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As Virginia Moore eloquently stated in her book, Scottsville on the James, "Any town's present is a constant adjustment between past and future."  Through the 1850's, Scottsville served as an important transshipping point for the Valley of Virginia and local businesses thrived.  Great numbers of large Valley wagons unloaded freight there for shipment via boat to Richmond, and then they loaded up in Scottsville with groceries, gypsum, coarse cotton, and woolen cloth.  In 1835, Scottsville had nine general stores, five grocery stores, one apothecary shop, a boatyard, several warehouses and livery stables, taverns and hotels.  By 1841, the town's streets bustled with out-of-town trade and a local citizenry totaling 1000 people.

General Philip Henry Sheridan, ca. 1865
In the 1850's, the Virginia Central Railroad line was built through Charlottesville and drew business away from Scottsville and the canal.  But the worst had not come for town's economy.  In March 1865, General Philip Sheridan's Union troops destroyed the canal and local provisions that might support the Confederacy.  By the time Sheridan left town, Scottsville's hotel, flour mill, candle factory, tobacco warehouse, and some stables were burned or destroyed.


J.L. Pitts lumber crews, ca. 1890 Reconstruction took a long time in Scottsville.  With the canal damage and deteriorated roads, very little came to Scottsville markets, and bartering took the place of money when produce did come.  Several Scottsville canal boat owners switched to lumbering and provided crews to lay track.  A telegraph line was constructed along the entire length of the railroad, connecting Scottsville with the outside world by modern means of transportation and communication.  Yet Scottsville remained a small market town and in 1890 was described as a town of population 362 with good schools, six churches, grain and grist mills, a bank, and "all the facilities of a country town."

Soda Fountain in Bruce's Drug, 1910Scottsville businesses received a boost in 1907 when the Scottsville bridge over the James River was constructed. Two major highways intersected in town, and the modern era of automobile transportation arrived.  Livery stables on Scottsville streets were replaced by three garages.  By 1920, Scottsville's population numbered about 1500, including the immediate surrounding area just outside the town limits.  The town had twenty stores, two large flour mills, an ice plant, a theater, three garages, a braid factory, two large oil companies, two restaurants, one boarding house, two drugstores, three doctors, one dentist, two schools, two dairies, one shoe shop, and and two blacksmith shops.

To learn more about early Scottsville businesses, please click on each image below for a larger view and more information.

Business Ledgers of Scottsville Area, 1817 - 1926

Business Ledger

Date:  1817 - 1926

Image Number:  Turner1822_DSC1122

Comments:   Shown at left is the Fleming Turner Daybook, dated 1822-1827, that details the products and daily costs of Mr. Turner's farm in New Canton, Buckingham Co., VA. This ledger is one of approximately 45 historic ledgers of local farms and businesses for the time period 1817-1926, which are preserved in Scottsville Museum's collections.  Recently, these ledgers have been photographed and collection finding aids for 20 of these ledgers have been developed.  The aids include an inventory of ledger contents, a detailed name index of business and patron names, and our research results on the farm and/or business owner.  To learn more about these ledgers and the historical information they contain, please click on the ledger photo above.

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum



Valley Street in Scottsville, 1898

Scottsville's Valley Street, 1898

Date:  ca. 1898

Image Number:  RollOneNeg14A

Comments:   Willie Burgess took this photo with his camera pointing north up Valley Street and the James River at his back.   See the larger image for a guide to the businesses housed along Valley Street in this time period.

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum



Valley Street in Scottsville, 1898

Scottsville's Valley Street, 1898

Date:  ca. 1898

Image Number:  RollTwoNeg22A

Comments:   Burgess captured the west side of Valley Street in this photograph, using his panoramic camera with a fisheye lens.  Again, see the larger image for more details on these buildings.

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Scottsville Town Council, 1909

Scottsville Town Council Date:  ca. 1900

Image Number:  RollOneNeg2A

Comments:  This Town Council, like others before and since, was made up of prominent businessmen.  At the time this photo was made, the man in the center of the first row, Peter Foland, was mayor.  See the larger image for identities and business roles of each council member.


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum



Coleman Ball's Blacksmith Shop

Coleman Ball's Blacksmith Shop

Date:  ca 1900-1905

Image Number:  B64cdB16

Comments:   This Burgess stereograph card shows Coleman Ball's Blacksmith Shop at the corner of Ferry and Main Street in Scottsville.

