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

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.


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News 2010, Second Quarter

President's Message

The 150th anniversary tour of Emmanuel Episcopal Church and Brook Hill was a huge success. Many thanks go out to Joan Gates for her gracious hospitality. Joan opens her door and welcomes everyone to share her family history. Brook Hill is one of the most documented historic homes in Henrico. It brings much joy to see the property so well maintained and preserved when so many others are not.

Our thanks also go out to those who volunteered on behalf of HCHS that day.

The "Where History Begins" workshop for Virginia Local Historical Societies held on May 3rd brought 111 attendees from throughout the Commonwealth. The workshop was made possible by the generous State and National Archival Partnership grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the Library of Virginia.

Kudos to Jennifer McDaid, Local Records Appraisal Archivist Deputy Coordinator of the State Historical Records Advisory Board, the staff of the Library of Virginia, and all others who made this event happen.

I enjoyed the company of Vickie Stephens and Wendy Hartsel in representing HCHS. Along with the information provided at the workshop was included a packet of flower seeds.

Those seeds were said to be symbolic in growing connections between the local societies of Virginia.

The May 16th trip to Ford's Theatre and Lincoln's Cottage was absolutely fabulous. As an added bonus, we arrived early and drove around the National Mall. George Washington University had their graduation ceremony there that day, and First Lady Michelle Obama was giving commencement remarks as we drove by.

We were fortunate to have Lamaas Simmons as a driver familiar with the DC area. Lamaas, who is very much interested in history, was so enthusiastic with our travels that he joined HCHS. It is a pleasure to welcome him and all other new members to the Society.

Needless to say, Washington, DC is an exciting place, and we hope to return in the near future. We keep adding to our must see and do list.

Sarah Pace
President


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Cedar Hill Gets Historical Marker - APHA's Initial Project Recognized

Dedication Ceremony at Cedar Hill. Unveiling of historical marker placed at Cedar Hill by Henrico County.


Twelve years ago, the newly formed Association for the Preservation of Henrico Antiquities undertook as its first project saving Cedar Hill, a one-and-a-half story frame house over an English basement dating to 1820. "The house was the genesis of the APHA," president and founder of the association Dr. Henry L. Nelson, Jr. said. On Sunday, April 11, 2010, a brief outdoor ceremony celebrated the unveiling of a historical marker placed at the site by Henrico County.

Donated to the HCHS by St. Paul's Baptist Church, Cedar Hill was in disrepair, in danger of demolition and needed to be moved. Unfortunately, there was no place to put it until the landowner behind the location gave permission of "park" it there. Ace Movers from New Kent moved the house, and there it sat, boarded up and posted for over a year until the county bought the land that it is now on. After extensive restoration, it now stands as one of the fewer than a dozen such structures remaining in the county.

This was not the first time, however, that the property had been endangered or at least damaged. The house had been owned by the Vaughan family during the Civil War, when units of Kershaw's division of the Army of the Confederate States set up camp there and built fortifications. The property was damaged, and the Confederate government agreed to pay the Vaughans $1,200 for repairs.

Historical marker placed at Cedar Hill by Henrico County.

Needless to say, the repair bill for the twenty-first century restoration was considerably higher. Dr. Nelson gives credit to Varina supervisor Jim Donati for his instrumental role in the preservation effort. But Dr. Nelson hopes that the placement of the marker is not the final step in preserving this property. "I would like to see it become a part of the park (Meadowview) in an active way, with the basement as a meeting place and the upper floors for administrative work and display space," he said.

We in the Henrico County Historical Society hope that Dr. Nelson's vision will be realized.


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Touring Brook Hill

Ms. Gates greets HCHS visitors at the entrance of the house. As part of Emmanuel Church's Decades of Devotion celebration honoring its 150th anniversary, Brook Hill was open for tours.

As part of Emmanuel Church's Decades of Devotion celebration honoring its 150th anniversary, Brook Hill was open for tours. Marilyn Malone, chair of the "Decades of Devotion" visits the HCHS ticket table hosted by Debbie Shuck, Emily Nuckols, and Sarah Pace. Former HCHS presidents Vee Davis and Jim DuPriest talk to Joan Gates, who resides at Brook Hill. Ms. Gates greets HCHS visitors at the entrance of the house.

Former HCHS presidents Vee Davis and Jim DuPriest talk to Joan Gates, who resides at Brook Hill. Marilyn Malone, chair of the Decades of Devotion visits the HCHS ticket table hosted by Debbie Shuck, Emily Nuckols, and Sarah Pace.


