The latest images from the Augusta County Chancery Causes are now available on the Chancery Records Index. With this addition, fifty boxes of Augusta County chancery covering the time period from 1879 through 1895 may be viewed online.
Following are a few suits of interest found in this latest addition. Augusta County Chancery Cause 1880-119 is a contract dispute that centered on the construction of an addition to Wesleyan Female Institute in Staunton. The case includes numerous exhibits such as the 1877-1878 school bulletin (image# 134-159), receipts for building materials (image# 195, 200) and two drawings of the addition (image# 213, 215). Augusta County Chancery Causes 1884-057 and 1895-023 are property disputes in which the plaintiffs accuse the defendants of doing harm to the value of their property. In the first suit, the plaintiff argues that heat and fumes from the defendant’s brick kiln adversely affected the value of his property (image# 41). In the second suit, the defendant built a slaughterhouse and stockyard near the plaintiff’s house (image# 491) polluting a stream and causing insufferable smells and noises all of which depreciated the value of the plaintiff’s property. Most notably, this portion of the Augusta County Chancery Causes includes suits that have their origins in the real estate boom and bust period of 1890s western Virginia. Many of the suits contain plats of subdivisions and towns (Basic City, for example) that never came to be or were short-lived. See Augusta County Chancery Causes 1893-030 (image# 103-104, 106), 1893-120 (image# 101), 1894-131 (image #139), and 1894-148 (image# 44).
These cases are representative of the over ten thousand found in the Augusta County Chancery Causes collection that document the rich heritage of Augusta County and western Virginia. This scanning project is funded by the Circuit Court Records Preservation Program and a $150,000 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
-Vince Brooks, Senior Local Records Archivist