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Highlights, April 2023
  Museum Reopens on 16 April 2023, 1 PM  
Sue Miles, Author of Glenmore, Memories of My Youth

Scottsville Museum will open for the 2023 season on Sunday, April 16, at 1 P.M.  We will host Sue Miles (shown at left), who will speak on her recent book, Glenmore:  Memories of My Youth.  Sue grew up in Buckingham County where her parents ran a country store.  Her book includes many photos and recollections and will be on sale for signing.  After the opening, our hours will be Saturdays from 10 a.m. to
5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Special this year will be a new exhibit, "Still I Rise," featuring photos and biographical information about African-American residents of Scottsville and the lives they made for themselves in difficult times.  We look forward to seeing you all at the Museum on April 16th!

Highlights, March 2023
  Docent Appreciation Tea, 26 March 2023
Docent Appreciation Tea, 26 March 2023
(L to R): Kathy Allen, Cenie Re Sturm, Leanne Grove, Langden Mason, Fannie Louden,
Laura Mellusi, and Maggie Unsworth

On Sunday, 26 March 2023, Scottsville Museum's Docent Appreciation Tea was hosted by Barbara Wilkinson at Mt. Walla.  Delicious refreshments, some words from our President Evelyn Edson, and a review of new features from our 2023 exhibit were much enjoyed by all docents in attendance at the tea in this historic Scottsville home on Littleberry Lane. 

Mt. Walla sits on a bluff overlooking Scottsville and the horseshoe bend of the James River and was built on the original Edward Scott patent of 1732.  Albemarle County deed research by Richard Nicholas of the Scottsville Museum indicates that the home may have been built by Richard Moon between 1821 and 1828.  Both the house and its view from the bluff are amazing!  And our docents had wonderful fun catching up with all of their colleagues and friends - thank you, Barbara Wilkinson!

(L to R): Kathleen Farwell, David Bova, and Colleen Church

We wish to thank our docents for our successful 2022 season: Kathy Allen, Lisa Bittner, Mary and David Bova, Valerie Brautigam, Colleen Church, Gwynne Daye, Debi Dotson, Evelyn Edson, Kathleen Farwell, Connie Geary, Leanne Grove, Sam Igoe, Ruth Klippstein, Nancy Koenig, Fannie Louden, Langden Mason, Richard "B" Maxwell, Laura Mellusi, Beth Pratt, Peter Rapp, Cathy Russo, Gloria Scharer, Marilyn & Bob Schwarz, Ron & Patti Smith, Cenie Re Sturm, Bob & Judy Tharpe, Cathy and Tom Thomson, Maggie Unsworth, and Barbara Wilkinson.

See you at Scottsville Museum in Season 2023 --- we reopen on Sunday, April 16, with a brief program at 1 pm.

Highlights, January 2023
  Passing of Lindsay Dorrier, 30 January 2023  
Lindsay Gordon Dorrier, Jr.

Lindsay Gordon Dorrier, Jr., passed on to the care of our Heavenly Father on Monday, January 30, 2023, after a distinguished career in law, public service, and the U.S. Army as well as a valiant and prolonged battle with Parkinson's Disease.

Born on August 27, 1943, Lindsay, Jr. was raised at Endfield farm just outside of Scottsville, VA, and spent his formative years at St. Christopher's School in Richmond, Va.  He went on to attend Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., and later obtained a Law Degree from the University of Virginia and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from James Madison University.

Lindsay Jr. contributed much of his professional career to state and local government which included two elected terms as Commonwealth's Attorney for Albemarle County, Director of Criminal Justice for the Commonwealth of Virginia under Governor Doug Wilder's Administration, and 16 years on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors representing the Scottsville District from 1976-1980 and 2000-2012.  He also spent his later years providing civil legal assistance and criminal defense to residents in and around his hometown, and as Legal Counsel to the Town of Scottsville.

As a public servant, Lindsay will be remembered for his moral compass that always pointed in the direction of fairness, justice, and civic duty as well as his willingness to work across party lines for the benefit of his constituents and a well-functioning democracy.

He dedicated his public service to improving the lives of his constituents and to introducing programs to help fight and prevent crime such as Crime Stoppers, Neighborhood Watch, and the Shelter for Abused Women.  He also prioritized early education and mentoring programs such as D.A.R.E., designed to help at-risk children avoid a life of crime.

Lindsay was a proud patriot, dedicating 22 years to the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in Army Intelligence with overseas deployment in Japan and as a member of the Judge Advocate General Legal Corps.

Lindsay Jr.'s love of guitar and singing, his sly sense of humor, and commitment to his family will be dearly missed.  He is survived by his loving wife, Jane; his daughter, Margaret and son-in-law, Daniel Mais and grandchildren, Keegan and Makayla; as well as his son, Lindsay III and daughter-in-law, Kaitlin.  Lindsay Jr. also leaves behind his cherished siblings, Claire Reishman, Bruce Dorrier, Richard Dorrier, and their spouses, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.  Lindsay Jr. was preceded by his mother, Shirley Dorrier, and father, Lindsay Dorrier, Sr.

