The Race to the Dan


Although hurricane damage prevented the reenactment of the Crossing of the Dan and although bad weather kept all of this year’s events indoors, the commemoration of the 238th anniversary of the Crossing of the Dan by Nathanael Greene’s army was a success.

It is good to see this event growing as awareness of this crucial moment in our history increases. Without the fortitude of General Greene’s men they would not made it across the river ahead of Cornwallis, and the American Revolution would have ended differently.



In 1753, fifteen single Moravian men made the arduous and dangerous from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania down the the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road and into the frontier of North Carolina, as yet unsettled by Europeans. In 1754 they constructed what would become the original Moravian village of Bethabara.

Today the site of the village is maintained as a park, to honor and remember these pioneers and those who came after them. It is well worth a visit, and presents a great opportunity for reflection on how our national character was formed.





Crop Advances

In the late 19th century tobacco farmers could get crop advances from warehouses if necessary. This enabled the farmers to access cash in advance of sales, and it enabled warehouses to lock in the farmers’ business when the crop was ready to sell.

Here are a couple of examples of crop advances from Danville Virginia warehouses, the first in 1884 and the second in 1888.



County Line Baptist Church


In Halifax County, just over the Pittsylvania Count line, stands the County Line Baptist Church, founded in 1771.

The church was founded and originally pastored by Samuel Harris, a wealthy and powerful man who surrendered his wealth, prestige and authority to become a Baptist preacher and a crusader for religious freedom.


The current building is the church’s third, and was built in 1883.


Georgia O’Keeffe and the University of Virginia


Georgia O’Keeffe’s had given up on her dream of becoming a professional artist. But in the summer of 1912 her sisters convinced her to take a summer art class at the University of Virginia. They were living in Charlottesville at the time and her sisters enjoyed taking the summer classes that were open to women at a time when women were not permitted to be students during the regular academic year. So at their urging 25-year-old Georgia enrolled in a class taught by Alom Bement, and in that class she discovered Arthur Wesley’s Dow’s theories of modern art practice. She found the meditative techniques taught by Dow liberating and invigorating. The rest is, of course, history.


Georgia O’Keefee 1912


Georgia O’Keefe 1937