Full Chronology

1750 – General Walker stopped at the Callaway general merchandise store to purchase supplies for his troops as they were headed to New River.

1750’s – New London Church (Established Church of England) built by pioneers on land from Col. William Callaway’s 900-acre land grand from King George III; this building and the land on which it stood were later part of New London Academy. As of 1950, only a depression in the ground.

1751 – William Mead purchased land in Bedford County.

1754 – Beginning of French and Indian War (ended 1763).

1754 – Bedford County (including modern Bedford and Campbell counties and Lynchburg and part of Albemarle County) was formed from Lunenburg County (Act of the House of Burgesses, November 1753, to take effect May 10, 1754).

1754, May 22 – First court of Bedford County held at home of Matthew Talbot, Gent.; William Callaway offered 100 acres of his land for a new court house and prison. (Became New London Towne.) William Ingles purchased Lots 17 and 39 (Lot 17 would later be purchased by Andrew Holt in 1826.

1754, August 26 – William Callaway appeared before the court and agreed to give Bedford County 100 acres for the building of a court house and jail. He first made a deed for 50 acres in fee simple, then planned to give the next 50 after he got a patent. This did not happen for 10 years.

1756, May 24 – Trial at the Bedford Court House of Hampton and Sambo, slaves belonging to John Payne of Goochland County, Gent., for “felonious preparing and administering poisonous medicines to Ann Payne.” Hampton was found guilty and sentenced to hang by the neck until dead, then his body to be quartered and hung over the crossroads (possibly by the courthouse at New London). Sambo was found guilty of a misdemeanor and sentenced to branding on his left hand and thirty-one lashes on his bare back at the whipping post, to be done immediately. Unknown whether these punishments were carried out. Hampton had the right of appeal to the governor and council (Thompson, p. 26).

1757 – New London was established as Bedford County Seat.

1757 – Cherokee and Catawba attacked settlers in Bedford County; Settlers petitioned to be allowed to kill them; Petitioned denied; Settlers told not to shoot or kill them for fear of starting an uprising. (Thompson cited North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. 2, p. 619.)

1758 – John Hook sailed from Glasgow, Scotland, to Virginia, as a 13-year-old apprentice shopkeeper and clerk, to learn the tobacco trade with the Scottish Donald family (Robert and James Donald?) (a family that dealt in tobacco in the Chesapeake area).

1761 – William Callaway and his son James, a planter, set up a mercantile store in New London on Lot #1.

1761 – William Mead moved to New London (from Pennsylvania), buys lots 5, 6, & 8.

1762, January 28 – Date of Deed to Rev. John Brander of Russell Parish, and his successors, by Benjamin Arnold of Buckingham County, paid for by Church Wardens, 496 acres of land in Bedford County, for the use of the Parish. Called “The Glebe.” Rev. John White Holt was the last colonial Episcopal minister in the area and continued to live on the lands even after the Church was disestablished. (New London Church)

1763 – End of French and Indian War.

1763 – William Mead built Mead’s Tavern; functioned as a tavern until late 1780’s.

1763ish – Robert Cowen named in Chancery Court suit against William Inglis in Bedford County Court.

1764 – John Hook first arrived at New London.

1766 – John Hook made a partnership with William Donald and James Donald. William returned to Scotland to manage the business from there, James set up a store in Warwick, and John would set up a store on the frontier in Bedford County with the £500 he borrowed from the brothers. Hook’s first autumn shipment of goods arrived in October, too late in the season to sell much.

1766 or 1767 – Robert Cowen set up a store competing with Hook, backed by Hook’s old Scottish employers, Robert and James Donald.

1767, May 27 – William Callaway deeded the second 50-acre section to Bedford County, containing the Town of New London.

1768 – Work began on the estate that would become “Poplar Forest.”

1768 – Letter from Hook to employers indicating that he though Robert Cowan flattered shoppers and that Cowan was losing sales by it.

1768 – Hook’s opinion of the New London area, written to his partner in Scotland was that “this and the adjacent Frontier counties is settling unaccountable fast from people below [the fall line of the James River] and from the Northward.” These settlers were likely coming through the Great Wagon Road and the Wilderness Road.

