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Highlights, January 2019

  Scottsville Museum's Historical Survey of Esmont Village Online,  2 Jan. 2019
Town of Esmont, 1910;  Library of Congress,  LC-USZ62-113129
Town of Esmont, 1910, Photo by W.E. Burgess. Courtesy of Library of Congress,

Scottsville Museum is pleased to announce that a new section has been added to our website containing the results of our summer's survey of many of the historical sites in the Esmont village.  Maxwell Johnson, the Museum's 2018 intern from UVA's Institute for Public History, conducted the research on the historical sites in Esmont village which includes Esmont, Keene, Porters District, Chestnut Grove, and Sand Road in Alberene.  Maxwell also photographed many of these historical sites which he included along with his research data on the churches, homes, schools, and businesses.  To learn more, visit The Esmont Community

Thank you, Maxwell Johnson, for your excellent historical research, photography, and dedication to our Esmont survey project!  Additionally we want to thank the Mellon Foundation, who funded Maxwell's internship with the Museum, and Lisa Goff, Director of the Institute For Public History, who identified this funding for the Museum.  And we also want to thank our Museum volunteers, Fannie Louden, Evelyn Edson, and Connie Geary for managing this project and processing the wonderful project results for our website!

Lieutenant Hopkins Hardin, Co. C, 19th Virginia Infantry
Lieutenant Hopkins Harding, Co. C, 19th VA Infantry Hopkins Hardin was a Confederate soldier, who served in Company C, 19th Virginia Infantry.  At the age of 23, he entered Company C in April 1861, enlisting at Scottsville, Virginia.  He fought in all of the principal battles and skirmishes of his division, taking part in such actions as those at Bull Run (first and second battles), Williamsburg, Fredericksburg, Boonsborough, and, last all, he was in that great decisive battle which determined the fate of the Southern Confederacy, the battle of Gettysburg.  In this battle, Hopkins was wounded three times; he had been wounded previously at both Fredericksburg and Boonsborough.  There was no question as to his bravery, his ardor, or his enthusiasm in battle.  Young Hopkins Hardin was a dedicated Virginia soldier.

For more information on Lieutenant Hardin's Civil War service and his family, visit Hopkins Hardin.

Highlights, December 2018

  Scottsville Tree Lighting at Canal Basin Square, 1 December 2018
Scottsville Tree Lighting, 1 Dec. 2018, 5:45 PM, CBS

The festivities are sponsored by the Scottsville Arts and Culture and will include:

Music by Butch Taylor and friends

Christmas Carols with Angela Zongilla-Herstek and friends

Cookies, Hot Cocoa, and Visits with Santa

Tree Lighting at 6:05pm

Highlights, November 2018


Jack Maxwell Wins Golf Gold Medal at Special Olympics, 4 November 2018:

Scottsville Museum Volunteer Wins Golf Gold Medal at Special Olympics
Volunteer Jack Maxwell managing traffic and safety at the Museum's Twilight Tours in October 2018

We proudly share the news about Jack Maxwell, a Scottsville resident and volunteer at Scottsville Museum, who won a gold medal in golf in the Virginia State Special Olympics Championships during the weekend of 3-4 November!  The golf championship was played at the First Tee of Hampton Roads in Virginia Beach.  Jack represented Virginia's Area 3 in the tournament, which includes Albemarle County, Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Greene, and Louisa.  This was Jack's second straight year participating in the event, which he finished in a four-way tie for fourth place in 2017.  Jack said that being more prepared and confident helped him win the golf gold medal this year, which he said largely resulted from practicing three hours a day leading up to the tournament.  Congratulations, Jack!

Jack has been a faithful volunteer in the Museum's Twilight Tours for the past six years.  Each tour night, Jack manages the car traffic driving along Main and Valley Streets as each Tour crosses those streets to reach locations where our historic reenactors relay the story of people from Scottsville's past.  He is always careful, helpful, and cheerful as he shepherds tour takers to safety.  Thank you, Jack, and enjoy your golfing gold medal, too!

