Monday, October 9, 2017

OCTOBER 24 - Day-Trip to Winchester, Va., Civil War Attractions

Tuesday, Oct. 24th - Join your friends at the Senior Center of Charlottesville for a fabulous Civil War day-trip to Winchester, Virginia. In the morning we'll tour Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters. This beautiful cottage-style home (which the general used during the winter of 1861-'62), features the largest collection of Jackson-related memorabilia. After lunch at Cracker Barrel we'll take in Star Fort--a wonderfully preserved fortification that saw action at Third Winchester--and the fantastic nationally recognized collection of weapons, projectiles, and accoutrements at the Old Courthouse Civil War Museum. Built in 1840 for the citizens of Winchester and Frederick County, the Courthouse served during the war as both a hospital and a prison. Since this last museum is located on Winchester's lovely pedestrian mall, we'll stroll a bit (time permitting).
Sign Up Today! - The Winchester Civil War day-trip costs: for Senior Center members - $94; for guests - $104. (Cost includes lunch at the Cracker Barrel.) Tour departs at 8:00 a.m. and returns between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Come join us!

REGISTER ONLINE, contact the Travel Office:  Monday-Friday 9:30 am–2:30 pm, Phone 434.974.6538

Sunday, October 8, 2017

OCTOBER 9: Feature-Writing Workshop with Rick Britton

FEATURE-WRITING WORKSHOP hosted by the Blue Ridge Writers Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, Oct. 9, 10 a.m. to Noon - Join local author and historian Rick Britton at the historic and beautiful Silver Thatch Inn for a 2-hour workshop on writing feature articles. Basing this class on his own experience, Rick will reveal the styles and writing techniques that have worked for him. Some of the topics covered will include: Powerful Openings (how to hook the reader), The Nut Graf (so misunderstood), Chronological Writing (do you have to?), Strong Finishes (leave 'em wanting more!). Join us for an informative and fun-filled workshop!

Rick Britton - Now an award-winning author, Rick worked for years as a broadcast journalist and travel/feature writer before turning his attention to writing Virginia history. During this time in the journalistic trenches--working under a host of variously talented editors--Rick picked up a number of writing tips that have greatly benefited his history writing.

ADMISSION: FREE for Blue Ridge Writers Chapter Members; Non-Members/Guests $10. Payable at the door.

LOCATION:  Silver Thatch Inn, 3001 Hollymead Drive, Charlottesville, VA

For more information, contact Linda Layne, Blue Ridge Writers. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

NEW CLASS Beginning Sept. 19! Civil War Nuts & Bolts: How the Soldiers Lived, Marched, & Fought

BEGINNING Tuesday, September 19th – 3:00 p.m. - THE SENIOR CENTER of CHARLOTTESVILLE commences a brand new class taught by historian Rick Britton, “Civil War Nuts & Bolts: How the Soldiers Lived, Marched, & Fought,” perfect for both recent transplants and local history buffs who want to delve a bit deeper! To Britton, “Civil War Nuts & Bolts” means the practical details of the average soldier’s day-to-day existence. Plenty has been written about Civil War battles. By comparison, little has been penned regarding the lives of the North and South’s 3 million soldiers. This class seeks to answer questions such as: How did the soldiers camp? What did they eat and who supplied it? Why did they wear wool? How far could they march in a day? How fast could they load and fire? Did they really fight shoulder-to-shoulder?

The Class—At the Senior Center starting Tuesday, Sept. 19, then continuing for 4 more Tuesdays, 3:00-4:30 pm: 

·         Tuesday, Sept. 19th - 3:00 pm – “Infantry, the Queen of the Battlefield”

·         Monday, Sept. 25th - 3:00 pm – “Cavalrymen, the War’s Beaux Sabreurs

·         Tuesday, Oct. 3rd - 3:00 pm – “Artillery, Rifled & Smoothbore”

·         Tuesday, Oct. 10th - 3:00 pm – “The War’s Unsung Heroes: Engineers, Commissaries & More!”

