Henrico County Historical Society
PO Box 90775   Henrico, VA 23273   (804)501-5682   hchsinfo@yahoo.com
Open by appointment only

Henrico County Historical Society's motto, which is Preserving the Past in the Present for the FutureSkipwith Academy in Three Chopt District, Henrico County, Virginia.Log Cabin in Tuckahoe District, Henrico County, Virginia.Mankin Mansion in Fairfield District, Henrico County, Virginia.Dorey Barn in Varina District, Henrico County, Virginia.Bethlehem Church in Brookland District, Henrico County, Virginia.

News & Events

HCHS Events

General Events

2010 News
 >Fourth Quarter

News Archive

Site Map


News 2010, Fourth Quarter

President's Message

It is befitting that I am composing this message on Veterans Day. It brings to mind lyrics of Nora Jones' "American Anthem."

All we've been given
By those who came before
The dream of a nation
Where freedom would endure
The work and prayers
Of centuries
Have brought us to this day
What shall be our legacy?
What will our children say?

Let them say of me
I was one who believed
In sharing the blessings
I received
Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
I gave my best to you

Each generation from the plains
To distant shore with the gifts
What they were given
Were determined
To leave more
Valiant battles fought together
Acts of conscience fought alone
These are the seeds
From which America has grown

Let them say of me
I was one who believed
In sharing the blessings
I received
Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
I gave my best to you

For those who think
They have nothing to share
Who fear in their hearts
There is no hero there
Know each quiet act
Of dignity is
That which fortifies
The soul of a nation
That never dies

Let them say of me
I was one who believed
In sharing the blessings
I received
Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
I gave my best to you

It was my profound honor to have attended the final reunion of the USS Henrico in September. My first visit with them was at their 2008 reunion held in Norfolk, Virginia. At that time, the Reunion Association transferred the USS Henrico archival collection and memorabilia to the HCHS for safekeeping. As plans were announced for the next reunion in St. Louis, we did not know at that time, 2010 would be their last. What a great family they are! They welcomed me as though we had known each other forever.

It was very difficult for them to say their farewells, but they kept their chins up in military fashion. Some told funny stories, one of which was how they had new recruits looking in earnest for the mail buoys.

Many spoke of their service on the USS Henrico as being the best times of their life.

Their final service to the USS Henrico was in the form of a $10,000 donation to the Henrico County Historical Society for the purpose of housing, maintaining, and displaying their collection and memorabilia for the public to see and use.

To decommission a ship is to terminate her career in service in the armed forces of her nation, a somber occasion.

The Commanding Officer calls "Attention to orders!" and begins the final sequence of orders that ship's crew will carry out by reading the decommissioning order. THe Commanding Office then orders, "Executive Officer, make preparations to decommission a United States Ship." The Executive Officer responds, "Aye aye, Captain."

The general call was given and the USS Henrico Reunion Association was decommissioned.

Their legacy continues on, in the history of Henrico.

Sarah Pace

>Back to Top<

Marking Henrico County's First 400 Years

Days after establishing the first permanent English settlement in America at Jamestown in 1607, Captain Christopher Newport and a crew of twenty-two men, including Captain John Smith, Captain Gabriel Archer, and George Percey, Esq., explored by shallop the river they named for King James I of England. Upriver they noted "an ilet on which were many turkeys and greate store of young byrdes like blackbirdes" and named it Turkey Island. They erected a cross incscribed "Iacobus, Rex, 1607, Christopher Newport" near the falls of the James River that would later become Henrico territory.

In 1611 Sir Thomas Dale established the Citie of Henricus as the second permanent English settlement in America. Henricus was named in honor of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest son of King James I of England.

The colony was divided into four cities or boroughs (James Town, Charles City, Henrico, and Kiccotan) in 1619 and then into the eight original shires, of which Henrico was one, in 1634.

The rest, as they say, is history, and Henrico County is commemorating all 400 years of it in 2011.

>Back to Top<

HCHS 2011 Calendar

HCHS 2011 Calendar Cover - pdf format

The HCHS 2011 Calendar will be ready soon! Our calendar celebrates the 400 Years of Henrico History - 1611 to 2011.

