Tag Archives: money

Today in Rip Payne

17 Apr

by Emma Earnst


Rip Payne kept busy today in 1965.  The rest of his career, not so much.  At least according to the nearly 20% that has been accessioned thus far.  So really, he probably did, but we don’t know yet

Anyhow, Rip Payne spent the day fishing with the Virginia Trout Company of Monterey, Virginia. Incidentally, the company is still in business today.  For those of you who, like me, have no bloody idea where Monterey is, here’s a map.  Basically, the town resides in a little valley in Highland County (with whom we have visited before), tucked between the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests about two hours northwest of Charlottesville.  Rip did not spend the day in the cozy little town, however.  The company — here consisting of Pops, Junior, and Boss-Man — and photographer trucked over to the Boar’s Head to do their trout fishing.

Sometime before or after the fishing expedition, however, Payne photographed the remnants of a break-in at Crozet Lumber.  The criminals were relatively smart, choosing to hack into the safe rather than attempt to steal the company’s capital.  After locking myself out of my own safe recently, I (or, more accurately, my fiancé) was forced to saw my (his) way in.  The 1965 robbers, on the other hand, decided to just hack the lock off.  And judging from the photos, it took a few tries…

So now that I’ve schooled you in breaking into personal safes, I think I’ll just let you look at pictures…

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The Mystery of the Embossed Album

26 Aug

I’m going all Nancy Drew on you this week.

Imagine for a moment that you’ve just moved into an old house… What is the coolest thing that could possibly find when moving in?  Here’s my list (in order):

  1.  A pile of money
  2. All my things unpacked already
  3. A ghost
Well, admittedly today’s object does not fall into any of these categories, per se.  But when Bonita Baer moved into her apartment at 1121 Wertland Street in the 1980s, she did have a rather interesting experience.  One that, in my opinion, could have involved any and all of these.   Needless to say, I would have totally traded places with her that day.  …um, had I been born yet…

1121 Wertland Street

Ms. Baer was a really nice lady, and gave ACHS what she found in her new apartment that day- so now we can share it with you all!


Okay then, here goes:

Do you know what Ms. Baer found yet?

If today’s title hasn’t given it away yet, maybe this will help…

An old photograph album!  Ms. Baer found this in the attic of her apartment at 1121 Wertland Street.  Inside the first page, an inscription can be found:

To Dean Lid
From Mag.
Xmas 1909

Truly, its quite a lovely gift.  The book is covered with embossed leather, decorated with leaves and scrolls.  Inside, the pages are embellished with colorful printed flowers and small landscapes.  The pages are thick, with recesses to place photographs.   An intricate-looking, yet inherently simple pin design locking system keeps the album closed.

The Mystery of the Album

So the album is really pretty, and we know where it came from, but who is “Dean Lit”?  And why did “Mag.” give him this album?

Well, I’d sure love to know, if you can find out…

1121 Wertland Street was built by Mr. Baker, the Registrar of the University at the turn of the (last) century.  It was occupied by his daughter and her husband -the Truymans- until 1924, when the Hill family moved in.  The Hills then rented out part of the house as apartments.  We assume that the album must have belonged to one of these tenants, of whom we have no record.  None of the known residents were Deans or Mags.

In any case, I’m sure it must have been quite an exciting find for Ms. Baer!  I know that it certainly was for me, and this isn’t even my house…  So the next time you find yourself moving into a new place, don’t dismay.  You probably won’t have a ghost help you move your stuff in and then present you with a big pile of cash.  But if you’re lucky, you might find something really cool in your attic.

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.