Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums, Inc. Archived Meeting Information

Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums, Inc.
Archived Meeting Information

2004 Meetings

December 2004 Meeting Notice
The December 2004 meeting was held Monday, December 13, at 7:00 P. M. at the Surry County Va. Recreation Center.

Our Speaker was Mary Harding Sadler.
She is a Historical Architect and is working with Mosley Architects to ensure that our new Courthouse addition is in keeping with our present Courthouse, which is on the State and National Register of Historic Places. Mary holds a degree in Architecture from UVA. Her experience includes work with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. We enjoyed hearing from Mrs. Sadler at our December meeting.

September 2004 Meeting Notice
The September 2004 meeting was held Monday, September 13, at 7:00 P. M. at the Surry County Va. Recreation Center.

Our Speaker was Dorothy Grubbs.
Dorothy has lived a long and interesting life in Surry County. Her memory of events and history are phenomenal. Members enjoyed this opportunity to hear first hand remembered history from one whose roots are extremely deep in Surry County.

May 2004 Meeting Notice
The May 2004 meeting was held Monday, May 10, 2004 at 7:00 P. M. at the Surry County Va. Recreation Center.

Our speakers were Mrs. Romaine Howell and Frank Jones. These two elder citizens of Surry County have absorbed not only the Surry County history they have seen, but have a remarkable memory of information passed on from earlier generations. Few if any have as much insight to our past. As an example, Frank Jones was there and remembers when the pre-Revolutionary Old Tavern at Surry Courthouse burned in 1926. This proved to be an excellent opportunity to hear them relate their remembrances of times past.

March 2004 Meeting Notice
The March 2004 meeting was held Monday, March 8, 2004 at 7:00 P. M. at the Surry County Va. Recreation Center.

Our Speaker was Jack Huber from the Dendron Historical Society. Jack told us about Dendron, The Surry Lumber Company and the Surry, Sussex and Southampton Railroad. Jack and his brother, Thomas, have studied and published an immense amount of information on the history of Dendron. We were updated on the wonderful work the Dendron Historical Society is doing.

2003 Meetings

December 2003 Meeting Notice
The December 2003 meeting was held December 8, 2003 at 7:00 P. M. at the Surry County Va. Recreation Center.

Our Speaker was Barbara Hopper, member and past secretary of the Society, and author of an upcoming book, Cabin Point, The Forgotten Village.

This village has played a most important part in the history of Surry County, yet little has been written about it. Most people are not aware of its importance. From our early days until the Civil War it was our largest village. Barbara and her husband Laurie collected information on Cabin Point for many decades. This was an excellent opportunity to see displays of and hear about this part of our Hidden History.

See our What's New section for the annoucement when Barbara's book is available.

September 2003 Meeting Notice
The September 2003 meeting was held September 8, 2003 at 7:00 P. M. at the Surry County Va. Recreation Center.

Our Speaker was L. B. Taylor, Jr., Author of Haunted Houses
Mr. Taylor was born in Lynchburg, Va. and has a B.S. degree in journalism from Florida State University. He wrote about America's space programs for 16 years for NASA and aerospace contractors, before moving to Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1974, as public affairs director for BASF Corporation. He retired in 1993.

Taylor is the author of more than 300 national magazine articles and 15 non-fiction books. His research for the book, Haunted Houses, published by Simon and Schuster in 1993, stimulated his interest in area psychic phenomena and led to the publication of six regional ghost books, seven covering the entire Commonwealth, and one on Civil War Ghosts of Virginia. We welcomed Mr. Taylor as our speaker. His talk was extremely interesting and informative.

May 2003 Meeting Notice
The May 2003 meeting was held May 12, 2003 at 7:00 P. M. at the Surry County Va. Recreation Center.

