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Celebrate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day at the National D-Day Memorial

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D-Day Memorial

The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA

The National D-Day Memorial, in Bedford, VA, expects 10,000-15,000 visitors for the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 2014.  Sadly this event could be the last large gathering of area D-Day veterans, as the youngest are now in their early 90’s.

Like eleven other communities in Virginia, Bedford provided a company of solders (Company A) to the 29th Infantry Division when the National Guard’s 116th Infantry Regiment was activated on February 3, 1941.  Transported by the British Navy’s 551st Assault Flotilla, Company A of the 116th Infantry Regiment landed on Omaha Beach in the first wave of the First Infantry Division’s Task Force O.  By day’s end, nineteen of the company’s Bedford soldiers were dead.  Bedford’s population in 1944 was about 3,200.  Proportionally, this community suffered the nation’s severest D-Day losses.

Since its dedication in June 6, 2001, the Memorial has attracted more than 1.3 million visitors.  The Memorial exists in tribute to the valor, fidelity and sacrifice of the Allied Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Located on a consecrated 88-acre site the Memorial  has four major components that represent the sweep of D-Day from the early planning and preparation for it, through the Channel crossing and landing in France, to the Allied victory and consolidation on the beaches and beyond Normandy into the landscape of postwar Europe.  Visitors experience a moving array of small memorials, displays, sculptures and statuary, plaques and tributes.

The Memorial is open between 10:00 am through 5:00 pm daily, except on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving.  Visitors can either take a shuttle-cart tour with a guide or a self-guided walking tour.  Admission fees apply.  Visit the D-Day Memorial Website for a list of activities during the 70th year anniversary celebration.  While visiting the D-Day Memorial be sure to visit downtown Bedford as many of the stores will be displaying posters from WW II in their store windows, much like they would have in the 1940s.

Guests staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast for a minimum of three days, June 6, 2014 being one of the days, will be charged for only your Friday and Saturday night stay ( stay for 3 nights, pay for 2).  Call us at 434.846.1388, mention the D-Day Memorial special and book your room.

For more information about the story of the men from Bedford who took participated in the D-Day invasion read The Bedford Boys by Alex Kershaw.

Storming of Thunder Ridge

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The Storming of Thunder Ridge Lynchburg, Virginia’s only local, fully-supported road cycling event will take place on May 18, 2014.  This fund-raiser, benefiting the YMCA of Central Virginia, is an enjoyable road cycling experience with the Blue Ridge Mountains as your backdrop.  Riders select from a route of 27, 45, 75 or 100 miles.

The 27 Miler and the 45 Miler Curtis Loop take place along flat country roads and then some hills in scenic Bedford County.  The 45 Miler includes a challenging 4 mile stretch with four hills to scale.  The good thing is after you go up you get to come down.

For those cyclists who have been training for months you might “enjoy” either the 75 Miler or the Century Miler (100 miles).  Each of these routes starts through the flats then rolling hills of Bedford County but they each wind their way on a 13-mile ascent to Thunder Ridge, the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia.  Once you get to Thunder Ridge take awhile to rest, relax and enjoy the fabulous views.  The trip down the mountain will be a welcome relief.  While riding through Goode you’ll experience the Sausage Grinder and the Nemesis–just to test your legs a bit further.

Along all of the routes there are rest stops with water and energy snacks to refuel you and of course, shady spots to rest.

All start/finish lines are at the Jamerson Family YMCA in Wyndhurst.  Riders can take advantage of the Y’s amenities: shower facilities, whirlpool and swimming pool.  Just bring your swimsuit and your own towels plus a lock for your belongings. The post-celebration will include plenty of food, music, prizes and camaraderie among the riders who have completed their routes and serve as the cheering section for the riders behind you.

The start time for the 75 and 100 Miler is 7:30 AM.  The 27 and 45 Milers starts at 8:30 AM.  A cut-off time of 2:30 PM awaits the 100 Miler riders, at mile 62 or rest stop 5.

Those guests staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast will be provided an energizing “breakfast to go”  which will allow you to sleep as long as possible but to get your morning nutrients and energy reved.  Call us at 434.846.1388 to discuss room availability and our Storming of Thunder Ridge package.  This package includes a therapeutic deep tissue LaStone Massage which will relax and re-energize your muscles after they have been tested to their limit.  Best of luck to all of the riders!

