Tuesday, May 15, 2012

An Historical Artifact of a Local Merchant

I was over at J.E. Rice's Hardware store a while back, talking with Steve, one of the Rice brothers (Chase and Jamie are the other two), whose father established the business 75 years ago. I can always count on the Rices to have exactly what I need and to tell me how to  install it if necessary. And they're always good for an interesting conversation. There's no such thing as a "quick trip to the hardware store" when I go to Rice's.

This time, Steve told me about a ledger book he found in his shed for the accounts of C. C. Leachman, his grandfather, who ran a store at Wellington Crossing of the Southern Railway around the turn of the twentieth century. Wellington today is the name of a road and subdivision in Manassas, but the rails still run where they did over 100 years ago. Leachman traded in all kinds of merchandise, took crops and chickens as barter for goods and was a transfer point for milk from the numerous dairy farms in the area at the time.

I contacted the Manassas Museum to see if they would be interested in looking at this unique artifact, but they are tied up with the sesquicentennial observance of the Second Battle of Manassas in July. After that's all over, I hope they will take time to look at Leachman's  record and perhaps even display it at the museum.

I appreciate Steve making copies of a couple of pages of the ledger so I can share them with BC readers.

The note below the pictures is hard to make out in this image, but it says, "1906--C.C. Leachman holding Sarah Leachman--later married J.E. Rice--1923     C. C. Leachman ran this store and train mail drop. 

This is a ledger page, with the careful Spenserian script of a bygone era, showing expenses paid to the "Southern Railway Co." for late 1899 and early 1900.

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