1769 – Hook’s employer, William Donald, decided to close the Warwick store and send James Donald to New London to join Hook. A younger brother, Robert Donald, also joined them there.

1769 – William Mead’s wife, Ann died in childbirth. William subsequently married widow Martha Cowles Stith, daughter of a wealthy planter. He owned more than 40,000 acres of land by 1769.

1770’s – Evangelical Anglican Reverend Charles Clay, friend of Thomas Jefferson, pastored Calvinistical Reformed Church, Charlottesville, VA; later ministered in Forest, VA; buried in family cemetery in Forest, VA, at Ivy Golf Course.

1770 – James Callaway partnered with Peterfield Trents to open several mercantile stores with suppliers Dobson, Daltera, and Walker in Scotland.

1770 – John Hook married Elizabeth Smith, daughter of a wealthy planter.

1770 – As early as 1770, James Steptoe worked as Thomas Jefferson’s agent in Williamsburg, having met in college at William and Mary. They would be life-long friends.

1771 – John Hook became disillusioned with his employers and instead partnered with David Ross in Petersburg. (He put an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette for August 19 after having failed in several attempts to partner with other people. The advertisement publicized his intent to leave Virginia and return to Scotland if he could not find a suitable partnership.) By September, Hook and Ross signed the partnership agreement; Hook would run the New London store and another one at Falling River; Ross owned several stores in the back country, was invested in ironworks, owned land in Bedford County, and had a large warehouse of goods.

1771 – William Mead purchased many things at Hook’s store, including some fine goods and large quantities of some goods, but did not pay anything on his bill that autumn. He tended to purchase when he was in town during Court session.

1772, February – Hook’s competitors, James and Robert Donald, closed their New London store.

1772, May 16 – John Hook bought New London Lot #23 from William Callaway.

1772 – William Mead first ordered special items from John Hook, including his famous Scottish clock.

1772 – Scottish Lord Dunmore arrived to be the new governor of Virginia (Williamsburg).

1772 – Credit crisis and financial panic throughout Atlantic hit Virginia hard. A credit bubble burst, a Scottish bank failed, English and Scottish banks were unstable and stopped honoring bills of credit. This in addition to locally inflated tobacco prices from a bidding war. Tobacco was the foundation of money and trade in colonial Virginia. It was the item shipped to England and Scotland after merchants in Virginia received their goods for their mercantile businesses.

1772, October – The four Bedford merchants, John Hook, Robert Cowan, James Callaway, and Robert Donald, met to agree to control the prices of their goods (in similar manner to their merchant peers back East).

1773 – The Bedford planters met to agree to control the sale price of their tobacco and banded together for consignment of it through Richard Stith, bypassing the Scottish merchants. After this, Hook and his fellow merchants had a falling out, Hook standing accused of violating the terms of their agreement. (Would the “Bedford planters” have included William Mead?)

1773, June – After June 1773, Ross agreed for Hook to order his own imported goods from Walter Chambre in Whitehaven, England, rather than relying on Ross. This occurred after several months of Hook’s dissatisfaction with the goods that Ross had been sending.

1773 – Thomas Jefferson acquired the estate that would become “Poplar Forest” from his father-in-law, John Wayles, some 4,800 acres.

1773-1776? – Rev. John Brander minister of Russel Parish (including New London Church).

1774, January 24 – William Mead took oath of affidavit from Justice John Talbot (Bedford) that he had never been repaid 3 pounds 6 shillings by Captain John Winn for three cattle taken during the French and Indian War for the Amelia County Militia in 1758. (Thompson, p. 29, cited 10 Va. Magazine of History 14.) (Perhaps at New London Court House.)

1774, May 12 – Letter from John Hook to Thomas Jefferson, sent by way of Mr. Steptoe, offering to sell Jefferson land adjoining his other properties.

1775-1783 – The American War for Independence. During this time, New London had about 70-80 houses.

