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Mosby Heritage Area Association

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Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter - October 2013

President's Letter

As you will read below, the Mosby Heritage Area is home to some truly magnificent historic, rural roadways. Many of us are taking special note of these roads right now, during weekend drives to see the Fall foliage. If you have not taken the ‘scenic route’ lately, I urge you to do so. The unpaved roads in this section of the Commonwealth are mostly unchanged since the 19th century and the landscapes and views truly rival some more famous destination drives. Luckily though, they mostly remain quiet, slow, and full of wildlife and, of course, Fall foliage. These dirt roads may not always remain this way and I want to bring your attention to organizations that are working to highlight the importance of our rural roads, the Rural Road Network of Loudoun County and the Beaverdam Historic Roadways District. They have submitted an article, below, for your information and again, we want to convey our support of their efforts.

Coming up in November, please plan to join us in Clarke County on the 2nd, at the Burwell-Morgan Mill for our popular Cavaliers, Courage & Coffee Program. Then, on Nov. 10th we will be hosting ‘Middleburg Remembers the Kennedys’ where we can share personal remembrances and hear of the days when the First Family were our neighbors. The big event of the year, the Chrysanthemum Jubilee, will be held Nov. 16th at lovely old Rockburn, and we will enjoy cocktails and the Virginia Reel. Please read more below and plan to join us in November in the Heritage Area!

Childs Burden

Welcome New Members!

On behalf of the Board of Directors, volunteers, and supporters of MHAA, we warmly welcome our new members:

Eugene Bourne
Michael Bourne
Vernon Glenn
Scott Kenepp
Jay Lacey
Tim LeMaster
William Millan
Alan Mowbray
Robert Varrin

Beaverdam Creek Historic Roadways District and the Rural Road Network of Loudoun County

An astonishingly beautiful, historic, and unique network of roads in southwestern Loudoun County, the Beaverdam Creek Historic Roadways District (the District) designated by the Board of Supervisors in 2002, is one of Loudoun’s greatest and best-kept secrets.

The District is bordered on the east by Rt. 611 (St. Louis Rd.), on the south by Rt. 50 (John S. Mosby Hwy.), on the west by the Trappe, Ridgeway, and Foggy Bottom Roads alignment, and on the north by the Snickersville Turnpike. Comprised of just the roadways and roadsides, 35 feet to either side of the centerline of these almost entirely unpaved roads, the District area overlays some 32,000 acres, holds 33 roads with nearly 100 miles of roadways, and contains 103 historic or archeological sites, many still visible. A link to the Loudoun County map of the District may be found at, click on programs and follow to the BCHRD brochure.

The 1853 Yardley Taylor map of Loudoun County, the Virginia Department of Transportation 1932 road map, and the present day Loudoun County government map show remarkable and notable similarity of roadway alignment. Professional historian and mapmaker Eugene Scheel states in his 1999 study for the District, that the road network is “an amalgam of roadways united by a common heritage and landscape, largely unchanged since the 19th century.”

These roadways were important Native American trails from Goose Creek west to and along the Blue Ridge, providing access for hunting, trading, and migration. Later, the web of roads provided passage for goods from plantation to market. The movements of Civil War troops along these roads are well known, and the new Unison Battlefield Historic District and many of the battlefields of the 1863 Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville are central to the area.

A community-based effort to increase awareness and participation of all road segments of eligible properties within the District will begin, with the help of the Goose Creek Association and other local conservation groups, in 2013-2014.

In all, Loudoun contains about 330 miles of unpaved roads, most within the rural zone of western Loudoun. Recognizing the value of these country roads to the culture, history, and rural economy, and the utility of these roads for the rural lifestyle, the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition formed a Rural Roads Subcommittee to initiate a process to acquire increased funding for the maintenance of these roads. The gravel roads cost far less to maintain properly than they would to pave. As an example, Loudoun plans to pave 9 ½ miles of unpaved road (mostly in suburban eastern Loudoun) in the current six-year plan, at a cost of $35 million (about $3.7 million/mile). However, maintenance of all 330 miles of unpaved roads costs only $12 million/year or about $36k/mile/year. VDOT says that only a 10% increase in annual funding (about $1million) would address most of the rural road deterioration.

Upcoming Events:

November 2, 5:00pm
Cavaliers, Courage & Coffee Program
“Glimpses of the Civil War in Clarke County”
Burwell-Morgan Mill
15 Tannery Lane
Millwood, VA 22646

Rich Gillespie and company

In conjunction with Clarke County History Day, the Gray Ghost Interpretive Group will offer first-person accounts by lantern of life in Clarke County during the Civil War. The event is co-sponsored by Clarke County Historical Association.

The evening’s program will focus on Clarke County at the outbreak of the Civil War, the arrival of Mosby’s Rangers and their clandestine operations, the burning of civilian homes and farms in Clarke, and excerpts from the famous diary of Amanda Virginia Edmonds. Stations throughout the Mill village, including the toll house, the mill itself, and Clarke’s Hotel, will have interpreters in period dress, presenting first-person accounts of these stories.

Adults are $8 and students are $4.

