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January 9, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Lulie Patteson: Buckingham County’s First Historian

Buckingham_Lulie_PattesonMiss Lulie Patteson
(Courtesy Gordon G. Ragland, Jr., Maxey/Patteson Family Collection)

Attempting to write the history of Buckingham County comes with significant challenges, but not insurmountable ones, and beginning in the 1930s, Mary Louise “Lulie” Patteson rose to the occasion, sharing her love for Buckingham and for the surrounding region in the local newspapers. Her devotion to Buckingham’s quickly fading, 19th-century past fueled a lifelong occupation.

Born in 1879, Lulie lived all of her days at the Patteson homeplace at Ransons. Her parents were Thomas Anthony and Antonia Maria (Tucker) Patteson. Thomas was thirty years Antonia’s senior; they were fifty-seven and twenty-seven when they married. Lulie was the eldest of their six children.

Lulie Patteson’s personal story is both distinctive and typical in Buckingham County. Her life reflects the hard conditions so many families faced in Buckingham after the Civil War and throughout the Great Depression; yet Lulie’s work ethic and her desire to serve others made her an outstanding citizen of her day. Her love for Buckingham and its history, coupled with the determination to write it down, distinguished her far beyond the confines of even her very long life.

In the coming months, I will borrow from Lulie’s work; I may quote her at length. I trust you will enjoy Lulie’s romantic and vivid prose as much as I do.

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