Richard Thomas Watts, better known as R.T. had the home at 404 Cabell Street built for he and his family in 1878. Today the home is The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in historic Lynchburg Virginia and was named as one of the top 10 Bed and Breakfasts in the United States by BedandBreakfast.com. On the anniversary of his death we are reprinting the obituary that was published in Lynchburg News on September 22, 1911.
Citizen, Business Man and Veteran Passes Away After Long Illness.
Richard Thomas Watts, aged 78 years, one of the pioneer wholesale merchants and for many years a man prominent in the financial affairs of the city, died yesterday morning at his residence on Cabell Street where he had been ill nearly two years. Mr. Watts’ illness dated back to a stroke of apoplexy which was sustained on November 17, 1908. He recovered from that sufficiently to be about, but never gave attention to business. For some days his condition had been critical and the end did not come as a surprise today, for it had been expected for the past day or two.
Mr. Watts was a native of Bedford County, having been born on September 5, 1838. When but a youth he went to Salsibury, N. C. and at the age of 18 years started in business with the firm of G, M. and A. T. Jones. Later, he went to Selma, Ala.,where he was a partner in a merchandise business with A. T. Jones. When the war between the States broke out, Mr. Watts enlisted as a private in company A, Second Virginia cavalry, joining that command at Manassas Junction. He served as a private and color bearer with that company until he was recommended by General T. T. Munford, now of Lynchburg, for promotion as adjutant of Whites battalion, this promotion coming for bravery. He held that command until May 6th, 1864 at which time his horse was killed under him and he was wounded and taken a prisoner at Spotsylvania Courthouse. He was sent to Fort Delaware, where he was held prisoner of war until the surrender took place, after which he returned to his old home in Bedford.
Later he came to Lynchburg and together with his brother, the late J. W. Watts, and brother-in-law, the late George M. Jones, formed the well-known house of Jones, Watts & Co., this being one of the first wholesale houses of the city. In 1888 he retired from this concern and became largely interested in coal properties as well as holding other large financial and industrial institutions of the city. Until his health gave way he was vice president of Lynchburg Trust and Savings Company and a director in the Lynchburg Cotton Mill, as well as in other private industries of the city.
Mr. Watts was educated at Emory and Henry College, having spent several years there before the war.
On April 22, 1874, Mr. Watts married Miss Emma M. Hurt, a daughter of the late Stephen H. Hurt, who, together with four sons and a daughter, survive. The children are: R. T. Watts Jr., Dr. Stephen H. Watts of the University of Virginia; James O. Watts, R. C. Watts, and Miss Mary Watts, all of whom were present when the end came.
Mr. Watts was a member of Court Street Methodist church, having been faithful in his attendance upon its services until sickness prevented him from doing so.
The funeral service will take place this afternoon at 4 o’clock from the residence, and the burial will be at Spring Hill.
General T. W. Munford, who recommended the promotion of Mr. Watts, has prepared the following tribute to the decease:
Adjutant R. T. Watts entered the Confederate Army as a private in Company A, Second Virginia Cavalry, from Bedford County, then commanded by Capt. W. R. Terry, who was promoted to the Twenty-fourth Virginia Infantry as its colonel, succeeding Colonel Jubal A. Early, and subsequently becoming brigadier general of Pickett’s Division, Col J. W. Watts a brother of the deceased, succeeding Colonel Terry at the re-organization of the army in March 1862, was elected lieutenant colonel without opposition. He detailed his brother as courier at his quarters. He soon attracted my attention by his dash and strict attention to all duties. At a sharp encounter between General Ewell’s division, to which we then belonged, and General Hooker’s division near Bristoe station the day before the second battle of Manassas, it became necessary for General Ewell to retire his battery because of the advantage of position and metal of the enemy, but is was a delicate . Ewell was not there to bring on a battle nor to run, he ordered me to send a sergeant and four men to gather up the debris left by our crippled battery, not wishing to show that it was a retreat. Courier R. T. Watts was dispatched for this detail and soon returned with the four troopers. General Ewell said to me: “Where is the sergeant?” The reply was: “He has not yet gotten up.” I replied, “Watts will take them himself and the next time the sergeant will listen to his instructions.” Watts was then told by General Ewell to go to that position and gather up every buckle that belonged to the battery. We were watching and they were soon dashing up to where the battery had stood. The enemy opened fire upon them, but they literally swept the deck and brought off everything.
