This past Saturday Lynchburg, Virginia’s Pierce Street Historic District (located in the 1300 & 1400 blocks) celebrated the addition of two state historical markers, the people who resided here that influenced Lynchburg and beyond, the music of years gone by and food and drink as enjoyed by both past and present residents with a festival enjoyed by locals and visitors.
Only two blocks long, Pierece Street Historic District is the smallest of Lynchburg’s seven historic districts. It is the only historic district made more notable due to the people who lived here rather than the architecture of the buildings.
Settled in the 1850′s the area was the site of the Confederate Camp Davis, which served as a military hospital and gathering point for recruits from Virginina. During Reconstruction, the abandoned barracks were converted into housing for Federal soilders, a freedman’s school and a black Methodist Church. The area became part of Lynchburg in 1870.
The markers dedicated honor Walter Johnson and Professor Frank Twigg. Johnson’s marker commemorates his efforts to desegregate the game of tennis in the United States. Johnson trained Wimbledon champions Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe. Twigg’s marker commemorates this Virginia educator who was born in 1850 “into slavery in Richmond.” He worked as a teacher and pricipal for 22 years in Lynchurg’s public school system, and later served as president of colleges in Virginia, Maryland & North Carolina.
Look for a future post about Annes Spencer’s House and Garden, also located in the Pierce Street Historic District. On your next visit to the Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast take time to visit this tiny, but very interesting, historic district.
On the evening of August 24th we had the pleasure of attending an open house at the Lynchburg College Belk Observatory. Located on one of the highest points on the Claytor Nature Study property (approximately 960 feet above sea level) the observatory features a 177-square-foot dome. The dome houses the primary telescope and an observation deck equipped with 12 piers for mounting smaller telescopes.
Viewing the summer night sky through both large and small telescopes and astronomical binoculars we were presented with a show like none other. Mike and I have had the pleasure of viewing the night sky from the middle of the ocean on several occasions, where the truly dark sky, due to the lack of ambient light emitted from humans and buildings, provides for viewing spectacular stars and planets and maybe other life forms. At the Belk Observatory, set at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, within a 470-acre preserve our views were almost as spectacular! Plus, we had the advantage of viewing the night sky along the full horizon and “close up” and unobstructed.
Lynchburg College opens the observatory several times throughout the year to the public. Admission is free but a ticket is required. Visit the web site www.lynchburg.edu/observatory for the public viewing schedule and information on obtaining tickets.
The drive to the observatory from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is about a 45-minute drive from Lynchburg through a beautiful part of Bedford County. Stay with us for your viewing weekend and we’ll treat you like a “star” with our generous rooms, room amenities and 4-course breakfast each morning. Visit our web site www.thecarriagehouseinnbandb.com to compare our availability calendar with the viewing calendar to book your stay with us.
Now the story of the Fairy of the Eagle Nebula:
The Eagle Nebula is a young open cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens, whose “pillars of creation” are dense clouds of gas and dust that are regions of active star formation. Out of one of these ten-light-year-tall pillars emerges a gigantic alien fairy holding a telescope in her hands, aimed south toward the approximate location of the Eagle Nebula. The sculpture was envisioned and sculpted by Jon Hair and was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Irwin Belk.
On Saturday, August 25, 2012, at Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Nelson County, the 2012 Virginia Craft Brewers Festival will be held from 2 pm until 8 pm. Presented by the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild and the Virginia Manufacturers Association the festival is designed to gather all qualified Virginia Craft Brewers in an opportunity to promote craft brewing. The event will feature the Virginia Craft Beer cup (a competition in 5 categories with the cup being awarded to the best overall brewery), beer tastings, live music, delicious food, camping and bike races.
Beer tastings will be available from 22 Virginia Craft Brewers, including Lynchburg’s own Jefferson Street Brewery. Visit their web site at www.jeffersonstreetbrewery.com for descriptions of our local beers. Other breweries participating come from as far away as Hampton, Northern Virginia, Abington and everywhere in between.
Live music will be performed throughout the festival from some of Virginia’s best bands. Beginning at 2:15 pm with Love Cannon and ending with No BS! Brass Band at 6:45 pm a total of four bands will entertain you throughout the event.
The Rock Barn will prepare amazing food which will be available for purchase throughout the festival. Featured dishes include: Beer-poached TRB Bratwurst, Shrimp ‘n Grtis, “Tachos by Fardowners”, “Pretzels by ABC”, TRB “Barn Dogs” and various sides and accompaniments. All great dishes that will pair nicely with the beers being tasted.