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Touring Lincoln's Cottage, the Petersen House, and Ford's Theatre

Replica balcony box of Ford's Theatre in which President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.


HCHS went on the road to Washington.

The first visit was at Ford's Theatre. The lower-level floor contained information and displays pertaining to Lincoln and the Civil War. We progressed upstairs into the Theatre, where a National Park Service ranger described the events leading up to and including the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

After our visit, we proceeded across the street to tour the Petersen House. After President Lincoln had been shot, he was moved to a room in the Petersen House. Mrs. Lincoln kept vigil at the bedside until President Lincoln finally succumbed to death.

HCHS members back to school as they view media screens testing their historical knowledge. HCHS members gathered around the statue of Lincoln and the horse he rode on the three mile ride between the Lincoln Cottage and the White House.

HCHS members Ken and Polly viewing one of the many displays at the Lincoln Cottage.



We boarded our bus to head to the Lincoln Cottage located on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. The Lincoln Cottage is actually a house with 34 rooms. The Lincolns would reside at the Cottage during the summer months. President Lincoln, accompanied by Union soldiers, would make a daily 3-mile trip by horseback to the White House, and back. If walls of the Cottage could speak, they would speak much history in how prominently the Cottage was a part of the Lincoln family during the Civil War. The Lincoln Cottage tour provided another perspective about Mr. Lincoln and his Presidency.


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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


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Move Over Route 66! Jefferson Davis Highway Becomes "Historic Route 1"

House Bill 530, patroned by Del. Sam Nixon (R-Chesterfield) proposed to designate U.S. Route 1 in Virginia as "Historic Route 1".

In its original form, the bill only designated the portion in Chesterfield County and the City of Colonial Heights as "Historic Route 1". However, Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) and Del. John Cox (R-Hanover) joined Del. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) and seventeen other Delegates in a letter to Governor McDonnell requesting him to offer amendments to the entire length of route 1 in the Commonwealth. The legislation, as amended, was passed by a vote of 97-0.

Heading south on Route 1, we leave Hanover County and enter Henrico County when we pass over the Chickahominy River.



So we decided to take an informal, eclectic tour. We've all traveled highways and seen and read the Historical Markers - maybe even bought the book that catalogues all of them. In its five-mile stretch through Henrico County, Route 1 has a number of markers, and with its "Historic Route 1" designation, it will have more. However, we wanted to mark points of interest along the way that weren't necessarily historic, but were interesting and stirred memories. Join us on our virtual drive.


The County Line: Heading south on Route 1, we leave Hanover County and enter Henrico County when we pass over the Chickahominy River.

Old State Police Division 1 Headquarters: This boxy, utilitarian building, seen left below, originally housed the Virginia State Police. Blakemore Construction now occupies the Space.

This boxy, utiliarian building originally housed the Virginia State Police.  Blakemore Construction now occupies the Space. State Police now occupy this building set a little farther back from the highway at 9300 Brook Road.


New State Police Division 1 Headquarters: State Police now occupy this building, seen right above, set a little farther back from the highway at 9300 Brook Road.

The original Aunt Sarahs Pancake House still stands on Route 1.




Pancake time! The original Aunt Sarahs Pancake House still stands on Route 1.

Knights Inn motel with tall columns was originally the Princess Lee Motel.

Knights Inn: Pictured left, this motel with tall columns was originally the Princess Lee Motel.

Cavalier Motel: Pictured below, notable for its glass curtain wall and stone work on its lobby, it was originally known as Cavalier Manor Hotel.

Notable for its glass curtain wall and stone work on its lobby, it was originally known as Cavalier Manor Hotel.

Celebrating its 175th anniversary, St. Joseph's Villa is sprawling campus of yellow brick buildings now offering refuge to women and children in crisis.

St. Joseph's Villa: Pictured left, celebrating its 175th anniversary, this sprawling campus of yellow brick buildings now offers refuge to women and children in crisis.

Lucille's: Pictured below, a restaurant featuring Southern cooking now occupies the site of the Celebrity Room, where Santa Claus, Elvis, and pizza reigned supreme.

Lantern House: This Chinese restaurant, pictured below, has been a fixture on Route 1 for years.

