Looking back at history

Published 2:39 pm Friday, May 10, 2024

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Special to The Farmville Herald

Since graduation is right around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to focus on the Cumberland Historical Society’s collection of yearbooks. 

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The first yearbook is for the year 1919 from Hamilton High School, which is in the northern end of Cumberland and was published by the senior class and Ada Walton Sanderson. This book might surprise some readers, because of how different it is from what we’re used to. It is written in longhand and there are no pictures. Each senior had a page that was written and included in the book. Seniors that year were: Robert Jennings, Pattie F. Garrett, Bernie Whitlock, Ada Walton, Annie Brown, Emma Baber, Florence Duncan and Mary Moore. 

The next Hamilton yearbook was done in 1939. It contains the history of the school and there were five teachers for the senior class of 18. Small pictures were glued into a short write up about that student. The museum has a copy of the yearbook from John Randolph 1941. This contains history of the school and pictures that were glued in of the seniors and information about different clubs and classes. 

There is also another yearbook called the Hamiltonian from 1942. This yearbook also has the pictures glued in and team pictures from the different sports of that year. Most of our collection is from Cumberland High School with yearbooks from the late 40’s through some of the 1980’s. We would love to complete our collection and ask if anyone has any they would like to donate or lend us so that we could copy them, it would be greatly appreciated. We have all of the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s and some of the 1980’s. Some classes did not have a yearbook. 

We only have a copy of one yearbook from Luther P. Jackson High School in our collection. We would love to complete this set also.


The Cumberland County Historical Society and the Cumberland Museum are located in the Old Clerk’s Office in Cumberland Court House. Each month we share about some of our displays along with news and upcoming events. The Society meetings are held at 2 p.m. in February, April, June, October and December of each year. Special meetings are held periodically during the other months.

We are open during the week, usually in the afternoons, but it is always best to call to be sure someone is available to let visitors in and answer questions. (804) 492-3348.