“A people without history is like the wind on the buffalo grass” – Sioux saying

Jean Cooper came to the Friends of the Library to discuss her new book A Guide to Historical Charlottesville and Albemarle County on Sept. 7.

She was inspired to write it when her mother came to visit and she realized that there was little available in the form of guides to the area.

Jean is a long time employee of the Alderman library and thus has access to many of the historical documents concerning the area. In her book she tries to delve into the details of its history. For example she discerns between the legend and the history of Jack Jouett’s ride. She traces the route he took to warn Jefferson as well as the route taken by the British colonel Tarleton who was intent on capturing him.

She also delves into the Indians that made Central Virginia their home before the Europeans drove them farther West. She noted that Jefferson had once found and studied an Indian burial mound. She discusses the history of Three Notch Road and how it began as an Indian trail. For the Civil War period she takes us to Gordonsville and the receiving hospital. The revolutionary war is represented by the origins of Barracks Road where German mercenaries were imprisoned. Also in her book she deals with the historical diversity of the area which includes Native Americans as well as African-Americans. She had attempted to make this book a story that was interesting and historically accurate as well as truthful and leaving the reader “feeling good”.

We are grateful to Jean for coming to tell us about her book. If you are interested in buying it you can find it at the Palmyra Country Store. You can enjoy an ice cream while learning about our history.

In other business it was announced that the Friends now have 297 members. Also we are going on a field trip to Fredericksburg on Oct. 26 and we are looking for members to sign up. Fredericksburg is rich in history and this should be an interesting event.
It was also announced that 877 people have attended the free movies at the library this past year. The Friends made this amenity possible as they purchased the license that permits the showing of the movies as well as the popcorn machine which makes it even more enjoyable.

On Oct. 8 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. the library will hold a moonlight madness event. People are urged to bring telescopes and binoculars for viewing the moon. There will also be a “Howl at the Moon” contest. Werewolves don’t forget your flea collars.

The next meeting of the Friends will be on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. The speakers will be Lindsay Ideson and Krista Farrell. Lindsay has worked for the Jefferson-Madison library for 30 years. She has a degree in history from Duke and a master’s in library science from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Krista has worked at the Jefferson-Madison library for 16 years and has a degree in library science from the University of Maryland.

They are both life-long avid readers and will discuss great reads for both adults and children. See you at the library.