Lantern House is a Chinese restaurant that has been a fixture on Route 1 for years. A restaurant featuring Southern cooking now occupies the site of the Celebrity Room, where Santa Claus, Elvis, and pizza reigned supreme.

Sam's is typical of roadside eateries that lined Route 1 in an earlier time. This white stucco building with tile roof accents at the corner of Lakeside Avenue and Brook Road housed Haynes Jeep for many years.

Spanish Influence: Pictured right, this white stucco building with tile roof accents at the corner of Lakeside Avenue and Brook Road housed Haynes Jeep for many years.

Burgers & Fries: Pictured left above, Sam's is typical of roadside eateries that lined Route 1 in an earlier time.

Emmanuel Church is a historic Episcopal church that just celebrated its 150 anniversary!

Emmanuel Church: Pictured left, this historic Episcopal church just celebrated its 150 anniversary!

Fine Furniture: Just inside the county line, this building was the longtime home of Samburger's.

City Limits: The dividing line between the City of Richmond and Henrico County is just north of the intersection of Brook Road and Azalea Avenue.

Fine Furniture:  Just inside the county line, this building was the longtime home of Samburger's. The dividing line between the City of Richmond and Henrico County is just north of the intersection of Brook Road and Azalea Avenue.

Gone is the Park Motel that was located one mile outside the city limits and featured 26 units consisting of private cottages or hotel rooms on landscaped grounds.


Some Places along Route 1 disappeared. Pictured on the postcard left, gone is the Park Motel that was located one mile outside the city limits and featured 26 units consisting of private cottages or hotel rooms on landscaped grounds. Also gone is the Richmond Auto Court, one half mile outside the city. According to the back of its postcard, pictured below, it was "Built to meet the approval of the most discriminating tourist. Radios, private baths, garages, thermostatic heat controls, switchboard telephones, 24 hour service".

Also gone is the Richmond Auto Court, one half mile outside the city.  According to the back of its postcard, it was Built to meet the approval of the most discriminating tourist. Radios, private baths, garages, thermostatic heat controls, switchboard telephones, 24 hour service.

A little different today - check out the earlier interiors of the Cavalier.

A little different today - check out the earlier interior of the Princess Lee as well as the original exterior of the Princess Lee.

A little different today Check out the earlier interiors of the Cavalier, pictured above, and Princess Lee, pictured left, as well as the original exterior of the Princess Lee, pictured below.

A little different today - check out the earlier interior of the Princess Lee as well as the original exterior of the Princess Lee.

In the median near the Brook Run shopping center is the marker for the Jefferson Davis Highway, erected in June 1927. A bit closer to town on the east side of the highway is the marker for the Richmond Defences outer line.

And some are not so easy to see in passing. A bit hard to find - In the median near the Brook Run shopping center is the marker for the Jefferson Davis Highway, erected in June 1927. A bit closer to town on the east side of the highway is the marker for the "Richmond Defences" outer line. Within the shopping center is a small area of preserved fortifications.

Within the shopping center is a small area of preserved fortifications.


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Laura Hill Cook Remembers Growing Up at Walkerton

Laura Hill Cook, who reminesces about growing up at Walkerton.

Laura Hill Cook lives in impressive surroundings. Her tenth-floor apartment at 5100 Monument Abenue faces north and offers an expansive view of much of Henrico County. Her childhood home was just as impressive. Laura Hill and her family, you see, moved to Walkerton when she was twelve years old.

Her father, George D. Bowles, was a lawyer and charter member of the Henrico County Historical Society, had lived at Pleasant Hill in Hanover County. He and his family were living in Ginter Park, but he was looking for an old place to restore. He found Walkerton and bought it from the Hopkins family in 1941. The Bowles family owned it until 1985.

It stood on over 26 acres and included a number of outbuildings, one of which is presently known as the kitchen/laundry building. In her youth, Laura Hill knew it as the cottage. It had the only double fireplace in the county and was where Daisy Mae and her mother Mary who worked for the Bowles family lived. Laura Hill and Daisy Mae had tea parties on the back lawn under a silver elm tree right in front of the cemetery. They also loved going down to the creek on the side of the property.

There was also an ice house in the trees behind the house, and Mr. Bowles used the smokehouse next to the cemetery as a garage.

Wedding portrait of Laura Hill Cook hung in the Walkerton parlor.