Lindsay Jr.'s life will be celebrated on Saturday, February 11, 2023, with a 10 a.m. visitation and 11 a.m. funeral service to follow at Scottsville United Methodist Church.  A burial ceremony will occur immediately after the culmination of services at Scottsville Cemetery.  Published by Daily Progress on Feb. 5, 2023.

To learn more about Lindsay Gordon Dorrier, Jr., visit Lindsay Gordon Dorrier, Jr.

Highlights, December 2022
  Passing of Gertrude 'Trudy' Scherman, 13 December 2022  
Trudy and Sykes Scherman at their wedding, 1944

Trudy Scherman died on December 13, 2022, at her home in Scottsville.  She was 99 years old.  Her husband, Sykes, died in March 2015--they had been married for 71 years; see their 1944 wedding photo at left.  Trudy and Sykes were loyal volunteers at the Scottsville Museum, acting as docents and guiding visitors around the Museum.  Sykes, who was a veteran of World War II, participated in the Museum's oral history project.  You can read an account of his wartime service on the Museum website by double-clicking on the following link:  Eugene Sykes Scherman

Sykes and Trudy had four children, three of whom live locally: Peter Scherman of Scottsville, Laura Scherman of Nellysford, and Phebe Vick of Free Union.  Trudy's last words were, "My wonderful family!"

Trudy was a fervent supporter of the Boys and Girls Club, and asked that any donations in her name be sent to them at or mailed to the Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia, P.O. Box 707, Charlottesville, VA 22902.

Holiday Happenings 2022 in Downtown Scottsville, 10 December 2022  
Part of the 2022 Christmas Exhibit at Scottsville Museum

Scottsville Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Scottsville Center for Arts and the Natural Environment is sponsoring the 2nd annual Holiday Arts Show in downtown Scottsville on December 10 from 10 AM - 5 PM.  A Holiday Crafts Market will be held at the Farmers Market Pavilion at Fleet and Harrison Street from 10 AM - 5 PM followed by a visit with Santa, Christmas carols, hot chocolate, and cookies.  It's a day to shop and support your local community!

Scottsville Museum will be open on December 10 from 10 AM to 6 PM with a special exhibit.  All holiday items on exhibit were gifted by many Scottsville residents or familuy members of former residents.  These holiday items include antique and handmade dolls; metal trucks, tractors, and trains; children's books; holiday booklets and cards; rocking horse; and doll buggy.

We hope residents and guests stop by the Museum to share family stories, to describe their own antique toys passed from one generation to the next, and to learn more about our river town history.  Admission is free and donations welcome!

Highlights, November 2022
  Photographs from Scottsville's 2022 Twilight Tours in October!
Scottsville's  2022 Twilight Tours
Thanks to all of you who came to our Twilight Tours last weekend that was a collaboration between Scottsville Museum and Scan, the Scottsville Committee for Arts and Nature! It was heartening to see such a crowd out on the streets, and we appreciated how many of you thanked us for making a comeback!  And huge thanks go out to Kristin Freshwater, director of the Twilight Tours and for all of the actors/actresses who participated, lantern guides, and other volunteers who supported this hugely successful event!   We also wish to thank Molly Angevine and Erin Root who shared their Twilight Tours photos of the Twilight Tours with us, too!

To see photos of this event on the Museum's website , please click on the above photo at left or double-click on the following link:  Twilight Tours 2022.

Highlights, October 2022
  Scottsville's Twilight Tours, October 21 & 22, 6:00 - 8:10 PM; October 23, 3:00 PM 
Scottsville's Twilight Tours, Oct. 21-23
Follow a lantern guide on this historic tour exploring Scottsville's past.  This 45-minute walking tour will feature actor portrayals of characters throughout different periods of Scottsville's history.

Walking Tours will take place Friday and Saturday nights, October 21 and 22.  First tour departs at 6 PM; last tour departs at 8:10 PM. 

Tours start from the Scottsville Museum (290 Main Street) and depart every 10 minutes.

A seated, handicap-accessible performance of Twilight Tours will be held Sunday, October 23, at 3:00 PM, and will take place at Victory Hall Theater (401 Valley Street).

This event is a partnership between The Scottsville Museum and The Scottsville Center for the Arts & Natural Environment.

Location: Scottsville Museum, 290 Main Street, Scottsville, VA


First Day: Friday, October 21, 2022, 6:00 PM; tours depart every 10 minutes.  Last tour at 8:10 PM

Second Day: Saturday, October 22, 2022, 6:00 PM; tours depart every 10 minutes.  Last tour at 8:10 PM

Last performance: Sunday, October 23, 2022, 3:00 PM

Prices: $5.00 (ages 12 & under) - $10.00

General: $10.00

Tickets may be purchased online at:

Highlights, September 2022
  Scottsville Museum Open on Labor Day!  05 September 2022
Scottsville Museum will be open on Labor Day, Monday, 05 September 2022 from 1-5pm!  Do come to the Museum and see a small collection of Edna's "Photographs of Scottsville" on display!-- we very much look forward to seeing you!

