Brownsburg Update

Brownsburg Update: May 30, 2022

Flags are Up!

Many thanks to the BCA for repairing some of the flag brackets and poles and hanging the village flags in time for the Memorial Day weekend. They look great! The 2022 BCA Flag Team (pictured below) consisted of Jeremy Cosgriff, Mike Strickler and Vern Lochausen.  The photo was taken by John Siegfried who was also part of the team.  When you see these fellows, please thank them for a job well done!

2022 BCA Scholarships

The Brownsburg Community Association Board of Directors would like to congratulate all Brownsburg area high school and college graduates.  Because of the pandemic, the last two years have been difficult, but our local grads have persevered and reached a significant milestone!

The BCA awarded two $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors this year thanks in part to a significant donation from a Brownsburg area resident.  The BCA Board of Directors had a difficult time choosing winners from the 13 applicants who submitted essays. As these students were still in “pandemic mode” for their final year of high school, they were asked to write an essay addressing the question, “What advice would you give a student in the future if their school year was also impacted by a pandemic?”

The Rockbridge County High School winner is Clara Fleshman.  She was awarded the BCA Whipple Scholarship in honor of Claudia Whipple, who was a librarian at Rockbridge High School for many years.  Clara is enrolled in the nursing program at Longwood University and intends to earn a Bachelor of Science nursing degree.  She plans to become a labor and delivery or neonatal nurse.

The Riverheads High School winner is William Tanner Bowles.  Tanner plans to start his future education at Blue Ridge Community College before transferring to a four-year college.  He plans to major in business and after college hopes to one day start his own business in the local community.

Again congratulations to all of the Brownsburg area seniors!

Plant an Extra Row!

The Brownsburg Gardeners Program (the brainchild of Jim Zimmerman) began in 2015, and in the seven years since, has given 9,517 pounds of fruits and vegetables and 332 pounds of health/hygiene items to the Rockbridge Area Relief Association’s Food Pantry. [NOTE: That’s just short of 5 TONS!]  In 2020, the community donated 2,020 pounds of produce; in 2021 the combined total of produce and health/hygiene items was 2,021 pounds.  You know what this means: our target this year is 2,022 pounds!!! To make this another banner year for the Brownsburg Gardeners Program, we’re asking all the gardeners out there to plant a few extra tomatoes or zucchini or watermelons (which are really heavy and add nicely to our tonnage. . .), etc. Here’s what you need to know:  The starting date this year will be Thursday, June 30. Drop off your produce before noon each Thursday on Jason and Amy Moore’s front porch (2664 Brownsburg Turnpike) and Jim will deliver it to the Food Pantry.  Jim asks that you include your name with your donation so that he can keep track of participants.  Items needed include fruit and veggies; health and hygiene items (including those items available in your hotel rooms if you’re traveling); and odds and ends such as children’s books and all that free stuff you get in the mail like calendars, greeting cards, and notepads.  If you have questions, or need to arrange an alternative drop-off time, contact Jim Zimmerman at 348-6999 or pandjzim@gmail.com.  Thank you, Jim, for continuing to coordinate this important program!

Historian, Scholar and Author Visits

Dr. Charles B. Dew, historian, scholar, professor and author of “Bond of Iron: Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge” visited Brownsburg on Friday, May 27.  Accompanied by Paul Hahn, Larry Spurgeon, and Dr. David Green, he visited the five slave dwellings featured in the “Still Standing” tour. Dr. Dew’s presentation on Saturday was sponsored by Historic Lexington Foundation, and was extremely well-attended and informative. “Bond of Iron” focuses on the interaction of masters and slaves at Buffalo Forge near Glasgow, VA.  Through extensive research of surviving documents, Dr. Dew was able to focus on individual slaves and their families and convey a sense of life at Buffalo Forge both during and after slavery. Larry Spurgeon has shared a few pictures from Dr. Dew’s visit.

Thank You!


Brownsburg Update: May 14, 2022

Successful Tour Despite the Weather!

The preview for last weekend’s “Still Standing” tour was an EF-0 tornado in Fairfield on Friday night that knocked out electricity to parts of our area and created debris-littered roads.  The weather on tour day was less dramatic than Friday night, but there were showers amid a fairly constant drizzle and very chilly temperatures.  The visitors, however, were not deterred; the event had been well publicized and more than 200 guests came from all over Virginia (Midlothian, Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Port Republic, etc. in addition to Rockbridge and Augusta Counties), as well as from Georgia, Colorado, South Carolina and Kentucky.  Museum Advisory Committee members were on hand at the Museum to direct visitors, and Asbury United Methodist Church welcomed guests with coffee, baked goods, arts and crafts, and history. Scout Troops 29 and 92 assisted with parking at two locations, and the Rockbridge County Schools provided a bus and driver for shuttle service in downtown Brownsburg.  In all, about 50 volunteers mustered last Saturday to contribute in various ways to the success of the tour. Thank you!  Here are just a couple of pictures.

Reverend Reginald Early, Randolph St. UMC Church Lexington and Asbury UMC in Brownsburg, signing in at the Museum with guidance from Betty Brown. (Julie Fox photo)

Property owners were presented with the framed original artwork done for the brochures by artist Bruce Macdonald.  Left to right, Bruce Macdonald and Whitehall owners, James and Linda White. (Margaret Samdahl photo)
John Friedrichs of New Dimension Masonry at his display wall at Whitehall.  John is an expert on bricks, lime mortar, and construction methods with a deep respect for the 19th C. enslaved craftsmen. He noted, “I never even had the idea that I could meet direct descendants of enslaved folk from the immediate area of Brownsburg, and now I have.” (Jenny Young photo).
Don Hasfurther, Executive Director of HLF served as a docent at Whitehall. (Jenny Young photo)

HLF Event Today

As the second event of its Preservation Month series on slavery (the first event was Brownsburg’s “Still Standing” tour last weekend), the Historic Lexington Foundation is pleased to host a presentation by Cinder Stanton entitled “From the Little Mountain: The Enslaved Families of Monticello and Beyond.”  The presentation will be held at the First Baptist Church on North Main Street in Lexington today, Saturday, May 14 at 2:00 p.m.  Ms. Stanton retired in 2012 as Shannon Senior Historian at Monticello where she had worked for over 30 years.  She is the director of “Getting Word” a continuing research and oral history project that seeks to learn about Monticello’s African-American families through interviews with their descendants – over 200 to date.

Another Award for Rockbridge Vineyard

At the Virginia Vineyards Association (VVA) meeting in Charlottesville on May 12, Shep Rouse of Rockbridge Vineyard & Brewery was named VVA Grower of the Year. A well-deserved honor, Shep!  You can read more about Shep and Rockbridge Vineyard in this VVA article.