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Cider Week 2018

9 Nov

November 9-18, 2018

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From colonial times until the early 20th century it was common for almost every homestead to have an orchard, with apples as the primary crop. While owners may have munched them, their essential purpose was for cider. The popularity of cider is not a new trend; its roots go deeper than almost any other alcoholic drink. In the 1600s, Virginia’s early settlers brought their cider-making traditions with them from England. Cider met their immediate needs. It was cheap and easy to produce; once established, apple trees were fairly easy to grow; and it was much safer than drinking water from rivers, streams, or shallow wells.

Although the cider during the 1700s contained about 6 percent alcohol, it would not have been unusual for the founding fathers to have downed a tankard for breakfast. When William Henry Harrison ran for president in 1840, cider had so many pleasant associations with people’s lives that he made it part of his campaign, passing it out at his political rallies. When yesteryear’s youth began abandoning farm life in the late 1800s, cider’s popularity also waned, until by the 1920s, helped along by the Temperance movement and Prohibition, it had all but disappeared. While cider is seeing a revival today, the amount produced does not come close to the amount produced in the late 1800s before it began its decline.

Virginia is the sixth-largest apple producing state by acreage in the United States and cider is a rich part of the Commonwealth’s heritage, so it seems only natural that cider would make a comeback. Today’s cider producers—there are more than 20 cideries across the Commonwealth–make a variety of different styles, ranging from dry to sweet, still to sparkling, simple to complex. Goochland’s own Courthouse Creek Cider (1581 Maidens Road, http://www.courthousecreek.com) grows heirloom American, English, and French cider apple trees and with minimum intervention, produces a variety of ciders, ranging from Rustico and Black Twig to Blackberry Lavender and Honest Farmer. You might want to celebrate Virginia Cider Week with a visit to Courthouse Creek Cider and lift your glass to celebrate cider’s rich history and our cider-drinking forefathers.

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World War I Soldiers Remembered: Ashby Porcher Wickham

21 Sep

Ashby Wickham galleryAshby Porcher Wickham was born on December 5, 1899. His father was Thomas Ashby Wickham and his mother was Julia Wickham Porcher. He was a 17 year old farmer when he enlisted on May 19, 1917. According to his Registration Card, we know he was of medium build with brown eyes and brown hair.

He was assigned to the Training Camp in Newport, Rhode Island first but soon transferred to City Park Barracks in Brooklyn, New York, The U.S.S. Kanawha and then to St. Helena Training Station in Norfolk, Virginia. In September of 1917, he embarked for Europe. He served in the Navy and was witness to several events, most notably the sinking of the Tuscania. In his Military Service Record, he says that his ship was beside the Tuscania when it was torpedoed on February 5, 1918. The Tuscania had been a luxury liner that was converted to a troop ship. It was carrying U.S. troops to war, 210 of which were lost in the sinking.

He mustered out of service in Norfolk on April 6, 1919 and returned to farming. He wrote on his Record that he was “studying at present at a business college in Richmond. He eventually traveled to Ireland where he married Edith Catherine Orr and in 1936 they returned to America. He passed away on September 8, 1980 in Kilmarnock and was buried at sea.

If you have any photographs of World War I service men and women from Goochland, please contact the Goochland County Historical Society. We would love to scan your photographs and add them to the World War I Commemorative Collection. Contact us at 804-556-3966 or at goochlandhistory@comcast.net.

World War I Soldiers Remembered: Richard Newton Thomas

14 Sep

RichardNewtonThomas gallery

Richard Newton Thomas was born December 8, 1893 in Goochland to Joseph Thomas and Mary Waddy. He was a 25 year old farmer when he was drafted. According to his Registration Card, we know he was single, of medium height and had brown eyes.

He was inducted into service on November 1, 1917 and sent to Camp Lee, Virginia, assigned to Veterinary Hospital #3. He left Newport News, Virginia on May 14, 1918 aboard the “Old Dominion” and arrived at Brest, France on June 2, 1918. He moved quickly around France, transferred from Brest to Vallahosu , Tours and Verdon. According to his war record, we know he was not engaged in battle during his time in Europe. He did list that he contracted influenza while in France and was sick for two weeks.

He arrived back at Newport News in June of 1919 and was officially discharged. About his service, he wrote “Have been enlightened in many ways.”

After the war, he returned to farming in Hylas and then disappears from the record. Repeated attempts to find some records have led to nothing. If you can provide any information on Richard Newton Thomas, please contact the Goochland Historical Society.

If you have any photographs of World War I service men and women from Goochland, please contact the Goochland County Historical Society. We would love to scan your photographs and add them to the World War I Commemorative Collection. Contact us at 804-556-3966 or at goochlandhistory@comcast.net.