·         Tuesday, Oct. 17th - 3:00 pm –  “Causes of the War & Modern-day Confederate Iconography”

Sign Up Today! Charge: Senior Center members: $70.00—guests: $80.00.
Or, for more information, call the Senior Center Travel Office at (434) 974-6538

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Saturdays in July at Montpelier - Journey from Slavery to Freedom Walking/Driving Tour

Saturdays in July – 2:30 p.m. - James Madison’s MONTPELIER offers its FREE “Journey from Slavery to Freedom Walking/Driving Tour. Experience the African American transition from slavery to freedom. Visit sites and original structures that bring to life the generations of enslaved individuals who lived at Montpelier, and learn how citizenship in America evolved from slavery to Emancipation through Jim Crow to the present. This walking and driving tour will visit sites of enslavement near the Montpelier mansion, as well as the Gilmore Cabin and the 1910 Train Depot.

Tour is FREE and begins at the David M Rubinstein Visitor Center. James Madison's Montpelier is located on Route 20 in Orange, Virginia, 4 miles south of Orange, 25 minutes north of Charlottesville, and 2 hours south of Washington, D.C., at 11407 Constitution Highway, Montpelier Station, VA 22957. For more information go to or call (540) 672-2728 x450.

Friday, July 14, 2017

July 17- Jubal A. Early and the Legacy of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign - presented by Katy Meier

Monday, July 17 – 7 p.m. - THE CHARLOTTESVILLE CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE hosts military historian Kathryn “Katy” Meier. Her talk is entitled “Jubal A. Early and the Legacy of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign.” Her first book—the award-winning Nature’s Civil War: Common Soldiers and the Environment in 1862 Virginia—explores how soldiers adapted to the mental and physical challenges of their wartime environments. She is currently an associate professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University working on a biography of the ornery Confederate general and Lost Cause architect Jubal A. Early.

Monthly CWRT meetings are held the third Monday at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge on 250 East starting at 7 p.m. Dinner (optional) starts at 6 p.m. Dinner menu: salmon, steak, or crab cakes with salad & desert for $20. For more info call Sandy vonThelen at (434) 971-8567.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July 12 Lecture: Lexington, Virginia: It's History & Architecture - presented by Ed Lay

Wednesday, July 12th – 6:00 p.m. - THE SENIOR CENTER of CHARLOTTESVILLE hosts everyone’s favorite architectural historian Ed Lay speaking on “Lexington, Virginia, It’s History & Architecture.” Downtown Lexington is known for its stunning architecture—be it Greek Revival, Queen Anne, or “Picturesque Cottage” styles—and Ed Lay is just the person to explain it! Come hear this much-sought-after speaker!

• Join us for the related day-trip on Wednesday, July 26th – Lexington: The Jackson House, Lee Chapel, & Lexington’s Architecture – A fun-filled day in Lexington with Ed Lay & Rick Britton! We’ll tour the Stonewall Jackson House and the Lee Chapel & Museum. We’ll enjoy an Italian buffet lunch at Salerno’s. And Ed Lay will give us a walking tour of downtown Lexington!

Tour limited to 30, book a seat today! Senior Center members pay $94, guests pay $104 (and price includes lunch). To sign up call the Senior Center Travel Office at (434) 974-6538, or go Tour departs at 8:30 a.m. & returns between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Tour requires walking.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

NEW 5-Session Class: The Life & Times of James Monroe

Battle of Trenton by Charles McBarron

Thursday, June 1 – THE SENIOR CENTER of CHARLOTTESVILLE commences a brand new 5-session class entitled “The Life & Times of James Monroe.” A consummate and dedicated statesman, Monroe had a long and distinguished public career. Serving as a soldier, diplomat, governor, senator, and cabinet member, Monroe has the distinction of holding more offices than any other U.S. President. Best remembered, perhaps, for the Monroe Doctrine, his presidency was known as “The Era of Good Feelings.” Join us as we explore the life of this former Albemarle County resident. 

Monroe Doctrine
Our LecturersScott A. Harris, Director of the James Monroe Museum; Nancy Stetz, Highland’s Education Programs Manager; Daniel Preston, Editor of the Papers of James Monroe; William Ferraro, Editor of the Papers of George Washington; and local Historian Rick Britton.

