scottsville Museum and Historic Landmarks Foundation.  Working with Virginia Moore and Robert Walls, Raymon turned the old church into a wonderful Museum of Scottsville's history, dedicating the Museum in 1970.  He served on the Museum's Board of Trustees from 1970 until his passing.  Raymon's memory of Scottsville citizens and local events was remarkable, and he was always available to provide local history information including historical photos of Scottsville and its citizens.  Thank you, Raymon, for your vision and stellar efforts to preserve the historic heritage of Scottsville!

To read a very caring article about Mr. Thacker by Ruth Klippstein and see additional photos, visit A. Raymon Thacker, Scottville's Mayor Emeritus.

Resolution of the Board of Trustees, Scottsville Museum

Whereas, A. Raymon Thacker was one of the founders of the Scottsville Museum, and whose vision for our town included the preservation of its historic heritage;

And, whereas, he acted as a great resource for our historical collections, passing onto the Museum countless priceless objects and photographs;

And, whereas, he was ever willing to participate in oral history events, recalling the past century of his life in Scottsville;

And, whereas, he remained a member of the Museum Board up until the date of his passing,

Be it resolved, that the members of the Scottsville Museum Board, undersigned, do honor his memory with gratitude for his many contributions and continued good will.

Miranda Burnett Evelyn Edson Connie Geary
Leanne Grove Ruth Klippstein Fannie Louden
Graham Paige Marianne Ramsden Marilyn Schwarz
Robert Schwarz Ron Smith Robert Tharpe
  H. B. Thomson  

Yesteryears:  Mystery Painting at the Museum, 13 February 2016:
Mystery Painting at Scottsville Museum The Scottsville Museum archives house a large, life-size painting of three desperate men afloat in a life raft, along with a seagull descending on them.  The painting is by Polish painter, Elias Kanarek (1901-1969), and accompanying the painting is a framed copy of a letter from Eddie Rickenbacker, the famous World War II flying ace and Medal of Honor recipient.

During World War II, Rickenbacker and two airmen were involved in an airplane crash and wound up floating on rafts in the Pacific Ocean for three weeks.  He an his crew survived by eating fish and drinking rainwater, until rescued.  And one day a seagull came along and landed on Rickenbacker's head.

To learn more about this painting, Rickenbacker's memory of the seagull, and Mr. Kanarek, read the first part of David Maurer's article in The Daily Progress, dated 13 February 2016 and entitled, "Yesteryears:  Mystery Painting, Part I".

The second part of David's article in The Daily Progress, dated 20 February 2016, may be read at "Yesteryears:  Mystery Painting, Part II"

Feedback from Museum Fans:
Mrs. Mary Henson, Colonial Academy: "My class and I wanted to thank you for your fantastic History resource page: 
World War II Links.  We have been using your page extensively while working on our World War II unit.  A couple of my students wanted to pass on another source that we've been using a lot that they think your other readers may enjoy as well: A Student's Guide to American World War II Vehicles  as a Thank You for all the help you've provided us!"  Scottsville Museum most definitely is pleased to add this WWII link to our website -- thanks so much Colonial Academy!

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

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.

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.

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.

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 2016 season, visit Calendar.

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