Museum's 2019 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 2018.  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 2018


Twilight Tours Through Scottsville History, 20-21 October 2018:
Twilight Tours Through Scottsville History 2018

Tour Guide Dan Gritsko leads first Twilight Tour on Saturday, 20 October 2018

The Scottsville Museum hosted its sixth annual "Twilight Tours Through Scottsville History" on the weekend of October 20-21 in Scottsville.  The project, led by Museum Volunteer Terri Long and staged by local actors, featured seven characters from Scottsville's history ranging from 1781 - 2016.  The actors portraying these people from our local history were Terri Long, Kit Decker, Bob Talbott, John Settle, Miranda Burnett, Richard and Raven Morris, and Ralph Lewis.

Shown above is Daniel Gritsko, one of seven tour guides leading our Tours through the evening streets of Scottsville.  Many thanks to Dan, Mike West, Andy Wilson, Stuart Munson, Shannon Bittner, Ron Smith, B. Maxwell, and Jack Maxwell who kept our visitors safe from car traffic passing by our walking tours.  Special thanks are due to Lizz Koedam, who very effectively managed our ticket check-in process at Scottsville Museum both nights.  The Museum also appreciates the support to the Tours provided by Connie Geary, Leanne Grove, Evelyn Edson, Ruth Klippstein, Lisa Bittner, Kristin Freshwater & SCAN, and Scottsville United Methodist Church.

To see photos of Twilight Tours reenactors in action, visit Twilight Tours 2018.

Twilight Tours Through Scottsville History, 20-21 October 2018:
Twilight Tours Through Scottsville History 2018

Scottsville Museum announces the sixth annual "Twilight Tours through Scottsville History," happening on Saturday and Sunday, 20-21 October 2018.  Come and take a lamplight stroll through historic Scottsville with your tour guide and encounter town residents from bygone eras.  Hear their tales and recollections, see notable places and people brought to life from the pages of history.

Travel with Christopher Hudson as he recounts his ride to Monticello and warns Jefferson of the approaching British Army in 1781.  Meet Cenie Hornung Moon, who lived in Honolulu during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and hear her recount what happened on the date that will live in infamy.  Listen to T.J. Sellers, a true son of the South, raised in Esmont, VA.  Mr. Sellers was a pioneering African-American journalist, editor, and newspaper publisher.  He advocated for equal rights for all people and was instrumental in forcing the University of Virginia's Law School to accept it's first black student.

Scottsville's own, A. Raymon Thacker, Mayor Emeritus and 32nd Degree Mason, and several other figures from the past complete the cast and will recount events spanning from the 1800's until the 1980's.

These hour-long, outdoor walking tours are not handicap-accessible and depart every 20 minutes from the Scottsville Museum on Saturday and Sunday, 20-21 October.  Please dress appropriately for an outdoor, evening walking tour. 

Returning this year to our Twilight Tours, is an indoor performance (handicap-accessible) at Scottsville's Victory Hall located at 401 Valley Street.  This indoor performance is scheduled for 2 to 3PM on Sunday, 21 October 2018, and tickets will be available at Victory Hall.

Highlights, September 2018


River Town Fest in Scottsville, 08 September 2018:
River Town Fest, Saturday, 8 September 2018

Scottsville is the birthplace of Albemarle County, and this year marks 200 years since Scottsville was incorporated as a town.  River Town Fest, Scottsville's Community Day, celebrates local community history and health.  Events include the Scottsville Farmers Market; Scottsville Organization for Kids Soccer opening day games; nonprofit, business, and craft vendor fair; historic tours; locally owned business specials; food and beverage tastings; kids activities; music and more...  Most events are free and all events are open to the public! (The community fair and music will continue rain or shine).

Scottsville Museum will be open from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, 8 Sept., during the River Town Fest.  Additionally, two free historic walking tours through Scottsville are scheduled on Saturday at 11 am and 1 pm.  Please meet our tour guide at the Scottsville Museum.

Public bathrooms are available in the community center, Dorrier Park, the Farmer's Market and Canal Basin Square Outdoor Museum.