1775 – Arsenal established, producing gunpowder, cartridges, and accoutrements for soldiers. (possibly on land now occupied by W.W. Driskill general store, and across the street on land now occupied by the Alum Springs Hotel); supplied forces in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, including for American General Nathaniel Greene.

1776 – Declaration of Independence signed; first Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

1776 – Oxford Iron Works in Bedford County purchased by Davis Ross, John Hook’s business partner.

1777, April 18 – Presbyterian Reverend Professor John Springer from Hampden-Sydney stopped at a tavern in New London, got drunk and participated in “unlawful gaming”; got fired from Hampden-Sydney.

1777, June – Hook was accused of Toryism and treason by a mob led by Col. William Mead, a wealthy, local magistrate. Most of the men in the group were Hook’s customers and owed him money. Mead wanted Hook “not to carry on any kind of Trade in this County till after Court.”

1777, November 15 – The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation.

1779, January 5 – Letter from John Hook to Thomas Jefferson complaining about the quality of tobacco he purchased from Jefferson’s overseer.

1779 – Jeremiah Early and James Callaway had the Washington Iron Works (named for the American leader) up and running, after having bought it from John Donelson.

1780, April 18 – Richmond became the capital of Virginia.

1780, December 25 – Letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Rogers Clark during the American Revolutionary War, indicating that he would be supplied with “1000lb. of Rifle powder from New London and 1500lb of lead from the lead mines,” presumably from the arsenal at New London.

1781 – Incident triggering Hook case (1789) occurred. Mr. Venable, commissary for the American army, took two of Scottish merchant John Hook’s steers for his troops, not entirely legally.

1781-1783 – Much back and forth between military officials about the Arsenal at New London. Great concerns over lack of funding, resulting in an inability to pay soldiers and purchase clothing and other necessities. Concerns about possibly moving the stores away from New London to hide them from the British. Some moved at times. Lead for the “laboratories” came from the lead mines at Wytheville, under Col. Lynch, but there were difficulties getting supplied. (see Thompson, pp. 12-24)

1781, February 14 – Date of letter from New London from Edmund Hyrne, to Governor Thomas Jefferson. Hyrne had been marching prisoners of war to Staunton when some of them escaped and were hiding in the area. He requested that the Governor relieve him of his prisoners. Oral history from a Mead descendant has prisoners of war temporarily being housed at Mead’s Tavern at one point.

1781, June 4 – Governor Thomas Jefferson fled Monticello, near Charlottesville, from the British, under Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, to Poplar Forest. This was Jefferson’s first arrival at Poplar Forest. He stayed for about 2 months.

1781, July 16 – British General Cornwallis sent General Tarleton to attempt to capture the arsenal at New London; appears he never made it.

1781, October 19 – British General Cornwallis surrendered to American General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia.

1781/1782 – Campbell County formed from Bedford County; Bedford County seat moved to Liberty (now City of Bedford), and Campbell County seat moved to Rustburg. New London on/near county line, no longer county seat. New London Court House land reverted to the estate of William Callaway to his sons James and John Callaway.

1783 – End of the American War for Independence.

1783ish – John Hook left the Scottish tobacco trade, moved across county lines, and became a planter and merchant. The Revolutionary War ended Ross and Hook’s partnership, perhaps at this time or earlier.

1783 – John Hook’s case brought against John Venable, lingered on the docket until 1789. (Would he have gone to Rustburg or Richmond to lodge the complaint?)

1784/1785 – Mead sells tavern property to William Harris, relocates to Augusta, Georgia.

1784 – John Hook had a mercantile business in Hale’s Ford 1784-1808.

1785 – Franklin County created, and the part of Bedford County south of the Staunton River became part of Franklin County.

1785, May 19 – Hook and Ross sold their land holdings in and around New London, presumably including Lot #23, which, according to Holt plat survey, Holt later owned. Next to/across alley from Lot #17.

1786 – Thomas Jefferson’s “Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom” made Virginia law, disestablishing state support for the Anglican/Episcopal Church. At some point after this, “The Glebe” was sold. The Presbyterians and the Episcopalians both used New London Church.