 
 

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Butler's Harness, Coffin, and Casket Store

Butler's Harness, Coffin, and Casket Store, ca. 1903

Date:  ca 1903

Image Number:  BB01cdbb01

Comments:   This photograph shows Butler's Harness, Coffin, and Casket Store at 440 Valley Street in Scottsville.  The building was also known as Butler's Funeral Home because of its coffin/casket services.  John Wesley Butler hand-made the store's coffins and caskets and also drove a horse-drawn hearse for funerals.

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Bruce's Drug Store

Bruce's Drug Store, originally known as Scottsville Drug Company

Date:  ca 1908

Image Number:  SD18cdSD1

Comments:   Thomas Ellison Bruce began his Scottsville drug store business in 1908 under the name of Scottsville Drug Company.  See larger image for more details on the history of Bruce's Drug Store from 1908 to present.

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Times Dispatch Touts Scottsville for New Industry, 1909

Times Dispatch Touts Scottsville for New Industry Date:  April 11, 1909

Image Number:  not applicable

Comments:  The industrial section of the Richmond Times Dispatch on 11 April 1909 touted Scottsville as a great place for new business to locate. It claimed that Scottsville was seeking new industries and was one of the best locations for them. The article stated that road material was in great abundance and that local capital was ready to take pot luck with outside cash.  Scottsville was noted for being an old-time canal town that had taken on new life by 1909.  For the complete article, view the larger image.


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum



Philip Palm, Scottsville Carriage and Repair Works

Philip Palm, Scottsville Carriage and Repair Works

Date:  ca. 1910

Image Number:  B256cdB25

Comments:  Philip Palm, an immigrant from Sweden, ran this Scottsville business the early 1900's.  In addition to carriage repair, Palm upholstered furniture, repaired shoes, made coffins, and served as the town's undertaker.  Palm's shop was located on Main Street, between today's Methodist Church and the Scottsville Museum.


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Miss Hannah Moore's Boarding House

Hannah Moore's Boarding House Date:  ca. 1911

Image Number:  RollOneNeg17A

Comments:  Built in 1910 on the east side of Valley Street, Miss Hannah opened this two-storey brick house as a Scottsville boarding house in 1911.

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Dr. J. P. Blair's Dental Office on Main Street

Dr. Blair's Dental Office

Date:  ca. 1912

Image Number:  RollOneNeg9A

Comments:   Dr. Joseph P. Blair operated his dental office on the second floor of this white building, located beside Mink Creek which ran under this bridge on Scottsville's Main Street.  In this photo, Dr. Blair stands to the left of the doorway. In 1912, a little grocery operated on this building's first floor.
 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum



Scottsville's Valley Street, 1912

Valley Street Date:  August 5, 1912

Image Number:  B406cdB27

Comments:  Burgess took this photo facing northwest up Valley Street from the corner of Main and Valley Street.  See larger image for identities of buildings in this photo.



Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Main Street Businesses Flooded, 1913

Main Street Businesses Flooded, 1913

Date:  March 1913

Image Number:  RollTwoNeg13A

Comments:   A rider on horseback wades through the high flood waters on Main Street.  This 1913 flood ranked as the 8th highest recorded flood in Scottsville's history; its flood waters measured at 25.16 feet over flood level.  See the larger image for identities of these water-logged Main Street buildings.


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


The Corner of Valley and Main Streets

The Corner of Valley and Main Streets

Date:  ca. 1913-1915

Image Number:  B72cdB17

Comments:  Shown here are Scottsville's tranquil Valley and Main Streets in the early 1900's before automobiles changed the landscape and traffic patterns.  On the corner stands S. Phillips Livery and just to its right on north Main Street, the Traveler's Rest Hotel.  See the larger image for identities of other town buildings.


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Laying the Masonic Lodge Cornerstone, 1914

Laying the Masonic Lodge Cornerstone, 1914

Date:  1914

Image Number:  B421cdB28

Comments:  On June 17, 1914, the cornerstone was laid for the Scottsville Masonic Lodge #45 at 137 Main Street.  It was a stirring day in Scottsville with the local band marching down Valley Street, leading Lodge members from their meeting area at Beal's Hall to the new Lodge site. The first Lodge meeting was not held in its upstairs meeting area until the buiding was completed in 1915.  The Scottsville Post Office operated on the building's first floor from 1915-1964 when it moved to a new location on West Main Street.  In 2010, Coleman's Outdoors store occupies the old Post Office's first floor.