Salute to Emma Lineberger, IPH Intern at Scottsville Museum in Summer 2022 
Emma Lineberger, July 2022 
Emma Lineberger, IPH intern at Scottsville Museum and Master's Candidate,
Architecture History 2023 at the University of Virginia

Scottsville Museum wishes to highlight the work of Emma Lineberger, a student intern from UVA's Institute for Public History, who worked on inventorying and filing newly donated artifacts to the Museum's collection during Summer 2022.  One of the collections on which she initially worked was a donation from John Lacy Morris, Jr. family which includes documents spanning 100 years since the family's first land grant in 1747 at Morrisena.  The family archives include letters, photographs, farm documents and records, and other significant papers.  This collection occuplies three file cabinet drawers and four archival boxes in the Museum's permanent collection.

FrancesMandleyMorris, John Lacy Morris, Jr., and Daisy Holmes (Calahan) Morris, 1940s
L to R:  Frances Mandley Morris; John Lacy Morris, Jr., and Daisy Holmes (Calahan) Morris
in the 1940's

At the same time several museum board members reviewed the recent donation by David Wood of documents related to his father, Albert K. "Babe" Wood, who worked at the U.S. Rubber Company plant at Scottsville.  Upon his discharge from the U.S. Army on 25 October 1945, Albert Wood obtained a job as a "humidity man," who maintained the plant's ventilating equipment.  In about 1954, Albert Wood became a 'shift supervisor' in the plant's "weave room", where the tire cord fabric was made on huge looms. Albert and many of the Wood family worked at this plant until about 1994.  David Wood also worked there during the summers of 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1974, while attending UVA.  David's collection of documents related to the U.S. Rubber Company was amassed from his family's holdings of letters and documents related to the Rubber Company acquired during their employment there.  This collection now occupies one archival box in the Museum's permanent collection.

Our Museum team is about to engage in a scanning project to include this information in our digital archives.  Thanks, Emma, for your excellent work and dedication this summer to review and organize this impressive donation into our permanent collection!  And thank you so much, David Wood and the John L. Morris Family for your generous donation of this historical information to Scottsville Museum.

Highlights, August 2022
  Funeral of Eula Dowell Woody (1927-2022),  24 August 2022
Eula Dowell Woody, Eula Dowell Woody, aged 95, passed away on August 20, 2022, at her home in Scottsville.  She was the daughter of the late Claude and Willie V. Dowell.  In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband of 70 years, Hunter Calvin Woody.  Mrs. Woody was a longtime member of the Scottsville Baptist Church, where she served as a deacon, taught Sunday School, and sang in the Church choir.  She was also a volunteer docent at the Scottsville Museum.  Mrs. Woody worked for a short time at the U.S. Rubber Plant in Scottsville, then spent 15 years as a nurse's aide at the Fluvanna County Health Department.  Survivors include her daughter, Jennifer Hoskins, her son-in-law, Oliver Hoskins, two grandsons and two great-granddaughters.  Her funeral was held at Thacker Brothers Funeral Home on August 24, 2022, and Mrs. Woody was buried in the Scottsville Cemetery.

Highlights, June 2022
  Funeral of Reverend Robert Roosevelt Parson (1932-2022),  25 June 2022
Reverend Robert Roosevelt Parson, 1932-2022 It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Reverend Robert Roosevelt Parson, 89, of Scottsville, on Sunday, June 19, 2022.  Rev. Parson graduated from Buckingham Training School in Dillwyn and served as a M.A.R.S. radio operator and radio interceptor in the Air Force from 1953-1957.  After completing his military service, he became a Baptist Minister at the Community Baptist Church in Buckingham and married his first wife, Lular Moore Parson.  Rev. Robert and Lular Parson were volunteers at Scottsville Museum for many years.  After Lular's passing, Rev. Roberts married his second wife, Joy R. Russell Parson.  Our President Evelyn Edson has fond memories of seeing Rev. Parson driving his truck in a July 4th parade in Scottsville with his four beautiful daughters waving to the crowd from the back of the truck.  To learn more about Reverend Robert Roosevelt Parson's life, visit:
Robert Roosevelt Parson

Reverend Parson's funeral will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2022, from 12:30-1:45 pm at the Thacker Brothers Funeral Home in Scottsville, with funeral services following at 2 p.m.  Internment will be at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, 6456 Esmont Rd., in Keene, VA.

Batteau Day in Scottsville, 22 June 2022
Lady Slipper Batteau, 2010
Lady's Slipper Batteau in Scottsville, 2010

The annual James River Batteau Festival makes a stop in historic Scottsville, Virginia, on Wednesday, June 22nd.  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 the crew will camp out each night along the James riverbank.  The Scottsville Batteau Festival is a town-sponsored event that draws welll-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 is to preserve the heritage of this historic mode of river transport that was a vital presence on America's Founding River from 1775-1840.  The shallow-draft batteau boats allowed for easier access to trade routes that supplied goods to our nation and expansion to the western frontier.  At one point, there were more than 500 batteaux plying the waters of the James River.