1787 – New London Courthouse rehabilitated as District Court for several counties (Bedford, Campbell, Franklin, Pittsylvania, and Henry) for a short time. Repaired by James and John Callaway, sons of William Callaway, at their own expense, after it had been out of use for 5 years.

1787 – The United States Constitution was signed.

1788, December 22 – Act of General Assembly creating district courts in Virginia. The District Court at New London was to hold court on the 15th day of April and the 15th day of September.

1789, March 4 – The United States Constitution went into effect.

1789, April – The District Court at New London heard the case of Francis Suttle, who was condemned to be hanged May 22 for horse theft. The governor granted him a pardon in light of the two petitions that were signed by many in Bedford County.

1789, September 19 – Patrick Henry defended the state/John Venable (the son of a friend, William Venable, who helped him get elected to the House of Burgesses) in the Hook v. Venable case. Henry’s famous “beef speech.” One penny of damages and one penny of costs to plaintiff were awarded to Hook. (It would seem that this was not the only case Patrick Henry argued at New London.)

1790 – Captain Henry Brown began building Ivy Cliff.

1791 – Sequestration proceedings began against John Hook. See 1795.

1791, December 10 – The Bill of Rights was ratified and became part of the United States Constitution.

1793 – Letter from William Mead’s son, Methodist evangelist Stith Mead, to father, against his father’s fiddling, dancing, dancing schools, balls.

1795 – Girls boarding school taught by Mrs. Ward in the “corner lot across from the Court House” (Read, p. 31). (Mead’s Tavern?)

1795 – Litigation between Ross and Hook began. Ross accused Hook of not fully paying him when their partnership was ended by the Revolutionary War. This case would go unresolved for nearly forty-five years. Other sources have the court case as lasting from 1791 to 1850.

1795 – New London Academy charter granted by General Assembly of Virginia creating a classical private school for boys; Robert Alexander (10 acres) and Nathan Reid (7.5 acres) donate land adjoining the New London Church for the Academy.

1796 – Trustees granted authority to raise 10,000 pounds by one of three lotteries to raise funds for New London Academy

1797 – The grandparents of Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens and Pamela Goggin, are married in Bedford County. They live in Campbell County, or on the county line.

1798 – Arsenal removal to Harper’s Ferry begins. No more arms manufacture, only storage.

1799 – John Callaway deeded one acre of land on which stood the old Episcopal church to the New London Academy Trustees.

1799, April 15 – Date of Deed by which Robert Alexander donated 10 acres of land to the trustees of the New London Academy, to revert back to his estate when it ceased to be used for school purposes.

1800-ish – Earlier fireplace in Mead’s Tavern front hall demolished, moved to current location

Early 19th Century – Holt-Ashwell house built on Lot 17, possible earlier construction; (later?) home of Andrew Holt, baker and free African-American.

1801 – The fiasco of Hook’s disappearing 1770’s account books, needed for the Ross v. Hook case. (For a good laugh, read Martin’s Buying into the World of Goods, pp. 67-68.) Hook property inventoried.

1802 – Some papers filed in Chancery Court, Richmond, Va., for the Ross v. Hook case.

1803, October 1Virginia Gazette carried advertisement for New London Academy (Thompson, p. 31).

1804 – Methodist evangelist Lorenzo Dow held a revival in Lynchburg and New London (in New London at old courthouse); ran into Stith Mead and the Hobsons.

1805 – John Thompson took out Mutual Assurance Policies on Mead’s Tavern property.

1806 – During his Presidency, Thomas Jefferson came to Poplar Forest to supervise the laying of its foundation.

1808 – John Hook died.

1809 – John Hook’s property inventoried after his death in 1808.

1809 – Thomas Jefferson’s Presidency ended, and he began coming to Poplar Forest 3-4 times per year, even though the house was not yet completed.

1809 – Date of Deed from Robert Alexander to daughter and son-in-law, Dr. John T. W. Read. Robert Alexander was deputy clerk to James Steptoe. He moved to Campbell County to become the clerk of the new county.

