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Events

Maple Syrup Tapping

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Taping a maple tree

Taping a maple tree

Did you know that the maple trees in Virginia produced sap, which can be made into maple syrup, just like the trees in New Hampshire and Vermont?

Did you ever wonder how maple syrup is made?

If the answers to these two questions peak your interest then you will want to visit the Old City Cemetery, in Lynchburg, VA, on Saturday, March 2nd, 2013, between the hours of 10:00 am until 12:00 pm.  The Cemetery’s historic grounds supervisor will be conducting a demonstration on how the century old maple trees, on the Cemetery grounds, are tapped and the sap is converted into maple syrup.  The maple syrup is then sold in the Cemetery gift shop throughout the year (very limited quantities, while supplies last!)

The sap is produced and tapped from trees at least 15 years old, or with a trunk at least 12-inches in diameter.  Beginning in early February, when the temperatures start to warm up but the nights are still below freezing, small splines are placed into the trunks about 2-inches deep and usually on either the left or right side of the tree.  The clear sap drips into bags which is collected until about the end of February.  Once a sufficient amount of sap has been collected the sap is boiled to a temperature of 219 degrees and is a light amber color.  From 2 gallons of sap about 1 cup of syrup is produced.

The Old City Cemetery is Lynchburg’s most visited tourist site.  The grounds are comprised of over 20,000 graves, most of which have long since lost their grave markers or headstones.  Beautiful during each of the four seasons, the winter months bring a sense of starkness, quiet and contemplation.  Great pictures can be taken throughout the Cemetery and will provide fabulous results.

Located at 401 Taylor Street, visit their website www.gravegarden.org for their calendar of events, directions or interesting facts and descriptions.

Come stay with us at the Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and one morning you will delight in a 4-course breakfast featuring maple syrup!  Visit our website www.TheCarriageHouseInnBandB.com to check our availability calendar and book your room.  It’ll be a fun weekend!

 

Fun in Lynchburg Returns!

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Once again things will be hopping in downtown Lynchburg.  This Friday, November 16th the Downtown Diva Crawl returns with divas of all ages on the town!

Beginning at 5:00 pm (and lasting until 8:00 pm) your inner diva can meet other divas at the Lynchburg Community Market where you will receive your tote bag filled with goodies and a discount card with special diva offers.  Then travel up and down main street where you will visit our local downtown businesses and restaurants to get a headstart on your holiday shopping, enjoy delicious special menu items, and discover all that downtown has to offer.

 

If your taste runs more toward wine, then Saturday, November 17th between 11:00-5:00 you will want to spend time at Thomas Jefferson’s personal retreat, Poplar Forest.

Once again the Poplar Forest Wine Festival will welcome 14 Virginia wineries, food from local purveyors, shopping experiences with local crafters and artisans, live music throughout the day and “Mr. Jefferson” discussing his love of wine.  All events will take place rain or shine in heated tents.  House tours will be available at a reduced rate.  Tickets cost $25 at the gate and include a wine tasting glass.  A good day should be had by all attendees. 

 

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast still has a room or two available this weekend if you would like to include an overnight in a 1878 mansion in downtown Lynchburg to your weekend.  Call us at 434.846.1388 to make your reservation.

Zombie Walk

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Headless zombie at 2012 Zombie Walk

The sun was setting on Saturday, October 20, 2012 as several hundred zombies rose from the dead to walk along Main Street in downtown Lynchburg, VA.  Almost as many spectators lined Main Street to see the zombies up close and personal, hear their moans, groans and screams and “enjoy” an unusual yearly event.  Who knew so many zombies lived among us?

Blond Zombie

Some participants clearly spent hours or perhaps days, working on their costumes and planning, then applying their makeup.  We saw traditional zombies, brides, headless zombies, zombies with missing (but carried) limbs, zombies with gashes and missing flesh….you name it.  The “Best Child Zombie” was a boy with a cleaver embedded in his head.  “Most Authentic Zombie” was Abraham Lincoln, risen from the dead, who was accompanied by his wife dressed as John Wilkes Booth.

Abe Lincoln and John Willks Booth at Lynchburg Zombie Walk

The event had a philanthropic theme as well.  Participants were asked to bring along a non-perishable food item or donate cash to the Lynchburg dog park.  More than $200 was raised for the dog park and it is estimated that over 800 pounds of food was donated to Lynchburg’s food bank.

Child zombie

Next year plan on spending the Zombie Walk weekend at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.  Rise Saturday morning to our legendary breakfast, get yourself ready for the walk and then haunt Main Street with your fellow zombies.

Next week will be the Ghost walk down Main Street.  If the zombies didn’t scare you then come downtown to hear stories of residents of years past that just don’t want to leave downtown.  Who can blame them with as much revitalization that is happening!.  The Ghost Walk is put on by the Lynchburg Historical Foundation and tickets can be purchased the night of the event at the Community Market at the corner of 12th and Main Streets.  See you there!

Cemetery Tours

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This Sunday, October 21, 2012, residents of the Lynchburg, VA area have 2 cemetery tours to take advantage of.

In Lynchburg’s Old City Cemetery, starting at 3:00pm, a tour highlighting the history and horticultural aspects of the grounds will take place.  If you have never visited Old City Cemetery or have visited on your own and have wondered why this historic site is Lynchburg’s most visited historic site this tour will enlighten you.  Explanations of the graves, grave sites, some of the “residents,” plants, shrubs and trees will give you an overview of this not so hidden gem.  The leaves should be almost at their peak color, the weather is forecasted to be partly sunny and warm, so the day will be well spendt at Old City Cemetery.

Just up Route 29, in the town of Amherst, the Amherst County Museum and Historical Society is offering their first Cemetery tour at 2:00pm.  The tour begins at the Christian Aid Cemetery (next to the Subaru dealer on South Main Street) and continues onto the Amherst Cemetery (on North Main Street.)  This tour will feature actors, from Amherst County High School, who will portray some of Amherst’s more interesting “residents.”

As both of these tours will be walking tours, on uneven ground, it is suggested you wear comfortable shoes.

Pierce Street

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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.

Star Gazing!

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Fairy of the Eagle Nebula

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.