Total cost is $17.60, which is comprised of $12.00 for the calendar, .60 for tax, and 5.00 for postage/handling.

All proceeds from calendar sales will go to fund a scholarship for a Henrico County student interested in the study of history.

To place your order, please call 839-2407.

>Back to Top<

In Memorium: Margaret Gray Harris Childress

Margaret Childress, co-founder of the Henrico County Historical Society's Cemetery Committee and compiler of the Henrico County Cemeteries Book, passed away on Thursday, October 21, 2010. The widow of Hunter W. Childress, Margaret is survived by her daughter, Ellen C. Lewis, and her husband, Mike; two grandchildren, Hunter and Olivia Lewis; loving nieces and nephews; and many longtime friends.

The Henrico County Historical Society expresses its deepest regrets to the family.

>Back to Top<

Reminder: It's Membership Renewal Time

Since we changed our membership year to the calendar year, it's membership renewal time.

Please see our Membership page for more information.

>Back to Top<

Last Reunion: Crew of USS Henrico

USS Henrico APA - 45 Reunion; 2010 - St. Louis, Missouri

Members of the crew of the USS Henrico posed for this group photo at their 2010 reunion held in St. Louis, Missouri. The USS Henrico Reunion Association provided the letter you see below with the association's check for $10,000 for housing, maintaining, and displaying of the ship's memorabilia.

USS Henrico Reunion Association letter regarding their $10,000 donation to the HCHS

>Back to Top<

Noteworthy Congratulations!

Congratulations to Henrico County Public Relations and Media Services for receiving its third Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The department also received 16 awards in the National Association of County Information Officers Awards of Excellence competition.

Congratulations to Dawn Sherwood, an oceanography and biology treacher at Highland Springs High School, who was honored with the Teacher of the Year Award by the MidAtlantic Marine Education Association.

>Back to Top<

HPAC Recognizes Society's Webmaster, Cemetery Team

HCHS member, John Shuck, receiving his HPAC Award of Merit. HCHS members, Vicki and John Stevens, who received HPAC Awards of Merit.

The Henrico County Historical Society congratulates John Shuck, pictured left, and Vicki and John Stevens, pictured right, who received HPAC Awards of Merit for their efforts to reclaim up Evergreen Cemetery from neglect.

HCHS webmaster, Terri Trembeth, receiving her HPAC Award of Merit.

Congratulations also go to HCHS's webmaster Terri Trembeth. She received an HPAC Aaward of Merit for her creation of the Henrico County Historical Society website, which provides information on genealogy, preservation, news, and events, and membership.

>Back to Top<

News from the Cemetery Committee

Hello from the Cemetery Committee.

I first want to thank members of HPAC for the Awards of Merit given to John Shuck, John Stephens and to me for the work that has been done at Evergreen. It's quite an honor and is especially gratifying for doing what we enjoy. Although were were the recipients, there are others who have contributed to the progress: students from VCU, VUU, and Florida State University and especially Dave Campbell and Mike and Noah Meyers. There could not have been the progress there has been if not for their contributions to the cause. They are so invaluable for their time and efforts.

Thanks also go out to VCU for their generous donation of funds to equip the workers at Evergreen. Rakes, loppers, axes, a wheelbarrow and other equipment were purchased to supply approximately 40 to 50 workers. Thanks also to Lowes and Home Depot for the generous discounts they contributed. The job would be so much harder without their help.

As always, if anyone has information about a cemetery we haven't recorded or if anyone would like to volunteer, please send me an email. We will be glad to hear from you.

Best wishes for a Happy Holiday season.

Vicki Stephens

>Back to Top<

Dig It

Jed. Hotchkiss. The Virginias. A Mining, Industrial & Scientific Journal. Volume V, 1884.
Thomas Leonard Watson. Granites of the Southeastern Atlantic States. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1910.
Thomas Leonard Watson. Mineral Resources of Virginia. Lynchburg: J.P. Bell Co., 1907.
Old City Hall, http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/richmond/OldCityHall.html.