General Ewell remarked to me: “That fellow should be a sergeant, for he has won it by distinguishing himself.”
The next day in the great cavalry fight he was made by my order sergeant major of the Second Cavalry.
Col Elijah White, whose original company had served some months with the Second Cavalry, wrote me a note requesting me to send him a man to act as his adjutant and believing Sergeant Major R. T. Watts qualified he was dispatched and graciously accepted the offered position, and he more than once exemplified his qualifications and satisfaction for the promotion.
“Adjutant Watts was a quiet, unobtrusive, active soldier. Like his noble brother, when his name is mentioned in the presence of old comrades it will ever be with pride which only Confederates felt toward each other and understand.”
Perhaps the most recognizable architectural structure in the town of Buchanan is the Buchanan Swinging Bridge. Not long ago we read an article about this quaint little town and decided to head there to check the town out and to see if there were any treasures we couldn’t live without in the couple of antique stores in town (there weren’t). The town is a small southern town on the James River. Main Street is dotted with mom and pop shops (there were no chain stores that we saw). The people were friendly and this would be a great place to get away from the rat race.
While the town is small, the town and the bridge are rich in history. The bridge is 366 feet long and just over 57 feet tall and portions of this bridge date back to 1851. Today the Buchanan Swinging Bridge is recognized as a National Register Historic Landmark. The large stone pier rising from the James River was constructed in 1851 as part of the Buchanan Turnpike Company’s Toll Bridge. Back then, the bridge was a covered bridge. The toll to use the bridge was five cents for every person plus an additional five cents for each horse, mule, oxen or wagon. On June 13th 1864 Confederate General McCausland burned the bridge by packing it with oil soaked hay and then lighting it on fire when Union General William Averell’s cavalrymen attempted to cross the bridge on their way to Lynchburg where they would join up with Union General Hunter who was under orders to burn Lynchburg because Lynchburg was a major supply depot for the Confederate Army. The wind carried embers across the river and eleven houses burned. Averell’s men helped extinguish the fire. The bridge survived the fire but was unusable. The next day, General Hunter’s troops crossed the Blue Ridge Mountain (on what is now Route 43) on his way to Lynchburg.
After the war, the bridge was rebuilt but in 1877 the bridge was destroyed by a major flood. The R&A Railroad Company built another bridge during this time and that bridge was toll free. In 1897 this bridge was replaced with a steel bridge that remained in use until 1938. In July 1937, construction of the current concrete James River Bridge was started with an agreement to maintain a pedestrian bridge (today’s Buchanan Swinging Bridge) between the town of Buchanan and Pattonsburg (the town on the opposite side of the James River). Today, the Buchanan Swinging Bridge uses the large stone pier of the original covered bridge that dates back to 1851.
If you are looking for a nice day trip you may want to consider a trip to Buchanan where you can grab a bite to eat at one of the mom and pop restaurants in town. From Lynchburg, take RT 460 west to Bedford’s RT 43 exit. Stay on RT 43 and you will wind up at the Peaks of Otter entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Turn Left onto the Parkway (heading south) and stay on the Parkway for about 5 or 6 miles until you see the exit for RT 43. Take Rt 43 into the town of Buchanan. As you enter the downtown area, the bridge is on the right. Driving time from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg is about 90 minutes. And just in case you were wondering, yes, the bridge does swing back and forth as you walk across the bridge.