Scottsville Museum will be open on Batteau Day from 1-6 pm, with our feature exhibit: "Where the River Bends."  We hope to see you in Scottsville on Batteau Day, 22 June!

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

50th Anniversary of Hurricane Agnes in the U.S. Approaching, June 2022
Half a century ago, in late June 1972, one of the most devastating and historic hurricanes the United States had experienced formed in the Gulf of Mexico.  Hurricane Agnes made landfall as a Category 1 storm and caused significant and widespread damage throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

Rainfall from Agnes caused catastropic inland flooding, the geographic scale of which had not been seen in decades.  Tragically, 128 people lost their lives across eight states, including 50 in Pennsylvania, 21 in Maryland, 14 in Virginia, and one in Delaware.  Across the eastern United States, more than 362,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes due to the flooding including 222,000 in Pennsylvania alone.

Flood from Agnes on Scottsville's Main street, June 1972 Flooded Main Street in Scottsville, July 22, 1972. Photo courtesy of Raymon Thacker.

Hurricane Agnes struck Scottsville with disastrous results on July 22, 1972.  Bruce's Drugstore on Valley and West Main Streets went under more than 12 feet of water as the ensuing flood crested at thirty-four feet.  Cleanup costs on top of unpaid 1969 debts put some local businesses in real trouble.  Talk of moving the town to higher ground and abandoning buildings in the flood plain was everywhere.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of this significant storm Agnes and enter Atlantic hurricane season, FEMA is encouraging everyone to learn more about their flood risk and take actions now to be prepared for threats of the future.  With climate change, extreme rainfall and flooding events are becoming more common, and lessons learned after storms like Agnes will be even more valuable.

To learn more from the past and prepare for the future, visit the following website, sponsored by the Silver Jackets multi-organizational team, at: "50th Anniversary of Hurricane Agnes" at

Thanks to Jack Maxwell of Scottsville's Task Force 17 for highlighting this historical information about the impact of Hurricane Agnes on Virginia contained on this website (see link above), which was produced in collaboration with local, state, and federal (FEMA) partners.

Minerva Lewis Marker Dedication  19 June 2022
Matt Lawless, Scottsville Town Administrator, shared an update and invitation to everyone to come and attend the Minerva Lewis Marker Dedication on Sunday, June 19, 2022, from 3pm to 4pm at the Scottsville Town Market.  He asked us to please spread the word:  "Our community has supported Black history research, notably the story of Ms. Minerva Lewis and her family.  A hundred years ago, she was the only Black female property owner in Scottsville.  We've confirmed all the historical details and can now dedicate a marker in honor of her family and the Black community here.  The marker is in production at a foundry, and the northeast corner of the Lewis property will become a shaded place of reflection.
Minerva Lewis Marker Dedication
Sunday, June 19th, 2022
3pm to 4pm
Scottsville Farmers Market

In 1901, Scottsville had only one Black woman-owned property, a store which is now a parking lot for Scottsville's farmer's market.  In 1870, Mr. Washington Lewis was a Black merchant, who deeded the land to his wife, Minerva, as a gift.  In 1911, Ms. Minerva Lewis sold it to the Dorrier patriarch (his son Lindsay became an Albemarle Supervisor) for $1,000 - a Great Migration type of transaction, as the family was gone from the 1910 Census, and the deed of sale specifically renounced all of the Lewis children's claim.

To learn more about Minerva Lewis and see photos from her marker dedication ceremony, visit: Minerva Lewis Marker Dedication, 19 June 2022

Race Unity Day in Scottsville, 12 June 2022
Ballon Man at the June 1997 Race Unity Day picnic . On Sunday, June 12, 2022, Race Unity Day is being held in Scottsville and is a special holiday in the calendar of the Baha'i Faith, a religion founded in Persia in the 19th century.  The Baha'is believe in the oneness of humanity and devote themselves to the abolition of racial class, gender, and religious prejudices.

Chris and Judy Wade came to Scottsville in 1974 as Homefront Pioneers of the Baha'i Faith.  They were from California where the Faith was well established and so they transplated themselves to Virginia to spread the word.  In 1984, they began to celebrate Race Unity Day with an interfaith picnic in Scottsville, joined by local church members and the Southside Fellowship. Visitors to the Race Unity Day picnic received a smiling welcome as always from the balloon man at the curb.  In this balloon man photo at left above, the balloon man stands with members of the Northern Virginia Baha'i Youth Workshop dance team.

To learn more about Race Unity Day in Scottsville, visit: .

