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“Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men”

18 Dec

In a recent donation to the Historical Society were several issues from the Goochland High School’s The Spotlight from 1967-1968. One featured an editorial written by 1968 Class President and Valedictorian Alice Martin (pictured below) entitled “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men” which seems a fitting post for the month of December. It was a time when turmoil and unrest was first and foremost on the minds of everyone. The late 60s were a turbulent time. A war was being fought half way around the world and events were taking place at home causing unrest for all. In this time of COVID, it is important to remember that other times have had their good and bad times as well. This too shall pass.  

“Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men”

The Christmas season is noted for being a time of goodwill and peace. How ironic for us to talk of peace when there is a war in Vietnam, war is constantly threatened in the Near East and in Africa, and riots and revolts are staged weekly throughout the United States. Could the reason possibly be that each individual refuses to have a peaceful spirit of goodwill as he lets self-centered desires, jealousies, and dislikes overcome him?

“Peace on Earth” can only be obtained if each individual does his part. Don’t be the one who causes unrest during this special season or any other season. Develop a genuine love for life and for people and radiate a spirit of “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men” wherever you are.

Hebron School c. 1906-1910

11 Jan

Hebron School

This photograph is a picture of the student of Hebron School taken in about 1906-1910. The school stood across the road from Hebron Presbyterian Church in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia. The photograph was donated to the society by Eva Briesmaster Henley who identified 5 of the people in the picture.

  1. Daisey Goodman
  2. Willis Goodman
  3. Miss Mollie Blue Johnson, teacher
  4. Willie Briesmaster
  5. Harry Briesmaster

We would love to put names to the other children in the photograph. It is always distressing to think that their shining faces will remain nameless. These are someones relatives: parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts or uncles. They need names to make sure they will never be forgotten. This is one of the jobs of that a Historical Society takes most seriously. No one should ever be forgotten.

If anyone out there can help us put names to faces, please send us a note. As they come in, we will update this picture to reflect what we have learned. Put on your thinking caps and begin sleuthing, we need lots of help on this one!

Graduation Day

5 Jun

This weekend marks the end of the school year for Goochland students and the end of High School for the Class of 2016. This weekend also marked the occasion of at least one class reunion. At the class reunion for the Goochland High School Class of 1950, the following piece of history was shared. It is a small booklet that must have been handed out for an end of the year gathering and according to the names listed, it is from about 1905 or 1906. Following the picture is a poem by an unknown author, that was printed in the booklet.


The Close of School.


My pupils, ‘tis the end of school.

The term has reached its close;

We’ll say our farewells, go our ways,

And get an earned repose.

The bell no more will ring for you.

Until we meet again,

And sweet may your enjoyment be

Between this time and then.


Our separation’s long or short,

There’s only One can tell,

But what He does is always best,

As you all know full well.

,But oft I’ll think as days go by

Of all my pupils dear;

My thoughts will wander back to you

Thro’ all the coming year.


My wishes best go with you all,

My aid’s at your command

To fit you for life’s battles fierce,

To lend a helping hand.

Our meeting here from day to day.

Has knit us in a tie

Of friendship kindness and good will,

Which time will sanctify.


I’ve labored hard to teach you well,

True knowledge to impart,

To train the mind in wisdom’s ways,

And educate the heart.

And well I know our coming here

For months, from day to day,

Has done you good and fitted you

To find life’s better way.


You’ve laid foundations sure and strong,

On which to build a life,

That in the future time will shine

And triumph over strife.

But oft your thoughts will backward turn

To school of youthful days,

Where oft as boys and girls you met

When life was all ablaze


The time to say last words has come,

But ere we hence depart,

My thanks to you for kindness shown

I give with all my heart.

And now farewell! The day declines,

The sun is on the wane,

The shadows fall, the curtain drops

We break our school days chain.

One of the names listed is that of Blanche Layne. Read more about her school life in this earlier post, Memories of Cardwell High School.









