Loudoun County, Virginia 2016
Founding member of the Black History Committee Elaine Thompson passed away on Sunday evening, October 9th,
After more than a year of planning and practice, the Friends' Black History Committe (BHC) launched it's Heritage Bus Tour, on the bright Saturday morning of November 14, 2015. At 8:30 AM, the 22 enthusiastic "tourists," together with Project coordinator Alicia Cohen and BHC presenters, gathered at the Library to board the tour mini bus. Starting out in Leesburg, Loudoun native Mary Randolph pointed out several historical sites including the fully accredited yet long-segregated Douglass High School.
Next visit, the Quaker Village of Waterford, home to both free and enslaved African Americans in its past. At A visit to the Second Street School, dedicated to the education of local black children, we heard from alumni Almeta Johnson, Vera Lewis and John Middleton, a special arrangement by Louis Jett. Final stop in the village, the Union Cemetery, led by local historian Bronwen Souders. We viewed the burial sites of several U.S. Colored Infantry Soldiers identified by their headstones or American flags.
Traveling through Purcellville, Louis Jett, a resident, provided a brief narrative on important sites: Carver School, Emancipation Grounds, and the "color line." Continuing on to St. Louis, Phyllis Cook-Taylor discussed the work of black men in the horse industry, and Banneker Elementary School, another important educational institution. In Middleburg, we were delighted to relax and enjoy lunch as guests at the beautiful Salamander Resort. After our break, Ms. Cook-Taylor continued her presentation with additional sites in Middleburg at "Bureau Corner," pointing out the churches and community center she attended as a child.
At Oatlands Plantation, Lori Kimball, programming director, led us through the mansion, discussing the history of the former owners and the work of their enslaved families. At our final community, Gleedsville, church historian Leslie Wright and Lauren Wilczynski shared the the history of this African American built community and the Mt. Olive Methodist Church (now Unitarian-Universalist Church). From the participants' written feedback, the heritage tour exceeded expectations!
This first tour was supported in part by a grant from the Loudoun Credit Union and a second tour is set for Saturday, June 25th, 2016
A few words of appreciation to all from Friends President Donald G. Cooper, Ph.D—
Every successful fundraiser needs an army of volunteers to plan and execute it. For its 8th annual fundraising event held on September 13, the Friends enlisted a remarkable group of individuals, none more so than Friend and owner of Silverbrook Farm, Dorothy ("Dot") Shetterly. How to properly thank her? In the tradition of Thomas Balch Library, it seemed appropriate to look to history and genealogy. Thanks to the inspiration of Lewis Leigh, Jr., and Bill Ray, the Friends presented Dot with a framed chain of title for her family's property going back to pre-Revolutionary times.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the numerous individuals and firms who helped to make this fundraising event a success this year. First, I want to thank Dorothy Shetterly who graciously provided the use of Silverbrook Farm to Friends of Thomas Balch Library. Second, a special thank you to the fundraiser committee—Ron Rust, Lewis Leigh, Jr., Bill Ray, Susan Webber, Suzi Worsham, Patty Rogers-Renner, Sharon Parker, Brock Bierman, and Phil Lo Presti—who planned and executed this event
Third, thanks to our sponsors—Don Cooper, Rosalie and Lewis Leigh, Jr., Susan and George Webber, Sharon and Lew Parker, Lee and Paul Lawrence, Brock Bierman, Ron and Judy Rust, Marilyn Rogers-Renner and David Renner, James and Mary Grace Lucier, Jeffrey Bolyard, John and Mary Davis, Suzi and Travis Worsham, Engle, Paxton & Hawthorne Insurance Services, and Toth Financial Advisory Corporation. Fourth, thanks to our speakers Tracy Gillespie, the Hon. Gary Clemens, and Dr. Don Cooper for providing us information on the role of Loudoun County during the American Revolution. Fifth, a special thanks for the additional support provided by Gary Dickens, Rich Gillespie, Sarah Huntington, Laura Longley, William Ray, Middleburg Printers, PR Construction, United Site Services, and catering by Savoir Fare and Smokin' Willy. Finally, a thank you to all those who purchased tickets for the event, made donations, and bought raffle tickets. We appreciate your support.