Albemarle County, Virginia

The Monticola Estate – Where Part Of The Movie “Virginia” Was Filmed In 1940

In 1853, the Monticola estate was designed as a Greek revival style mansion and built in Howardsville, Virginia, within southern Albemarle County’s border with Nelson County. Howardsville is an unincorporated area which was named after James Howard, a man who settled the northern bank of the James River, at the tributary where the Rockfish River begins.

The Exchange Hotel and Ballard House of Richmond, which is where former President of the United States John Tyler died in January 18th, 1862, had their double balcony removed, before the hotel’s demolition in 1900, and relocated to the back side of the Monticola estate.

In 1940, various scenes of the drama movie “Virginia” was filmed at Monticola, before debuting in theaters in 1941.

Author’s Note:

If you would like to book a tour of the Historic Monticola Estate call or text the current property owners Ashley Spence at (540) 280-3385 and Jeremy Vogan at (540) 487-0480.

Albemarle County, Virginia

May 20th, 1777 – The Virginia General Assembly Passed A Bill To Form Fluvanna County From Albemarle County

On May 20th, 1777, a bill for “for dividing the County of Albemarle” was passed after its third reading. After the passage, Speaker of the House George Wytheville ordered then Delegate Thomas Jefferson to carry a bill to the Virginia Senate.

The Midland Virginian reported that:

The new county was cut from the mother county by a line running from the most western point in the line of Louisa County directly to the lower edge of Scott’s Ferry, on the Fluvanna, now the James River …. embracing all of Albemarle Countt lying eastward of that line, including the islands in the river … to the Goochland County line, a few hundred yards beyond the town of Columbia …

Albemarle County, Virginia, David Wiley Anderson

The Miller School – An Institution Designed By Albert Lybrock and David Wiley Anderson On Land Once Owned By Samuel Miller

In the 1874, the Miller School was designed by architects Albert Lybrock and David Wiley Anderson, five years after Samuel Miller’s death. In 1878, there was a grand opening for the school that Samuel Miller ordered to have created in Albemarle County, Virginia in his last will and testament.

Albemarle County, Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

Locust Hill – The Birthplace Of Meriwether Lewis In Albemarle County, Virginia

Locust Hill was the birthplace of explorer Meriwether Lewis, whom lived there until the age of six, at the time his family moved to Georgia. Before joining the United States Army, Meriwether Lewis did manage the Locust Hill estate, and resided on the land for a second time during his adulthood.

In 1925, the Albemarle Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution erected a place dedicated to Locust Hill.

Albemarle County, Virginia, Brown’s Cove, Virginia

The Seven Sons Of Benjamin Brown, Senior Whom Served As Revolutionary War Patriots

Benjamin Brown, Senior and his eldest son patented land before and after the creation of Louisa County Virginia. In 1750, after the creation of Albemarle County, King George II of England granted Benjamin Brown, Senior land east and west of the Doyles River. Benjamin Brown and his wife Sara Brown became the founders of Brown’s Cove, Virginia and an area along the foothills of the Shendoah Mountains.

The Brown’s Cove Patriots Historical Marker is dedicated to the seven sons of Benjamin Brown, Senior, who all served during the course of the American Revolution against Britain. The historical maker is located off of Blackwell Hollows Road in Brown’s Cove, next to the Doyles River, in Albemarle County, Virginia.

Agricultural Society of Albemarle, Albemarle County, Virginia, American Colonization Society, Brigadier General John Hartwell Cocke II, Confederate President Jefferson Finis Davis, Elizabeth Kennon Cocke, Fluvanna, Virginia, Historic Fluvanna Courthouse, John Hartwell Cocke

The Historic Fluvanna Courthouse – Designed And Built By President Thomas Jefferson’s Friend Brigadier General John Hartwell Cocke II

Brigadier General John Hartwell Cocke II led four Virginia Brigades against the British during the War of 1812, a conflict that some call the “Second American Revolution”. After the war, General Cocke joined former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in the founding of the University of Virginia in 1819. The general would serve on the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors until 1856.

Two years after the death of General Cocke’s friend Thomas Jefferson, he embarked on the designing and the construction of the Fluvanna County Courthouse and of a jailhouse, which is presently known as the “Old Stone Jail”. Both structures were built in Palmyra, a town in Fluvanna County named after King Solomon’s former trading post.

Author’s Note:

Brigadier General John Hartwell Cocke II, whom was born in Surry County, Virginia, attended school at William and Mary, where he empathized with abolitionist views from the abolitionist minded faculty on campus. In 1800, General Cocke ran for the Virginia House of Delegates and lost, never to run for that seat again. General Cocke lived in Surry County until he moved to the Bremo estate, in Fluvanna County, in 1809. On May 5th, 1817, General Cocke founded the Agricultural Society of Albemarle and devoted time towards educating the African American slaves that he inherited from his father John Hartwell Cocke and his mother Elizabeth Kennon Cocke. General Cocke became an official of the American Colonization Society, which sought to resettle freed black slaves and manumitted slaves to the African country of Liberia, and he joined the Virginia Society for the Promotion of Temperance. Soon after joining the Virginia Society for the Promotion of Temperance, he became the Vice President in 1826 and the President of that organization in 1830. As a devout Christian, not only did he not consume alcohol, he never sought ownership of any tobacco crops, despite the popularity of tobacco in the Commonwealth. Later in life his abolitionist views, which he acquired at William and Mary, subsided and he turned more into an anti-abolitionist by siding with the Confederacy during the start of the U.S. Civil War.