Highlights, May 2022
  Cholera Comes to the Blue Ridge Tunnel  by Mary Lyons
Railroad track workers
Railroad track workers ca 1850's

Irish canal workers sang a doleful tune about the "choleray" in the 1830s.  A coffin maker in Waynesboro called it "cholery" in the 1850's.  Whatever the pronunciation of cholera in those days, it was the scourge of Richmond, Scottsville, and Rockfish Gap in the summer of 1854.  It seemed to appear out of nowhere during that brutally hot season, then mysteriously vanish."

To learn more about this invisible killer that arrived, then disappeared that dreadful summer of 1854 in Virginia, see:  Cholera Comes to the Blue Ridge Tunnel

Highlights, April 2022
  Scottsville Museum Opens, Sunday, 03 April 2022
The Scottsville Museum opens next weekend on Sunday, April 3, with a special program at 2 p.m.  First, we are opening a new exhibit, entitled "Photographs of Scottsville," that features the work of local photographer, Edna Tapscott Anderson.  Edna's beautiful pictures celebrate our local landscape---mountains, farms, rivers.  She lives in Warren on the land her family has owned and farmed for generations.  Edna's work is on view near a case of photographs by William Burgess, a Scottsville photographer of a previous era.  Burgess's work featured buildings and people, while Edna's work focuses on the land.

The next event is a book signing of Stories from Scottsville: Tales of a Small Virginia Town.  The author, Ruth W. Klippstein, will be on hand to sign your copy.  If you already bought a copy of this book, bring it along for her to sign.  The book costs $15---please bring cash or a check for your purchase.  In the book, you will find many stories collected by Ruth while writing her history column for The Scottsville Monthly newspaper from 2003 to 2017.  In the Prologue, she acknowledges "the generosity of the many people in the Scottsville area that she interviewed for her articles.  She is in debt to their profound local knowledge and willingness to talk."

The Scottsville Museum will be open on Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm and on Sundays from 1 to 5 pm.  Admission is free although donations are gladly received. 

Photographs of Scottsville by Edna T. Anderson:
Edna Tapscott Anderson

Edna Tapscott Anderson and her husband and her husband Robert (Bob) Anderson live today in Warren on land that Edna's family has owned and farmed for generations.  Both of them graduated from Scottsville High School, Edna in 1950 and Bob in 1947.

Edna was an adult when she began taking photographs, mostly of the beloved landscape in which she lives.  This view of the Blue Ridge mountains from near her home is an iconic image and is now displayed in eighteen different countries around the world.

Bob says, "I had about three cameras, but once I saw what Edna could do, I gave it up!"  Edna has always had an eye for beauty.  She has painted, but comments, "With photography you get the results a little quicker!"

Edna is not taking many photos now, but she still loves to look at the landscape.  She will take you to her back porch to show you the vista over fields, the ice ponds, and woods to the mountains.  "So beautiful," she says.

Do come to Scottsville Museum on weekends to see a small collection of Edna's "Photographs of Scottsville" on display!
Edna Tapscott Anderson at her piano in 2011
Edna Tapscott Anderson happily playing her piano at home in 2011.

Highlights, February 2022
  Oswin Smith Harris, Civil War Soldier for Virginia
Oswin Smith Harris, ca. 1900
Oswin Smith Harris (shown at left) was born on 03 August 1834, in Albemarle County, Virginia, and was the son of Thomas W. Harris (1803-1861) and Elizabeth Maupin (1805-1881).  Oswin entered the Civil War in 1862 and served for Virginia in the Post Quartermaster Department, Captain Thomas Wood, Charlottesville.  During one battle, Oswin suffered a gunshot wound to his arm, but continued his Civil War service until Virginia surrendered and the War ended in Spring 1865.  This war injury to Oswin's arm resulted in total paralysis of his arm by 1904, and he no longer could earn a living for his family by farming or in any other occupation.  Oswin submitted a soldier's disability application to the State of Virginia in March 1904.  To learn more, see: Oswin S. Harris, Post Quartermaster Department, Captain Thomas Wood, Virginia.

Highlights, January 2022
  Stories from Scottsville: Tales of a Small Virginia Town
Stories from Scottsville: Tales of a Small Virginia Town
Scottsville Museum is happy to share the news that a new history book, Stories from Scottsville: Tales of a Small Virginia Town by Ruth W. Klippstein, has just been published.  Scottsville is a small town with a long history, from the Monacan nation that first settled nearby to the arrival of Europeans and the establishment of the town in the 18th century.  Scottsville based its economy on its strategic location at the Horseshoe Bend of the James River, where trade and transport, first by batteau or river boats and later by canal, flourished. The town is fortunate to have preserved buildings from each period of its existence.

The articles in this book were researched and written by Ruth W. Klippstein for the Scottsville Monthly between 2003 and 2017.  They are based on extensive interviews with local citizens as well as on-the-ground investigations of local sites.  Through Ruth's words, you will meet the local characters and great events which shaped Scottsville's history and reflect the larger history of America itself.