Public parking will be available at the following locations:  on Valley and Main Streets; at the James River Boys & Girls Club community lot; and on Bird Street at the "old" tire factory lot.

River Town Fest Full Schedule:

   Farmers Market:   Scottsville Pavilion, 8am-12pm
   Police, Rescue Squad, and Fire Expo:   Coleman's Lot, 8am-12pm
   SOKS Opening Soccer Games:   Dorrier Park, 9am-12pm
   Community Day Fair w. Craft Vendors & Community Orgs:   Scottsville Community Center,         10am-5 pm
   Foxboro Petting Zoo:   Uptown/Scottsville Shopping Center, 11am-2pm
   Historic Walking Tours:   Scottsville Museum, 11am or 1pm
   Meet Your Makers:   SCAN/Victory Hall, 2-3pm
   Lion's Club Duck Derby Fundraiser:   Van Clief Nature Area/Barefoot Country Store - 2:30pm
   Small Town Shopping:   Valley Street/Main Street and Uptown - hours vary
   Family Fun: Llama Walking, Knockerball, Face Painting, Bounce House:   Dorrier Park -
   Live Music:   Scottsville Pavilion, 4-9pm (BYO Chairs!)
        Vernon and Me,   4pm-5pm
        Red Light Rodeo,   5:30pm-6:30pm
        Will Thomas Reed and Friends,   7pm-9pm
        Food Vendors: Tacos, BBQ, Kona Ice

EVENT SPONSORS:  Bama Works Fund, Town of Scottsville, Albemarle County Parks and Recreation, James River Boys and Girls Club, Blue Ridge Event Production, Scottsville Greater Chamber of Commerce, Scottsville Masonic Lodge, River Town Antiques, Dansey Plumbing & Heating, WF Paulett/Ace Hardware/Augusta Coop, and our many volunteers.

Laura Mellusi, Town Arts & Culture Committee Chair -
Matt Lawless, Town Administrator
Town of Scottsville
401 Valley Street
Scottsville, VA 24590
Town Office Phone:  434-286-9267

Highlights, August 2018


Maxwell Johnson Researches Esmont Village History:
Maxwell Johnson, 2018 IPH Intern at Scottsville Museum Recently, Maxwell Johnson (shown at right), our Summer 2018 intern from UVA's Institute For Public History, briefed the Museum's Board of Trustees regarding his progress on researching the history of Esmont village at UVA Special Collections, Albemarle County Historical Society, Albemarle County Land Records, and Scottsville Museum.  In addition, Maxwell also photographed many of the historical sites in the Esmont village that includes Keene, Porters District, Chestnut Grove, Esmont, and Sand Road in Alberene.  Currently, Maxwell is finalizing his report on the history of the Esmont village and has also developed an interactive digital map (ArcGIS) of the Esmont village which includes photos and information on the churches, homes, schools, and stores.  The results of Maxwell's historical research on the Esmont village eventually will be added to the Scottsville Museum's website ( where it can be accessed by all.  Stay tuned here for further details on the availability of this Esmont village history to our readers!

Scottsville Museum wishes to thank Maxwell for his excellent historical research and dedication to our Esmont village project.  Additionally, the Museum sends profuse thanks to the Mellon Foundation, who funded Maxwell's internship this summer, and to Lisa Goff, Director of the Institute For Public History who identified this funding for the Museum.  Thank you, Mellon Foundation, Lisa Goff, and Maxwell Johnson!

The Freight Boat, Lizzie of Scottsville, Nears Completion at Canal Basin Square

Lizzie of Scottsville at Canal Basin Square, Scottsville, 22 August 2018
The Lizzie, a Canal Freight Boat Replica at Canal Basin Square (CBS) in Scottsville

This past May, the Town of Scottsville contracted with Doug Hurr to build a small class, open deck freight boat to be named the "Lizzie of Scottsville."  The Lizzie will fill the third and final slip in the CBS plan.  The Lizzie was originally built at the Tutwiler boat house just down the street from CBS during the days of the James River and Kanawha Canal.  The new version of this boat is being built by Doug Hurr with the assistance of volunteers, Frank Sherwood, Kit Decker, and John Bowers and is expected to be completed at the end of August 2018.  Additionally, Jeff Falls of Richmond built and donated a 4'x4' replica of a hogshead for display with the Lizzie.