General Cocke had three sons, one of whom was named Philip Saint George Cocke. Philip Cocke was born in 1809, in Surry County, and attended the University of Virginia from the years of 1825 and 1827 to 1828. On July 1st, 1828, Philip Cocke entered the United States Military. In 1832, after graduating from the United States Military Academy, Philip Cocke served in Charleston, South Carolina as a second lieutenant of artillery, for the U.S. Army, during the South Carolina Nullification Crisis. On April 1st, 1834, Philip Cocke resigned his military commission so that he could marry Sally Elizabeth Courtney Bowdoin. From 1853 to 1856, Philip Cocke served as president of the Agriculture Society to Albemarle, that his father has once served as president for. In 1860, in response to John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry the year prior, Philips Cocke organized a calvary troop and the year after he joined the Confederate army. Upon joining the Virginia volunteers for the Confederate cause, his rank was reduced from Brigadier General to Colonel. During the Battle of First Manassas, which was called the First Battle of Bull Run by the Union Army, Philip Cocke commanded the fifth brigade of Confederate Virginia volunteers, as U.S. Senators, Confederate President Jefferson Finis Davis. and others were looking on as spectators. Months after the battle, Philip Cocke resigned from the Confederate army, due to physical disability and nervous prostration, and committed suicide in December 26th, 1861.

The Albert and Shirley Hall Small Collections Library contains the John Hartwell Cocke Papers, the Cocke Family Papers at the University of Virginia, and other resources for researchers to review.

Albemarle County, Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States Army

The United States Bicentennial Markers At The Piedmont Virginia Community College In Albemarle County

While visiting the Piedmont Virginia Community College, I got to see a “Vanguard of Freedom Historical Marker” that was erected, in honor of the United States Army in 1975, on the campus grounds during the United States Bicentennial. The plaque, near the foothill within the college’s entrance, discusses Revolutionary War Patriots, Thomas Jefferson’s friends Captain Meriwether Lewis, whose relative Phil Anderson still lives in Charlottesville, and Lieutenant William Clark, President Zachary Taylor, Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert Edward Lee, Confederate Colonel John Mosby, the Confederate soldiers, from Albemarle County, who served in Gettysburg during Pickett’s Charge, Charlottesville author Stephen McDowell is related to one of the few Albemarle County Confederates who survived Pickett’s Charge, Union General Winfield Scott, who was a native Virginian, Virginia Spanish American War veterans, Virginian World War I and World War II veterans.

Next to the “Vanguard of Freedom Historical Marker” is a secondary marker, attributed to the United States Bicentennial, which is dedicated to the Irishmen and Irishwomen who settled in Virginia and in other parts of the United States of America.

Albemarle County, Albemarle County, Virginia, Confederate Captain Marcellus Newton Moorman, General George Armstrong Custer, Jefferson Finis Davis, Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid, Stuart Horse Artillery

February 29th, 1864 – General George Armstrong Custer Leads A Calvary Charge At Rio Hill

On February 29th, 1864, General George Armstrong Custer led about 1,500 Union calvary members into Albemarle County, Virginia, for a diversionary raid, at Rio Hill, that was to pull Confederate troops away from the forces defending the outskirts of Richmond. As General Custer’s raid was occurring, Kilpatrick and Dahlgren were conducting a series of raids, outside of Richmond, in an attempt to liberate Union soldiers from the Libby Prison and to attempt to assassinate Confederate President Jefferson Finis Davis.

General Custer’s men destroyed the winter camp of the Stuart Horse Artillery. In response, about 200 Confederates, under the leadership of Captain Marcellus Newton Moorman, rallied for a counter attack against General Custer’s calvary forces. Since the diversion was successful, instead of continuing the engagement, General Custer had his men withdraw from skirmish in Albemarle County.

After the end of General Custer’s raid, what became known as the “Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid” ended up becoming an abject failure, since no one was liberated at Libby Prison and no assassination attempt was made on President Davis.

Albemarle County, Virginia, Charlottesville Dogwood Festival, Charlottesville, Virginia, Dogwood Vietnam Memorial

The Dogwood Vietnam Memorial – The First Vietnam War Memorial Established In The United States

On April 20th, 1966, the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial, a project of the Charlottesville Dogwood Festival, became the first ever memorial dedicated to veterans of the Vietnam War in the United States of America. The idea of the memorial was proposed after the public was notified that the first soldier to die from Vietnam was from the area surrounding Albemarle County. A total of 26 Vietnam Veterans, who were from Albemarle County, are honored at the war memorial established in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Albemarle County, Virginia, Shadwell Plantation

The Shadwell Plantation – The Birthplace Of Thomas Jefferson In Albemarle County, Virginia

On April 13, 1743 the third United States President Thomas Jefferson was born in the Shadwell Plantation; that his father Peter Jefferson built in Albemarle County, Virginia. In 1770, five years before the start of the American Revolution, Jefferson moved into Monticello after the Shadwell Plantation burnt down.

Photograph of the Shadwell Historical Marker taken on April 20th, 2022. (Hamilton Photo)