Following are the table of contents of this book with the title/topic of each chapter:  "Heritage Farm's Living History";  "Encountering Spirits of the Past";  "The Bottled Goods of Scottsville's Past";  "Memories of the Town of Warren and Whitted Family";  "Exploring the History of the Rock House";  "Scottsville's Confederates: The Failed Migration to Venezuela";  "How the Herndon House Endured";  "A Peek at a Patch of Scottsville History";  "Virginia McGraw Still Leading Scottsville";  "Dear Old Scottsville, Dear Old School";  "Scottsville Continues Winning Streak";  "Loving the Luv'n Oven";  "The Life and Times of Scottsville's Town Council";  "The Yankees Ride Into Scottsville";  "William Walker House: A Piece of History Caught in Time";  "A History of Maple Hill";  "Pine Knot Still Standing";  "A Tangled History of 345 East Main Street";  "Scottsville's Bygone Days";  "Papers Tell Scottsville's History";  "I'm the Most Famous Poor Person You'll Ever Meet";  The Night the Books Burned";  "Memories of Golf, the Rubber Plant, and Days Gone By";  Scottsville Bricks: The Puzzle Remains";  "Favorite Things in Life: Honolulu and Women";  "D. Wiley Anderson: Inventor Purveyor, Designer";  "Dear Old Scottsville High";  "Scottsville Celebrated Its History in Style";  "The Lost House of Scottsville";  "The Booming Scottsville of the 1840s";  "Of Rivers, Wells, and Springs";  "Parlor Games and Tricks";  "The History of Main Street's Empty Place";  "Memories of the Scottsville Mill";  "Scottsville's Old Magic";  "Life in Black and White";  "Almost Forty Years Later, It' Still "Skippy's";  "At the Crossroads of History and Commerce";  "Local Family Says, 'We are Perfectly Delighted with Jerusalem'";  "More Horse Talk";  "A Real Variety Store";  "An Honored Life (Lottie Moon)";  "Never to be forgotten (Ashby Mayo)";  "Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits";  "July Fourth: A Scottsville Tradition";  "Scottsville Fire Department";  "The Beals of Scottsville";  "Scottsville on the James: Life on the Water";  "Scottsville 'Blows Off the Lid'";  and "The 'Whiskey Question:" Part II.

This fascinating history of Scottsville, Virginia, may be purchased online at  Enjoy!

Highlights, December 2021
  Salute to Arbutus May Thacker, 1926-2021  
Arbutus May (Deihl) Thacker, ca. 1950's

Arbutus May (Diehl) Thacker, devoted wife of A. Raymon Thacker and mother of Matthew Thacker, passed away on December 8, 2021, at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, VA.  She was born on February 27, 1926, a daughter of the late John and Annie (Wheatley) Diehl.  For many years, Arbutus lived in Reedville, Richmond, and Scottsville, VA, and worked as a hairdresser.  Arbutus was a devoted wife of A. Raymon Thacker and mother of Matthew Thacker.

To learn more about Arbutus Thacker and her family, see: Arbutus May (Diehl)Thacker.

Salute to Lillian Ruth Schafft, 1922-2021
Lillian Ruth Schafft, 2015

Lillian Ruth Schafft, who died on December 13, 2021, at age 99, was an energetic member of the Scottsville Community.  As Literary Chair of the Scottsville Council of the Arts, Lillian solicited contributions for an anthology of local writers, Riverbanks to Mountaintops: Writings by Rural Virginians, (2013). She also ran a program for elementary school children, encouraging them to become writers and giving them an opportunity to read their works in public at the Scottsville Library.  Lillian was also a generous contributor to the Scottsville Museum.  After she retired to Our Lady of Peace in Charlottesville, Lillian continued to stay plugged in to local happenings.  As long as she was able, Lillian had a "Telephone Ministry," reaching out to people she knew, who were ailing or in trouble.  Lillian is survived by her daughters, Linda LaFontaine and Ruth Ann Rehm, and five grandchildren.  Her funeral service was on Saturday, December 18, 2021, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Charlottesville, VA.

For more details on Lillian Ruth Schafft's life, see her obituary at the Thacker Brothers Funeral Homes website.  (

The above 2015 photo of Mrs. Schafft is courtesy of the American Bible Society, News, May 15, 2015.  (

Highlights, November 2021
  Jackie Jensen, Famous Baseball Player  by Evelyn Edson
Jackie Jensen, Boston Red Sox, 1959
A recent biography of Jackie Jensen, baseball star of the 1950's, is entitled The Golden Boy and authored by George Martin.  Not only was Jackie handsome and fair-haired, but he was a fantastic athlete, playing both football and baseball in high school and college, but eventually going to the major leagues with the NY Yankees.  There he was awed to be on a team with his idol, Joe Dimaggio.  Jackie was traded to the Senators, and Casey Stengel was to say later, "Trading Jackie Jensen was the biggest mistake of my life!"  Jackie eventually wound up with the Boston Red Sox and played for them as a right fielder for nine years, 1953-1961. 