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Scottsville's Post Office, 1915

Scottsville's Post Office, 1915 Date:  ca 1915

Image Number:  B01CDB12

Comments:  (L to R) U.S. Postmaster Samuel R. Gault and his assistant, Ashby Mayo, stand in front of the Scottsville Post Office located in the Masonic Building on Main Street.   The Masonic Building was built in 1914 and hosted the town's post office on the bottom floor until 1964 when the post office moved to its next location on West Main Street.  Sam Gault served as Scottsville's postmaster from 1893 to 1939; he was succeeded by Ashby Mayo, who retired as postmaster in 1958.

 


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum



Tending the Bank Books

Tending the Bank Books, 1915

Date:  ca. 1915

Image Number:  B05cdB12

Comments:  Susie (Powers) Blair and her sister, Lucy Powers, tend the books in the bank vault at Scottsville's Fidelity Bank on Valley Street. 

 

 


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Dr. Percy Harris, Sr.

Dr. Percy Harris, Sr., 1915

Date:  1915

Image Number:  RM11ccdRM02

Comments:  Dr. Percy Harris, Sr., served nearly fifty years as a general practitioner in Scottsville and a doctor for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.  Shown in this 1915 photo, Dr. Harris stands beside his Maxwell car on West Main Street with Valley Street behind him.  He used this car to make house calls early in his Scottsville medical career.  Dr. Harris made house calls until 1950 and continued with his office practice until the day he died on February 4, 1955.

 


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Edith Taggart, Scottsville Central

Edith Taggart, ca. 1915 Date:  ca. 1915

Image Number:  B264cdB25

Comments:  Edith Taggart served as Scottsville's telephone operator for thirty-nine years until her retirement in 1950.  She was born in 1898 and crippled by polio when she was only eight years old.  Homebound with an active mind, Edith watched her mother, Nella, operate the Scottsville switchboard and soon became a proficient switchboard operator herself.  From age 13 years, Edith worked the town switchboard as our central telephone operator.  She was our 'Central' and fondly referred to as the 'Voice of Scottsville' because she knew more about the town than most. 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Jacinto V. Pereira, Bank President

Jacinto V. Pereira, Bank President

Date:  ca. 1920

Image Number:  Roll13Neg12A

Comments:  Jacinto V. Pereira operated the Fidelity Bank on the east side of Valley Street near the corner of Main Street.  Shown here in his bank office, Mr. Pereira served on the Scottsville Town Council and built the Travelers' Rest Hotel on Main Street, where he resided until his death in January 1925.



Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


William Edward Burgess, Scottsville's Photographer

William Edward Burgess, Scottsville's Photographer

Date:  ca. 1920

Image Number:  B419cdB28

Comments:  William Edward Burgess (1871-1935) was a photographer and historian, who lived his adult years in Scottsville, Virginia.  He was known to all as 'Willie' and worked out of Idylwood, his combination home and photo studio in the eastern part of Scottsville that lies in Fluvanna County.  An avid photographer since his teenaged years, Burgess carried his large box camera and tripod everywhere.  He seemed determined to photograph everything he encountered, often appearing as if from thin air to take a family portrait or record a town event.  See larger photo for more details about his work and family.


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


C.B. Harris and Co.

C.B. Harris and Co.

Date:  ca. 1920

Image Number:  B11cdB12

Comments:  The C.B. Harris Co. was a men's clothing store in Scottsville, located in the old Harris Merchandise building on Main Street.  Charles Bascom Harris, Jr. operated this store, which had been under Harris family ownership since it was purchased in 1860 by his grandfather, Miletus Harris.

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Snowden and the Scottsville Brick Company

A View of Snowden grounds where Scottsville Brick Company located

Date:  ca. 1920

Image Number:  RollTwoNeg3AcdB3

Comments:  The Scottsville Brick Company was once located on Snowden's low grounds, and just across the James River from Scottsville.  Snowden's long frontage along the James River contained rich siliceous sand which produced superior quality bricks.  The initial company, Scottsville Sand and Silica Co., Inc. was formed on February 21, 1920, and, later that year on December 27th, it was reincorporated as Scottsville Brick Co., Inc. 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Piedmont Berry Grower's Association

Piedmont Berry Grower's Association

Date:  ca. 1924

Image Number:  B34cdB14

Comments:  Members of the Piedmont Berry Grower Association pose in front of their headquarters at the northeast corner of Page Street and West Main in Scottsville. This group marketed their dairy produce and fresh berries for about three years, operating out of an old house on Lot 166.  After the Association went out of business, this lot was purchased by Dr. Percy Harris, who tore the old house down.  See the larger image for names of Association members.

