From the Introduction to the Book “Lovettsville, The German Settlement,”
edited by Yetive Weatherly
Like other communities all over the United States, our community in Lovettsville is presenting the public with a series of local events commemorative of the year 1776. Like other communities all over the United States, our community did not wait until 1976 to begin its Bicentennial Program. We began last year and are continuing this year with seasonal activities planned for their Germanic favor and nostalgic effect.
For example, we now have a collection of Lovettsvilliana displayed in our Old Butcher Shop Museum. The restoration of the shop was also a Bicentennial project. The building, a landmark long in need of repair, was already standing on a site purchased by the Town of Lovettsville for municipal quarters. The Old Butcher Shop Museum is now flanked by a new, modern, brick Town Hall building.
To honor the Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, most communities all over the United States have published or a least updated histories of their jurisdictions. Some are brief, some are detailed, but all seem to have been written with the same thought. There is something compelling about the past. People want to know about their personal backgrounds and the backgrounds of the places were they make their homes. When our Lovettsville Bicentennial Committee met for the first time in the fall of 1974, its members voted unanimously to “publish a book on the history of Lovettsville.” Their expressed objective was “to make local residents more aware of their heritage.”
Significantly, they used the word “aware,” not “proud.” Neither the Lovettsville community, nor any other community, nor the nation can be proud of every historical fact of the past two hundred years. On the other hand, we can and must keep aware of these facts. What our Committee members also seemed to be saying was that they hoped their projected history of Lovettsville would, perhaps in some future Centennial year, provide a future generation of local Americans with the story of when and why their ancestors came to Lovettsville, what they did or did not accomplish over the years, how they lived, and how their community arrived at its present state.
To publish a book on the history of Lovettsville, then was what the Lovettsville Bicentennial Committee wanted. Accordingly, a book committee consisting of Yetive Weatherly, Jean Mohler, Dolores Phillips, Eliza Myers, and Paul Dunbar did evolve and a assume the many tasks necessary in the writing and publishing of a book.
To collect information was time consuming but not especially difficult. To obtain items already written and ready for printing was somewhat more difficult. However, a number of people in the community have submitted such material. It appears in Lovettsville, The German Settlement under their names.
It was a “book” the members of the overall Committee wanted — not a sketch, leaflet, or booklet. As they foresaw it, the work would present an accurate, chronological, not too formal picture of Lovettsville during the various periods of our national history. They wanted it to tell how people lived at those times. They thought it should give at least minimum consideration to outstanding individuals and families. They took its for granted that it would contain a section on buildings and landmarks. They grew excited about what might still be learned from old diaries and papers moldering in peoples’ attics. They regretted lack of space to recount all of our neighborhood’s wealth of legendary stories. Finally, the Committee wanted the story of Lovettsville today.
Although at meetings, members of the Bicentennial group submitted numbers ideas which they freely discussed, their true intention was not to dictate the content of “The German Settlement.”
Hopefully, this volume fulfills the expectations of the Committee. At least no category mentioned in the preceding paragraphs has been left entirely untouched in the pages of Lovettsville, The German Settlement.
Lovettsville, The German Settlement is a community project. It is the work of many people without whose assistance it could not have been written.
Although the names of my fellow members on the Book Committee appear among those listed below, I want to thank them individually for their cooperation, help and encouragement.
Jean Mohler, who is overall chairman of the Bicentennial Committee, has served also as the able chairman of the Book Committee, coordinating our efforts, gathering information, doing endless follow-up, and writing articles.
Eliza Myers, a life-long resident of Lovettsville, contributed a wealth of historical and genealogical information in addition to many photographs and an article on education in this area. No one is better qualified to write on this subject. Eliza has spent more than forty years as a teacher and principal in Loudoun County, including long service at the high and elementary school in Lovettsville.
As our book editor, Dolores Phillips was responsible for preparing our manuscript for the printer. This included proofreading and making suggestions for text improvement. Dolores is well qualified for this work and has pursued it conscientiously with no thought of time spent.
Paul Dunbar, a partner in Design Associates, Inc., a graphic design firm in Washington, D.C., was our designer and production supervisor. He is a newcomer to our area but has been very enthusiastic about our bicentennial effort.
The Bicentennial Committee, the Book Committee, and I personally are also grateful to the Lovettsville Town Council for arranging financial ways and means by which to publish Lovettsville, The German Settlement. Without this backing, we could not have considered the project.
While numbers of people in the neighborhood have lent or given pictures, I should like to mention Peter Maynard in particular. This Maryland editor contributed hours of his time taking and developing pictures we wanted simply because he was interested in what we were doing and wanted to help.
In addition to the persons named above, I should also like to acknowledge the others to whom we are indebted for writing articles, furnishing printed matter and pictures, or just telling what they remembered. Every individual whose name appears in the following list has had some share in bringing to fruition the objectives and hopes of the Bicentennial Committee for making Lovettsville, The German Settlement a reality.
Rev. Roland England, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Josep Frank
Mr. & Mrs. Harry George, Jr.
Rev. Stephen Hassmer
Capt. Arthur F. Jhnson
Rev. Michael Kretsinger
Robert & Peggy Riddlemoser
Reginald Sanbower, Jr.
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* The Lovettsville Historical Society, Inc. is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions and membership dues are tax deductible under Internal Revenue Code Section 170.