Inside the house, Laura Hill remembers the blood stains on the floor of the third floor from wounded Civil War soldiers. Mr. and Mrs. Bowles had the large second-story room with the swinging door for themselves, and Laura Hill slept in the room on the right hand side of the hallway. And coming down the stairs on Christmas morning was quite a thrill when they put the tree in the front parlor on the right hand side. It was always a cedar tree cut on the place.

Later, in that same parlor hung Laura Hill's wedding portrait. Her wedding took place at Union Theological Seminary, and the reception was held at Walkerton. A harpist played in the entrance hall, food in the dining room, and the crowd flowed into the backyard. However, before the happy couple could get away for a honeymoon in Gatlinburg, Laura Hill was stung by a wasp.

Aside from her residence at Walkerton, Laura Hill Cook's family ties go back quite a ways in Henrico. Her great-great-grandparents gave land to the county for the courthouse and gave the first bell for St. John's Church.


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Founding of Sandston "Marked"

On March 12, the Sandston Village Historical Marker was dedicated.


On March 12, the "Sandston Village" Historical Marker was dedicated. It stands at 125 West Williamsburg Road in front of one of the first "kit houses" built in the area. Wayne Varnier, Joanne McCube, Sunny Adams, Alice Baldwin, Bobby Alexander, Peggy Reams Coghill, and Pete Furbish, members and friends of the Sandston Founders Club, posed before the marker.


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A Genealogical Request: Benjamin Warriner/Warner

We received a genealogical request from Beth Warner Perona concerning her ancestor, Benjamin Warriner/Warner. Perhaps you have the answer to her genealogical question.

I am looking for information on Benjamin Warriner/Warner who was supposedly born about 1794 in Henrico County. Recently, my father, Earle Howard Warner, Jr., submitted a DNA sample through family Tree DNA and there was a perfect match to this Benjamin Warriner of Henrico. This man was either a brother or cousin to my William Warner. All my best, Beth Warner Perona, beth@chem.csustan.edu.


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The Hatcher Family

Are you related to the Hatcher Family?

Beth Hatcher, a writer for the "Cary News" in Cary, North Carolina, told us about Nel Hatcher. She is using her association and its website at www.hatcherfamilylassn.com to trace the Hatcher family. Over 40,000 modern-day Americans trace their ancestry to William Hatcher, a colonial Henrico County planter.


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Now You Know...

If the last "What do you know?" was "bugging" you, now you'll find out why. The object pictured above is a bug guard for an Aladdin lamp. The brass collar fit over the glass chimney (as seen in the picture at the right), and the screen kept insects attracted by the light from flying in and damaging the glowing mantle.

Bug guard for an Aladdin lamp. Bug guard for an Aladdin lamp. Bug guard for an Aladdin lamp.


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And Here's a Little More About Early Lighting

This commemorative postage stamp depicts a hand-forged rush light. This cruise or betty lamp had its container holding fat, and a wick rested on the protruding lip.

Here's sort of a time line for the history of lighting. Here are some very primitive lamps. The commemorative postage stamp (left) depicts a hand-forged rush light. On the arm is a candle, and then there are pincers which would have held a length of burning fat-soaked rush. Right is a cruisie, or betty lamp. The container held fat, and a wick rested in the protruding lip.

An early whale oil lamp. A wall lamp. Hand forged wick trimmer that trimmed the wick of early kerosene lamps.

Pictured to the far left is an early whale oil lamp. It is tin and it worked on the same basic principle as the cruisie-whale oil in the well, wick lying in the channel that extends out a bit.

Next came the kerosene lamp, and displayed in the middle is a wall lamp. For efficient burning, the wick needed to be trimmed, and the implement pictured far right is a hand-forged wick trimmer which features a tray-like blade to catch the trimmings.

Aladdin lamp. Aladdin lamp wick trimmer.


In 1909, the Mantle Lamp Company began producing lamps, later becoming the Aladdin Lamp Company. Pictured left is a Lincoln Drape lamp made of alacite. Aladdin lamps had a circular wick (kept trim by the brass trimmer pictured right) beneath a mantle. While candles would put out a foot of candle power, and good oil lamps produced 1.5 to 3 foot candles, Aladdins did them six times better, producing approximately 60 watts of light.


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What Do You Know?

This mystery item is made of sterling silver and is 13 inches long.  The identification of this object will be posted in our next newsletter.



"What Do You Know?" is going "upscale" in this posting. The item pictured is made of sterling silver. It is thirteen inches long.

Do you know what it is? Email your answers to jboehling@verizon.net.


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