Early 1810’s-mid 1820’s – Roland Academy girl’s school at Mead’s Tavern, headmaster Samuel T. Miller; (possibly established 1810 or 1811).

1812 – Arsenal removal to Harper’s Ferry completed.

1812 – Construction of the main house at Poplar Forest completed.

1812 – Roland Academy closed briefly as Samuel Miller fought in the War of 1812; later reopened for 9-10 years (until 1822?), before relocating to Lynchburg.

1813 – Roland Academy possibly reopened.

1813 – Citizens of Bedford & Campbell counties petition for reunification of the counties and reestablishment of New London as county seat. Petition rejected.

1814 – Roland Academy advertisement.

1815 – Edward Jenner Steptoe (1815-1865) was born, grandson of James Steptoe, clerk of Bedford County, and grandson of Captain Henry Brown, New London Academy Board of Trustees. Edward would later become famous in the U.S. Army as an Indian fighter.

1815 – Dr. John T. W. Read built “Liberty Hall.”

1815 – Both Episcopalians and Presbyterians donated funds to raise a new brick “Meeting House” at New London Academy (New London Church). Led by Mr. Henry Brown, president of the New London Academy Board of Trustees.

1816 – General Andrew Jackson visited Col. Alexander Austin in New London, nearly got into a duel with Callaway boy.

1816 – Thomas Jefferson began bringing his grandchildren to Poplar Forest.

1817 – Samuel T. Miller married former student, Frances Elizabeth Fitzpatrick.

1819 – Panic of 1819.

1820 – Salem Turnpike first macadamized with flint rock. Salem Turnpike cut off a 20-foot strip of New London Academy land donated by Alexander and Reid. Also cut off a 20-foot strip in front of New London Church, bringing the church much closer to the road. (or are these the same thing?)

1822 – Andrew Holt purchased “one negro boy named Andrew, son of Judy” from James Steptoe for $150, possibly Andrew Holt’s and his wife’s son.

1823 – Rev. Amos Treadway came from Lynchburg (then in Campbell County) but also worked in New London, Bedford County (New London Church).

1823 – Thomas Jefferson made his last trip to Poplar Forest to confer the property on his grandson, Francis Eppes.

1825 – Rev. Nicholas Cobbs the first regular representative of Russell parish at the New London Church (Episcopal).

1826 – Andrew Holt purchased 4 lots in New London for $50, including the lot on which was built the “Holt-Ashwell House” where he likely lived with his wife, “Juda/Judy,” and granddaughter “Mahala.” He also later purchased lots on Buffalo Creek and the north side of what is today Alum Springs Road.

1826 – Thomas Jefferson died at Monticello, near Charlottesville, VA.

1827 – Reid and Alexander lands donated to New London Academy surveyed by Alexander Austin.

1827 – Mr. Henry Brown again leads fundraising for the repair of the Church at New London Academy

1828 – Francis Eppes, Thomas Jefferson’s grandson, sold Poplar Forest to a neighbor.

Early 1800’s – Peregrine Echols tavern property sold to John Maben, who built a large hotel named the Bedford Springs Hotel.

1834 – Town of New London down to about 100 people.

1835 – Holt Plat Survey Map

1837 – New London Academy Board of Trustees decided to replace the frame school building with a brick pavilion.

1837 – Edward J. Steptoe graduated from West Point, attending school with Jubal A. Early, Braxton Bragg, Joseph Hooker, P.G.T. Beauregard, Irvin McDowell, William J. Hardee, and Isaac Ingalls Stevens, all later U.S. and Confederate military.

1839 – New London Academy brick building finished.

1840’s – ? – Peregrine Echols, tavern owner, log cabins, alum & iron springs, bottom of hill west of town.

1842 – Andrew Holt taken to court in Rustburg for “suffering an unlawful assemblage of negroes at his house.” Case dropped.

1848, March 28 – Thomas Steptoe executed a deed of trust conveying his property, including two slaves, Andrew Holt’s sons, Burwell and Dennis.