If you needed granite, there were quarries in Henrico that would dig it or blast it out.

Old City Hall in downtown Richmond is a National Historic Landmark, whose stonework was the work of subcontractor James Netherwood. He used what many called "Petersburg" granite, a stone quarried along the James River. In addition to the Old City Hall, that granite was used on several federal government buildings in Washington, D.C.

Several quarries producing such granite, known as feldspar-quartz-biotite rock, were active in Henrico County, as well as Chesterfield County and Manchester, and had been producing graninte since the early part of the nineteenth century.

One of the quarries of the Richmond Granite Co., just east of the RF&P railroad, 4 miles southeast of Richmond, shows diagonal jointing.

The Richmond Granite Company's quarry, located four miles above Richmond, began operations in 1868, and by 1884, it employeed 160 men. It quarried Belgian blocks for paving, curbstones, and monuments. This picture shows one of the quarries of the Richmond Granite Co., just east of the RF&P railroad, 4 miles southeast of Richmond, shows diagonal jointing. Source of this picture: 1906. Plate 7-B in Us Geiological Survey Bulletin 483, 1911, no. 1241.

Smith granite quarry on south bank of James River, two miles above Richmond.

The Smith Quarry operated in a bluff facing the James River at the 5-mile locks west of Richmond near the canal. Rock was removed from the quarry until around 1903. This picture shows Smith granite quarry on south bank of James River, 2 miles above Richmond. Source of this picture: Henrico County Virginia. 1906. Plate 6-B in US Geological Survey. Bulletin 483, 1911, no 1235.

About three-quarters of a mile east was the Winston & Company's quarry, previously known as the Mitchell & Copeland quarry. This quarry produced crushed stone and riprap for construction of the settling basin. Stone was quarried by blasting with powder and dynamite.

Lafayette formation in brickyard of Fuller Co., near Fort Lee, 5 miles southeast Richmond.

Additionally, the Philadelphia quarries were located about 100 yards north of the river on the north side of the C&O Railway; and the relatively small McCloy quarry was situated about 300 yards from the RF&P Railroad about a quarter mile west of what was the new reservoir in 1910.

This picture shows Lafayette formation in brickyard of Fuller Co., near Fort Lee, 5 miles southeast Richmond. Source of this picture: Henrico County Virginia. 1906, Plate 10-A in U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin 483, 1911, no. 1243.

>Back to Top<

Colonial Refreshment

William Byrd, II was born at Westover in 1674 and died there in 1744. Before he set out his plans to establish the City of Richmond, he had traveled and written fairly extensively.

One such journey was taken in 1732, and Byrd wrote about his trip in Progress in the Mines of Virginia. While on the main road from Fredericksburg and Germana, he paid a visit to Colonel Spotswood and his family.

Recounting his stay with the Spotswood family, he wrote:

[September] 28th.
Then we proceeded to the river, which is the south branch of Rappahannock, about fity yards wide, and so rapid that the ferry boat is drawn over by a chain, and therefore called the Rapidan. At night, we drank prosperity to all the colonel's projects in a bowl of rack punch, and then retired to our devotions.

29th. Having employed about two hours in retirement, I sallied out at the first summons to breakfast, where our conversation with the ladies, like whip sillabub, was very pretty, but had nothing in it.

Although his observations will offend a great many modern readers, the libations he enjoyed might be more palatable. Perhaps, rack punch - a concoction of liquor, lemons, and sugar - might be served at a modern party. However, it seems that it was often made of an inferior liquor, so this might not be so desirable.

Syllabub might be fun to try, especially for the holidays. Syllabub is a drink made with whipped cream, whipped egg whites, white wine, sugar, lemon juice, and zest of lemon.

Here is a recipe:


1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 lemons
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup dry sherry


Whisk 1 1/2 cups whipping cream by hand until it thickens a bit.

Add the zest and juice of two lemons, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup white white, and 1/4 cup dry sherry to the cream one at a time, whisking after each addition.

Whisk the mixture for 3-5 minutes until thickened.

Pour immediately into parait glasses and refrigerate overnight.

The mixture will separate when it stands. If desired, top with additional whipped cream prior to serving.

