Troop History from 1923 to 1970 by Bryan McCoy
Troop 75 began its journey as a troop in January of 1923, at which time it was known as Troop 1 of Earlysville. Scouting itself was founded by Lord Robert Baden-Powell in Britain in 1908, and scouting in Charlottesville began not long after that. 12 year old Shirley Pendleton founded Troop 1 in Charlottesville with a group of his friends after reading one of Baden-Powell’s booklets; nearly two years before Scouting officially came to the United States.
The chartering of Troop 1 of Earlysville took place in January of 1923, with Henry T. Huff one of the original Scoutmasters, and a “group of citizens” the original charter organization. The troop started out meeting at a “school”, which is most likely Broadus Wood in Earlysville, which was known as Earlysville High School at the time. B. I. Wood, C. F. Garrison, Claude Garland, and E. W. Marshall were all members of the Committee for the troop in 1927, which is the earliest record available of the troop roster. Frank J. Doherty and J. Mills Pickering were the first two Eagle Scouts for the Troop, and were also assistant scoutmasters to Huff in 1930. Doherty served as an assistant scoutmaster through 1936, when he became the chairman of the committee, a position he held through 1941. Pickering only appears on one record after 1930, as an assistant scoutmaster in 1937.
Records for the renewal of troop charters weren’t available before 1928, but at that time, there were 20 scouts in the troop, one scoutmaster, two assistants, and four members of the council. The troop consisted of 5 scouts, 5 tenderfoots, and 10 first class scouts, with ages ranging from 12 to 20. These scouts, according to the charter renewal application from 1928, had been “generally good scouts”, and reasons given for lack of rank advancement were “they didn’t try hard enough.” In a newspaper article from March of 1929, a court of honor is written about in which boys had earned merit badges ranging from poultry keeping and first aid to animals to masonry and automobiling. The article also commends “the Earlysville Troop” on being “one of the most outstanding in the area” for the troop “scored over three hundred points making it a Standard Troop.” The troop didn’t renew the charter in 1932, leading to the troop being “dropped” for that year, and not allowed to meet.
After this short hiatus, the troop continued to meet throughout the decade of the 1930s, on Thursdays at Broadus Wood, notated just as “School” on many of the charter renewal applications. The troop changed to meeting on Wednesdays in the year of 1937, and eventually on Mondays by the end of the decade. In the August 12, 1930 Daily Progress, there appears an article about the “Earlysville Boy Scouts” going on their annual camping trip to Burnt Mills, MD, which likely was their version of summer camp, as Camp Shenandoah didn’t open until July 1, 1931.
The Troop met at Broadus Wood for the five years of their existence in the 1940s, with meetings on Mondays, moving to Tuesdays in 1942. For unknown reasons, the troop stopped meeting in 1945, and was officially dropped in March of that year. The troop had its longest gap of its history, not meeting again for seven years, until December of 1952. This was when the troop became Troop 75, as scouting as a whole underwent a national movement to renumber the troops, as there were many different Troop 1’s. The troop charter this time reads “new” instead of “reregistering”, and the troop charter organization changes from “a group of citizens” to “Earlysville Parent Teachers Organization”, the PTA at the then Broadus Wood High School. The school was renamed from Earlysville High School in 1935 following a fire, and became an elementary school in 1953 with the opening of Albemarle High School. The charter renewal organization also changes from 1952-1953 to Broadus Wood PTA, whether or not this is a coincidence or was done on purpose is unknown. It is unclear where the scouts met at this time, as the location of meeting is just noted as “Earlysville, VA” until 1954, where they started meeting in the Parrish Hall at Earlysville Episcopal Church on Wednesdays at 7:30. The meetings were held there until 1958, when they moved back to meeting at Broadus Wood. Once again, the troop was dropped, this time beginning May 15, 1959.
The Troop reformed again in 1965, once again as a new troop, and keeping the number 75. The meetings were held at the Parrish Hall at Earlysville Episcopal, as the Earlysville Ruritan Club took over as the charter organization of the troop, who is still the charter organization to this day. The club started being the charter organization from their conception, as they weren’t chartered themselves until 1964. That is when Donald Reid joined the troop, and in 1969, became the troop’s first Eagle Scout since 1928. He shared some information about camping and other activities the troop did during the time period: “…most of our camping was either at Buck’s Mountain or on the Rivanna River just upstream from the end of the reservoir…sometimes we would canoe up the last mile or so of the reservoir to the camping spot…” Also, Reid was lucky enough to get to go to Philmont with four other scouts and their scoutmaster.
Ed Bailey, a longtime member of the troop committee, also began his career with the renewal of the charter. He had been with the troop for 48 years until his death in late 2013. His son was a member of the troop at the time of the renewal, and he was able to shed some insight as to what kind of activities the troop did during this time period. “We had monthly meetings that involved game playing and socializing along with classes/lessons on topics such as map reading, compass courses, Morse code/semaphore signals, camping, and first aid. Attending Camp Shenandoah in the summers provided ways of meeting scouts from other areas and learning new lessons and skills.” Some other trips the troop went on throughout the year were camping at the Girl Scout campground in Sugar Hollow and Big Meadows off Skyline Drive, as well as hiking in the Brown’s Cove and Free Union areas, along with Reddish Knob and trails off the Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Troop History from 1970 to 2015
Richard Alley: September 1998 - April 2002
Tim Slagle: May 2002 - August 2009
Dean Wenger: August 2009 - August 2011
Rich DiMeglio: September 2011 - April 2014
Scott Desmond: April 2014 - March 2017