During canal days, mules towed the freight boat up and down the canal.  A driver walked alongside the mule or rode the rear mule as the animals walked along the canal's towpath.  The mules were changed regularly; relief mules were stabled on the boat.  A steersman rode on the boat to guide it safely along the canal and to blow a horn to signal each lock keeper to prepare the lock to receive the boat as it approached.

Lizzie Crew Cabin in front of  boat's rudder and tillerHogshead
  Lizzie's Crew Cabin, Rudder, and Tiller                Hogshead to hold tobacco to and from the Lizzie

Hogsheads of tobacco and grain were carried on the decks of such freight boats as the Lizzie.  Smaller and lighter freight was loaded below deck via the two hatches on its deck; see Lizzie's hatches in the larger photo above.

Scottsville Museum and canal history buffs wish to thank the Town of Scottsville, Mr. Hurr, and the many volunteers who assisted him in building the Lizzie.  A job most well done and a tremendous visual addition for everyone wanting to learn more about Scottsville's canal days!  Town visitors and citizens, do come see all of the interesting canal history on display at Canal Basin Square!!

Children of John Lacy Morris Sr., and Daisy (Callahan) Morris of Morrisena:
Shown at right are the children of John Lacy Morris, Sr. (1881-1940) and Daisy Holmes (Callahan) Morris (1881-1967) in 1918.  This family lived at Morrisena, the home which was built along the branches of Totier Creek near Warren, Virginia.  Morrisena has been the home of the Morrises since it was granted in 1747 to their ancestor Hugh Morris (1727-1805) by King George II and witnessed by Sir William Gooch, Colonial Governor of Virginia.  To learn more about the Morris family and Morrisena, visit:

The Family of John Lacy Morris, Sr., and Daisy (Callahan) Morris

Family of John Taylor Morris and Lelia B. (Lacy) Morris


John Lacy Morris, Jr.

James Taylor Morris

Highlights, July 2018

2018 Maupintown Film Festival, 13-15 July 2018:

The 2018 Maupintown Film Festival will take place on July 13-15 at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center in Charlottesville, Virginia (233 4th St NW Fl 2, in Charlottesville).  This annual event focuses on showcasing stories of African-American history and culture through film.  This year's theme is "Aware of the Evidence", as the Festival covers the history of black film, local Charlottesville area history, black women in suburbia, African American art, the history of Pullman Porters, and more. 

To see the list of 20 feature length and short films to be shown at the Festival, visit Aware of the Evidence.

Tickets to see these films are at no cost, but to ensure your seating, please order your tickets in advance on the Maupintown website; visit: Schedule and Tickets.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR - Independence Day in Scottsville, 04 July 2018:

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 Wednesday this year, and by 8 am, 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 am   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). 

During the mid-day, stay in town and explore our trails, shops, and restaurants.  At 6 pm, enjoy a free music concert at Dorrier Park featuring Chamomile & Whiskey and friends with Craig Dodson.   Pack a picnic and a blanket and enjoy this live music concert in the Park. 

Following the concert at dusk (usually about 9:00 pm) in Dorrier Park is Scottsville's annual fireworks display over the river.  Parking is available throughout the town and look for additional parking Uptown (near Food Lion) and across the James River bridge.  For advance traffic plans, contact the Town of Scottsville at .

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


Highlights, June 2018


Batteau Night in Scottsville, 20 June 2018:
James River Batteau Festival, June 2018

The 33rd Annual James River Batteau Festival begins on Saturday, June 16, and runs through Saturday, June 23.  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, 20 June, and tie up at Scottsville's Ferry Street public boat landing.  Visitors can also stroll along he 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  For additional info on Batteau Festival activities from Lynchburg to Richmond during the week of 16-23 June 2018, download a copy of The 2018 James River Batteau Festival Brochure.

