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Roberta Underwood: A Gift for Storytelling
(from February 2012)

Born in 1925, raised in Airmont, schooled in Bluemont, and now a resident of Berryville-- Roberta Underwood has a gift for storytelling. In her December 1, 2011 interview, she talked about her early life on her parent's farm, artistic and literary neighbors, a life as a teenager in the war years, and the independent-minded community which started the Bluemont Fair.

"Part I: Beginnings," covers a childhood in the tiny village of Airmont and school days at the Bluemont School. ....more...
"Part II: The War Years," covers how World War II affected the lives of people in Western Loudoun and tells how the annual Bluemont Fair began. .... more...

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"Chinker in a Bag" -- Unusual Gift Teaches Local History to Kids at the Bluemont Fair

Chinker in a Bag GiftA log cabin gets its strength--not only from the heavy tree trunks of the walls--but also from the daub between them, reinforced with stones called "chinkers."

During the 2014 Bluemont Fair, this lesson was brought home to children who visited Bluemont's first school and church.

Usable chinking stones are about the size and shape of your hand with fingers held straight out and touching together. Apparently the stones got their name from the "chink" sound they make when they bump together ...more...

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Kids from My First Camp at Bluemont Visit Snickersville Academy
August 15, 2014
By Susan Freis Falknor

Children & JustinOn Friday, August 15, fourteen children ages five to eight walked from the Bluemont Community Center to the Snickersville Academy, accompanied by teacher Lynn Harris, parent Christiana Boucher, and Friends of Bluemont President Susan Freis Falknor.

They met log craftsmen Justin LaMountain and Eric Westergard. They listened carefully as Justin explained the pioneer technique of chink and daub at Bluemont's first school and church, now being restored by Friends of Bluemont.

...more...

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Chink & Daub at Snickersville Academy--Racing Towards Bluemont Fair
August 11, 2014
By Susan Freis Falknor

The chink and daub wJustin Sprays Water Closeork to seal the log walls of the Snickersville Academy--heading for completion this summer--gives, as Justin LaMountain remarks--"a new meaning to the words, 'restoration using local materials.'"

Not only are the daub and chinking stones and logs of local origin, the very water he is using to prevent and seal up cracks comes right from the creek that runs by the Academy, explains Justin.

By the time of the Bluemont Fair (September 20-21 this year) all the log and stonework should be complete....

...more...

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Lucy Ann Bradfield Sampler1826 Sampler Commemorates Bluemont's Snickersville Academy
June 16, 2014

A historic sampler has come to light from the earliest days of Snickersville, now called Bluemont.

The elaborately embroidered sampler is decorated with the alphabet in print and script as well as the numerals, festooned with grapes, pineapples, rosebuds, ivy vines, and a weeping willow tree.

It bears the inscription: “Lucy Ann Bradfield, Snickersville Academy, 1826." ...more...

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It's Official, Bluemont.... We're Historic!
February 4, 2014

New Bluemont Historical MarkerThree new landmark signs, plus one installed near Aldie in 2012, reflect many years of behind-the-scenes work by community leaders. The large, die-cast metal signs, readable from a car or on foot --perform well in transmitting a lot of history quickly.

The new signs are part of a restoration trend that is beginning to re-define Bluemont and shape it again into a Western Loudoun visitors’ destination. The establishment of the Bluemont Mill and Train Station on Railroad Street a few years ago, plus the ongoing projects to restore the E.E. Lake Store and the Snickersville Academy for public use embody this trend. ...read more...

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"Snickersville Academy Restoration Advances"
By Margaret Morton
LEESBURG TODAY, August 8, 2013

Snickersville Academy restoration and family of long-time resident, Susie Neal, were featured recently in one of Loudoun County's leading newspapers, Leesburg Today. Click HERE to read story online. When in the Leesburg Today story, be sure to click on both "thumbnails" to enjoy both photos.)

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Susie Neal's great-great grandchild in antique rockerCorley Gift Brings Snickersville
Academy Rocking Chair Back Home

This picture shows a little great-great-granddaughter of Susie Neal, the beloved Black housekeeper and cook who lived in the Snickersville Academy building from the 1940s through the 1970s.

On a recent visit to Bluemont, the little girl tried out this antique rocking chair. According to Ronn Spinner, Susie Neal's grandson, this was his grandmother's favorite chair.

Several of the grandchildren of Susie Neal, now themselves grandparents, plan to come to the Snickersville Academy during the Bluemont Fair (September21-22, 2013) to tell stories of visiting their grandmother in Bluemont as children.

The hand crafted rocker was donated to Friends of Bluemont by Don and Linda Corley, who lived in Bluemont for many years.

See story by Margaret Morton in Leesburg Today.

...more...

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MARTIN MITCHELL: Eight Decades of Bluemont Lore

Martin & homesteadBorn in 1930, Martin Mitchell is one of the village's longest-term residents.

He is reputed to know more about what happened in Bluemont over the past eight decades than perhaps anyone else.

In a January 2013 interview, he talked about a childhood in the Great Depression; his joyous marriage to "the girl next door," Betty Allder; how he obtained his homestead in Bluemont; and his family life with daughter Sandy Mitchell Cochran, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Later stories will cover his long-time service to and friendship with Bluemont luminary Jerome Fanciulli, publicist of early flight and a Ford Dealer in Virginia and Maryland, and his service at the "Big Dig" at Mount Weather on the Blue Ridge.

...more...