Our Speaker was Donald L. Sadler, an Archaeologist currently working on a colonial dig at Chestnut Farm, on the James River near Chippokes Plantation. Mr. Sadler earned his Bachelors of Anthropology from William and Mary College in 2001 and completed the course work there for his Masters in Histsorical Archaeology in 2002.
As a student he won a scholarship for study abroad and participated in archaeological excavations in "The History of the City" program in Athens, Greece.
In the summer of 2000 he worked at James Fort for William Kelso and the APVA. The summer of 2001 was spent at the excavation of the 1613 Smiths Fort in Bermuda, working with Professor Norman Barka and Dr. Edward Harris.
In the fall of 2002 he was awarded the prestigious Jamestowne Society Fellowship to study the 17th century Chestnut Farm in Surry County.
He is currently employed as a supervisor of 17th and 18th century historical sites for Archaeological and Cultural Solutions, Inc. of Williamsburg.

March 2003 Meeting Notice
The March 2003 meeting was held March 10, 2003 at 7:00 P. M. at the Surry County Va. Recreation Center.

Our Speaker was Reverend Stephen Eric Harris.
While born in Westchester County New York, his mother was from Surry County and his family moved back to Surry. He graduated from L. P. Jackson High School, served in the U. S. Navy, received a B. S. degree from Norfolk State College and then a Master's of Divinity degree from the Samuel Dewitt Procter School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va.
His topic will be "Colonization to Reconstruction: The churches and education in Surry County."

2002 Meetings

December 2002 Meeting

The December 2002 meeting was held on the second Monday, 9 December 2002, at 7:00 P.M., at the Surry County, VA, Recreation Center. Our Speaker was Norman Beatty, Director of the 2007 Celebration of the Jamestown Settlement. Yes, it is coming fast, and Surry County will be a part of this 400th celebration of our first permanent English settlement and the beginning of our great country. Several years have been spent planning for this celebration, and we heard of these plans. Surry County's location and early Settlement, beginning in 1607 will ensure our part in this celebration. This was an interesting and important program.

September 2002 Meeting

The September 2002 meeting was held on the third Monday, 16 September 2002, at 7:00 P.M., at the Surry County, VA. Recreation Center. Marion Sims Baird, Jr., author of Claremont on the James, was our guest speaker. Mr. Baird's book has just been published, and autographed copies were available at the meeting. He told us about people and events in the early years of the Town of Claremont. Board member, Barbara Hopper, displayed early photographs of Claremont and Surry County people and places. Information about his book is available HERE.

Ms. Tarika Blizzard was elected to the office of Secretary of the Society.

May 2002 Meeting

The annual meeting was held on Monday, May 20, 2002 at 7:00 P. M., at The Surry County, VA. Recreation Center. This meeting marked the end of our fourth year. It was an important meeting. Officers and some Board Members were elected.
Our guest speaker was Louis J. Malon, a native of Prince George County and a life long resident of Virginia. He has been with APVA for twenty years, the last six as Director of Properties. APVA owns and maintains 33 historic properties and sites across the Commonwealth. Louis attended William and Mary, graduated from VCU in 1977 with a degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies, and is currently enrolled in VCU working towards a Masters of Architectural History degree.
Elections of officers and board members were held pursuant to Article VII of our bylaws. The nominating committee presented the following partial slate of candidates for election to the designated offices for a two year term to end in May 2004:
  • President: Gordon "Bo" Bohannan
  • Vice President: Eve Gregory
  • Secretary: no candidate
  • Treasurer: Martha A. Rollings
The nominating committee presented the following slate of candidates for election of 5 directors for a three year term to end in May 2005:
  • Barbara N. Moore
  • S. Wallace Edwards, Jr.
  • James E. Atkins
  • Kenneth R. Holmes
  • Barbara Hopper
Note: No candidate was nominated for the office of Secretary. After the meeting Ms Tarika Blizzard was asked by the nominating committee to stand for election as Secretary of the Society, and she consented. She will be nominated at the next meeting in September.

