Tag Archives: ACHS

Today in Rip Payne

4 Apr
by Emma Earnst

On this day in 1940, the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society held it first meeting.  Unfortunately, Rip Payne was not there.


Today in 1974, Rip Payne was over at the First Methodist Church snapping shots of an Eagle Scout presentation ceremony.

Then, today in 1987, Rip enjoyed a day at the Boar’s Head Inn in celebration of the Charlottesville Kiwanis‘ 65th anniversary.  I’m going to leave it to you to tell the difference between boys and men here.

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The Case of the Missing Writer

22 Nov

Good golly, where have I been?

Well, I’ll tell you:

  1. Spirit Walk.  For those of you who didn’t get to go, or those who would like to relive it, I’m going to be posting photos soon.  Hang tight!
  2. Magazine.  Yes, as resident Interim Editor, I’ve had not one, but two major projects sitting on my desk this past month.  Or, rather, spread all over my desk…  Like Sheridan, though, we’ve got some stupendous and accomplished authors, and I’m just so excited for you to read their articles.  Just a few short weeks folks!

Okay, enough with the excuses.  Just hang tight.  In the meantime, I’ll have you know that Rip Payne was also one busy man in the fall.  Take a look at some of his harvest work from 1961:

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First up, we’ve got some lovely pictures of the Miss Dogwood Pageant of 1961.  In actuality, the Dogwood festival and pageant happened in April, so this is more likely either an appearance after crowning, or Mr. Payne was quite delayed in getting his film developed this particular year.  [And yes, he did quite often get his film developed like any regular person, rather than do it himself].  In 1961, Jeannie Thomas was queened Miss Dogwood.  For more fun pictures of the festival in ’61 and years past, look for The Charlottesville Dogwood Festival (by Elizabeth D. Wood Smith) at the local library or bookstore, or you can find it on Google Books.

Second in the slideshow is a series of images of a laboratory.  Sad to say, I do believe most of the equipment I used in Orgo my second year looked suspiciously similar…

Third and finally, we have the obligatory chicken pictures.  “Obligatory?” you say?  Absolutely, I reply.  Because nothing says fall like the harvest of eggs from a group of chicks.  Okay, my tongue may be in my cheek, but it is the best harvest picture we’ve got accessioned.  So if you want something better, I guess you are going to have to come volunteer and help us get this beast under control!  That being said, I must admit some relief (and thanks?!) in realizing that even great photographers like RIP can have trouble with lighting.  Did you notice has over-exposed these pictures are?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Enjoy your bird!

Another Charlottesville Wedding

9 Sep

Both sadly for you and happily for me, I’m out of the office on Friday to attend my college roommate’s wedding.  Meaning, no funtastic Friday blog for you, but I get to have a great day celebrating my good friend and her husband-to-be.  In light of my wedding excursion, I’m offering you a very short blog with a lot of fun images to explore.

These images are part of our Russell “Rip” Payne Collection.  Rip Payne was a photographer in the Charlottesville from the 1940s to 1970s, and his enormously large collection of images was generously donated to the Society several years back.  We are still in the process of accessioning images, with the help of tireless volunteers like Anna (the best sister in the world!):

Anyways, at various points in his career, Rip Payne focused on different scenes like crime scene photography, school yearbook photos, family reunions, civic events, and WEDDINGS.  So, without further adieu, please enjoy this glimpse into the Charlottesville wedding of yesteryear…

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Base Hospital 41

19 Aug

This week’s featured items have two unique features:

  1. They came to us from the other side of the world.
  2. They are the first items which were entered into our collection, and which we still have.

I’m going to level with you for a minute.  These items are being featured this week simply because they were at the top of the pile (see item #2 above).  Which isn’t to say that they aren’t interesting… in fact, quite the opposite.  I’m finding as I dive into the deep dark corners of collections storage that everything I touch has a story, and every story deserves to be told.  Whether it’s a rusty bolt, a child’s doll, or any of the million other varied items we have been charged with.  So in a state of overwhelming excitedness to share everything with you, I broke down and just grabbed the first thing I could find.  And it has an awesome story.

This first “thing” I could find was actually an entire collection, donated by Harry M. Wilson in the 1970s.  Wilson was from Charlottesville, enlisted with Base Hospital 41 during World War I, and after the war, donated a series of objects from his time in Europe to the Society.  These objects are quite varied, including French currency notes, a mess kit:



Shell shot casing:


And Shrapnel:



When I think of Charlottesville history, World War I is not the first thing that pops into my mind.   Nonetheless, two units from right here in little ole Cville played a part in the grand theatre of WWI.

The Monticello Guard, Charlottesville's other unit during WWI.

You see, after the United States entered World War I, Dr. William H. Goodwin proposed an organized unit of hospital workers from the University of Virginia to the Red Cross.  The proper authority was granted, and assigned the title of Base Hospital #41.  Dr. Goodwin soon learned he would be responsible for recruiting the doctors and nurses, as well as all supporting staff and necessary funds for this group.  The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks stepped up, donating all the needed funds for this endeavor.

Troops of Base Hospital 41

Dr. William H. Goodwin selected 149 enlisted men and a handful of officers to serve in his troop, including our donor, Harry Wilson.  Of these numbers, 49 were UVA alumni or students.  In July 1918, after months of training, the group was sent to St. Denis, France (located near Paris) where they set up their work out of a school building.  Dormitories were converted into hospital wards, and by August they were fully functioning.  As time went on, the school-turned-hospital reached capacity and tent wards had to be established in the park outside the building.  In addition to dealing with the war-wounded, Base Hospital 41 had to contend with the influenza epidemic of 1918, during which both personnel and patients were attacked.  Finally, on November 11, 1918, the Armistice was signed, ending World War I.  At this time, nearly 3000 patients were in the hospital.  Within two and a half months, all the patients had been removed and the hospital was no more.  The unit was officially demobilized on May 1, 1919.

Further Reading

The Papers of Base Hospital 41, Accession #MS-17, Historical Collections, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

Hello world!

26 Jul

Thank you for visiting our brand-spankin’-new blog, y’all!  We are so excited to have the opportunity to share with you some of our collection here at the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society (ACHS).  In this blog, we are going to be highlighting a different piece of & from local history just for you!  In addition to fantastic images of each piece, we will be detailing fun facts and true stories, including the history of the piece, provenance, our time with it, etc.  Admittedly, we’ve stolen this idea from the Library of Virginia‘s fantastic blog, Out of the Box, which you should certainly check out (right now!).

For a bit of compulsory background, the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society was founded in 1940 as a membership organization with the mission to nurture and promote an awareness of local history.  Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville have been the home to three presidents and Founding Fathers, the University of Virginia, and a number of other wonderful individuals, organizations, and communities whose stories we are so excited to share with you.