“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Glen Allen in Henrico County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

John Cussons

A Pioneer and Entrepreneur

John Cussons Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, November 15, 2009
1. John Cussons Marker
Inscription.  John Cussons, the son of John and Elizabeth (Jackson) Cussons, was born in Hornscastle, Lincolnshire, England in 1838. His adventurous spirit led him to America in 1855 and he spent four years in the Northwest living with the Sioux Indians.

In 1859, he moved to Selma, Alabama and became half owner of the “Morning Reporter.” When the Civil War started, he joined the Confederate army and served as a scout. He was quickly promoted to lieutenant. After a handful of victories, the Yankees captured him on the third day of Gettysburg. They detained him for eight months in prisons at Fort McHenry, Fort Delaware, Johnson’s Island and Point Lookout. The North released him and he served out West until the close of the war.

In 1862, Confederate Colonel Belo challenged John Cussons to a duel for giving orders to his regiment without authority. The men agreed to use “Mississippi Rifles” and met for the first time in a field accompanied by their friends. They shot two rounds without satisfaction and they proceeded to reload their rifles. Their friends called for a truce and the event was over. Colonel Belo received
John Cussons image. Click for full size.
Library of Virginia
2. John Cussons
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a shot to his shoulder. John Cussons was not injured.

After the Civil War, Cussons returned to Glen Allen. He married Susan Sheppard Allen in 1864. Susan Allen was the widow of Benjamin Allen after whom Glen Allen was named. She was also the sister of Dr. John Sheppard of Meadow Farm, a residence still standing along Mountain Road.

Cussons started a lucrative printing company in 1868. He patented a calendar and popularized the practice of using it as an advertising medium. He is attributed with inventing the flip-top desk and perpetual calendars. His company, “Cussons, May and Company” sold druggist labels and calendars throughout the United States, Canada and Great Britain.

Toward the end of his life, Cussons, a successful soldier, explorer, historical writer, and landowner, became more reclusive. The six feet three inches tall Cussons, called “Wau-zee-hos-ka” which meant ‘the tall pine tree’ by the Sioux, died in 1912. He is buried at Hollywood Cemetery in the Oregon Hill section of Richmond.
Erected by County of Henrico.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNative AmericansNotable EventsRailroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1838.
Forest Lodge image. Click for full size.
Library of Virginia, Valentine Museum
3. Forest Lodge
Forest Lodge, above, was the vision of entrepreneur John Cusson. His dream was to establish a resort for travelers on route from Florida or New York. A 1000-acre park surrounded the luxurious Victorian hotel and included deer, partridges, peacocks, turkeys and other wild game. The property had three lakes for canoeing and fishing, as well as trails. Cusson spent his last days at Forest Lodge, which closed upon his death in 1912.
37° 39.941′ N, 77° 30.151′ W. Marker is in Glen Allen, Virginia, in Henrico County. Marker is at the intersection of Old Washington Highway and Mountain Road, on the right when traveling south on Old Washington Highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Glen Allen VA 23060, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Forest Lodge (here, next to this marker); Forest Lodge Belvedere (within shouting distance of this marker); Walkerton (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Glen Allen School (about 800 feet away); Glen Allen (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mountain Road (approx. 0.3 miles away); Glen Allen Baptist Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); American Legion Post 244 (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Glen Allen.
Also see . . .  Brookland District Historic Sites - Forest Lodge Cupola. Henrico County Historical Society (Submitted on November 15, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.) 
John Cussons & Forest Lodge Markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, November 15, 2009
4. John Cussons & Forest Lodge Markers
Forest Lodge Cupola image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, November 15, 2009
5. Forest Lodge Cupola
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 15, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,007 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 15, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Mar. 30, 2023