Tickets will be sold using a variety of pricing options and inclusions. General Admission ($10-all beer tastings & food at an additional charge), Tasting Package ($36-admission to the festival, 1 4 oz. commemorative Tasting Glass, 10 4 oz. Tasting Tickets), VIP Package ($45-admission to the festival starting at 1 pm, VIP seating area under a tent with a view of the stage, 1 4 oz. Commemorative Tasting Glass, 1 Commemorative Tasting Mug, 10 4 oz. Tasting Tickets), Camping and RV Passes and mountain bike racing information can be found online (see www.virginiacraftbrewersfest.com for more details). **All prices listed are for advance purchase only! The rain date is Sunday, August 26th.
Take advantage of this inaugural event just up the road from Lynchburg and end your summer on a happy note. Stay at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and enjoy our legendary 4-course breakfast each morning. During the month of August we are featuring peaches in our fruit and main dish recipes. Visit our web site www.thecarriagehouseinnbandb.com to check our availability calendar.
If you’re heading to the festival and need directions for your GPS Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company is located at 200 Mosbys Run in Roseland, VA.
On Saturday, July 14, 2012 between 11am-6pm, Peaks of Otter Winery will hosts it’s 8th annual Horse and Hound Wine Festival.
This unique winery and festival is full of fun and exciting events, wines, foods and shopping opportunities. Throughout the day you will be able to taste the wines from 9 local wineries (some made entirely from any fruit but the grape!), enjoy delicious food ranging from pizza to BBQ to salsa to everything in between, shop at over 50 artisan and crafts booths. Combine this with a Parade of Horses, a Muskrat Race and Agility Dog & Obedience Demonstrations to make your day anything but boring.
Stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast for at least two nights during this summer festival and your tickets will be complimentary. Visit our web site www.TheCarriageHouseInnBandB.com to choose your room, then call us to book your reservation. You must mention this special when booking your reservation. This special cannot be combined with any other special, discount, coupon or voucher. Advance reservations are required, not later than July 7, 2012 . Call us at 434.846.1388.
You don’t want to miss this day of excitement! See you soon.
The James River Batteau Festival, in its 27th year, launched this past Saturday from Percival’s Island in downtown Lynchburg, VA. A fleet of nineteen boats pushed off from the banks of the river amidst cannon blasts, cheering and applause.
The festival is an 8-day, 120 mile trip down the James River from Lynchburg to Richmond. The launch from Lynchburg celebrates the unique history of these flat-bottomed boats, invented in Amherst, which once carried goods and passengers in the early 8th century. With a draw of only about 6-8-inches these boats carried several thousand pounds of tobacco or other goods on the shallow James River. The batteau carried goods until about 1840 when improvements along the river made navigation by larger vessels possible.
For the first time in 5 years this year’s festival included traditional crafters and artisans, historical games, activities and exhibits, storytelling, live music, a bass fishing tournament, a canoe and kayak race and a Monacan Youth Powwow Dance. Due to the resounding success of this year’s festival, be on the lookout for the announcement, next year, for the launch date in June 2013.
On Saturday, June 2nd, the Hill City Classic Derby took place at Falwell Aviation. 22 drivers competed in the double elimination competition, ten in stock and 12 in superstock. The double elimination format meant that some of the drivers raced down the hill as many as six times.
Since there aren’t any engines in soapbox derby the difference between stock and uper stock is the size of the driver. Stock cars accommodate drivers in the 10-13 age range. In superstock the cockpit is larger to accommodate drivers aged 13-17.
The drivers must make their cars, using a hard plastic kit that weighs about 60 pounds. According to two of the drivers, the hardest part of building the car is getting the steering cables installed correctly. Most of the drivers had assistance from a helpful adult.
In the 1950′s and 60′s the Derby was a fixture in downtown Lynchburg, the course taking advantage of various hilly streets. This year, Falwell Aviation was chosen as the sight of the derby due to the layout of the land and the slope of the runway. Without an engine, gravity plays a vital role in the running of the race. The track was about 100 yards (the length of a football field) and the drivers reached a speed in excess of 30 miles per hour.
The stock and superstock winners, Fulton Fitzgerald and Nathan Hansen, respectively, will travel to Akron, Ohio to compete in the National Soap Box Derby on July 21st. The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast wishes the best of luck to Lynchburg’s representatives!
The derby was such a success the organizers plan to offer the event again next year.
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