November 10, 2:00-4:00pm
Middleburg Remembers the Kennedys
Sheila C. Johnson Performing Arts Center at the Hill School
130 S. Madison St.
Middleburg, VA 20117

Photo by Howard Allen
Photo by Howard Allen

The event will offer an intimate glimpse into the time the Kennedy family spent in Middleburg, on the 50th anniversary weekend of their last visit together to Middleburg.

The event will open with Don Woodruff, Hill School history teacher and Kennedy campaign worker, who will offer an introduction to JFK’s presidency. Next, local author and historian, Eugene Scheel, will discuss the Kennedy presence in 1960s Middleburg. Finishing the discussion will be Howard Allen, the photographer who captured many candid moments of Mrs. Kennedy and the children on horseback at their homes in Middleburg. Mr. Allen has just released a book, Unforgotten Times, about his time with the Kennedys. The book shows never-before-released photographs of the Kennedys taken here in Hunt Country and it will be available for signing and purchase on November 10th. Also contributing to the event will be Taylor Shapiro, reporter for the Washington Post, whose mother, Vicky Moon, authored the book The Private Passion of Jackie Kennedy Onassis: Portrait of a Rider. To close, the speakers will engage in an intimate discussion, with personal memories of the Kennedy family while they were here in Middleburg.

Tickets are $30 for MHAA members and $40 for non-members.

CLICK HERE to Register at

November 16, 6;00-8:00pm
The Chrysanthemum Jubilee
2224 Crenshaw Road
Marshall, VA 20115

A lovely evening in the old Virginia style at historic Rockburn, complete with festive cocktails by Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, and the Virginia Reel brought to you by the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Era Dancers. Traditional food and drink a-plenty and good cheer in full measure! Reservations required. Cocktail attire. $100 each.


Aldie Peddler, Aldie, Virginia
Ms Jean Brown
Mr. and Mrs. Childs Burden
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Dees
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas DeLashmutt
Mr. and Mrs. Donald Glickman
Karen Harper-Fuog, Catering
Mr. and Mrs. James Hildbold
Lt. Col. and Mrs. Arthur House
Ms Virginia Jenkins
Mr. and Mrs. Marc Leepson
Reikis Studio, Aldie, Virginia
Shenandoah Valley Civil War Era Dancers, Luray, Virginia
Mr. and Mrs. Fraser Wallace
Mrs. Janet Whitehouse

Lead Media Sponsor: Northern Virginia Media Services /Middleburg Life

CLICK HERE to Register at

Since our Last Newsletter:
October 4-6, 2013
16th Annual Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War
“Prelude to Gettysburg: The Armies Move North”

Horace Mewborn

Horace Mewborn, and Atkins award winners, by Douglas Lees
Horace Mewborn, above; and Childs Burden and Atkins Scholarship winners, photos by Douglas Lees.

Again this year, the Civil War Conference was a resounding success. We welcomed participants from Colorado, Oregon, South Carolina, and even Italy. It was wonderful to see familiar faces and meet new scholars and to enjoy such phenomenal weather through the entire weekend! Much was discussed, including the attempt to replace Stonewall Jackson, Mosby’s communications with JEB Stuart, the controversy over JEB Stuart’s ride to Gettysburg, and the politics of command in the Army of the Potomac. Sunday’s bus tour was thankfully unaffected by the furlough and we trailed Lee’s army’s movements into Pennsylvania.

The James Peyton Atkins Memorial Scholarship was again awarded this year to outstanding essays in Civil War history. This year’s winners include from The Hill School, Annie Dunlap, and from Wakefield, Steve Steenson and Connor Mulvey.

The 2013 conference speakers included Horace Mewborn, Eric Wittenberg, Clark “Bud” Hall, Scott Patchan, Robert K. Krick, Robert O’Neill, Jr., Chris S. Stowe, Ph.D, and Scott L. Mingus.
This annual conference was named by Visit Loudoun as the 2010 Event of the Year (for 3,000 and under participants). The conference has attracted participants from 15 different states, including California, Washington state, and Colorado, and from England and Italy. Annually, the conference has had an enormous economic impact in the local community from overnight accommodations to shopping and dining.

For an excellent blog with highlights and photos of the conference, please visit Hal Jesperson’s blog at

November 2, 5:00pm
Cavaliers, Courage & Coffee Program
at Burwell Morgan Mill, Millwood, Virginia.

November 10, 2:00-4:00pm
Middleburg Remembers the Kennedys
with Donald Woodruff, Gene Scheel, and photographer Howard Allen,
at The Hill School, Middleburg, Virginia.

November 16, 6:00-8:00pm
Chrysanthemum Jubilee,
a Ball in the old Virginia Style,
at lovely old Rockburn.

Photo of the Month
by J. Riley Stewart

Sunrise on Snake Den Road

September brings the first hints of the coming autumn in the Mosby Heritage Area. The color of the grasses and leaves are lightening, and the sun seems to arrive and depart each day with heightened presence. This scene is entitled "Sunrise on Snake Den Road"

See more of our 2013 Photo of the Month scenes at

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P.O. Box 1497, Middleburg, VA 20118 - 540.687.6681

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