2019 Second Annual Ruritan Event Helps Loudoun Families Celebrate Local History
On Sunday February 24th the Lucketts Ruritan Club sponsored its second annual local history event for Loudoun families at Lucketts Elementary School. Hunting History for Kids was a presentation (with plenty of show and tell) by Lovettsville resident Eric Hillebrand who uses local archives and his trusty metal detector to search the soils of Loudoun for artifacts from earlier times.
Close to two hundred adults and children attended the event that benefitted the Lucketts Elementary School PTA and the Rudy Youth Club at the school. Several tables of artifacts were set up in the school gymnasium to whet the appetites of the audience as they arrived. Mr. Hillebrand was on hand to answer questions about the bullets, belt buckles, and buttons that form a large part of his Loudoun artifact collection. The Rudy Youth members hosted a bake goods sale before and after the event to fund their club projects.
The audience gathered in the school cafeteria where Ruritan Club President, Peter Gustafson, opened the program with comments. Officers of the Rudy Youth Club led everyone in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
Mr. Hillebrand shared how he and his family developed their interest in combining metal detecting with searching for clues about the people and events that left these things behind. Thomas Balch Library in Leesburg contains original journals from people who participated in the Civil and the Revolutionary Wars as well as journals of local residents who settled the large tracts of land used for early agriculture in the County. Original documents often contain stories of places where camps or other meeting locations were established. Following historic maps for those periods helps Mr. Hillebrand focus on the best bets for finding what history left behind. Each artifact becomes another puzzle piece that helps form a picture of the people and events of 18th and 19th century Loudoun.
Mr. Hillebrand is a police officer with Fairfax County and grew up in Lucketts on Spinks Ferry Road. His wife Jodi is a teacher at Harmony Middle School in Purcellville and he regularly presents to LCPS students as part of their local history studies. For this presentation, Mr. Hillebrand added information about famous animals that traveled through the County with their famous owners. The equine history of Loudoun includes visits by four famous horses that traveled throughout Loudoun with four of the Civil War’s most famous Generals.
To complete the fun for the afternoon there were drawing for adult and youth door prizes contributed by local businesses for the day. This now annual event sponsored by the Lucketts Ruritan Club is intended to foster a greater understanding of local history in Loudoun County and bring people of all ages together to enjoy learning and fellowship.
2018 “Walking in Their Footsteps” presented by Chris Haugh
Held in the Lucketts Elementary School cafeteria on Sunday February 25, 2018, the Lucketts Ruritan Club sponsored “Walking in Their Footsteps” – an afternoon of fun and learning about the Native American people that populated our region. Presenter and historian Mr. Chris Haugh lead his full-house, captive audience through the millennium on a two part journey. In part one he discussed the three most influential factors of land, rock and people. In part two Mr. Haugh narrowed the discussion to the tribes of Native Americans that interacted with one another and with the colonists and how they appeared and ultimately disappeared from our region. On hand was an exhibit of locally found projectile points that guests could see as the evidence of the presence of these people.
The Ruritan Club sponsored this fascinating event with the Lucketts Elementary School PTA and the Rudy Junior Youth Club providing support. A $2 donation was requested of guests and for their donation they were entered in the door prize raffle. Donated items were tastings from Fabbioli Cellars, Barnhouse Brewery, Lost Creek Winery, Hiddenbrook Winery and Blue Ridge Grill. Children from second to sixth grade participated in a quiz game, with 7 out of ten correct answers they would win a gift certificate for an ice cream at Roots 657. The two youth groups conducted a bake sale during the intermission. They will use the proceeds from the sale and door donations toward their future projects of community service.
The family fun event drew a crowd of 180 interested guests of all ages. Present also were Bill Harrison of the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum who discussed the importance of learning about the early inhabitants of the Lucketts area. The Enos Victor Jenkins collection of spear and projectile points is at located at the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum with a smaller collection on view at the Lucketts Community Center.