Historic Moon Photos Donated to Museum By Cenie Re Sturm:
Robert Barclay Moon, 1821-1891 Recently Cenie Re (Moon) Sturm of Scottsville let the Museum scan 10 historic photos from her Moon family in Albemarle County.  These photos contained portraits of her Moon ancestors that date from Robert Barclay Moon (1821-1891; see photo at right) to that of Frank Russell Moon, Sr. (1875-1955).  These Moon photos give faces to interesting people and pieces of the local history of the Scottsville area.  Thank you so very much, Cenie Re, for sharing these photos with Scottsville Museum!

Following is a list of the ten Moon individuals, who are the subject of these historic photos, and brief details about that person.  To see the photo of a Moon on this list and to learn more about him/her, please click on the highlighted name of interest below.

James Nelson Moon(1836-1898):  James was a member of Mosby's Rangers during the Civil War. After the War, he married Cary Ann Coleman, and they lived at Shirland near Scottsville.

Edmonia Harris Moon (1851-1908):  Edmonia was the first single woman Baptist missionary and went to Northern China in 1872.  Edmonia's sister, Lottie Moon, joined her in China as a missionary in 1873.

Elizabeth Tompkins Moon (1826-1891):  Elizabeth married John Schuyler Moon, and they lived at Stony Point near the current Scottsville water tower.

Robert Barclay Moon (1821-1891) and Mary Barclay (Massie) Moon (1822-1911):  Robert served as the magistrate of Albemarle County and also as County Surveyor.

Mary Barclay (Moon) Nicol (1870-1943):  Mary lived at Shirland near Scottsville and was the daughter of James Nelson Moon and Cary Ann (Coleman) Moon.  In 1903, Mary married John Aylett Nicol of Manassas, VA.

John Barclay Moon (1849-1915):  John lived at Dunlora, 7 miles from Scottsville, and served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and also as Chairman of Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.  John married Marion Gordon Dabney in 1878 in Albemarle Co., VA.

Lilla Moon (1854-1929):  Lila was the daughter of John Schuyler Moon and Elizabeth (Tompkins) Moon and lived at Stony Point near what is now the Scottsville water tower.  In 1870, Lila lived wIth her parents and siblings to Snowden in Buckingham Co., VA.

Cary Ann (Coleman) Moon (1840-1920):  Cary was the wife of James Nelson Moon, a Mosby Ranger in the Civil War, and they lived at Shirland near Scottsville.

Isaac Anderson Moon (1836-1930):  Isaac was the 6th son of Edward Harris Moon and Anna Maria (Barclay) Moon, who lived at Viewmont near Carters Bridge, VA.  Isaac was the brother of Lottie and Edmonia Moon, who were missionaries to China in the 1870's.

Frank Russell Moon, Sr. (1875-1955):  Frank was born at Shirland, the son of James Nelson Moon and Cary Ann (Coleman) Moon.  He married Annie Dunscomb Horsley, and they lived at Travelers Rest in Buckingham Co.

Highlights, May 2018


Peter Field Jefferson, Dark Prince of Scottsville by Joanne Yeck:
Joanne Yeck, noted author and Jefferson historian, has authored a new book entitled, Peter Field Jefferson: Dark Prince of Scottsville.  This book follows the rise and fall of Randolph Jefferson's most successful son.  Nephew to President Thomas Jefferson, Peter Field Jefferson proved that at least one member of the family had a head for business.  The story of his life parallels that of the changing cultural landscape of the James River's Horseshoe Bend across seven decades, rising from virtual frontier to the establishment of Scottsville in Albemarle County, through the building of the James River and Kanawha Canal, and culminating in the early months of the Civil War.  Jefferson's success as a self-made man is tainted with great personal loss, making his story a distinctively American tragedy.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is how interbreeding was so common among the landed gentry during this time and the negative impact of such practice.  Yeck concludes the book with Lost Jeffersons, a collection of essays that follows the descendants of Randolph Jefferson and their kinfolk.  Their fates reveal, in part, the genetic decline of one branch of the Jefferson family. A microcosm of Virginia's gentry, multiple generations of cousin marriage resulted in a concentration of undesirable traits - including alcoholism, idiocy, and insanity - compromising individuals who might otherwise have led productive and useful lives.

