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Central Rappahannock
Heritage Center Newsletter
A place that loses its history loses it soul
Volume 6, Issue 2
February 2016
In This Issue
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Message From The Chairman
I hope that everyone "weathered", no pun intended, the Snow Event which occurred the last week of January. The Center operates on the same schedule set by the Fredericksburg City Public Schools for weather closings so please check to determine if the Center is open to the public.
Although the Center was closed several days due to the weather and road conditions, it didn't stop some of our dedicated volunteers from showing up for work! It goes without saying that our volunteers are the life blood of the Center; in fact, the Center's volunteers logged more than 6,400 hours in 2015, and that's with the Center open 3 days a week for 6 hours a day!! On January 31, The Board of Directors sponsored a Volunteer Appreciation Party to express its heartfelt thanks to our dedicated friends!
A recent undertaking by several of our volunteers, with Collections Manager John Reifenberg, Patty Davis and Volunteer Coordinator Lee Artman taking the lead, has been to reorganize our shelving and existing collections in order to make it easier and quicker for a volunteer to help a researcher, as well as free up shelving space as new collections are donated to us. This is a necessary and ongoing project to effectively use the space we have as the Center continues to grow.  
A bit of good news is that The Community Foundation recently awarded CRHC a grant for the "Strategic Outreach and Marketing Plan and Materials" application that was submitted for the 6th cycle of the Duff McDuff Green, Jr. Fund. Many thanks to Barbara Barrett for her work in writing the application for the grant. The funds will go towards one of the goals that I mentioned in my letter last month: to increase awareness of the Center. We plan to work with a professional, local marketing company to prepare a marketing plan to that end. Our hope is that, as more people become aware of what CRHC has to offer, we will more effectively be able to share our local history.
Our Outreach Committee chair, Beth Daly, continues to go out in the community to represent the Center. On February 16, weather permitting, she will be doing a presentation on the women who formed the Washington-Lewis Chapter of DAR for the Rappahannock Regents Club, which will be meeting at the Fredericksburg Country Club. The connection is that the Center holds the W-L DAR Charter for the organization.

Meredith Beckett
CRHC Chairman
Welcome New Members    

Ms. Arlene Rager

CRHC memberships support the important work done by the Center.  The Center fills a unique role in the region:  the preservation of our people's history, which we make available for research.  We are a 100% all volunteer, non-profit organization.

Please join us as part of the Heritage Center's preservation team!  As a CRHC member, you will be helping to preserve our priceless local history.  Click here to become a member today! 