March 2002 Meeting

The March 2002 meeting was held on the third Monday, 18 March 2002, at 7:00 P.M., at the Surry County, VA. Recreation Center, which was not available on our normal second Monday. This change was made due to scheduling problems. The 2002 Celebration brings a full calender of 2002 special events. Watch for a listing later in the newsletter. These events will mean some changes of dates from our regular second Mondays throughout the year. Our May 2002 meeting will be on Monday, May 20 at The Surry County Recreation Center at 7:00 p. m.

Our speaker in March was our president, Jim Atkins. Although he described himself as "someone with no credentials and little experience", that did not prove to be the case. The subject was our property rights, and how we got them. When we talk about our property rights, most do not realize they all go back to the earliest land patents from the king of England. It is an amazing story, with many ramifications today. Believe it or not, some still sue over them today, and the Land Patents become the deciding document in the case. This was an extremely interesting and informative presentation.

2001 Meetings

December 2001 Meeting Notice

The December meeting was held on the First Monday, December 3, 2001, at 7:00 P.M., at the Surry County, VA. Recreation Center, which was not available on our normal second Monday.

Our speaker was archeologist, Nicholas Luccketti. He presented an interesting program about his work at Mount Pleasant Plantation. This historic Surry County plantation has changed hands recently. The new owners are Shelly and Nick Schorsch of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. They are researching and working on Mount Pleasant and planning to move there, with their five children and lots of animals. Nick Luccketti is undertaking an extensive archeological survey of the property for them.

Part of the property is known as Pace's Paines. Little has to be said of its importance to our early settlement. Two names suffice: Richard Pace and Chanco. Actions that took place here in 1622 literally saved the Virginia Colony.

When you talk about property, you hear location - location - location. In addition to the importance of Point Pleasant and Pace's Paines, their neighbors include Four Mile Tree and Swann's Point. What more can we say?

Nick spoke to our Society three years ago about his dig and study of Smith's Fort. We were pleased to hear him speak again about another of our early jewels.

September 2001 Meeting Notice

The September meeting of the Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums, Inc. was held on Monday, September 10th, at 7:00 PM at the Surry County Recreational center.

The speaker was Alice Elmore, Society member and tour director for our "Surry to Surrey" trip next year. She discussed our trip to Surrey, England, as part of Surry County's celebration of our 350th anniversary in 2002. Alice has lived in Waverly, Virginia, for forty years. For years she has conducted custom tours over much of the world. She has specialized in Southern England, and therefore brings immense knowledge and connections to our upcoming tour.

Alice walked us through the itinerary. We had some displays on Surrey, UK. The tour has been designed at a relatively easy pace. Staying in one place the entire time, you only unpack your bags once. We also expect to offer bus service to and from Surry to Dulles Airport, making it a much easier journey for those who live close to Surry.

This program was of great interest to everyone whether or not they plan to go on the trip. So much of our early history is tied to our namesake in England. An itinerary is available in the September 2001 Newsletter.

May 2001 Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums, Inc. was held at 7:00 PM on Monday, May 14, 2001, at the Surry County Recreational Center. In accordance with Article VII of the Bylaws, the Nominating Committee presented the following slate of candidates for election to three positions on the Board of Directors for a three year term to end at the Annual Meeting in 2004.

  • Margaret S. Berryman, Surry, Virginia
  • Lillie Fields, Waverly, Virginia
  • W. E. Richardson, Jr., Dendron, Virginia
This slate was submitted for election at the May 14, 2001, annual meeting. No other candidates for the three directorship positions were nominated from the floor, so Margaret S. Berryman, Lillie Fields, and W. E. Richardson, Jr. were elected to a three year term to end at the Annual Meeting in 2004.

Our Speaker for the May meeting was Catherine Correll-Wall. Catherine grew up at Spring Grove, Surry County, VA. She graduated from William and Mary in History, and has worked as Curator of Collections at Chippokes Plantation. Since 1998 she has worked as Research/office manager with Dr. William Kelso, director of Archaeology at the APVA Jamestown Rediscovery Archaeological Project.

This project is ground zero, the most important archaeological dig in America. Add to that the unfolding plans for our 400 year anniversary celebration of the English settlement of America in 2007, and the visibility of our area will go off the scale. Catherine brought us up to date on the activities across the James River, and the opportunities for Surry County as the clock ticks down to 2007.