Thanks, Joanne, for giving us this well-researched book.  It is an excellent read for Virginia history lovers!  See below for locations where this book may be purchased:

Peter Field Jefferson

About the author:  In 2010, Joanne Yeck was awarded a Jefferson Fellowship at the International Center for Jefferson Studies.  She is the author of three volumes of Virginia history, published by Slate River Press:  At a Place Called Buckingham (2011), The Jefferson Brothers (2012), and At a Place Called Buckingham, Volume Two (2015).  She is also the author of numerous articles concerning Classic Hollywood and American Popular Culture, as well as the coauthor of Movie Westerns (Lerner) and Our Movie Heritage (Rutgers University Press).

MARK YOUR CALENDAR : "Stone, Bone and Clay" Talk at Victory Hall,
5 May 2018, 3 pm:

Karenne Wood.  Photo by Jessica Elemendorf
Karenne Wood, Director of Virginia Indian Program at VFH.  Photo by Jessica Elemendorf

"Stone, Bone, and Clay" will be the title of a talk by Karenne Wood at Victory Hall in Scottsville, VA, on Saturday, May 5, at 3 p.m.

Karenne Wood, Director of the Virginia Indian Program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, a member of the Monacan Indian Nation, and an anthropologist, will examine the deep history of American Indian presence in what we now call Virginia and consider how our understanding of that history has changed with archaeological discoveries.

Wood will also analyze the ways in which that story has been presented and how Native people have come to be seen as people of the past through the interpretations of museums and historians, policy makers, and popular media.   She'll consider these issues from a Native perspective and offers ideas intended to expand the story we tell about Virginia's first people.

In 2015, Wood was honored as one of Virginia's Women in History.  She has published two books of poetry, Markings on Earth (2000) and Weaving the Boundary (2016), and The Virginia Indian Heritage Trail.

Recently, the Monacan people, along with five other Virginia Indian nations, was accorded federal recognition, restoring a history too often erased.

See you at Victory Hall (401 Valley Street, Scottsville, VA) on Saturday, May 5, at 3 p.m!  Admission is free.

Highlights, April 2018


Honoring Raymon Thacker at Spring Opening, 08 April 2018:
Raymon Thacker At Scottsville Primary School, 1917 Raymon Thacker at Completed Levee in Scottsville, 1989
Raymon attending Scottsville Primary School, 1917 Raymon at Scottsville's completed levee, 1989

The Scottsville Museum opened for the 2018 season on Sunday, April 8, at 2 p.m.  At that time a resolution was unveiled, honoring A. Raymon Thacker for his many contributions to Scottsville and especially to the preservation of its history.  Attending the ceremony were Raymon's wife, Arbutus Thacker, and their son and daughter-in-law, Matthew and Donna Thacker (in front row of photo at right below), and many members of the Scottsville community; see photos below:

Arbutus Thacker, 08 April 2018 Matthew and Donna Thacker seated in front at left

Born in Stuarts Draft in 1909, Raymon arrived in Scottsville via horse and wagon at the age of 2, when his father was hired to run the grist mill.  Raymon attended primary school first at the old schoolhouse on Jackson Street and then at the small frame building on Bird Street.  He loved running errands for the older men in town who gathered to talk.  Raymon listened to their stories of fighting in the Confederate Army, remembering everything and becoming our official memory bank, part of the texture that holds the town together.

Raymon and his brother, Homer, established themselves in the funeral business, which they ran for 57 years.  Raymon was deeply involved in every aspect of life in Scottsville, helping to start an ambulance service, and founding the Volunteer Fire Department, the local Lions' Club, and the Scottsville Museum.  Raymon was a member of the Museum Board from its founding until the end of his life, and he played an active role in all of its activities.

