Mosby Heritage Area Association Newsletter--October 2016
View this email in your browser
Post-rain steam on Allder School Road, by Alyssa Fisher
Welcome, New Members!

Dorothy Ballenger
Kent Bein
William Cawood
Dr. Jonathan Cook
Alyssa Fisher
Michael and Pamela Hummel
Richard Mazzucchelli
Willson Offutt, IV
James Ottevaere
Wade and Berta Smith
Stuart A. Stanley Company
Sara Sukol

Want to become a member of MHAA and enjoy discounts on upcoming event tickets? Want to support our mission?  Need to renew your membership?  
Renew your membership today!
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Check out our website
Upcoming Events
SAVE THE DATE--November 12, 2016 
when we will hold our annual fundraiser.  This year we will delight our guests with intimate supper parties in private, historic homes throughout the Mosby Heritage Area--a completely unique experience.  Invitations will be mailed in the late summer, but in the meantime, be sure to mark your calendars.


Friday-Sunday, October 7-9
19th Annual Conference on the Art of Command in the Civil War:
July 3, 1863, Gettysburg--The Third Day

Middleburg Community Center
300 West Washington Street
Middleburg, VA 20117

The Mosby Heritage Area Association's 19th annual Civil War Conference begins October 7 in downtown Middleburg.  This year's topic focuses on the climactic third day of fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg.  The conference includes eight speakers on Friday and Saturday plus a panel discussion; lunch on Saturday; and an on-site tour of Gettysburg on Sunday.

Speakers this year include James Hessler, Eric Wittenberg, Wayne Motts, and Robert K. Krick, among others.  Topics vary from the cavalry fights at both ends of the Gettysburg battlefield on July 3 to the dramatic Confederate assault on Union positions forever memorialized as Pickett's Charge to profiles of commanders involved in the battle, including George Meade.  For the full list of speakers and topics, click 

Participants can either purchase the full package or half.  The full package ($450) includes admission to hear all of the speakers, a Saturday lunch and dinner, and a guided tour of the Gettysburg battlefield on Sunday.  The half package ($225) includes admission to hear all of the speakers and a Saturday lunch.

To sign up, call (540) 687-6681 or click the button below.
Purchase your tickets here

Saturday, November 5, 7:30 p.m.
Legends by Lanternlight: Purcellville in the Civil War

Purcellville Train Station
200 North 21st Street
Purcellville, VA 20132

The Mosby Heritage Area Interpretive Group is partnering with the Purcellville Historical Society to bring the Civil War experience of Purcellville to life through "first person" vignettes.  Come and learn about one of the village's first casualties from the war, Union incursions into town, the little known fight along Purcellville's main street in July 1864, the Burning Raid of 1864, and more.  Walk with the interpreters of the Mosby Heritage Area Interpretive Group and learn how our preserved historic landscape still tells us stories.

This program will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Purcellville Train Station.  Walking is required.  Please dress for walking and for the weather.  No reservations are required, and tickets can be purchased at the door--$10 for adults and $5 for students.  Call (540) 687-5188 or email with any questions.
Preisdent Woodrow Wilson and Admiral Cary Grayson

Sunday, November 20
Woodrow Wilson and the Coming of World War I:
A Talk, Exhibit, and Tour

MHAA and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum are teaming up for a World War I Centennial Program in the Mosby Heritage Area.  Robin von Seldeneck, CEO of the Wilson Library and Museum, will speak.  Artifacts belonging to President Wilson's physician, Admiral Cary Grayson, will also be on display.  At the conclusion of the program, visitors will be able to visit Grayson's Blue Ridge Farm southeast of Upperville.

The location of the talk and exhibit are yet to be determined.  Stay tuned for further details and for more information on where to purchase tickets.

Since Our Last Newsletter

Saturday, August 13
Legends by Lanternlight: Using a Virginia County Seat to View the Civil War

Clarke County Historical Association
Berryville, VA 22611
MHAIG member Jim Hildbold recounts the fight at the Gold Farm southwest of Berryville on September 3, 1864.

Saturday, August 20
The Scout Toward Aldie: Herman Melville's Famous Poem and its 150th Anniversary

Mt. Zion Historic Park
Aldie, VA 20105
A 44-minute long group reading of Herman Melville's "The Scout Toward Aldie" followed Middleburg Academy's Dr. Jonathan Cook's program on the background of Melville's war poem.
Thursday, September 1
A Caravan Tour of the Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville Cavalry Battlefields
MHAA staff lead participants in the tour to the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry Monument on the June 17, 1863 Aldie battlefield.

Saturday, September 10
Adventures in History: Tales for the Night

Mt. Zion Historic Park
Aldie, VA 20105
Historic Mt. Zion Church provided a perfect nighttime backdrop to explore--with all of your senses--the long history of Loudoun County.
SAVE THE DATE--June 10, 2017 
MHAA will once again host a reunion for descendants of soldiers who rode with Mosby's Rangers, 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry, during the Civil War.  More information will follow in the months to come, but mark the date on your calendars now so you can be with us on June 10, 2017.
Loudoun Preservation Society awards MHAA
Left: Paul and Lee Lawrence at Sunny Bank (courtesy of Douglas Lees);
Right: MHAA Education Specialist holds up the check for the grant LPS awarded to MHAA

At its annual meeting on September 15, 2016, the Loudoun Preservation Society granted MHAA staff and board members two awards.  First, MHAA staff received a grant of $1,250 for the printing of a new driving tour booklet of the Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville Cavalry Battlefields, fought in Loudoun and Fauquier counties from June 17-21, 1863.  Then, MHAA Board Member Lee Lawrence and her husband Paul were crowned Preservationists of the Year for their work in restoring multiple historic homes in Loudoun County and for Lee's editorial work on two local women's diaries from the Civil War.