To learn more about Jackie Jensen, his family and baseball career, and his retirement activities near Scottsville, see: Jackie Jensen, Famous Baseball Player.

Highlights, October 2021
  Jefferson's Cave Revisited  by Evelyn Edson
Snowden Cave, 2014; Photo by David Spears
The 'cave' at Snowden was dug out of phyllite rock, likely by someone searching for mineralized calcium carbonate (lime).  Faint traces of calcite (lime) can be seen on the rock surface.  David Spears, VA State Geologist, believes the hole in the rock face was probably made in a desperate attempt by a farmer to scrape out a little lime for fertilizer out of a lime-poor rock.  Photo by David Spears

Last week I repeated an antique local legend that Thomas Jefferson hid out in a riverside cave near Scottsville to escape advancing British troops in 1781. I heard immediately from two of my esteemed colleagues.

First, Joanne Yeck, author of (among other good books) The Jefferson Brothers.  During her work on the book, she painstakingly researched the story.  Jefferson reported on his escape with his family---no stage of his journey involved a cave.  You can read it in more detail in her article in the October 2014 Scottsville Monthly, see: Thomas Jefferson Did Not Sleep Here: The Cave at Snowden.

Second, Richard L. Nicholas, author of Sheridan's James River Campaign, wrote, "The Buckingham cave and Jefferson is all a myth!  As a geologist, I have walked the bluff along the James River in that area, and there is no cave.  David Spears, the State Geologist, has also explored the area and found only one very small area where someone apparently made a minor dig in search of a calcitic vein."  (For lime, used as fertilizer.)

So where do these stories come from?  This one was certainly repeated at length by Virginia More.  Joanne Yeck notes that this tale was cherished by descendants of Randolph Jefferson and appeared in a printed work about 1900.  So it's been with us for a while.  Everybody loves a good story (see: Moon Ghost), and the idea of the fastidious Thomas Jefferson crawling in a cave to escape the British is definitely appealing.  And, of course, we all love the connection to Scottsville.

Another point is that myths, what people believe, are a part of history, too.  Perhaps I was unduly influenced as I have been reading the Histories of the Greek historian, Herodotus, for a class at the Senior Center.  Says Herodotus, "This is what people say.  I do not necessarily believe it."

Highlights, September 2021
  Memories of the Dew Drop Inn
The Dew Drop Inn in Scottsville, ca. 2009
The Dew Drop Inn in Scottsville, ca. 2009

The Dew Drop Inn at 440 Valley Street was a Scottsville landmark for many years. Long time residents of Scottsville remember it was a high school hangout in the 1950's with plenty of loud rock n' roll blaring from the jukeboxes.  On the TV show, The Waltons, one character worked as a musician at the Dew Drop Inn in Scottsville.  The Dew Drop Inn closed in 2009, and today the building is the Beijing Kitchen.

To learn more about happy times at the Dew Drop Inn, see: The Dew Drop Inn.

Charles Thomas Moon's Grocery Store in Scottsville
Charles Thomas Moon grocery store
The Charles Thomas Moon Grocery Store, ca. 1910

The Charles Thomas Moon grocery store sat between the Masonic Lodge and the very edge of Mink Creek on Scottsville's Main Street.  On its first floor was the small store called Charles T. Moon Grocery, which was owned by Mr. Moon, and this building's second floor hosted a small apartment.

To learn more about Charles Moon and his grocery store, see: Charles Thomas Moon's Grocery Store in Scottsville.

Highlights, August 2021
  Pitts Market on Main Street, 1937-1962
Former Pitts Market Building in 2021
Shown above is building which hosted Pitts Market on Scottsville's Main Street from 1937-1962.

In the 1950's, Scottsville had four grocery stores.  One of these grocery stores, Pitts' Market, opened in 1937 across Main Street from the Methodist Church and just next door and to the east of the Masonic Lodge and Post Office building.  Pitts Market was run by William Robert Pitts and Ruth (Kent) Pitts.  The previous owners of the store were Edward and Betty Kent, Ruth's parents.  To learn more about Pitt's Market, see: Pitts Market on Main Street.

Highlights, July 2021
  Independence Day Celebration in Scottsville, 03 July 2021
Independence Day Parade in Scottsville, 2008
Independence Day Parade in Scottsville, July 2008 (Photo by Connie Geary)

On 03 July 2021, Scottsville will be hosting an Independence Day parade on Valley Street between 9:00 am - 11:30 am.  Plan to arrive early to park and set-up your chairs along Valley Street where you can enjoy this traditional small-town festivity.  Traditional Fourth of July fare will be available including barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers, corn-on-the-cob, popcorn, plus James River Brewery beers.  Other activities on 3 July include:

--Scottsville Museum will be open on 03 July from 10 am - 5:00 pm.  Admission is free.

--Scottsville Farmer's Market will be open from 9 am - 1:00 pm at the Scottsville Market Pavilion on Fleet Street. This event is sponsored by the Scottsville Farmers Market Vendors.  Local produce, baked goods, beverages, and crafts will be available for purchase.