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Victory Hall

Victory Hall

Date:  ca. 1925

Image Number:  Roll3Neg20A

Comments:  Victory Hall, later called Victory Theatre, was completed in 1920 to commemorate the Armistice of World I.  It became Scottsville's cultural center for over four decades.


Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Old Canal Warehouse

Old Canal Warehouse

Date:  ca. 1925-1930

Image Number:  B35cdB14

Comments:  Built around 1834-1844, the Canal Warehouse is a large, gambrel-roofed building, located along the former James River-Kanawha canal bank in Scottsville.  While river and canal traffic flourished, the warehouse was full of tobacco, grain, and other produce waiting to be shipped to Richmond markets.   Scottsville used this building on South Street for many different purposes after the canal's demise in 1880.  During the 1940's, the old Canal Warehouse even served as a much-loved social center for Scottsville.

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Traveler's Rest Hotel

Traveler's Rest Hotel, ca. 1930

Date:  ca. 1930

Image Number:  VL03cdVL01

Comments:  This wood-framed hotel was built about 1909 by Jacinto V. Perira on Main Street.  It was the leading hotel in town for 67 years and contained 19 hotel rooms with two bathrooms on each floor.  The hotel's dining room sat approximately 60 people and with its family style service was a favorite with locals and travlers, too.  A disastrous fire in February 1976 burned the Traveler's Rest to the ground.

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Jefferson Mills

Jefferson Mills, ca. 1940

Date:  ca. 1940

Image Number:  RM02cdRM01

Comments:  Jefferson Mills, located on the Hardware River approximately 3 miles northeast of Scottsville, was built about 1800.  It is a brick structure, four stories high, and the mill originally was run by an overshot wheel that was fed from a stone dam twenty feet above the riverbed.  Previously known as Albemarle Mills, it was sold to Peter Fields Jefferson on January 28, 1857.  It was purchased by William Thomas Moulton in May 1919 and was a working mill until 1945 when the last miller, William Williams, retired.

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Laying Cornerstone of Scottsville Plant

Laying Cornerstone of Scottsville Plant, 1944

Date:  May 24, 1944

Image Number:  RT01cdRT02

Comments:  Scottsville Plant was built in 1944 by the Defense Plant Corporation to help the nation's war effort.  It was designed and constructed to provide tire fabric and was operated by the Textile Division of the U.S. Rubber Company.  The cornerstone-laying ceremony for this plant was sponsored by the Scottsville Lions Club and attended by the Governor of Virginia, the U.S. Senator from Virginia, Scottsville's Mayor, a Brigadier-General of the U.S. Army, a U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, Vice-President of the U.S. Rubber Company, and the Chairman of the Central Virginia Planning Committee.

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Thomas Ellison Bruce,Sr. -- Community Leader

Thomas Ellison Bruce, Sr., ca. 1945

Date:  ca. 1945

Image Number:  SD341cdSD18

Comments:  Thomas Ellison Bruce, Sr., was a popular and successful community leader, serving four terms as Mayor of Scottsville (1935-1943).  During WWII, he played an important role in attracting such new business as the U.S. Rubber Company to Scottsville, which invigorated the local economy and doubled an otherwise declining population over the next eight years.

 
 
 
 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


J.B. Tindall's Groceries

J. B. Tindall's Groceries, ca. 1950

Date:  ca. 1950

Image Number:  JT04cdJT01

Comments:  J.B. Tindall's Groceries was a small general merchandise store, located at Hatton and a little over three miles southwest of Scottsville.  James Benson Tindall, Sr., operated the store from 1906 until his death in 1945; his son, Jim, Jr., took over store management duties until his retirement in 1973.

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Snowden Dairy

Snowden Dairy

Date:  ca. 1951 - 1965

Image Number:  SDI01cdSDI01

Comments:  Snowden Dairy was located on Snowden Farm, just across the James River from Scottsville.  In the 1950-1965 timeframe, the dairy operated with 100-225 Guernsey and Holstein milk cows on 600 acres of historic Snowden Farm.  The cows were milked using electrically-powered milkers, and most of the cattle feed was produced on the farm. 

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


The Tavern

The Tavern, ca. 1969

Date:  ca. 1969

Image Number:  B250cdB25

Comments:  The Old Tavern is located on the north side of Scottsville's Main Street and across from the Herndon House and Colonial Cottage.  This two-story brick building shows the pioneer split-level composition of a single and double gallery, connected by a covered outside stair.  Although the exact date of its construction is unknown, the Old Tavern probably was built in the late 1700's to early 1800's.

