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The Celebrated Horse: Sir Archie

25 Oct

Deep Run Sir Archie POSTER blog

On Sunday, October 14, 2018, Goochland County Historical Society and Deep Run Hunt Club came together to remember Goochland’s native son, the race horse, Sir Archie. With more than 60 in attendance at Deep Run Hunt Club, guest speaker James Payne Beckwith, Jr. delighted everyone with his talk “All in the Family: Diomed, Sir Archie, and Henry from the 1780 Epsom Derby to the Great Match of 1823.”


James Payne Beckwith, Jr.

Famed racehorse Sir Archie is considered to be one of the greatest foundation sires in America. Foaled in 1805 at Ben Lomond farm in an area known as Rock Castle, the great horse went on to great racing success in his day. His career ended when no opponents could be found to race against him for fear of losing. He spent his last 17 years at stud at Mowfield plantation in North Carolina.


Mr. Beckwith brought his personal collection of etchings and paintings of Diomed, Sir Archie and others to display and the Society also put on an exhibit on the life of Sir Archie that will move to other exhibit spaces in the coming months. A wonderful spread of ham biscuits, cookies, pastries and punch followed as everyone talked about Sir Archie.


The Society would like to thank Deep Run Hunt Club for partnering with us for a wonderful event. We would also like to thank James Payne Beckwith, Jr. for a wonderful and informative afternoon. Thank you also to thank our Board of Directors for helping with the set-up and take-down of the chairs, tables and sales table. Thank you also to our Hospitality chair, Ginny Olson for a wonderful array of food.


Second Union Rosenwald School Anniversary

11 Oct

Second Union SchoolOn Sunday, October 7, 2018, with more than 100 in attendance at the Central High School Cultural & Educational Complex, the Second Union Rosenwald School Museum celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Second Union Rosenwald School building. Keynote speaker for the dinner event, was Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., founder and president of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives in Orange County, California. Mr. Morris, a descendant of both Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, recounted the lives of both men, with an emphasis on their important contributions to education.

Rosenwald schools, recognized as the most important initiative to advance black education in the early 20th century, were built across the South to educate African-American children. They were the result of a collaboration between Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute and Julius Rosenwald, philanthropist and president of Sears, Roebuck and Company. According to the Second Union Rosenwald School Museum, more than 360 such schools were built in Virginia, with 10 in Goochland.

Second Union Rosenwald School, established in 1918 on land once owned by S.B. Massie and his brother Mathew Massie, was built with contributions from the local community and the Julius Rosenwald Fund. Total cost was $2,000 for the two-room, two-teacher school which after educating numerous African-American children in the county’s Byrd District in grades one through seven, closed in 1959. In 2005, alumni of Second Union School and members of Second Union Baptist Church teamed with the Goochland County Historical Society to secure a Lowe’s grant to renovate the exterior of the building, install an HVAC system, and undertake electrical work. Also, in 2005, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

50 years ago this week!

22 Mar

In March of 1968, Elie Weeks and Circuit Court Deputy Clerk Margaret V. Henley met to discuss the upcoming meeting to establish the Goochland County Historical Society. The following article is the call to action that was published by the Goochland Gazette on March 21, 1968.

Elie Weeks and Margaret Henley

Elie Weeks and Margaret V. Henley

Historical Society

By Ellie Weeks

There will be a meeting of all persons interested in establishing a Goochland County Historical Society on Monday night, March 25th, 8 pm, in the County Courtroom of the new annex to the Courthouse at Goochland.

Mrs. Margaret Henley, deputy clerk has arranged for Mr. Porter Wright, Secretary of the Louisa County Historical Society, to be present for the purpose of advising us on the problems a new Society faces and to explain the projects that the Louisa Society is sponsoring.

The State of Virginia has established a Historical Landmarks Commission which is making an inventory of all landmarks on a statewide basis. Copies, with photographs and descriptions, of each landmark will be filed with the Federal Landmarks Commission in Washington, DC. It is hoped that this will tend to delay or prevent the destruction of irreplaceable landmarks.

It is hoped that the members of the Goochland County Historical Society can assist in locating, identifying and making an inventory of our landmarks. The Society should maintain a master file of landmarks and provide the basic data of the State Commission.

Another worthwhile project might be the preparation of a booklet listing some of our more outstanding landmarks and attractions. There is also a possibility of establishing museum in the Old Stone Jail at the Courthouse. In it memorabilia, photographs, maps, papers, and artifacts could be deposited, either on loan or as gifts. There they could be adequately preserved in a relatively fireproof building, in rooms next to the Sheriff’s office where pilferage would be less likely. These rooms have recently be restored by our Board of Supervisors. Adequate light, heat, air conditioning and toilet facilities have been installed.

Goochland County is far from being first in forming such a Society. In fact the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission has an eight page list of Societies in Virginia which are concerned with preserving the records of our past as a means of guiding our footsteps while we move forward into the unknown future.