For more information on the Loudoun Preservation Society, visit their website.
Where do you take the Mosby Heritage Area?
MHAA supporter Paul Lawrence shows off his Mosby Heritage Area gear
on Brighton Beach in Brooklyn.

MHAA wants to know where you take the Mosby Heritage Area with you when you travel on vacation or to other historic sites around Virginia, the United States, or the world. Send us a picture of your Mosby Heritage Area gear on your travels to show us how far we've traveled.  Your pictures can be sent to 
Do you know a teacher or student in
the Mosby Heritage Area?

The start of the 2016-2017 school year also marks the beginning of the thirteenth year of MHAA's education outreach program, where our staff brings local history into classrooms throughout the heritage area.  Last year, MHAA reached nearly 5,000 students.  All of our classroom programs supplement the Virginia Standards of Learning and focus on a variety of topics from the Civil War to Civil Rights and from slavery in the antebellum era to Reconstruction.  

For a full list of all of our programs and to book one today, click
here.  These programs are free, though MHAA greatly appreciates any donations that can be made.  For questions about MHAA's education outreach program, email Education Specialist Kevin Pawlak at or call him at (540) 687-5188.

Do not forget to pass this great opportunity to any teachers you know, and make a difference in your community by helping bring local history to our students.

Right: A student at Waterford Elementary School holds a Civil War artifact during MHAA's visit.
From the Window of MHAA's Executive Director...
After dripping in the late summer heat, we’ve received a breath of northerly air and once again the Blue Ridge are blue and the sky shimmering with clarity.  It finally looks like September out my window with the angle of the light this late afternoon just lovely.  The nature of the Mosby Heritage Area and its natural beauty are once again striking.
As a lad of sixteen, I used to admire the September light in a different place, on a New England town common.  There, at Lexington, where the first shots of the American Revolution were fired on an April dawn, I served as a licensed guide to bring the stories of ’75 back to life.  From the first tour I gave, I knew that working with history in a public setting—a school or an historic site—was what I wanted to do.  The story-telling my friends and family ritually engaged in had passed on to me an art form, and the spoken word with dramatic backdrop was the medium with which I wished to play.   I’ve been doing it since, and now, we are at nearly 50 years.  I’ve worked in colonial taverns and parsonages where the must of time settles.   I’ve worked on the banks of the mighty James at Jamestown Settlement, beneath the mountains’ gaze at Harpers Ferry with the National Park Service, and one way or another, with every historic site in Loudoun.  I’ve led students to historic places over five hundred times as a career U.S. History teacher, and fed the appetites of thousands of high school students for knowledge of their past, surrounded by a beautifully preserved historic landscape to help me.  
My past twelve years have been at Rector’s Crossroads—Atoka--once the rendezvous point of the Gray Ghost, working for a new type of organization—a grass roots, citizen-created heritage area.  In our region, citizens and local organizations believed that an overlay on the landscape of the Northern Virginia piedmont and valley could impress citizens and visitors through creative education with the importance and value of the historical landscape they shared.  As a teacher, I had helped in the early planning effort, serving on the Advisory Board.  As the Director of Education and ultimately Executive Director of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, I’ve been able to explore the possibilities of such a non-government-funded effort, and the results have been fruitful and satisfying.  Our programming and publications, electronic offerings and public presence have all grown dramatically.  Yet, whatever we’ve accomplished by creating the Mosby Heritage Area, the need continues.
I retired from public education with the Loudoun County system in 2004 after 30 years.  I will be retiring again this spring, this time from the Mosby Heritage Area Association after 12½ years, reaching the age of 66 and in need of a reduced daily workload.  Now I want to travel, need to do years of undone projects around Skye House where I live near Taylorstown, want to have time for a brisk walk every day, desperately want to write, and of course (like my hero Mr. Wilson of Dennis the Menace fame), bang my cane on the porch floor and yell at kids in the yard.
Retiring altogether would be painful and nearly impossible for a full-blown public history addict like myself.  The staff together with the Board of Directors at the Mosby Heritage Area Association have devised a plan I’m greatly pleased with where I will become Historian Emeritus upon my retirement, thus able to offer intermittent services to the association as mutually agreed upon.  I won’t be disappearing anytime soon.  I’ll be working with our MHAA team my last weekend right until the end—doing a program and assisting with an Atoka Clean-up as part of MHAA’s participation in the Civil War Trust-run Park Day on Saturday April 1st, and helping run an MHAA fundraiser on April 2nd.  That Sunday afternoon we’ll be offering a talk by Lee Lawrence on her new book—a newly expanded edition of Amanda Virginia “Tee” Edmonds famous journal--followed by a tour of Tee’s home, the Mosby “safe house” Belle Grove near Paris in Upper Fauquier.  You’ll want to come.
I am very excited about the skill and continuity offered by our new team—skilled Director of Administration Jennifer Worcester Moore coming in to the Executive Director’s seat, with vibrant young historian Kevin Pawlak elevated to fill the position I once filled as Director of Education.  They have my full confidence.  We’ll be interviewing to fill a third position, Public Programs Coordinator, to round out and complement the team.  They’ll get a poke of my cane to keep them on the righteous path and a few stories regularly to keep them laughing as I enjoy my new role as Historian Emeritus. 
Although I have a number of months yet at Rector House, please know how much I am moved by your enthusiasm for our local history and its landscape, impressed by your personal efforts to preserve and pass on our region’s stories and places, and have enjoyed working with you as members, supporters, and program attendees of Mosby Heritage Area Association!
Copyright © 2016 Mosby Heritage Area Association, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can
update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list