Meeting Archive – 2019

Annual Holiday Gathering and Research Round-Up

December 5, 2019 – 4 PM

We hope to see you all on Thursday to celebrate the year’s end, hear an update on the Enslaved Workers Project that Shelley Murphy is leading at the University of Virginia, learn more about Brian Gallagher’s work to document local cemeteries, and share your own research. 

Image Archive for Local History

November 7, 2019 – 4 PM

Last spring UVA’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) posted an archive of some 65,000 images of primary source historical documents from a number of central Virginia counties.  The archive was tentatively named CVHR but will be renamed “Reginald D. Butler Local History Archive” in honor of the former UVA history professor and Director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute, who passed away in July.  The archive was created to provide the variety of sources essential to documenting the history of local free people of color and to understanding their experience.  This discussion will focus on free black apprenticeship and using primary sources to recreate early nineteenth century free black communities in Goochland County, which was the focus of Dr. Butler’s dissertation.

The Gold Mine of Information in the Daily Progress – A Talk By Jane Smith

October 3, 2019 – 4 PM

Jane Smith to speak on newspapers in research, including the work she did for the Blue Ribbon Commission on Race and how to deal with wrenching finds.  She will talk about the gold mine of information available in the Daily Progress online, which is underused because it is not searchable. Join us on Thursday, Oct 3 at 4pm at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center to hear Jane’s talk. 

The Enslaved Community of Scotchtown – Hanover County, VA

September 5, 2019 – 4 PM

Join us Thursday, Sept 5 to hear researcher Andi Cumbo-Floyd talk about her work with Preservation Virginia to recover the names of individuals enslaved at the Scotchtown Plantation in Hanover County. 

Hanover is a “burned county,” which means that most of the public records were destroyed in a fire, so Cumbo-Floyd had to turn to the few remaining public records as well as other resources to try and locate the names and descendants of the people enslaved at the plantation once owned by the Chiswell, Robinson, Henry, Sheppard, and Taylor families.  

She’ll be discussing the information she located about the Gardner, Johnson, and Tyree families as well as the challenges of working on this particular project.

August 2020 – No meeting held

July 2020 – No meeting held

“Paupers and Lunatics: Caring for Virginia’s Poor” by Lynn Rainville

June 6, 2019 – 4 PM

For over two centuries, rural Virginian communities sponsored “town farms” that housed a wide range of dependent people. The goal was to provide room and board for individuals who were deemed socially or morally “unworthy” by their peers. Most of these facilities were closed by World War II; today the remains of these poorhouses are hard to find. In this talk I share primary sources that reveal the original distribution and function of poor farms throughout the Commonwealth. I conclude with an analysis of the everyday lives of the Overseers of the poor and the inmates of this public institution. 

Mapping and Connecting History

May 2, 2019 – 4 PM

Local journalist Jordy Yager will give us an update on several projects he’s working on with the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center: A large mapping project that is digitizing city and county property records, as well as City Council minutes for the first half of the 20th century; the creation of an exhibit around John West, Nannie Cox Jackson, the Piedmont Industrial Land Improvement Company and Black property ownership; and several projects with area public school students and teachers that build local history resources into walking and augmented reality tours, core curricula, and GIS mapping exercises.

“20 Years Since Sunday Coming: Retrospective and Perspective on Black Baseball in Virginia” by Darrell Howard.

April 4, 2019 – 4 PM

Our topic will be “20 Years Since Sunday Coming: Retrospective and Perspective on Black Baseball in Virginia” by Darrell Howard.  Mr. Howard will tell the story of black baseball in Virginia, beginning with the 1930s, when black baseball was gaining popularity, to the 1980s, when the last few games were played. From Winchester to Tidewater, Danville to Fairfax, baseball was the most enduring form of entertainment and recreation for black communities in Virginia. For fifty years, the state’s black teams played in rural pastures, cleared-out forests, city parks, and, for a fortunate few, minor league stadiums.

His book, Sunday Coming, re-creates this bygone era through the words of the men who played and whose spirited memories are evidence of their love of the game. Some of black baseball’s most memorable teams, leagues, and personalities, such as Kelly’s Allstars, the Interstate League, the Negro American Association, the Roanoke Black Cardinals, and Cool Papa Winston, to name a few, are included.

Rives Cephes Minor and Asalie Minor Preston

March 7, 2019 – 4 PM

The estimable lives of Rives C. Minor and Asalie M. Preston testify to the power of education both for themselves and for the countless students who over eight decades learned in their classrooms. Freed from bondage, Rives Minor became teacher, counselor, and exemplar to his community of Hydraulic Mills. Asalie Preston, his daughter, continued the family’s commitment to teaching well into the twentieth century. Both achieved and contributed to their society in the midst of great economic, political, and social injustice. Their legacy of education and service to community continues in the Minor Preston Educational Fund, the charitable endeavor dedicated to their memories.

Central Virginia History on Film

February 7, 2019 – 4 PM

Local Filmmaker & Photographer Lorenzo Dickerson will give us an overview of new Maupintown Media projects to expect in 2019, all deeply rooted in history, including new documentary films ByrdlandDeliverance, and 3rd Street: Best Seats in the House, photography exhibit Amber Waves______, screenplays for feature films and television, what to expect at the 5th Annual Maupintown Film Festival in July and more.

Central Virginia History on Film

January 3, 2019 – 4 PM

Jeff Werner , the new Preservation Planner for Charlottesville, filled in for Charlene Greene
who had asked the group for feedback on the West Main Street Interpretation and Signage Program as
prepared by Howard and Revis Design. Jeff asked that the group think about the “top ten” memories
that would represent the area and be reflected in the proposed signage, for which $15,000 has been
allocated. We asked Jeff to come back and talk to the group after the lively CVHR responses were shared

Andrea Douglas spoke about the new Jefferson School African American Heritage Center projects and
particularly the Origin Project which would lay out what the area was like after Emancipation when 52%
of the local population was African American. The 1870 map of Albemarle and the location of its many
plantations would be displayed so the large migration of freed people can be better understood.
Working on this project are Niya Bates and Elizabeth Klacsynski, the education coordinator for JSAAHC.
Jordy Yager is mapping the racial covenants of Charlottesville for an interactive map on racial zoning.
The story of who stayed in the county/city will be illustrated in the story of 6 families who can trace their
lineage from Albemarle plantation times.