Raymon learned about politics working with Scottsville's mayor, and in 1966, Raymon was elected mayor himself, a position he held for thirty years.  Raymon was the longest serving mayor in Scottsville's history and the longest serving mayor in the history of the Virginia Commonwealth.  Raymon's most important accomplishments as Scottsville's mayor include the boundary adjustment with Albemarle County to increase the size of the town; and the construction of the levee, which protects the old town from flooding by Mink Creek and the James River.  The A.R. Thacker Levee opened in 1989. 

To see additional photos of the Thacker tribute at Scottsville Museum, visit 2018 Spring Opening.

Packet Boat Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony at Canal Basin Square, 08 April 2018:

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for canal boat at Canal Basin Square, Scottsville
L to R: Jennifer "Pele" Prescott, Elizabeth Knotts, Tim Small, John Bowers, and Frank Sherwood.

Following the Thacker ceremony at Scottsville Museum, attendees gathered across the street at Canal Basin Square (CBS) to celebrate the completion of a James River Canal packet boat.  Mayor Nancy Gill noted that Raymon Thacker's influence can be found in both the Museum and the CBS park, which includes installations about the historic flooding in the '60s and '70s and the levee.  Additionally, the Museum and the packet boat project depend heavily on volunteers support.

Construction on the packet boat at CBS began on June 2, 2006, using Captain Dick Woolling's Packet Boat as its model.  The volunteer team was led by Tim Small and included John Bowers, Barry Grove, Jesse Grove, Vanya Grove, Bill Hyson, Bill Schneider, Barry Long, Michael Tocci, Steve Phipps, and Bill Cooper.  In 2017, Doug Hurr won the Town's contract to complete the construction of this canal boat which occurred earlier this year.

To see more photos of the Canal Boat celebration at CBS, visit: Ribbon-cutting Ceremony for CBS Packet Boat.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR - Tribute to Raymon Thacker, 08 April 2018:
Arthur Raymon Thacker, Scottsville Museum The Scottsville Museum will open for the 2018 season on Sunday, April 8, at 2 p.m.  At that time a resolution will be unveiled, honoring Raymon Thacker for his many contributions to the town and especially to the preservation of its history.  Mr. Thacker was a member of the Museum Board from its founding until the end of his life, and he played an active role in all of its activities.  All are welcome.  Refreshments will be served.

The ceremony at the Museum will be followed by the ribbon-cutting for the newly reconstructed canal packet boat at Canal Basin Square.  This event will be followed by live music.

The Museum will be open weekends from April through October, Saturdays from 10 to 5 and Sundays from 1 to 5. Admission is free.

New packetboat in Scottsville, VA, March 2018
New packetboat at Canal Basin Square in Scottsville, March 2018


Highlights, March 2018


Docent Reception, 19 March 2018:

Cindy Graff, Callie Bowers, Doris Holt, Scottsville Museum Docents
Docents (L to R):  Cindy Graff, Callie Bowers, and Doris Holt, 2018 Docents at Scottsville Museum;

Leanne Grove, Docent Coordinator for Scottsville Museum, hosted an appreciation reception for Museum docents at her Scottsville home on Sunday, March 19.  A wonderful afternoon of friendship and museum discussion ensued.  Leanne reviewed opening and closing procedures for the Museum and the training sessions she's planning for new docents to include a session for any docents who would like some refresher training.  Our President Evelyn Edson discussed the Museum's opening for the 2018 season on Sunday, 8 April at 2 pm.  She also briefed us on the commemorative resolution, which will be on display at the Museum and honors former Mayor Raymon Thacker's many contributions to the town of Scottsville .  We are pumped up for the 2018 season -- thank you, Leanne and Evelyn!

Vice President Leanne Grove and President Evelyn Edson
Leanne Grove and Evelyn Edson (L to R)

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 Leanne at (434-286-4840) or contact us via e-mail at:

To see additional photos from the Docent Reception, visit 2018 Docent Reception.