March 2001 Meeting

Our speaker for the March Meeting was David C. Hart of Detroit, Michigan. His grandfather, John C. Hart, was a mulatto born in 1846 and raised in Surry County. He learned to read and write at a very young age. Freed by his father's will and then a lawsuit, in Surry County in May 1857, he was apprenticed to William P. Underwood, Clerk of Surry Court. He fled to Jamestown Island and joined the Union Navy on the USS Aroostook in August 1862. John Cornelius Hart kept a diary throughout the Civil War, one of two known, and passed it and many newspaper clippings and mementos down through his family. It is now in possession of David Hart. The story of his service, including Surry County, is also being shown as part of an ABC Nightline TV show. They sent a film crew to Surry County to shoot footage for the show.

By all accounts, our March meeting was a great success. Attendance was over 60. David Hart was joined by his wife and daughter from Detroit, Michigan, along with another daughter and her husband, an Officer from Langley Air Force Base, and grandchildren. Many lingered after the meeting ended and talked with the Harts for nearly an hour. Often at our meetings, the best part is after the official meeting is over. People talk, look at displays and bring out our previously unknown and unshared history.

2000 Meetings

December 2000 Meeting

The December meeting of the Society was held on Monday, December 4, 2000, at 7:00 PM at the Surry Recreation Center. President James Atkins announced the important gift to the Society of the entire lifetime collection of photographs by prize winning local photographer, Lorena Leath. Society members were treated to a slide show of some of her prize winning slides. There was an extensive display of Mrs. Leath's framed photographs and her numerous awards. Click HERE for more information about Lorena Leath.

September 2000.

The September meeting of the Society was held in the Surry County Recreation Center on Monday, September 11, 2000, at 7:00 P.M. David C. Hart, whom we introduced at our May meeting, was scheduled to give us the story of his grandfather, John Cornelious Hart, a Mullatoe from Surry County who served in the Union Navy during the Civil War. Not only did he serve, he kept a diary of his outstanding service. He did not come back to Surry County after the war, and therefore the immense amount of information he chronicled has never been available to our citizens. Like every page of our history, the Civil War has two sides. We were disappointed to learn that Mr. Hart had to cancel at the last minute because of a family emergency. We look forward to hearing his account at a later date.

We were very fortunate to have Mr. Joe McAvoy as our speaker for the September meeting. His subject was The Cactus Hill archaeological site. Is it North America's first? Joe has led the dig at Cactus Hill in nearby Sussex County since it began over ten years ago. Artifacts have been found that are older than at any site in eastern North America - and - perhaps in all of North America.
This dig has drawn the attention of archaeologists and many organizations throughout the state and far beyond. Many magazines have run articles on this find. His organization, Nottaway River Survey, is supported by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the National Geographic Society in this quest. Unquestionably, it is the most important site in the country being worked at this time.
Many of our members came to hear about this dig and study that may rewrite American history. Think about it! We have the oldest English settlement in America across the James River at Jamestown. We may have the oldest settlement - period - across the Blackwater River in Sussex County, which started as part of Surry. Our roots may run deeper than we can imagine. This was a fascinating program!

Our very first open house at Rogers Store was held on Sunday, September 10, 2000, from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. This was on Rt. 615 west of Dendron, the day before our September meeting. Many members and visitors came to see the store before renovation begins.

May 2000.

Our Annual Meeting was held 8 May 2000. The nominating committee presented the following slate of candidates for election to the designated offices for a two year term to end in May 2002. All nominees were elected.

  • President: James B. Atkins
  • Vice-President: Kenneth R. Holmes
  • Secretary: Barbara Hopper
  • Treasurer: Martha A. Rollings
The nominating committee presented the following slate of candidates for election of three directorships for a three year term to end in May 2003. All nominees were elected.

