Talk on the Archaeology at Belle Grove Enslaved Quarter Site

Matthew Greer, a PhD candidate at Syracuse University will conduct a free talk about his archaeological research in the area where the enslaved men, women, and children owned by the Hite family at Belle Grove lived and worked. Since 2015, Mr. Greer has conducted archaeology of the 1.5-acre site located across Belle Grove Road from the main visitor parking lot. He has confirmed it was inhabited between about 1800 and 1850, that it likely was the home of many of the enslaved at Belle Grove, and that the site included a livestock barn and farm equipment shed. To date, more than 44,000 artifacts have been recovered at this site. The artifacts provide information on how the homes were constructed, how they were situated on the landscape, and what daily life was like for the enslaved at Belle Grove.

This program will follow a free Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park Ranger Program about Judah, one of the enslaved cooks at Belle Grove. Read more here: https://bellegrove.org/calendar/judah

Rebecca and Thomas: A Civil War Spy Tale

In observation of Juneteenth (June 19), celebrating freedom and commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S., hear the story of Rebecca Wright (1838 – 1914) and Thomas Laws (1817 – 1896) as told through this one-act play performed as a reading. Wright, a local teacher and Unionist, and Laws, an enslaved man from Millwood, Virginia, relayed intelligence about Confederate troop movements in and around Winchester, ultimately leading to General Philip Sheridan’s decisionto attack. The play was written by Winchester resident and former teacher Sharon Dixon.

Admission to this event is FREE and registration is not required.

Juneteenth Presentation

The opening session of the 2019 Willa Cather Seminar at Shenandoah University will feature a panel of scholars examining Cather’s depiction of African American life in Virginia as seen through Cather’s final novel, Sapphira and the Slave Girl (1940).

Panelists include Ann Romines, professor emerita, The George Washington University; Matthew Clark Greer, PhD candidate in anthropology, Syracuse University; and Jonathan Noyalas, director, The McCormick Civil War Institute, Shenandoah University.

Free; registration not required. Presented in part by the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, this program takes place in Stimpson Auditorium, Halpin-Harrison Hall at Shenandoah University.

Spottswood Poles Night at Bridgeforth Field

Winchester resident, Spottswood Poles, was a very talented Negro league baseball player and was often referred to as the “Black Ty Cobb”. He also was a decorated WWI veteran who served in France.

After many efforts to recognize Poles, city officials and the Valley League’s Winchester Royals baseball team will unveil an interpretive historical marker and the naming of a road for him in Jim Barnett Park, at the Winchester Royals home game against the Woodstock River Bandits. Enjoy an evening of baseball and a tribute to a local hero.

A special dedication program will take place at 6:15pm sharp at the central concessional stand, a short distance to the left of the entrance to Bridgeforth Field.

Program will include:
Special remarks from Winchester Mayor John David Smith, Jr., family members, and acquaintances of Spottswood Poles
Unveiling of a new interpretive historical marker
Opportunity for media images and interviews
Special acknowledgments of Spottswood Poles at the Winchester Royals game following the ceremony

This event is part of the 275th anniversary celebration.

Baseball Game Ticket Price:
$5.00 (adults), $3.00 (seniors), $2.00 (child 6-12)

winchesterva.gov/275th-anniversary

Great Blacks in Wax Exhibition

The National Great Blacks in Museum will showcase life-size and like-like wax figures of African American Heroes at Handley Library.

This exhibition is from the National Great Blacks Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, one of the nation’s most dynamic cultural and educational institutions focused on highlighting historical and contemporary personalities of African ancestry. Figures on display include Mary Elizabeth Bowser (Union spy during the Civil War), Chappie James (four-star general), Frederick Douglass (an abolitionist), Lewis Latimer (an American inventor), and Carter G. Woodson (a historian and father of Black History Month).

The exhibition is free and open the public, taking place in the Handley Benham Galley at the Handley Library in Winchester. On September 17th, the figures will be on display in the Handley Robinson Auditorium following a discussion from Dr. Joann Martin, co-founder of the museum, starting at 6:30PM.

Exhibition hours will run September 18-20 from 3PM-7PM, and September 21 10AM-2PM. Patrons can take selfies and post them on social media for a chance to win “book bucks” to use at the Fall Used Book Sale in October. The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Handley Regional Library.