--Scottsville Classic Car Cruise-in on 03 July from 10 am - 2:00 pm   This event is co-sponsored by All Star Barbers, George A. Dansey Plumbing, Town of Scottsville, and the Rivertown Antiques at the Uptown Shopping Center.  This is an open invitation for ALL cars to "cruise-in" and share your classic car passion with the Southern Albemarle community.  The Uptown Shopping Center is located on James River Road and Route 6 (Irish Road) in Scottsville.  Guest parking is available at the shopping center.  Admission is free.

--Independence Day Outdoor Concert by Mojo Pie on 03 July from 5:30pm-6:30pm at Dorrier Park (250 Page Street) in Scottsville.  Mojo Pie is Susan Munson and Frank Bechter on acoustic guitar and bass, playing their fun-filled originals and eclectric covers.  Event sponsored by the Town of Scottsville.  Parking available throughtout the historic downtown and at the "old" tire factory lot on Bird Street.  Admission is free.  Bring a blanket and picnic; food and beverages also available at local restaurants for take-out.

--Independence Day Outdoor Concert by Will Overman on 03 July from 7:00pm - 9:00pm at Dorrier Park (250 Page Street) in Scottsville.  Overman is a Charlottesville-based singer-songwriter whose songs evoke the wisdom of an old soul with youthful optimism as he blends music genres of Folk, Pop, Country, and Rock n' Roll among his music.  Event sponsored by the Town of Scottsville.  Parking available throughtout the historic down town and at the "old" tire factory lot on Bird Street.  Admission is free.  Bring a blanket and picnic; food and beverages also available at local restaurants for take-out.

Highlights, June 2021
  James River Batteau Festival in Scottsville, 23 June 2021
Batteau on James River
A batteau participating in the James River Batteau Festival (Photo by Holt Messerly)

On 23 June 2021, Scottsville will be the halfway point for the 36th Annual Batteau Festival crews journeying on the James River from Lynchburg to Richmond.  Batteaux will begin arriving at the James River Reeling and Rafting campground (265 Ferry Street in Scottsville) about 3 pm, and the festival celebrations will continue until 7pm.  Join Scottsville on the James River Horseshoe Bend for a mid-week afternoon and evening of learning the history of the James River.  Food, music, and river stories are guaranteed.  At 5pm, music will be provided by the Charlottesville Band Ensembles: Brass Quintet, Clarinet Ensemble, and Sax Quartet.

The batteau was originally used as a cargo vessel, hauling tobacco leaves packed in giant barrels called "hogsheads", down the James River to Richmond where the cargo was transferred to sailing ships bound for Europe.  These batteaux plied the James from the 1700s until the coming of the railroad, which made most commercial river travel obsolete.  Though no original batteaux exist today, the remains of several were discovered by construction workers on a project in Richmond in 1983.

The batteaux that participate in the Batteau Festival are replicas based on the original designs and the surviving fragments of the boats found in Richmond.  They are designed to withstand the rocks and shallow water that are a feature of the summertime James and are built of white oak, with no keel.  Largely propelled by the current and kept off of rocks by long wooden poles, there is a 'sweep' at each end to steer.

During the Batteau Festival, these boats float a section of the James River each day, with the crews tying up and camping at predetermined sites at night.

The Scottsville Museum will be open during the Festival on Saturday from 1 pm - 5 pm.  Admission is free; donations are welcome.  See you there!

Salute to Ruth Lucilla Gardner Brooks, 05 June 2021
Ruth Brooks at Scottsville Museum, 2020
Ruth Brooks, a faithful Museum docent, puts the U.S. flag in place as she opened the Museum
to our visitors one Saturday in 2020.

Ruth Lucilla Gardner Brooks, a long-time volunteer at the Scottsville Museum, died on
June 5, 2021, at the age of 92.  Born in Esmont, Va., on November 9, 1928, Ruth was the daughter of William Kenton and Hattie Nelson Gardner.  She was the youngest of eight siblings, all of whom pre-deceased her.  Ruth received a cosmetology degree from St. Paul's College in Lawrenceville, VA, and ran a beauty salon out of her home for over 50 years.

Ruth was a talented pianist, playing for area churches, and community events.  We remember especially an evening when she coaxed some rollicking tunes out of the antique pump organ in the Museum.

She served as a docent in the Museum and assisted with several exhibits.  Ruth was particularly helpful with "Schools of Southern Albemarle," an exhibit with photographs of Black and White schools and showcasing their variant treatments of history.

Ruth was married to Edward Thomas Brooks, and they had one son, Edward Rydell Brooks.  Edward Rydell Brooks, his wife Traci, and their three children (Kenton, Charles and Carla) remain to cherish Ruth's memory.

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 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.

Museum's 2022 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 the next year.  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:

Events Calendar
  To view calendar events for the 2023 season, visit Calendar

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