Friday, June 25, 2010

July 4th - Independence Day at Monticello

One of the most touching ceremonies I've ever seen is Independence Day at Monticello, during which immigrants are sworn in as new citizens of the United States. It starts at 9 am on July 4th this year, and is free. So before your cookout and your fireworks, take a couple of hours and visit Monticello, the home of the man who helped start it all.

For more information, go to Independence Day at Monticello

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 23, 2010 - Batteau Night In Scottsville, VA

The 25th Annual Batteau Festival runs from June 19 through 26, 2010. Boats begin arriving in Scottsville in mid-afternoon on Wednesday the 23rd and tie up at Scottsville's Ferry Street public boat landing. The public is welcome to come see the boats and their crews, who wear authentic costumes.

Scottsville Museum will be open on the 23rd from 1-8 pm.

For the history buffs among us, a batteau is a type of flat-bottomed boat invented here in Central Virginia by farmer Anthony Rucker (and named by Thomas Jefferson). The boats were flat-bottomed so they could navigate the Rivanna and James Rivers, which were shallow at certain times of the year. A batteau could normally carry about eleven hogsheads (a barrel that could contain about a thousand pounds of tobacco) to Richmond for sale.

The Batteau Festival begins each year at Lynchburg and ends at Richmond.

For more information on the Batteau Festival, see the website:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Free Museum Day, Sept. 25, 2010

Last year, the Smithsonian sponsored “Free Museum Day”; I used my pass to see the Old Stone Jail Museum in Palmyra, VA.

This year’s Free Museum Day will be on Sept. 25th -- starting July 1st, you can choose the museum you want to see, and print out the free passes at this site:


Thursday, December 31, 2009

Now Available!

A Guide to Historic Charlottesville and Albemarle County, VAThe History Press, Charleston, SC.
ISBN: 978-1596291737

Thursday, April 23, 2009

2nd Edition of Index to Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations to be Published

McFarland & Co., Publishers announces the Fall 2009 publication of Jean Cooper's Index to Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations: Locations, Plantations, Surnames and Collections, 2d ed. (ISBN: 978-0-7864-3990-4). The Fall 2009 catalog will be available in June 2009 for pre-ordering.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Messiah Sing-In at Old Cabell Hall (UVa)

On Tuesday, December 9th, the McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville will present the 41st Annual Messiah Sing-in, conducted by Donald Loach. The audience becomes the chorus, and the orchestra will play from the stage. Non-singers are welcome! Copies of the vocal score will be available for those who do not have their own, and orchestral parts will be available for instrumentalists. I can tell you that this event is great fun, and eagerly anticipated by musicians and would-be musicians as an integral part of the holiday season in Charlottesville.

Date: December 9, 2008
Time: 8 p.m. EST
Place: Auditorium at Old Cabell Hall on the University Grounds
Cost: $5 to benefit the University's choral ensembles

For more information:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Virginia State Parks

You may remember First Landing State Park and Chippokes Plantation State Park from my free tours that go along with Chapter 1 in the Guide. (Here's the link if you haven't seen it: My Favorite Places in Historic Tidewater Virginia.)

Here are a few events that will be happening in the coming month at these locations:

2008 Fall Festival at First Landing, Oct 18, 2008, 3:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Celebrate fall with programs covering harvesting, Native American ways of life, pirate history, games, hikes and hayrides. Take a night hike in search of the elusive screech owls that live in First Landing. Location - Picnic Area & Trail Center Phone - (757) 412-2300

Jones-Stewart Mansion Tours at Chippokes Plantation , Oct 10, 2008 - Sep 04, 2009 , 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Experience the comforts of an antebellum mansion and get to know the folks that called Chippokes home! Tours are family friendly and there is no fee to tour the Mansion. Open Saturdays and Sundays. While you are here, please visit the Chippokes Farm and Forestry Museum. Location - Jones-Stewart Mansion Phone - (757) 294-3625

Fossil Walk at Chippokes Plantation, Oct 11, 2008, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Oct 18, 2008, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Participants will hike through a journey millions of years in the making! The walk will be about 1.5 miles. Geology and natural history of the park will be discussed as well as fossil identification and methods to finding fossils. Location - Meet at River House parking lot Phone - (757) 294-3625

If you want to be kept informed of what's going on in your state parks, go to the Park Events page, and sign up for the electronic newsletter.