For more detailed event information, registration material and any event updates visit www.stormingofthunderridge.org.

The Battle of Sailor’s Creek

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Last major battle of Civil War

Battle of Sailor’s Creek

The Battle of Sailor’s Creek was fought on April 6, 1865, near Farmville, Virginia, as part of the Appomattox Campaign, in the final days of the American Civil War.  It was the last major battle between the armies of Gen. Robert E. Lee and Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

After Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant broke the Confederate defenses at the Siege of Petersburg, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia evacuated Petersburg and Richmond on the nights of Aril 2 & 3, 1865.  They began a retreat in hopes of linking up with Gen. Joseph Johnston’s army in North Carolina.  As the union Army pursued and engaged the Confederates in the Battle of Namozine Church (on April 3) and the Battle of Amelia Springs (on April 5), Lee discovered that his route to Danville was blocked by the Union cavalry under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan.  Lee’s only remaining option was to move west on a long march, without food, to Lynchburg.  But the Confederate Commissary General promised Lee that he would send 80,000 rations to Farmville, about 25 miles to the west.

Battle of Sailor's Creek

The old High Bridge in Farmville

On the rainy morning of April 6, skirmish fire announced that Gen. Andrew Humphrey’s Union Second Corps was in pursuit.  Gen. Sheridan’s cavalry cut off nearly one-fourth of the retreating Confederate army.  The Confederates counter attacked but were driven back just as the Union cavalry cut through the right of the Confederate lines.

April 6, 1865 became known as “Black Thursday” among the Confederates.  In the three engagements along Sailor’s Creek, Lee lost roughly one-fourth of his army, many of them captured.  The Federals claimed 7,700 prisoners that day, including six generals.  Lee wrote to President Jefferson Davis, “a few more Sailor’s Creeks and it will all be over.”  Lee surrendered three days later.

The Appomattox County Historical Society will present the battlefield re-enactment of “The Battle of Sailor’s Creek” April 11-13, 2014.  The location of the re-enactment is the Appomattox Center for Business and Commerce, Industrial Park Lane (access from Route 26), Appomattox, VA 24522.  The business center is about 1/4 mile northwest of Route 460 and the town of Appomattox.  Spectator admission is $10 for a single day pass or $15 for a 2-day pass.  Guests attending the re-enactment while staying at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast will be provided with a “bag lunch”  to take with you to the re-enactment.  Call us at 434.846.1388 to inquire about availability and prices.

Battle of Sailor's Creek and High Bridge

The old High Bridge was destroyed at The Battle of Sailor’s Creek. You can walk over the old bridge on the new one.

While visiting the area, be sure to visit High Bridge Trail in Farmville.

 

 

“Slavery’s Legacy, Freedom’s Promise”

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Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest

Poplar Forest

Randolph College and Poplar Forest, sharing resources, have developed a two-day symposium entitled “Facing the Past, Freeing the Future: Slavery’s Legacy, Freedom’s Promise”.  The event took place April 3-5, 2014, primarily at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA.

Randolph College, formerly Randolph Macon Woman's College

Randolph College

Open to the community, the symposium  included archaeologists, historians, performance artists and scholars who  facilitated and encouraged discussions about the society left in the aftermath of slavery and how the elimination of Jim Crow laws were designed to hinder the progress of blacks.

Scholars included: Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family”; Christy Coleman, president of the American Civil War Center in Richmond; and Spencer Crew, former director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

One event combined scholarship with people’s lives and heritage when Annette Gordon-Reed moderated a discussion highlighting the importance of oral history.  This discussion  included two people from Bedford, one of whom is a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson.

A special tour of Poplar Forest focused on the plantation landscapes and stories normally not shared on the general tour.  Entire families lived at Poplar Forest, year-round, even though Jefferson only visited several times a year.  Stories were shared about what happened to slaves who became too old to work in the fields, what happened when slaves fell in love with another person living at a different plantation, what life was like as a slave at Poplar Forest.

During the course of two days, Lynchburg author and playwright, Dee Brown  presented his monologue featuring several generations of African Americans, beginning with a man newly freed from bondage, following a young man who is the first to receive an education, continuing with a member of the Black Panthers and finally an African American Republican judge.