Highlights, February 2018


High Waters on the James at Scottsville, 12 February 2018:

Run-off from a 3-inch rainfall over the past weekend flooded Scottsville's recreation area by the
James River bridge.

During the weekend of 10-11 February, Scottsville received much needed rain after a very dry weather period that stretched through December-January.  In total, this weekend's rainfall measured about 3 inches.  Monday afternoon, 12 February, I drove down Valley Street, and as I approached East Main Street, I noticed pedestrians walking up the sidewalks over the bridge.  This is not unusual in the spring and summer, when the sun is shining and the view along the James River is spectacular!  But on Monday, the sky was overcast, and the temperature was in the 40's.  Hmm-m-m-m-m, I thought to myself -- wonder if the river water is high from rain runoff?

Catering to my curiosity, I drove east on Main Street and turned on Ferry Street to check out the river from the boat landing at the end of that street.  As I approached the open gate through the levee, I spotted more people standing ahead of me taking photos of the river.  To my right was the above scene of a totally flooded picnic area by the river --- not a table or walking path or grass could be seen due to the flood water.  The Town's official measuring post for such flood water showed the water was up to the 16 ft. level -- wow!  This experience made me really appreciate how Scottsville has been impacted throughout our history by flood waters on the James.  True, Monday's runoff hadn't reached the level that would reach downtown Scottsville, but if it had, we fortunately now have a levee with floodgates to permit human traffic to and from the river during normal water levels.  And at times of high water levels on the James, the levee gates are closed to prevent flooding in Scottsville.

Monday's high waters along the James made me once again greatly appreciate the tireless work of Mayor Raymon Thacker and the Town Council to obtain federal funding to build a dam on Mink Creek and a flood levee which has held back flood waters on the James since 1985.  Thanks so very much, Raymon and our Town Council!

As an addendum:  On Wednesday, 14 February 2018, the current flood waters, as depicted in the above photo, had subsided by several feet.  The picnic grounds there by the river are slowly reappearing as the flood waters subside.  Yay!!

Additional Research on Local WWII Veterans:

Walter Watson Murray, US Army Gilbert Leslie Johnson, US Navy Benjamin Douglas Anderson, US Army
Scottsville Area WWII Veterans (L to R): Walter Watson Murray, KIA Italy; Gilbert Leslie Johnson, KIA Okinawa;
and Benjamin Douglas Anderson, KIA Germany

Over the past two months, Scottsville Museum completed additional research on World War II veterans from the Scottsville area.  Our current WWII Veterans web pages have been updated with this additional research information, and 26 more veterans have been added to our web site.  We have been impressed with the number of local families, who sent multiple sons and daughters to the U.S. military to support the war effort, namely, the Dorriers (5), Babers (5), Bolings (4), Eastons (5), Johnson (5), McGuire (4), Moon (4), Townsend (5), Trice (6), and Wakefields (4). 

Among the 186 WWII Veterans from the Scottsville area researched to date are 14 soldiers, who were killed in action, and include the three soldiers above, Walter Watson Murray, Gilbert Leslie Johnson, and Benjamin Douglas Anderson.  Three more local soldiers died in WWII from non-battle causes (George G. Anderson, James A. Brown, and Rockwell Swingler), and two of our soldiers, Thomas J. Bugg and Herbert Morris Baber, were captured in Germany and imprisoned in POW camps in Silesia (now Poland).  One soldier from Esmont, Frank Dabney Peregoy, died on June 14, 1944, during the Normandy invasion.  Frank was awarded the Medal of Honor for his 'extraordinary gallantry and agressiveness' during intense hedgerow battles that ensued as his 117th Div. attacked the German defenses at Grandcampe-Maisy, France.

The efforts and sacrifices of our WWII soldiers helped our country win the war, and they will never be forgotten.  To learn more about these WWII veterans from the Scottsville area, visit WWII Veterans.

If any of our readers have additional information about Scottsville area veterans of WWII, we would love to learn more.  Please contact us at and tell us more.  Many thanks in advance!

The Scottsville Sun Online!

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.

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 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 2018 season, visit Calendar.

2018 Docent Reception
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