Many Americans are aware that George Washington lived at Mount Vernon, near Alexandria, Va., a historic site where they can walk in the footsteps of our nation’s foremost founding father, Revolutionary War hero and first president.
What’s less well-known is that Washington grew up 40 miles south of there, at what is now called Ferry Farm, near Fredericksburg, and the site — the setting for such mythical events as chopping down his father’s cherry tree and throwing a coin across a river — can be visited as well. Both locations provide a fascinating window into Washington’s life. And this year, both have something new to offer visitors.
The thought occurs to me as I’m led down the long, gloomy corridors of the building known as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, which housed thousands of patients over its 130-year history as a hospital for people with mental illnesses and disabilities.”
The Loudoun Board of Supervisors will not seek authority from the Virginia General Assembly in January to move or remove a statue of a Confederate soldier that stands in front of the county courthouse.
On Wednesday, the supervisors narrowly defeated a motion by Board Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) to request that the General Assembly amend state law to give the county discretion over the bronze statue, which was erected in 1908. Under state law, Virginia localities are not permitted to “disturb or interfere with” war memorials.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors directed the museum’s trustees to make fundraising a top priority, officials said. So in May, the trustees hired Leslie Mazeska, who has a professional background in fundraising and grant-writing for nonprofit organizations, as the museum’s executive director.
The marker came about through the efforts of a group of seventh-grade students at Farmwell Station Middle School who selected it as a project for their social studies class in the fall. They cleared hurdles at local and state levels to obtain grant funding for the marker and win approval from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, which installed the marker Monday.
In 1817, Gen. George Rust bought a 485-acre tract along the Potomac River north of Leesburg and began building a Federal-style home there. The rock outcrops that studded the land inspired the property’s name: Rockland.
Two centuries and five generations later, Rust’s descendants still own and occupy Rockland. But maintaining old homes is costly, and the current occupants are searching for new ways to generate revenue from the property so they can continue to keep it in the family.
In the early 1950s, Reggie Simms mended damaged books so they could remain in circulation at the Purcellville Library. But he was not allowed to check them out for personal use.
For two decades after it opened in 1937, the library was open only to white patrons. Simms and other African Americans were excluded until the library was desegregated on April 9, 1957.
On Saturday, the library will mark the 60th anniversary of that milestone with “Cross the Line,” a day-long program focusing on the desegregation of public facilities in Loudoun County. Simms will join other African Americans from that era in sharing memories of the cultural shifts in Loudoun as segregation died a slow death in the 1950s and ’60s.
On July 27, 1945, Marine Capt. Fred Ochoa, 26, set out from Patuxent River Naval Air Station on what was a test flight for a new twin-engine aircraft. He never returned. The weather was treacherous, and the plane crashed in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near Bluemont. Among the items found with Ochoa’s body were a parachute and a rosary.
The Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Office displayed records that document the separate and unequal treatment of African Americans in the county during that time. Documents reveal how segregation pervaded all areas of life, including the education, public services and land transactions.