Memories of Cardwell High School

15 Oct

Today’s post is an article written by Blanche Layne Baldauf about her school days of the early 1900’s. Ms. Baldauf was born in 1892 and was a member of the graduating class of Cardwell High School in 1911-1912.

Blanche Layne Baldauf

Should school days be forgotten and never brought to mind, especially school days at old Cardwell? I do not think so, for they were light, happy days brimming full of laughter, work and play.

I wonder as I wander back down memory’s lane at the many changes time has wrought. The white, two-story frame building is gone and the present modern elementary school stands in its place. The line of school busses brings to mind the days I trudged two and a half miles through rain, sleet and snow to school and then had to take about half an hour to thaw out my fingers and toes by a wood stove. Most of the students walked to school, a few came by horse and buggy. I remember one girl who rode a donkey from Goochland every day. Many times I had to hurry to get to school by the time the bell rang for I did not like to be late.

High school classes were held on the second floor of the building. Desks seated two and we always chose our desk-mates.

Cardwell Faculty and Students 1914

Mr. Charles Burr and Mr. Francis Bear were the principles who guided us through High School. We had excellent teachers and were fond of them and tried hard to please them. Discipline problems were few. English, Latin, algebra and geometry kept us busy. Much home work was given us, which was done in the evenings usually by the light of an oil lamp before a big open wood fire.

There was no cafeteria then, so students had to take their lunches. We always enjoyed sitting around in groups at lunch time chatting and eating. Lunch boxes contained a variety of things, biscuits, preserves, sausage, a bottle of molasses, a sweet potato, a cup of beans, and maybe a rabbit leg or piece of chicken. It was a treat to go up to M.S. Bowles store at lunch time for candy and cakes.

The highlight of the school week was the Literary Society meeting, which was held on Friday evening. We often took our supper with us to school and a group would stay at school for the program, and afterwards walk by lantern light to a party or dance in the community. The program consisted of Cardwell news, though there were no telephones in the community then, and debates. We had many lively debates and one especially I remember was “Resolved That the Farmer has a Harder time than the Farmer’s Wife”. It was lots of fun.

Then on a bright spring morning, DeEtte Lowry Keeton and I, all dolled-up and feeling very important, boarded the train at the State Farm for a trip to Cartersville to debate at Hamilton High School. We were met at the station and taken in a hack to the home of Miss Meyland Irving, now Mrs. Flemming, where we spent the weekend. The subject of our debate was “Resolved that Women Should be Given the Right to Vote in Virginia”. We had the negative side and lost: but were told by many that we should have won. The judges were all from Cartersville.

For entertainment, there were drills, plays, and box parties. At the box parties, school girls would decorate beautiful boxes and fill them with goodies, enough for two in a box. The boys would bid on the boxes which went to the highest bidder and the girl would eat with the boy who got her box. There was much competition, and boxes often went high. Also, there was usually a cake for the prettiest girl. The proceeds went to the school.

The Class of 1911-1912 consisted of four girls and one boy; namely Everett Bowles, Anna Cottrell, Ida Bowles, Lillian Taylor and Blanche Layne. Graduation exercises were held in old Salem Church as the school did not have an auditorium. Everett gave the salutation, Lillian the class poem, Ida the prophecy, and Anna the valedictory, and I gave the history.

The Class had the pleasure of graduating twice-first when the school was a 3-year High School and the next year when it became a 4-year High School. So we graduated twice.

Much of Ida’s prophecy was fulfilled. Everett became a farmer, Ida and Anna taught for a while and then became home-makers. Though I never taught in college as Ida predicted, I did teach in the public schools of Virginia for a number of years, and then at Beaumont School for Boys. Later I joined the staff of the State Industrial Farm for Women where I served as Parole Officer and Assistant Superintendent until I retired.

So we have come a long way since those school days of by-gone years. But I wonder if the students of today are happier or better adjusted than we were. I just wonder.

Cardwell High School

Originally printed in the Goochland Gazette, March 25, 1970