Thank you for your support,

The Central Rappahannock Heritage Center

Black History Month    

Black History Month grew out of Negro History Week. Carter G.Woodson, a Harvard-trained historian and the Reverend Jesse E. Moorland established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by people of African descent. They choose the second week of February in 1926 to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.   In 1976 President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month as has every president since.
The Heritage Center has many resources on Black or African American History. A short description of just three examples follows:
Daisy Turner's (1883 - 1985) father, Alec, was enslaved in Caroline County. Jane C. Beck, a folklorist from Vermont became acquainted with Daisy Turner when Daisy was about 100 years old. Daisy was known as the Turner family's griot, an African word meaning family historian. Her family and friends had heard the stories about their ancestors, an African prince and the English woman, who had been shipwrecked on the African coast. Daisy's father escaped slavery and settled in Vermont. After getting to know Jane, Daisy chose Jane to tell the Turner family's story. Jane researched Alec's life in Caroline County using resources at the Center. She visited the Center several times a year. Thirty years after Daisy Turner died, "Daisy Turner's Kin: An African-American Family Saga" was published. The Center has a copy of the book for research, as well as the resources Jane Beck used. Anyone who has watched Ken Burns' "The Civil War" will recognize Daisy Turner, the woman reciting part of a poem, from memory, "A Soldier's Letter" when she was 104 years old.
Palmer C. Hayden (1890 - 1973), an artist who was part of the Harlem Renaissance (1919 - 1935) was born Peyton Coleman Hedgeman in the Widewater section of Stafford County. His name was changed while he was in the Army. Hayden was virtually unknown in this area until Janet Payne, retired fine arts coordinator for Stafford County schools discovered his work at the Hampton University Museum in 1996. Ms. Payne and Retta Robins developed a curriculum packet and provided teacher workshops so that Stafford students would be able to learn about this important local African American artist. During the process, Ms. Payne met Samella Lewis, founder of the Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles which holds 40 of Hayden's paintings. Working with David Berreth, Director of Belmont and Harvey Lehman, board member of the Museum of African Art, Ms. Payne was able to arrange an exhibition at Belmont, "The Homecoming for a Native Son." Many of Palmer Hayden's paintings depict memories of his youth in Widewater, a stop along the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad (now CSX) and baptisms in Aquia Creek. Hayden's father told him stories of John Henry, and inspired a series of painting about the legendary steel-driving man, the strongest, the most powerful man who worked for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. "Baptism," painted in 1958 hangs in a church in Widewater. Palmer Hayden left Widewater as a young man for Washington, DC, where he worked a variety of jobs, yet found time to paint. He studied at Cooper Union in New York City and lived in Paris for a time. The exhibition at Belmont brought to light this native of Widewater, Stafford, Virginia. A catalog from the Belmont exhibition is available at the Center. (Additional source material: Central Rappahannock Regional Library, )
Our October issue had a piece on Rosenwald schools. These schools were built in the first part of the twentieth century with the financial assistance of philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, an executive with Sears, Roebuck. Mr. Rosenwald partnered with Booker T. Washington of Hampton and Tuskegee Institutes to provide educational opportunities for African Americans living in the segregated South. 
Frank White, an African American historian from Stafford has located and visited Lamb's Creek School, a Rosenwald school in King George. There isn't much of the original structure that can be recognized as a Rosenwald school. It is now a private home. Mr. White was told there are photos of the school, prior to its conversion to a dwelling. The Center hopes to be able to copy these images. There may have been a Rosenwald school in Widewater, near Oak Grove Baptist Church called Oak Grove School. No one has been able to determine if it was a Rosenwald school and it is not listed in the data base of Rosenwald schools at Fisk University, www.
  Mr. Calvin Hopkins, president of the board of Second Union (Rosenwald) School Corporation in Goochland called the Center after reading the October article. Goochland is out of our scope, but it is wonderful that Mr. Hopkins has reached out to us. The group rescued Second Union School from demolition and restored it. Mr. Hopkins has extended an invitation to anyone who wants to visit the restored Second Union School. Second Union is used as an educational and historical resource.  

The winter issue of the National Trust for Historic Preservation magazine, "Preservation" has a photo and paragraph on a Rosenwald school in North Carolina that has been saved. Preservation Virginia is holding a free conference on Virginia's Rosenwald Schools at the John Tyler Community College, Chester Campus on February 19. For more information contact: [email protected] or 804-897-4178 or [email protected] or (804) 648-1889, ext. 317. The Center has a book, "You Need a Schoolhouse," by Stephanie Deutsch, writer, researcher and wife of Rosenwald's great grandson and a 2005 issue of the "Virginia Historical Magazine" with an article by the late Phyllis McClure on Rosenwald schools in the Northern Neck.

February is a great time to stay inside and immerse yourself in history at the Heritage Center.

Beth Daly
Can you help identify these photos?
Alvin T. Rowe, Jr. Collection                

Unidentified photo from the Alvin T. Rowe, Jr. Collection. (click on photo to enlarge)
Left to Right: Judge John (Jack) Jamison, H. C. McCann
, Phil Hotchkiss, Alvin Rowe and Dan Chichester. Thank you for your help!

Unidentified Photo from the Stearns Collection

Unidentified photo taken in front of Maury School in Fredericksburg, Virginia on April 17, 1947. From the Stearns Collection. (Click on photo to enlarge)
The Circle Unbroken: Civil War Letters of the Knox Family of Fredericksburg

On sale now at the Heritage Center 
$29.70 for members 
$33.00 for non-members 
You can also purchase the book online from the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation
(click on image to order online)