  • Michael D. Harrison
  • Amy Edwards Harte
  • Claude W. Reeson
The Speaker at our May meeting was Suzanne Owen Flippo, chair of Programs and Events of the 2007 Jamestown settlement. She informed us of plans for Jamestown 2007, the beginning of the Jamestown Settlement and our country. Suzanne is uniquely prepared to acquaint us with the plans that are being developed for what will likely be the largest festivities Surry will see in our lifetime.
Suzanne is on the Executive Committee and is chairperson of Programs and Events for the 2007 Steering Committee. She also serves on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.
Her interest in this region's history goes back to her growing up in Sussex County and her degree in American Studies at Westhampton College. Much of her life has been spent in civic and historical service to the state of Virginia.
Surry County was an integral part of the Jamestown Settlement in 1607. Our part in this great festival must be planned. This was an excellent opportunity to learn more about plans already underway. Surry County has never seen the number of tourists that are anticipated in 2007. Let's get ready!

March 2000.

At our March 2000 meeting, Dennis Hudgins spoke on his research in Surry County Records. Dennis brings to Surry County extensive skills in the research and transcribing of old records. He has transcribed the last four volumes of Cavaliers and Pioneers, and another is ready for publication. These books are the bible in researching land patents of Virginia. He has taken the lead in mapping Virginia counties to these early land patents and grants. Perhaps a third of Virginia counties are now being mapped using the computer program he helped pioneer. Ultimately we hope to have the entire state in a data base in the Library of Virginia and accessible via the Internet. Dennis reads our oldest records like a newspaper. His interest has no limits. His presence in Surry is a great asset, especially in our efforts to preserve the county's history.

1999 Meetings

December 1999.

The December Historical Society meeting was held at the Surry Recreation Center on Monday, December 13, 1999 at 7:00 p.m. The speaker was Dr. Edgar A. Toppin, one of the greatest living authorities on African-American history. He spoke on the Civil War and the little understood post-war period of Reconstruction. Dr. Toppin received his undergraduate and master's degrees from Howard University and a doctorate from Northwestern University. He served on the faculty of Virginia State University for thirty years, and retired as dean of the graduate school in 1993. VSU is fortunate to have him still as distinguished research professor of American/African-American history. He is also a visiting professor in history and African-American studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Toppin served for six years on the board of trustees of the Virginia Historical Society and presently serves on the board of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. He is the author of five books and co-author of five more. We were fortunate to have an opportunity to hear this outstanding scholar and fascinating speaker.

September 1999.

The September meeting of the Historical Society was held at the Surry Recreation Center on Monday, September 13, 1999 at 7:00 p.m. The speaker was Cathy Wright, Executive Secretary of the Chippokes Plantation Farm Foundation. She gave us information on one of our jewels, Chippokes plantation. Begun within the first few years of the settling of The Jamestown Colony and considered a part of that Colony, its history continues even today. The first English owner was Capt. William Powell, who came to Virginia with Sir Thomas Gates in 1610. He probably was the William Powell who was a shareholder in the Virginia Company of London in 1609 and came from Southwark in Surrey County, England. For more information, see the August 1999 newsletter.

May 1999.

For our May 13th program, we were very fortunate to have Col. George King, U.S.A.F., Retired of Williamsburg, Virginia, as our speaker. Many of our members and friends have tried to trace their roots and ancestors with varying success. Col. King brought a new dimension to these searches. He went far beyond just searching through courthouse and church records. Col. King demonstrated the power of the computer and the Internet. Welcome to the future of research! Whether we were computer literate or not, we saw an amazing demonstration of what is available. The Internet brings all the major libraries in the world to our finger tips. While many of us will probably have to ask our children to help, it is a tool we should know about. Thank you, Col. King!

March 1999.

The program for the March 8, 1999 meeting was presented by Mr. Mark Wenger, Architectural Historian for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. He presented a preliminary report on his recent architectural survey of the Rogers' Store building in Carsley, Virginia. It is older than we thought! This was a fascinating presentation! More details are in the March 1999 newsletter.
Page revised 5 January 2006. © Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums, Inc.