This dessert/drink apparently tastes a bit like fermented lemon chess pie. A thick portion of it will rise to the top of the glass and can be eaten with a spoon. Then the diner drinks the remaining wine mixture.

>Back to Top<

Genealogy Corner

Reminder: Send your requests and/or suggestions for inclusion in the Genealogy Corner to jboeling@verizon.net.

>Back to Top<

Order Your Limited Edition Color Prints of Historic Henrico Landmarks

Artist Henry Kidd has created two full-color drawings of Dabbs House (Robert E Lee's Headquarters in June 1862) and Walkerton Tavern (Circa 1825). These are the first in a series of full-color drawings depicting historical homes and buildings in Henrico County, Virginia. Prints of this limited edition are available in two sizes: 8.5" x 11" is $20 and 17" x 13" is $50.

Order your full-color drawings of Dabbs House and Walkerton Tavern from

Henrico County Historical Society
PO Box 90775
Henrico, VA 23273-0075

Make checks payable to Henrico County Historical Society. Virginia residents, please add 5% sales tax. Order Form

>Back to Top<

Now You Know

Edison cylinder machine.

Edison cylinder machines, such as the one pictured on the left, brought recorded music into homes, influenced the standard for pop songs.

It was about the size of a toilet paper roll, made of hard wax and was the great-great grandfather of today's mp3, and the machine that played it was far larger and heavier and definitely not as portable as the iPod. The item pictured was the subject of the last issue's "What Do You Know?" quiz. It is an Edison Gold Moulded cylinder, and it is one of the earliest forms of sound recording.

The cylinder was patented in 1892 and dates to about 1905; however, its beginnings are about 15 years older.

In July of 1877, Edison had an idea, and he acted on it. He connected a stylus to a diaphragm and put the diaphragm at the end of a horn. He then took a strip of paper coated with paraffin and put it below the stylus. When he spoke, the diaphragm vibrated, moving the stylus. That stylus was touching the paraffin-coated paper, which was being pulled under it.

When the strip was pulled back under the paraffin, his voice could be faintly heard. He had recorded the vibrations of his speech.

It worked, but it wasn't until December of 1877 that his lab workers made a machine that would play such a recording. A cylinder was attached to a long feed screw that was turned by hand, and the stylus rode in the grooves created in a sheet of tin foil wrapped around a cylinder. The feed screw moved the stylus across the surface of the foil-covered cylinder; and since the stylus was attached to the diagphragm, the vibration of the sound were reproduced. It was demonstrated at the offices of the Scientific American on December 6, 1877; and the recoding industry was more or less born.

Hard wax proved a better medium for recording, and it replaced the tin. The original wax cylinders could hold only two minutes of sound, but later technology doubled the recording time to four minutes. The approximate length of the popular song was established.

From there it was on to discs, 78 rpm recordings, 45s, vinyl LPs, tapes, CDs and today's mp3 recordings.

Edison two-minute Gold-Moulded cylinder. Edison Gem machine.

An Edison two-minute Gold Moulded cylinder is displayed in the left picture. Pictured right is the reproducer positioned above the cylinder, ready to play a rather dusty cylinder on an Edison Gem machine.

Edison Amberola machine.

Pictured left is an Edison Amberola, a four minute machine with an internal horn.

Thanks to Mrs. Jane O. Johnson for her response almost identifying the item correctly. Jane throught it to be a Dictaphone recording tube - very close to true. Edison did, in fact, manufacture recorders for dictation, and they did use tubes.

>Back to Top<

What Do You Know?

An iron object - 7 inches tall, 10 inches long, 7 inches wide - the mystery object for What Do You know question.

Pictured is an iron object. It is 7 inches tall, 10 inches long, and 7 inches wide.

Do you know what it is?

Email your answers to jboehling@verizon.net.

>Back to Top<

News 2010: Fourth Quarter
First Quarter | Second Quarter | Third Quarter

Home | Henrico | Maps | Genealogy | Preservation | Membership | Shopping | HCHS

© 2024, Henrico County Historical Society. All Rights Reserved