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Holland Page Place MuseumFluvanna’s Historical Society is giving people a new reason to enjoy the Village of Palmyra and the nearby Holland Page Place.

Second Sundays is a celebration of Palmyra’s history and takes place – you guessed it – on the second Sunday of the summer months.

Tricia Johnson, executive director of the historical society, and many volunteers worked hard to bring families into town June 11 by offering guided tours of the Old Stone Jail and Maggie’s House, genealogists to help with family trees, and demonstrations of heritage crafts.

“Our first Second Sundays event, which focused on the Village of Palmyra, exceeded all of our expectations,” Johnson said. “Attendance was amazing – many people had come to see the preview of An Untold Story: Fluvanna’s African American History.”

An Untold Story: Fluvanna’s African American History is a new exhibit at the Old Stone Jail that uses photographs, documents, and artifacts to give visitors a glimpse into the lives of the county’s African American residents of the past.

One of the society’s goals is to engage visitors in exploring many facets of Fluvanna’s past, she said.

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In September 1867, Fluvanna residents crowded around the County Courthouse to choose a representative for the proposed Constitutional Convention in Richmond.

Two years after the end of the Civil War, much of the South lived under military occupation with limited self-governance. In the spring of 1867, Congress decreed that former Confederate states could rejoin the Union by holding racially-integrated constitution conventions and passing new constitutions guaranteeing the rights of freedmen.

Fluvannians met that September day to select a representative. Among the candidates assembled at the courthouse was James D. Barrett, a 34-year-old carpenter and shoemaker who lived near Palmyra.
Barrett had spent most of his life as a slave, and he had grabbed his newly-granted freedom with gusto. By 1867 he was gaining a reputation as a gifted speaker among local black churches. He had also become a political organizer, helping the local branch of the Northern-based Union League educate new freedmen and register them to vote.

Barrett made an eloquent speech asking for support, but the nomination initially went to County Clerk Abraham Shepherd, a white conservative. Undaunted, Barrett announced that he was still a candidate.

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Grace Farist swimmingLake Monticello Sharks narrowly beat out Farmington Country Club on Wednesday (June 28) at their home swim meet, the second scored meet of the season and the first win for the Sharks. The score was tied about three-quarters of the way through the meet and the Sharks were able to pull off a 513-496 victory in the end.

The meet kicked off with 11 energized relay races, of which the Sharks took five first place slots and seven second place victories.

Sisters Grace and Megan Farist, both 12, and Reagan McAdams, 12, swept the girls’ age 11-12 50-meter freestyle, taking first, second, and third place. The Farist sisters, along with Ava Amato, 12, also swept the 100-meter freestyle, taking first, second, and third places again. Then Zoe Moore tied for first place in the girls’ age 15-18 50-meter freestyle with a time of 31.00 seconds.The boys’ 13-14 age bracket also swept the 50-meter freestyle with Hunter Strickland, 14, Noah Amato, 14, and Owen Strickland, 14, taking first, second, and third place. Add a comment


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Haley Nelson and Jessica Harris rehearseLast week for her week-long theater camp, Jessica Harris had 24 children aged 5 to 12.  This week it is the older kids’ turn, featuring seven kids aged 12 to 14.

“We had a fabulous week at Carysbrook Performing Arts Center. Of the students who participated in last week’s camp, most had never set foot on stage before,” said Harris. “Students learned basic theater knowledge such as stage directions and projection, and also learned character development techniques and 11 songs to boot.”

Partnering with Harris is Haley Nelson, who is studying drama at George Mason University. Together, these two young women are an impressive pair when it comes to teaching kids about drama and the basics of theater. Harris, who started the Empowered Players as a teenager, shows an infinite passion and dedication to her craft and understands learning the basics early for success later on the stage.

It is amazing to watch this young woman, barely out of her teens, conduct a session with her students in an efficient, organized, direct and creative way, encouraging imagination through writing and improvisation while learning about stage presence, expression, body movement and projection. Add a comment


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altLake Monticello is so excited about the Fourth of July, it can’t wait. This year, the community is holding its annual celebration on Saturday (July 1) in the hopes that the maximum number of Lake residents are able to join in the fun.

As has become the tradition, events kick off the night before (June 30), with a parade from Ashlawn Clubhouse to the Marina at 6:30 p.m.

On July 1 events run literally from dawn to dusk and include a little something for everyone.

Want to compete in the sand sculpture competition at the Main Beach? You can start building your masterpiece at sun-up. The judging, however, doesn’t take place until noon.

Want to run? The 16th Annual 5K Spirit Run takes off from Bunker Park at 7 a.m. Sign up starts at 6:15 a.m.

Prefer to swim? Take the plunge for the always-popular Swim Across the Lake starting at 3 p.m. from Beach 3.

Other highlights include the horseshoe tournament at Ashlawn Courts (9 a.m.), the boat parade from the Marina to the Main Beach (4 p.m.), and a performance by the Patriotic Skiers starting from the Marina (2:45 p.m.). Add a comment