1849, April 6 – Trustees advertise sale of the slaves Burwell and Dennis, whom Andrew Holt hoped to purchase in order to free them. Henry Stevens, Andrew Holt’s neighbor, bought them in trust for Andrew Holt for $620, awaiting repayment. Andrew Holt hired his sons out, Burwell to William M. Jenks, and Dennis to Thomas Steptoe.

1849 – New London Academy received an endowment from Harrison Chilton.

1850’s – Crack appeared in the north wall of the New London Church (at the Academy).

1850 – Ross v. Hook case resolved.

1850 – New London Methodist Church built, part of the Bedford Alum Springs Circuit of circuit-riding preachers.

1850 – Andrew Holt listed as a free black man on the 1850 Census of Campbell County and on the Free Negro Register:  1802-1864 (registered December 9, 1850, at 73 years old). Thomas Holt had set him free in Kentucky.

1850 – Andrew Holt brought suit against the administrators of the estate of Henry Stevens, deceased, being Henry J. Stevens, Robert B. Stevens, and Thomas Stevens, to take possession of slaves Burwell and Dennis. The case lasted 3 years, and ended with Andrew Holt purchasing them for $690.74.

1851 – Andrew Holt charged with holding “unlawful assemblage of negroes” in his home; charges dropped, and he donated land for the construction of the Methodist Episcopal Church South (“African-American church”) “for the special but not exclusive benefit of coloured people.” The location of New London Methodist Church, North. During this time, Andrew Holt also sold his 41-acre tract to Auty W. Templin and sold a tract of land adjoining David F. Clowdis’ blacksmith shop to him.

1854-1858 – Andrew Holt died. In his will, he directed that his sons Burwell and Dennis should be immediately freed. He listed Thomas Steptoe and Robert Steptoe as his executors. Burwell was immediately registered as “a free man of colour,” but a similar record for Dennis is not found. John F. Teass administrated Andrew Holt’s will and sold his last tract of land to a free woman of color, Sarah Jordan.

1854-1855 – New London Church (at the Academy) declared unsafe and condemned. The building and land were given to the Presbyterians who sold the bricks to the Masons (who built Prudence Lodge 44 across the turnpike on the half acre of land donated by Mr. and Mrs. William Lee). The Episcopalians built St. Stephens, west of Forest.

1855-1856 – Presbyterians built a frame church across the road from New London Academy on an acre of land donated by Mr. and Mrs. William Lee.

1859 – Mr. Echols made and sold alum mass, as well as ran a tavern. About this time, to support the quarries, the Salem Turnpike was diverted south, and a bridge built over Buffalo creek.

1861-1865 – American Civil War; Virginia initially rejected secession on April 4, 1861, but after Lincoln issued a call on April 15 for volunteers to put down the rebellion, Virginia seceded on April 17, 1861. (The Civil War officially began April 12, 1861.)

1861, October 10 – Letter from Col. Edward J. Steptoe from Philadelphia to the Adjutant General’s office, resigning his commission in the Army because of his poor health. Interestingly, he never seemed to indicate that he intended to leave the U.S. military over reasons concerning secession. The Civil War had already been going on for 6 months, during which he could have resigned for secession reasons, if he had wanted. His resignation was officially recorded November 1. He likely returned to the Lynchburg area and probably remained there until his death.

1864, June 16 – General Hunter (Union) attempted to take Lynchburg, coming by Salem Turnpike as other support came down Forest Road. Gen. Hunter and his staff officers R. B. Hayes, William McKinley, and James A. Garfield ate breakfast at the house of William A. Read, “Liberty Hall.” This delayed his getting to Lynchburg himself, and Confederate General Jubal A. Early repelled the Union army. During the invasion, General Hunter’s soldiers had burned “Greenwood,” home of William Leftwich. After the invasion and retreat, William Read discovered a teenage Union deserter and took care of him until he was well enough to return home, giving him civilian clothes and money, which initially made General Early angry.

1865, April 1 – Colonel Edward J. Steptoe died of several years of ill health, at Lynchburg. Buried in Lynchburg’s Presbyterian Cemetery.

1865, May 9 – End of the American Civil War.

1867 – Steward’s house at New London Academy burned.