This event was free and open to the public, about 165 people attended.  Please visit www.RandolphCollege.edu/SlaverySymposium to review the schedule of events.  For guests who stayed at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we provided an early breakfast and “bag lunch”.  We are two miles from Randolph College!

Phil Vassar returns to Lynchburg

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Phil Vassar singing Love is Alive

Phil Vassar returns to Lynchburg as he has done for many years to perform a benefit concert for the Miller Home.  Phil is unusual in that he remembers his roots and returns home to donate his time and share his talents for this annual fundraiser for the Miller Home for Girls which offers a safe haven to young women who, for whatever reason, are unable to live at home.

As a child, Phil Vassar attended church next to the Miller Home and his youth group used to sing there when he was a teenager.  After moving to Nashville and making it in the music business, Phil remembered those days at the Miller Home and decided to support them by performing and donating 100% of the proceeds to the home.  Phil also has done a benefit concert for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital.  OK, I admit, I really didn’t know much about Phil Vassar before I started writing this blog post, but I must say that I am impressed with the man because he is so generous in helping organizations that help children.  That alone should be reason enough for you to buy a ticket, even if you aren’t familiar with him or if you don’t care for country music.

This years concert will be April 2-3, 2014.  There will be an acoustic benefit concert held downtown Lynchburg (walking distance from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast). Tickets for this event are $125.00 for an individual ticket, $600.00 for a half table (6 guests) or $1,200 for a full table for 12 guests.  This event is limited to 250 guests so it will offer an intimate environment where you will be able to be close to the star.  On April 3 Phil Vassar and friends will play at  Phase 2 in Lynchburg.  VIP tickets are $95.00 and include a balcony lounge, dinner and acoustic concert by a friend of Phil Vassar (last year Charlie Daniels and Robbin Thompson came to Lynchburg with Phil) during dinner.  If you just want to hear Phil Vassar, general admission tickets are only $35.00.

Since The Miller Home for Girls opened its doors in 1875, it has cared for more than 900 young women ages four to eighteen, from different counties, cities and even states. The home strives to provide a traditional family environment while addressing the individual needs, behaviors, and goals of each young woman that comes through the doors.  Tickets to the Phil Vassar concert can be purchased using your credit card by calling the Miller Home at 434-845-0241 during regular business hours or if you are in town, you can stop by the Miller Home at 2134 Westerly Drive to purchase your tickets where they only take cash or checks.

If you will be visiting Lynchburg to attend on of Phil Vassar’s concert and stay at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, we will donate a portion of your room charges to the Miller Home. Just let us know when booking your reservation that you will be attending his concert.

 

 

Terrapin Mountain 50K and Half Marathon

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Terrapin Mountain 50K

Start of the Terrapin Mountain 50K and half marathon race in 2013

The 7th annual Terrapin Mountain 50K and half marathon will be held Saturday, March 22, 2014 in Sedalia, Virginia.  Located about 25 miles northwest of Lynchburg, VA the course runs through the George Washington National Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Many runners camp there the night before but others want a comfortable bed a warm room and if they bring their non-running spouse/friend/partner we offer a good nights sleep before a day filled with excitement and challenges. The race starts about dawn.

Runners of both the half marathon and 50K race follow trails that involve steep climbs and switchbacks that take them up the mountain, where the overall elevation change during the course of the race is about 3,250 feet.  The half marathon is one loop of Terrapin Mountain while the 50K course consists of multiple loops of Terrapin Mountain.  The 50K qualifies as part of the Virginia based trail race series known as the Beast Series and the Lynchburg Ultra Series.  These runs are designed for serious runners that have done extensive off road training on steep grades.

Terrapin Mountain 50K and half marathon in Lynchburg Virginia

Punching bib at final summit at the Terrapin Mountain 50K

Last year we had a guests who ran the half marathon, was proud to have completed the race and thoroughly enjoyed returning to the Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast to relax and rejuvenate with a massage in our on-site Massage and BodyWorks Studio.  We would love to host you while you participate in this challenging event.  Call us at 434.846.1388 to check on availability or you can always check our on-line reservation system.

While we would love to have you as a guest at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, DO NOT try this race unless you have trained for it!  If you want more information or want to register for the race click here to be connected to their website.

Good luck!