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Scottsville Flour Mill

Scottsville Flour Mills, ca. 1974

Date:  ca. 1974

Image Number:  GD01cdGD01

Comments:  The Scottsville Flour Mills was a five-story building, located at Main and Ferry Streets in Scottsville.  It was a state-of-the-art mill that was built about 1910 and ran with steam.  Arthur Thacker managed the mill for Captain John Pitts, its owner, from 1911-1917, until his health worsened due to breathing flour dust in the mill.  Later a farm supply business was added to the mill, and two other Scottsville men, Cecil Harman and T. Tyler Robertson, worked for 40 years at the mill.

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Hatton Post Office

Hatton Post Office, 2003

Date:  2004

Image Number:  CG25cdCG02

Comments:  In late 1883, Hatton Post Office began operation at Brown's Landing, a site located three and one-fourth miles southwest of Scottsville.  Shown here are the original Hatton postal mail boxes that were in use from 1883 to 1975.  Two of the longest serving postmasters of Hatton were James Benson Tindall, Sr. (1909-1945), and his son, James, Jr.(1945-1975).

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Tobacco Factory

Tobacco Factory 2010

Date:  2010

Image Number:  CG84cdCG08

Comments:  Built around 1840, this large, three-story brick building at 571 Valley Street was a tobacco factory as late as 1880.  The tobacco brands produced there included 'Tuberose' and 'Mason's Select.'  Former Mayor Raymon Thacker remembers playing in the upper story of this building around 1915 and noted there were still several tobacco bales onsite. 

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Old Post Office and Griffin Building

Old Post Office and Griffin Building

Date:  2010

Image Number:  CG85cdCG08

Comments:  This building is a two-story, seven bay wide structure build in about 1840 and may have served as an inn during canal days.  The left side of the building served as Scottsville's Post Office from 1884 to 1914.  The right side of the building was used predominately as a restaurant in the twentieth century.  

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


The Beal Building

Beal Building

Date:  2010

Image Number:  CG87cdCG08

Comments:  The Beal Building, located at 380-398 Valley Street, was built circa 1841-1850 on Lot 148.  In 1850, Joseph Beal purchased the east half of the lot 148 on which this large brick building with a slate roof stands.  Mr. Beal began his mercantile business in this building, and many Beal businesses were housed here over the following century.   

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


The Harris Building

The Harris Building

Date:  2010

Image Number:  CG88cdCG08

Comments:  The Harris Building, located at 474-476 Valley Street, was built circa 1840 as a commercial building with living quarters on the second floor.  When her husband died in 1856, Martha J. (Minor) Harris began a millinery and dry goods store here to support herself and her three daughters, Florence, Nannie, and Etta.  The Harris women lived above the store.  From 1903-1928, Miss Etta Harris operated a millinery store by herself and was renowned for her fancy hats and numerous pet poodles.  

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


The Dorrier Building

The Dorrier Building

Date:  2010

Image Number:  CG92cdCG08

Comments:  The Dorrier Building, located at 280 Valley Street, was built in 1912 by William Dorrier as a general merchandise and feed-grain store.  William's son, Charles Richard Dorrier (1885-1966), operated this store for fifty years under the name, C.R. Dorrier and Company.  In 2010, the Dorrier building hosts Country Blessings, a grocery and delicatessen.  

 

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum


Old Apothecary Shop

Old Apothecary Shop

Date:  2010

Image Number:  CG93cdCG08

Comments:  The Old Apothecary Shop, located at 510 Valley Street, was built ca. 1832.  This two-story brick building served as an apothecary where town doctors prepared drugs and medicinal compounds for their patients from 1876 - 1908.  When public demand required the doctors to keep their shop open long hours, they hired a full-time pharmacist named Thomas Ellison Bruce in 1908.  The Scottsville Drug Company (later Bruce's Drugstore) was born and operated in this building until 1911.  

 

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Scottsville Volunteer Fire Department 75th Anniversary

Scottsville Fire Hose Reel Cart Date:  2011

Image Number:  CG130cdCG09

Comments:   On 1 October 2011, Scottsville celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Scottsville Volunteer Fire Department which officially formed in 1936.  The town made a concerted effort to keep the town safe from fires beginning with a bucket brigade formed in 1905, and fire hydrants were installed in 1916.  That same year the volunteer fire fighters raised enough money to buy two hose reel carts, which were pulled by fire fighters to town fires until the first equipped fire truck was created in 1942.

Copyright 2001 by Scottsville Museum




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