• Thurs., June 1st - 6:oo pm – “James Monroe; A Revolutionary Idealist” - Harris
• Thurs., June 8th - 6:oo pm - “Bona Fide Hero of the Revolution” - Britton
• Thurs., June 15th - 6:oo pm - “James Monroe & Slavery” - Stetz
• Thurs., June 22nd - 6:oo pm - “Monroe’s Presidential Journeys” - Preston
• Thurs., June 29th - 6:oo pm - “James Monroe & George Washington” - Ferraro

Sign up today! The class meets at the Senior Center Inc. on five consecutive Thursdays, 6:00-7:00 p.m. Charge: members, $70.00—guests, $80.00. To sign up call the Senior Center Travel Office at (434) 974-6538, or go to See you at the Senior Center!

MAY 28 - Open House at The Armory & Artifacts Shop at Michie Tavern

(Charlottesville, VA) THE ARMORY & ARTIFACTS SHOP at MICHIE TAVERN hosts a free-admission OPEN HOUSE on Sunday, May 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. Beer, wine, & cheese provided. Come see the finest militaria shop in all of central Virginia!

Join historian RICK BRITTON this coming Sunday at the Armory & Artifacts Shop. He’ll be talking about its fantastic collection of original Revolutionary War and Civil War weapons (including muskets, rifles, swords, and pistols). Beautifully laid out, the shop looks like a museum, but all of its items are for sale. Where else can you handle Civil War cavalry carbines, or Revolutionary War-era flintlocks? The Armory & Artifacts Shop also carries books, Civil War currency and newspapers, military accouterments, 19th-century civilian and military photographs, and a large number of excavated battlefield items including cannon shells and minie balls. Every item is authentic. For this event please RSVP with number in party to

The Armory is open daily 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call (434) 977-1234 or go to the web-site (

Monday, May 8, 2017

FREE Civil War talk at the Senior Center on May 10

(PHOTO) General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's "Chancellorsville" Portrait, taken at a Spotsylvania County farm on April 26, 1863, seven days before his mortal wounding at the Battle of Chancellorsville. 

Join us at the Senior Center of Charlottesville on Wednesday, May 10, at 6 p.m. for a FREE talk by historian Rick Britton on Stonewall Jackson's 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign. One of military history's most brilliant operations, Jackson's campaign first confused, then greatly alarmed, President Abraham Lincoln's military men, in the process successfully diverting troops from Union Gen. George B. McClellan's advance against Richmond. Though greatly outnumbered, Stonewall Jackson used evasive maneuvering and lightning-fast strikes to defeat his enemies. Come hear this fascinating story!

RELATED DAY-TRIP: After you hear the story, travel with us to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley on Wednesday, May 24 to see two of the 1862 Valley Campaign's battlefields: Cross Keys and Port Republic! These two battles were the Campaign's capstone victories. First we'll take in the Cross Keys Battlefield, then dine in nearby Harrisonburg. After lunch we'll visit charming Port Republic--where Stonewall Jackson was almost captured--and tour both the battlefield and the Port Republic Museum.

Book a seat today! To sign up, or for more information, call the Senior Center Travel Office at (434) 974-6538 or go to

(PHOTO) General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's "Chancellorsville" Portrait, taken at a Spotsylvania County farm on April 26, 1863, seven days before his mortal wounding at the Battle of Chancellorsville. 

Image Source:'s_Valley_Campaign#/media/File:Stonewall_Jackson.jpg

Thursday, April 20, 2017

April 22 - Sheep Shearing Day at James Monroe's Highland

Sheep Shearing Day at James Monroe's Highland
A Great Event for Families!

Charlottesville, VA - James Monroe's Highland will have their Annual Sheep Shearing Day on Saturday, April 22 from 11 a.m. to 12:00 noon (rain or shine), with additional activities to follow. Tom Stanley will demonstrate the New Zealand sheep shearing method at this educational, agricultural event. We will also have traditional wool carding and spinning demonstrations for the family following the shearing. Plus, meet the newest lambs to call James Monroe’s Highland home!