Randolph College welcomed back a group of Buddhist monks from the Rashi Kyil Monastery in Derha Dun India. The monks are touring the United States and will be on campus for 5 days. During that time they will be not only interacting with the students and facility but with those that want to stop by and visit. While on campus they will be working on a Mandala (a spiritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism representing the universe). Most mandalas are the form of a circle with a square. Mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of aspirants and adepts as a spiritual teaching tool for establishing a sacred space and is an aid to meditation and trance induction. The mandala is made by arranging colored grains of sand into a pattern. This practice has been done since the sixth century. Two years ago Randolph College hosted the monks on their tour of the United States. They also created a mandala then so and you can watch a video of their 2011 visit if you can’t make it to Randolph College before they depart.
The mandala is expected to be completed tomorrow (September 11, 2014) early afternoon. At 3:30pm they will hold a closing ceremony in which they will destroy the mandala and disperse its colorful sand into a nearby creek. The public is invited to watch the monks finish the mandala as well as attend the closing ceremony. The mandala is being made at the Houston Memorial Chapel on campus. Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to witness a historic form of religious art as well as interacting with the monks.
Yesterday, September 11, 2013, Kathy and I attended the closing ceremony at Randolph College. The mandala had been completed (photo below) and then the monks chanted and then gathered all the sand up and it was distributed to those in attendance. After everyone got their sand, there was a procession to a stream that feeds into the James River and the sand was sent downstream.
Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia is a small liberal arts school. Formerly known as Randolph Macon Woman’s College, men were admitted four years ago and the name was changed. This is one of the most beautiful schools I have ever seen. Additionally, it has been ranked as one of the top schools in the country. They often have speakers and events that the public is invited to attend such as this one. If you are visiting the area or considering a college you want to keep this one in mind. Check out their website at: http://www.randolphcollege.edu/.
It’s that time of year again! School is back in session and life is getting back to normal and the Lynchburg Historical Foundation is hosting its annual tour of historic homes. This year the homes will be in the Garland Hill Historic District on Sunday September 22, 2013. This is a great opportunity to tour 5 homes that were built from the mid 1800’s to late 1800’s. These homes will be open from 1:00-4:30pm. Tickets are $20:00 per person and all proceeds benefit the Lynchburg Historic Foundation programs. In addition to the tour is the patrons’ party which will be held at the home of Anne Taylor and Joe James at 303 Madison Street. Tickets to the patrons’ party are $75.00 per person and include the tour as well.
Again this year, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lynchburg’s award winning B and B is offering two free tickets to our guests that book at least two nights with us the weekend of September 20-23, 2013. To obtain your free tickets to the 2013 Tour of Historic Homes mention the tour when making your reservation. (See below for restrictions.)
Tickets to the Tour of Historic Homes can also be purchased the day of the tour at one of the homes on the tour or prior to the tour at the Lynchburg’s Visitor Center located at the corner of 12th Street and Church Street in downtown Lynchburg.
As many of you know, I love the character of old homes which is what brought us to Lynchburg. Today’s modern homes have many great features but what most lack is the character that went into homes, especially those built from 1870-1920. This blog contains exterior photos of the five homes that will be on tour. Hopefully you will be able to attend the 2013 tour of historic homes so that you will be able to see the interiors of these homes.
Give us a call today at 434.846.1388 or go on-line at www.TheCarriageHouseInnBandB.com to make your reservation for that weekend!
Will look forward to seeing you September 22, 2013 for this annual event!
Restrictions: this offer cannot be combined with any other offer, special, package or discount. You MUST mention the tour when making reservations to obtain your free tickets.
There are so many great hiking trails in the area so it is hard to choose which one to visit, but we decided to try the Fallingwater Cascades Loop off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Bedford County. It was one of those rare August mornings where the humidity was low and we had a couple days of unseasonably cool weather with lows in the upper 50’s at night and it was even more unusual that we didn’t have guests the night before so we could get up and hit the trails and take advantage of the weather. The hike is a short (about 1.5 miles) with an elevation change of about 1000 feet. It would take the typical person about 90 minutes to complete the loop, but it always takes me a lot longer because I stop to take lots of photos. Below are several photos I shoot, including a photo of a couple of nude sunbathers. The trail is well marked and it is classified as moderately difficult. The first half of the hike is all downhill and the second half is uphill. The grade is not steep but we recommend you wear the appropriate foot wear.
