Discovering Magruder – Linking a Lost Community To The Present

Preliminary Reference List

Burnham, Philip. The Disappearing Black Community of Williamsburg. The Voice Newspaper.  (Richmond, VA), 2012.  As the title suggests, this article examines the disappearance of the Williamsburg African American community through local witness testimony.

Casey, Carlton. 1999. Carlton Casey Papers (1894-1999).  Williamsburg, VA: Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.  A collection of personal papers that includes early memorabilia of Camp Peary

Chapman, Anne T. 1954. Anne T. Chapman Papers (1884-1954). Williamsburg, VA: Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.  A collection of personal papers that includes newspaper clippings referencing the USO at Camp Peary.

Foster, Andrea Kim. 1993. “They’re turning the town all upside down”: The Community Identity of Williamsburg, Virginia, Before and After the Reconstruction. Doctor of Philosophy dissertation, The George Washington University.  University Microfilms International (Ann Arbor, MI). 1993.  This dissertation contains information on the evolution of Williamsburg, with particular attention to relationship between the African American and Euro-American communities.

Magruder School Parent Teacher Association. 2008. Magruder School Parent Teacher Association Scrapbook (1949-1960). Williamsburg, VA: Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.  This collection may provide information on potential witnesses to the developments that led to the arrival of Camp Peary and extinction of Magruder.

Oxrieder, Julia. Julia W. Oxrieder Papers (1877-1998). Williamsburg, VA: Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.  Ms. Oxrieder’s personal papers document items/events of interest to her, including biographies, newspaper articles, and ephemera documenting local history including folklore, education, organizations and African Americans in Williamsburg.

Porter, Carl. 1942. December 10, 1942 Letter to the citizens of the Magruder area from Carl W. Porter, Commander, of the public works department, naval operating base about building a camp for the Seabees and citizens needing to vacate their homes. Williamsburg, VA: Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary. In addition to establishing a formal position from the group/s organizing the development of Camp Peary, it may provide a route to additional discoveries.

Unknown cartographer. 1938. Plat of A.W. Hitchen’s Farm, portion south of U.S. parkway in Bruton district.  Surveyed April 1938. Williamsburg, VA: Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.   This map may provide visual affirmation of the Camp Peary site, prior to the construction of the base.

Ward, Archibald. 2004. Archibald F. Ward, Jr. papers (1939-2007). Williamsburg, VA: Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary..   Archibald Ward was a chaplain at Eastern State Hospital; his collection includes a notebook describing his experience with Magruder and Camp Peary.

2 Responses to “Discovering Magruder – Linking a Lost Community To The Present”


  1. 1 mal2013 February 9, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    A nice mix of primary and secondary sources. The next step seems to be to consult the many oral histories available from the Swem Special Collections digital archive that discuss Camp Peary and Magruder. Some of these oral histories delve more deeply than others into life at Magruder.

  2. 2 Kate Previti February 9, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Remember to include Bigler’s Mill in your search since, unless I am completely off base here, I think both Magruder and Bigler’s Mill were “lost”/displaced communities to give way to Camp Peary. I think I might have a lead for you on a local with military connections that could at least give you a sense of what access you might be able to get to any kind of military documents. Helpful annotations!

Comments are currently closed.

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The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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