If the weather is favorable, visitors are encouraged to enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds. Bring your own or choose from our selection of fresh sandwiches at the Museum Shop.

Admission to the sheep shearing event is $5 per person. Children under 6 are admitted free. Tickets are available at the door or online at

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April 22 - Montpelier's Civil War Trail & Gilmore Farm Walking Tour

Saturday, April 22 – 2:00 p.m. – James Madison’s MONTPELIER in Orange, Virginia, presents a FREE “Civil War Trail & Gilmore Farm Walking Tour.” During the latter part of the Civil War, Confederate Brig. Gen. Samual McGowan—considered one of the Army of Northern Virginia’s best brigadiers—and his South Carolina brigade camped in the woods just north of Montpelier. Walk in the footsteps of McGowan's Brigade on Montpelier's Civil War Trail, carving a path through archaeological remains of this Confederate winter camp to a reconstructed camp street. Conclude at the cabin and farm of George Gilmore, born into slavery at Montpelier in 1810 and turned farmer and landowner after Emancipation, on the site of an abandoned Confederate hut. 

FREE and open to the public, this tour begins at the parking lot across from the Montpelier Station Train Depot on Route 20.

Orange, Virginia

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April 17 - Civil War Round Table - The Last Battle of Winchester

Monday, April 17 – 7 p.m. - THE CHARLOTTESVILLE CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE hosts historian Scott Parchan speaking on “Phil Sheridan & the Last Battle of Winchester.” Widely regarded as the leading authority on the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign, Patchan is the author of Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign, and most recently, The Last Battle of Winchester: Phil Sheridan, Jubal Early, and the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, August 7 - September 19, 1864. Fought on September 19, 1864, Third Winchester was a stunning Federal victory. During the action, Union Gen. Philip Sheridan launched a massive cavalry attack—featuring over 6,000 Northern horsemen—that rolled up Confederate Gen. Jubal Early’s left flank. Come hear the authority on this topic!

Monthly CWRT meetings are held the third Monday at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge on 250 East starting at 7 p.m. Dinner (optional) starts at 6 p.m. Dinner menu: salmon, steak, or crab cakes with salad & desert for $20. For more info call Sandy vonThelen at (434) 971-8567.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April 13 - Thomas Jefferson's 274th Birthday Celebration at Monticello

Thursday, April 13 – 10 a.m. - MONTICELLO marks Thomas Jefferson’s 274th birthday with a FREE celebration and ceremony on the mountaintop’s beautiful West Lawn, featuring a keynote address by the 2017 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership.

Ceremony, celebration, & talk are FREE and open to the public. For complete information about Monticello tours and special events, visit, call (434) 984-9816, or e-mail to

Charlottesville, Virginia

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April 12 - Book Launch at Highland - The Autobiography of James Monroe

Wednesday, April 12 – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. – James Monroe’s HIGHLAND in Charlottesville, VA, celebrates the re-publication of The Autobiography of James Monroe by Syracuse University Press. William M. Ferraro, managing editor of The Papers of George Washington at the University of Virginia, will give a talk about his new introduction to the book. James Monroe re-enactor Dennis Bigelow will also read passages from the autobiography in first-person. The book will be available for purchase and a light reception will follow.

This event is FREE and open to the public, but registration is recommended. RSVP to Nancy Stetz at

April 18 - Day Trip to Washington, DC and the Library of Congress

Tuesday, April 18 – THE SENIOR CENTER of CHARLOTTESVILLE sponsors a fantastic Thomas Jefferson-themed day-trip to Washington, D.C. guided by historian Rick Britton. The morning will find us taking in a special Jefferson-oriented guided tour of the gorgeous Library of Congress featuring, of course, the beautifully re-created book collection that Jefferson sold Congress following the War of 1812. After dining at the U.S. Capitol Cafeteria we’ll visit the Jefferson Memorial across the Potomac.

Tour departs from Charlottesville, VA, at 8:00 a.m. & returns between 5:30 & 6:30 p.m. Sign up today! Charge: Senior Center members: $82.00—guests: $92.00. To sign up, or for more information, call the Senior Center Travel Office at (434) 974-6538, go to, or e-mail