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Two Newly Received Antique Documents from Bluemont
 

Otto Kelley "Pin Up"

Here are two contributions to our ongoing project of visualizing life and commerce in old Bluemont:

1) Invoice from the Silicott Store in Snickersville, 1877

2 Promotional "pin-up" from Otto Kelley, Builder and Contractor.

...more...

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Munich-barmaid2501936 Postcard from Munich
to Selsenhorst on the Blue Ridge

By Les Querry

Good friendships have marked the Blue Ridge Mountain community of unique historic homes since before the turn of the last century. Sometimes these relationships leave traces.

On the right is a picture post card sent to Bluemont from Munich, Germany in 1936 from the Huntington's of "Journeys End" to the Droops of "Selsenhorst."


Droop.Card.Bk-100...more...

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Roberta Underwood TodayRoberta Underwood: A Gift for Storytelling

Born in 1925, raised in Airmont, schooled in Bluemont, and now a resident of Berryville-- Roberta Underwood has a gift for storytelling. In her December 1, 2011 interview, she talked about her early life on her parent's farm, artistic and literary neighbors, a life as a teenager in the war years, and the independent-minded community which started the Bluemont Fair.

"Part I: Beginnings," covers an childhood in the tiny village of Airmont and school days at the Bluemont School. ....more...
"Part II: The War Years," covers how World War II affected the lives of people in Western Loudoun and tells how the annual Bluemont Fair began. .... more...

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"Precious, Precious Memories": Marie Scott Recalls Her Life and Times

Marie Scott with Sister Mary and neighborhood childrenBorn in 1938, Marie Scott comes out of the old Black community of Bluemont. In this interview Marie recalls her family, her childhood, and her working life, during which, for 33 years, she was a well-known presence in the Leesburg office of beloved veterinarian Dr. Kent C. Roberts, and after him, Dr. Chamberlin and Dr. Washington. ...more...

Left: Mary Scott and neighnborhood children play at the Scott's Clayton Hall Road childhood home.

See letter on Marie Scott in Feb 4, 2012 Blue Ridge Leader.

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Find additional articles.... 2012...2011... 2010 ... 2009 ...2008

Sad news. Roberta Underwood passed away...

Roberta McCarty Underwood, 89, of Berryville, Virginia, died Thursday, November 20, 2014.

With her gift for story telling, Roberta gave BluemontVA.org a wonderful interview telling the story of her life, December 2011. (see story, on the right).

Memorial services: 11:00 A. M. Monday, November 24, 2014 at Bluemont United Methodist Church. Burial: Loudoun Ebenezer Cemetery, Round Hill.

Born August 20, 1925 in Airmont, she was the daughter of William McCarty and Lula Martz McCarty. She was a cook at Pine Grove Restaurant, and an organizer of the Bluemont Citizens Association and the Bluemont Fair. She was a member of Bluemont United Methodist Church.

Surviving her are two daughters, Beverly Campbell of Winchester, VA and Rhonda Marcus of Philadelphia, PA; two grandchildren, Rusty Powell of Bluemont, VA and Jamie Marcus of Philadelphia, PA; and three great-grandchildren: Hayes Powell, Wesley Powell and Brian Marcus. Her daughter, Karen Underwood, preceded her in death.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Bluemont United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 255, Bluemont, VA 20135.

Rejoin Friends of Bluemont for 2014 and help us save our Bluemont heritage.
Membership Is Due NOW!

TWO WAYS to pay your dues --

Use PayPal to join, contribute, or visit our gift store online.

~Email us at friendsofbluemont@gmail.com

Sad news...the passing of
Rocky G. Spinner, one of
Susie Neal's grandchildren.

Mr. Spinner--who with about a dozen family members visited the Snickersville Academy on September 21, the Sunday of the recent Bluemont Fair--died October 1. He spent time as a child at the old schoolhouse. The historic log cabin, Bluemont's first school and church (1825),was home to grandmother Susie Neal from the mid-1940s to the 1970s. He was a staunch supporter of Friends of Bluemont's restoration efforts and an advocate for the family's heritage. We will miss him. --Susan Freis Falknor

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Download THE LOG BOOK,our newsletter on Snickersville Academy restoration and other news about Bluemont. (Fall 2014 issue.)
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Read about the HISTORY of Bluemont!
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Read all our stories on restoring Bluemont's 1825 SNICKERSVILLE ACADEMY...
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BluemontVA.org
Is published by
Friends of Bluemont

Join, contribute, or shop online using PayPal!

Join or contribute using U.S. postal mail.

Email us at friendsofbluemont@gmail.com

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Best Book about Bluemont

From Snickersville to Bluemont: The Biography and History of a Village by Jean Herron Smith, Evelyn Porterfield Johnson, and Robert Hoffman.

Snickersville to Bluemont
More...

For ordering information, email friendsofbluemont@gmail.org

Bluemont Note Cards

Featuring 3 scenes of Bears Den based on antique postcards.

Bears Den Cards

For details & to purchase...

If YOUR House Could Talk

Does your house have a story to tell?

In 2009, Friends of Bluemont launched a new project—“If This House Could Talk” —to spotlight homes or other buildings of the Bluemont area – houses up on the mountain, down in the village, and nearby. We will be taking photos, collecting stories, and scanning historic photographs and documents.

Most of Bluemont is outside of the village itself.  We'd love to hear from anyone in the 20135 zip code, or just beyond the official boundary, with something interesting to tell.