1870 – Virginia’s new constitution approved (with provision for public schools as required by federal government).

1871 – June, New London Academy Trustees attempted to open the Academy as a free (public) school, but the effort failed.

1872-1873 – Steward’s house at New London Academy rebuilt.

1873 – Economic Panic of 1873.

1870’s – Consortium purchased land for Alum Springs Hotel Resort.

1870’s – New London had become a resort community with many visitors to its Bedford Alum Springs Hotel

1876-1878 – Davis and Maben purchased Echol’s property and improved it, giving the grounds much the look they have today. (Alum Springs Hotel)

1876 – McGuffey’s Readers adopted by the New London Academy Board of Trustees.

1877 – William A. Read built an 8-room frame house on the property once called “The Glebe,” and continued to call it that. Later (20th century?) Mr. Granville M. Read remodeled the house and called it “Read-Moor.”

1879 – Bessie Rawlings, first female student admitted to New London Academy.

1880 – As early as 1880, Mrs. Woodson taught coeducational classes for young children in the New London Academy Steward’s House (Evans Hall); older girls also attended.

1884 – New London Academy leased to the superintendents of Bedford and Campbell counties for the benefit of white pupils (public school); Chilton estate money used by Board of Managers to buy (back) the old Masonic building across the street for use as a school building; two rooms added to the Steward’s house with money from the Chilton legacy.

1885, July 4 – Date on Deed of Prudence (Masonic) Lodge and half acre of land to forever be the property of New London Academy.

1887, May 10 – State Law passed codifying the shared responsibility for New London Academy by Bedford and Campbell counties.

1888 – The congregation of the New London Church (at the Academy, more than a mile from New London) was made a separate organization from those worshipping in Spring Hill and Pisgah (Pisgah was also made its own organization.) Those worshipping at Ivy Creek were recommended to join organization with one of the above groups. The New London Church became known as the Academy Church.

Late 19th Century – New London town name changed to Bedford Alum Springs in hopes of attracting tourists to the resort and town

1890’s – Mead’s Tavern property served as a Manse (parsonage)

1890 – Town of Liberty in Bedford County renamed Town of Bedford.

1897 – Willis Washington Driskill built general store; remained in operation until 1930’s.

Early 20th Century – Mead’s Tavern property served as Dr. Kabler’s home and office (before he moved across the road)

Early 20th Century – Bedford Alum Springs town name reverted to New London.

Early 20th Century – Silent film stars enjoyed gathering at the Alum Springs Hotel (according to oral history).

1910 – Act by General Assembly turned over the New London Academy and the Chilton endowment fund to Bedford and Campbell counties and located the Agricultural High School for the Sixth Congressional District at the New London Academy. Chilton funds used to add new buildings – Large concrete school building, frame dormitory for girls, wooden annex added to old brick building for boys.

1913 – Current building of Alum Springs Hotel, the third since the 1870’s.

1930 – Current New London Methodist Episcopal Church building erected on land originally donated by Andrew Holt. Now owned by the Friends of New London.

1935 – Old rock chimney of New London log jail on lot No. 10 still standing.

1938 – B. J. Read, M.D., and the Academy School Board exchange land by a 99-year lease. Read’s land became part of a ball diamond back of the Academy Church and the Academy’s land across the road (Old Salem Turnpike) bordering Read’s land became for his use.

1941 – Picture of Mead’s Tavern from a UVA thesis on New London; shows 2-story porch.

1944, May 26 – New London Academy had pure freestone water piped by electric pump from the old spring at Liberty Hall.

1950 – New London Church building (at the Academy) only a depression in the ground.

1964 – The high school at New London Academy closed. It currently functions as an elementary school.

2005 – Friends of New London formed.

2012 – Mead’s Tavern purchased by the Friends of New London.

2015 – Liberty University acquired Mead’s Tavern.

2017 – Holt-Ashwell house burned, donated to Friends of New London.

2017 – African-American church acquired by Friends of New London.

2017 – New London Methodist Church acquired by Friends of New London, used as their offices and a library.

2018 – Liberty University acquired Alum Springs Hotel.

 

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