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.”
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.
Wow! Our front porch was just featured in another blog post. Last week, BnBFinder’s blog post featured properties with rocking chairs and porches. There was the beach photo at Amelia Island, Florida, the mountains in Sautee Nacoochee, GA , The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast (that’s us!) in historic Lynchburg and the woods of Shepherdstown, WV, The theme of the blog post was enjoying summer in a rocking chair of a bed and breakfast. The blog post can be seen at: www.BnBFinder.com/RockInnPorch. All the photos were very inviting so if you are looking for a place to escape to this summer, why not try one of these properties!
It is an honor to be placed in the same category as these other great properties. If you are in the area, please feel free to stop by and enjoy our front porch!
If you have ever been to a bed and breakfast, then you know breakfast is one of the things that separates us from a hotel. After all, breakfast is in our name! Recently The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in historic Lynchburg was mentioned by the Virginia Travel Corporation (VTC) on their blog post, Everyone Loves Breakfast. There are over 400 bed and breakfasts in Virginia and to be listed with 9 other great bed and breakfasts is truly an honor.
Since the VTC blog post (click the link above to see that post) mentioned our Pumpkin Waffles I have included a link to that recipe. We hope you enjoy this recipe and the others on our blog as well as those of our fellow innkeepers. Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day so if you need inspiration please check out the blogs of those listed in the VTC blog.
This weekend was a contradiction. Saturday the sun was shining, the sky was a bright blue and temperatures were in the upper 50’s. Yes, it looks like spring is here. Time to think about cutting the grass and putting in the garden.
Sunday…The sun hasn’t been seen all day. The sky is grey and snow started falling about noon and five hours later our saucer magnolia blossoms are covered in snow. Time to get the snow shovel out and start clearing the walks and drive way. What happened to spring?
When the snow stopped falling Sunday night we had about 6.5 inches of the white stuff, more than we had all winter!
Lynchburg, Virginia had been a major transportation hub (for the railroads) for the past hundred years when World War II broke out. After the attack on Pearl Harbor tens of thousands of men enlisted to help defend our country and the railroads played a major role in transporting the troops to the various ports where transport ships delivered them to their various assignments. During those years thousands of our soldiers, sailors, marines and merchant marines passed through Lynchburg on their way to fight or on their way home from the war.
Mary Watts, daughter of R.T. and Emma Watts, who had the home built shortly after the Civil War, sells the home to Lena Fore in 1928. Lena was a single lady and business person who saw a need during the war and for several years after the war to provide temporary lodging for people who were passing through Lynchburg so she opened her home up as the Cabell and D Street Tourist Home. The photo above was on the reverse of her business card (above). A tourist home was essentially a bed and breakfast before that term was coined. It was a place where a traveler could rest and unwind before resuming their travels and during the four years of the war it is estimated that over 1,000 members of our armed forces stayed at the Cabell and D Street Tourist home.
If you happened to be passing through Lynchburg during WW II and you stayed with Lena at the Cabell and D Street Tourist home we would like to invite you back for a return visit. In return for sharing any stories or photos you may have about your stay we will honor the rate you paid back in the 1940’s which we estimate to be $4.50 per day.
By the late 1950’s Lena became ill and her sister was appointed as her legal guardian In 1961 her sister had the home sold at public auction for $8,100.00. Mr. Johnson, a retired postman who delivered mail to the Daniel’s Hill neighborhood, converted the home into four apartments The carriage house was his workshop. The back part of the property was a large garden. After Mr. Johnson sold the property it went through a number of owners until 2003 when we purchased the home. About 3 years into our restoration we decided to do what Lena did 60 years earlier and open our home up to visitors passing through or visiting the Lynchburg area.
Today the huge trees that were on the property are gone but we still have the “Deluxe Accommodations with Private Baths” and we are “Away from the Noise” and of course we are still only 4 blocks to Main Street and all the shops and restaurants you will find there. Our phone number now has an area code plus four more numbers so give us a call at 434.846.1388 or book on-line from our website at www.TheCarriageHouseInnBandB.com.
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