We started our hike by driving up to the Peaks of Otter to get onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Traveling north on the Parkway which winds along the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the left side (west) was foggy (really heavy fog up to the ridge tops of the mountain) while the other side was clear. Remember the song you heard as a child about the bear going to the other side of the mountain…Well, now you know why he went to the other side, probably because he couldn’t see anything on the western side. There was a dip on the ridge top where the fog was flowing from the western side of the mountain to the eastern side and I was able to capture the above shot.
The hike is mostly through the woods so if you burn easily you don’t need to worry about getting sunburn. This would be a spectacular hike in mid October when all the leaves are turning colors. After about 20-25 minutes you come to the stream/water falls. You will spend about 20 minutes walking along the stream and falls until you start heading back up the trail to the parking area. As we parked and started hiking down the western slope of the mountain the fog instantly disappeared. Below are several photos that I took that morning. I hope you enjoy them.
Directions from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast are below these photos:
Now, for the nudes sunbathing. As I mentioned above, it was a cool morning and this couple found a sunny spot on a fallen tree and decided to catch some sunshine….
What were you expecting? I guess you could call them nude!
Directions (provided by Mapquest and edited by Mike Bedsworth):
|1.||Start out going southeast on Cabell Sttoward D St.||0.01 mi|
|2.||Take the 1st right onto D St.
|3.||Turn left onto Rivermont Ave.||0.8 mi|
|4.||Rivermont Ave. becomes Church St. after you cross over 5th Street||0.2 mi|
|5.||Stay in the Right lane of Church Street and take the US-29 S ramp.||0.1 mi|
|6.||Merge onto US-29-BR S, also known as the Lynchburg Expressway||3.8 mi|
|7.||Exit via EXIT 8B towards US-460 onto Candlers Mountain Road.||0.9 mi|
|8.||Merge onto US-460 W towardRoanoke/Danville.||20.8 mi|
|9.||Take the US-221 N/VA-122 N exit towardBedford/VA-43 N.||0.2 mi|
|10.||Turn slight right onto US-221/US-460-BR/E Main St/VA-43/VA-122/N Bridge St.||1.3 mi|
|11.||Turn right onto US-221/N Bridge St/VA-43/VA-122.
|12.||Take the 3rd left onto VA-43/Peaks St. Continue to follow VA-43.
When you reach the “T” in the road turn Right onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and take the parkway heading north. Access to the trail head is near milepost 83. There will be a parking area on the left (Western Slope) and a sign on the Parkway will say Fallingwater Cascades Overlook.
Enjoy the hike!
We have been fortunate to have hosted guests from around the globe. Most of our international guests have been from Europe and include people from England, France, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands and Spain, but we have also had several from Australia. Some come to visit the wineries, others to explore the outdoors, but the vast majority come because this area is rich in history to include Appomattox Courthouse, the site where our Civil War ended almost 150 years ago.
It’s interesting to get a different perspective on life in the US from those who are visiting from different countries. Things that we seldom think about intrigue some of our guests, such as how inexpensive our gas is, how big our cars are, how wide our highways are or the interesting bugs and insects we have. Of course ever once in a while politics come up or other serious topics.
One thing we have started doing when we have guests from different countries is flying their flag. Everyone has loved pulling into our driveway and seeing their country’s flag. Recently the stays of a family from England and a couple from Italy overlapped and we had their two flags flying (above photo).
Typically we have two American Flags but if you drive by and you see one or more flags from different countries, you know we have international guests staying with us. When you do see our two American Flags, one is our current flag (it has 50 stars) and the other one is the flag that would have been flown when this home was completed in 1878 (it has 38 stars).
If you will be visiting this this country, or if you are already here, consider booking at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. The area is rich in history and there is so much to see and do. Don’t make the mistake many of our guests do and book a two or three night stay, we can keep you busy for at least a week. Give us a call at 434.846.1388 or book on line.
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