World War I Soldiers Remembered: James Walker Seay

7 Sep

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James Walker Seay was born August 31, 1894 in Elk Hill, Virginia. His parents were James W. and Lucie J. Seay. He was a 23 year old saw mill hand when he was drafted on September 19, 1917 and sent to Camp Lee. According to his Registration Card, we know he was single, tall and had blue eyes and brown hair.

He was inducted into service on September 21, 1917 at Camp Lee, Virginia, assigned to Co. C. Like the front lines of battle, Camp Lee too saw death in its ranks. The Spanish Flu caused a major impact in 1918. It appeared in January 1918 and raged throughout the year. Unfortunately, James Walker Seay would be one of the early victims of this deadly disease. He passed away at 10:00 am on January 30, 1918, 4 days after being diagnosed with influenza. He was 23 years old.

If you have any photographs of World War I service men and women from Goochland, please contact the Goochland County Historical Society. We would love to scan your photographs and add them to the World War I Commemorative Collection. Contact us at 804-556-3966 or at goochlandhistory@comcast.net.

World War I Soldiers Remembered: Earlie Austin Rigsby

17 Aug

EarlieAustinRigsby reducedEarlie Austin Rigsby was born May 4, 1895 in Goochland. His parents were Washington and Amanda Rigsby He was a 22-year-old farmer when he was drafted. According to his Registration Card, we know he was single, tall and had light brown eyes and light brown hair.

He was inducted into service on September 19, 1917 and sent to Camp Lee, Virginia, assigned to Co. C. He left Newport News, Virginia on September 27, 1918 aboard the “Patria”. He arrived at Brest, France on September 28, 1918. Shortly after he arrived in France, he was transferred to the front where he served for the duration of the war. According to his war record, he first saw action on November 3, 1918 and he was part of the Battle of Argonne Forest. He received the Bronze Star after being wounded in battle on November 10, 1918, leaving him in the Base Hospital for over a month.

He departed St. Nazaire, France aboard the “Matsonia” on June 18, 1919. He was suffering from chronic tonsillitis and the ship was carrying sick and wounded men. He arrived back in the U.S. at Newport News and was officially discharged on June 28 of the same year. About his service, he wrote that he was “perfectly willing to give my services to my country”

On December 7, 1920, he married Constance Bowles Hughes. Together they had 1 child. He passed away on January 26, 1966 at the age of 69 and is buried in the Forest Grove Church cemetery in Goochland, Virginia.

If you have any photographs of World War I service men and women from Goochland, please contact the Goochland County Historical Society. We would love to scan your photographs and add them to the World War I Commemorative Collection. Contact us at 804-556-3966 or at goochlandhistory@comcast.net.

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!

Saunders Photo Collection Gifted To The Goochland Historical Society

25 Oct
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Jane Quinn Saunders

The Goochland Historical Society is pleased to announce the gift of a large photo collection of a prominent mid-20th century local photographer, Jane Quinn Saunders, who passed away in 2005. The gift was made by her sister, Ann Lee Saunders Brown.

 

 

“We are thrilled to add the wonderful “Photograph Collection of Jane Saunders” to our archives” stated Scott Johnson, President. Scott added “The collection is large, and will become a treasured archive in interpreting and celebrating Goochland’s great history. We can’t wait to reveal and celebrate Ms. Saunders’ images with our community.”

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Jane Quinn Saunders and Ann Lee Saunders Brown

Jane Quinn Saunders (1916-2005), moved from her home in the Ginter Park section of Richmond to Tuckahoe Point Farm in eastern Goochland in the mid-1930’s, where she remained until her death in 2005. Jane focused on photography as a hobby, and fortunately documented and preserved the collection. Her collection spans the 2nd half of the 20th century. Her devotion to Goochland County helped shape the subject matter of her photography. She was active in the Goochland Garden Club and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, where she served as a Sunday school teacher during WWII. She loved farm life, and was active in the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association.

Upon her passing in 2005, Jane left her large photograph collection with her sister, Ann Lee Saunders Brown. Mrs. Brown donated this collection, on behalf of her sister, to the Goochland Historical Society. The collection of slides and prints was presented in 12 cases and contains over 5,000 images. A large number of images involve Virginia wild flowers, inspired by her involvement with the Garden Club of Virginia. Other significant topics of her collection include farm life, historic homes of Goochland and a mid-1950’s archive of the first major film screening conducted at Tuckahoe Plantation.

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Aspenwall – Photograph by Jane Quinn Saunders

For questions, please call the Goochland County Historical Society at 556-3966