If you are interested in this project, please attend the meeting at 8 pm Monday, March 25th, at the Courthouse Annex. Your support and advice are needed at this organizational meeting.

Historical Dinners Coming to Tanglewood Ordinary Restaurant

7 Mar

“An Evening With…” to Feature Virginia History

Tanglewood Tavern


 Richmond Discoveries and historic Tanglewood Ordinary Restaurant are teaming up to bring monthly living history dinner events to Goochland County.  Each event will feature a prominent figure from history and will provide an entertaining, enlightening and engaging evening.  Tanglewood’s famous southern comfort food, served true FamilyStyle, and its historic setting, will complement each special event.

 “An Evening With…” will kick off on Thursday, March 15, and will feature James Madison, portrayed by Historical Interpreter Charles Wissinger.  The event will showcase Madison’s life and stories and weave a living image of the role Madison played in shaping our state, and our nation.  Mr. Madison was a native Virginian who was known as the father of the Constitution and the author of the Bill of Rights.  A few years later Madison married Dolley Payne Todd, the perfect wife for the introverted Madison.  Mr Wissinger will bring these and other stories to life.

On April 19th, Ken Chandler will illuminate the life of a Civil War officer and his men through stories and music.  Richmond Discoveries most popular program, Mr. Chandler will paint a colorful picture of this historic time through flags, artifacts and musical instruments.

Each event will benefit a local community organization.  The March event will be held in support of Goochland Pet Lovers, an innovative public/private partnership with Goochland County that is developing a new state-of-the art adoption, care and education center with a commitment to involving the community in saving the lives of companion animals.

In April, the Goochland Historical Society will be the beneficiary of the event.  Celebrating 50 years in 2018, the Goochland Historical Society is a non-profit, educational organization created and operated for the presentation, preservation and protection of Goochland County heritage and tradition.

Tickets for the first event are on sale now and will be limited to 100 seats.  Seating will be at community tables, which will be filled on a first come-first served basis.  Each evening’s historical figure will dine with the first table to be filled.  The cost is $50 per ticket.  A cash bar for beer and wine will be available.  A link with further details and for purchasing tickets is on line at

Founded in 1985, RICHMOND DISCOVERIES is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Richmond’s unique historical and cultural heritage through educational tours and programs.

On the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register, TANGLEWOOD ORDINARY has been the home of Fine FamilyStyle dining with Virginia Southern comfort food since 1986.  One of the largest commercially used log structures in the country, Tanglewood has since ca. 1928 served as a tavern, dance hall and community gathering place, and now houses the area’s only true FamilyStyle dining restaurant.  Tanglewood Ordinary is located at 2210 River Road West, Maidens (VA Rt 6/Patterson Av), Virginia 23102, in Goochland County.

For additional dates and historical figures to be featured go to, or their respective Facebook pages.

History Comes Alive event wows those at Writers Roundup

15 Feb

Seven Virginia authors tantalized the audience with excerpts from their books during the Second Annual Writers Roundup hosted by the Friends of the Goochland Branch Library on February 10, 2018.

The theme was “History Comes Alive,” and it did, with stories that have their roots in 16th century family history, scandalous local lore and dramatic first-person accounts. Author readings were followed by a question and answer panel discussion and book signings.

Writers post

Authors gave the audience an opportunity to connect one-to-one! (Seated from left to right: Julie Phend, Phyllis Brock Silber, Connie Lapallo; standing from left to right: Mary Lynn Bayliss, James Richmond, Emerson “Willie” Williams, Bruce Venter)

The next Friends event is the Annual Day on Sunday, March 25 at 3 p.m. at the library. The guest speaker will be Mary Lynn Bayliss, author of The Dooleys of Richmond: An Irish Immigrant Family in the Old and New South. Please join us and take the opportunity to socialize with other members!

Mary Turner-Day, Friends of the Goochland Branch Library


Snowflake Sale 2016

8 Dec


Join us this coming Saturday for your holiday shopping! See the holiday gift giving catalog below. We have ornaments, calendars, books (some signed by local authors), beautiful throws, t-shirts and more. Come early and stay late!


The Old Stone Jail Restoration Celebration, September 11, 2016!

8 Sep

The Old Stone Jail (1825)

The Goochland County Historical Society will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for the restored Old Stone Jail at the Goochland Courthouse Public Square at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 11, 2016. This celebration represents the culmination of research, construction and fundraising activity that began two years ago.

The Old Stone Jail has been restored to depict three eras of prison life over its nearly two centuries of existence.


Architectural historian Gibson Worsham, left, and restoration contractor Jim Haskell, right.

This project has been led by the work of architectural historian Gibson Worsham, with the construction phase managed by Goochland contractor Jim Haskell of Sermat Construction Services.

In addition to the ribbon-cutting activity, the Historical Society will unveil the inaugural phase of the Courtyard Green Commemorative Bricks installation.

The public is invited to attend, and tours of the newly restored Old Stone Jail will take place immediately after the ribbon-cutting.