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03 April 2006 - Monday

      In the morning before we got underway Janet gave us four jars of her homemade jam.  Then we headed back up U.S. Highway 15 to begin research in the Fluvanna County Court House.  As we were passing through Buckingham County we spotted a rather large hardware store that also contained a Radio Shack electronics store.   As we needed several items that might be had in a business such as this we pulled in.  What happened to us here was a delightful experience of good old southern humor and hospitality.  As we were not from the local area the salesmen were interested in how we had come by their store. Soon we were telling them of our trip and what we hoped to accomplish, then we all went outside to take a closer look at the camper van, we followed this up with some talk of our times in the U.S. Navy (Fred) and Air Force (Tom).  Yes indeed, these were good folks are genuinely interested in the customer.  What a difference from the cold, business only, approach so prevalent throughout the northeastern corridor between Boston and Washington D.C.!   As the trip progressed Fred would refer to his home in the aforementioned area as the “belly of the beast”.

     Shortly after we arrived in Palmyra Tom called the phone number for the Fluvanna County Historical Society.  We were pleasantly surprised to find out that someone would be available in their library, located at the “Maggie House,” to assist us with our research. Although the library’s resources were fairly meager Judith Mickelson worked hard to provide us with anything they had that would assist with our investigation.  As they did not have any information on the Scruggs family we promised to send what we had after the trip.  Judith conducted a tour of the Old Jail Museum where we were told that a courier pouch carried by one of the Scruggs boys in the Civil War was on display. We found a pouch exhibited but it had belonged to a local doctor who carried it during the War.  Judith promised to inquire further about this item as it may be in storage.

     After leaving a generous donation we proceed to the Courthouse to perform more research in the deed and wills records held there.  As a result of our exploration we determined that the Joseph C. Scruggs home site was located 8 miles west of the courthouse  on  the  middle  branch  of  the

Cunningham Creek, Fluvanna Co., VA

Cunningham Creek.  In addition we found that the ancestral property had remained in the hands of our great-aunt Martha Judson Scruggs until 1914.  These are among many other tidbits of excellent information that we collected to scrutinize at a later date. 

      As we left the courthouse parking lot we spotted a Sheriff’s Officer sitting in his car.  We thought it would be a good idea to ask him if there were any places nearby where we could park the van for the night but being only a few days on the road we were both hesitant to approach him.  Finally Tom summed up the courage to ask and received positive results as he suggested that we proceed to the Sheriff’s Office and talk to Corporal Deborah Morgan as she knew practically everyone in the county and might know of a place where we could stay.   We found Corporal Morgan at the office and talked to her for a few minutes about whether she knew of any of our ancestors.  Unfortunately she was not able to add to any information on our family but she did recommend that we contact Minnie Misogowa of the Historical Society as she was the best resource for this type of information.  Cpl. Morgan even went to the trouble of finding an address and phone number for us.  As for a place to stay the night she suggested that we ask Mr. McCloud the owner of McCloud’s restaurant and store.  As we were departing she told us to, “come on back”,  if that didn’t work and we would work on a plan “B”.

     It being close to our lunchtime we headed back down the road and had ordered sandwiches at McCloud’s.  During our meal we eyeballed the folks working there and determined who Mr. McCloud was.  After eating Tom went into the store to ask permission.  Again we met another kind and giving person as Mr. McCloud had no problem with us parking next the his establishment for the night. 

    We spent the early evening  driving out the Haden –Martin Rd., to look for the Joseph C. Scruggs home site. We took pictures of the Cunningham Creek as well as two likely places before we encountered a fairly severe thunderstorm. 

19th Century Farmhouse, Fluvanna co., VA

We eventually returned to McCloud’s where we made a salad with a can of tuna fish added.  This along with a large beer purchased from the store served as our evening meal. 

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