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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s retreat just outside Lynchburg, Virginia, will host a holiday open house on Sunday, December 15, 2013 between 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.
Visitors to this octagonal house will see the house as it might have been decorated for Jefferson’s holiday guests. Evergreen, holly and mountain laurel garlands will grace the railings and banisters, mantels and picture frames. Rosemary and lavender will scent the rooms. The natural materials used as the decorations are all found on the grounds, just as they would have been in Jefferson’s day. The boxwoods shown in the above photo were removed about 3 months ago so that the front of the property can be restored to the way it looked in Jefferson’s time.
In addition to touring the home there will be early 19th century dance presentations by the Regency of Virginia, traditional candle-making demonstrations and the preparation of traditional recipes on an open kitchen hearth.
Admission to the open house is free with a donation of a nonperishable food item for Lynchburg’s Daily Bread of the Bedford Humane Society. A special discount, 20%, will be offered on items sold in the gift shop throughout the month of December.
Here’s a fact that many people don’t know: The Watts family built what is now The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg, Virginia. Descendants of R. T. Watts were the last private owners of Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. If you are traveling to the area to see Poplar Forest and need a place to stay you can make reservations at their original home, now a bed and breakfast.
Once again this year downtown Lynchburg, Virginia’s Community Market (one of the oldest, continuously operating markets in the country) is presenting it’s annual Mistletoe Market.
Saturday December 7th, 14th and 21st between the hours of 7:00 am until 3:00 pm the Community Market will be filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and holiday greenery, unique, handcrafted gifts, food and beverage tastings, family activities, carriage rides through downtown (starting at 10:00 am, $2.00 per person,) Santa and Mrs. Claus and the Grinch will be stopping by.
Get a head start on your holiday shopping by supporting your local businesses, vendors, crafters, farmers and others who greatly appreciate your support all year long. We’ll see you there!
Kathy and I want to wish each of you a Merry Christmas and hope that next year will be a great year for you. Of course if your travels bring you to Lynchburg give us a call, we would love for you to enjoy The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast as your home away from home.
It’s only fitting to write about Monument Terrace on Veteran’ Day. Everyday, Monument Terrace pays tribute to those Lynchburg residents who gave their lives defending our freedoms. Today, November 11th, Veterans Day there will be a ceremony at the foot of Monument Terrace allowing us reflect on the freedoms we enjoy and the costs of those freedoms.
There wasn’t always a Monument Terrace; originally it was a dirt path that connected Court House Hill (site of the original court house, now the Lynchburg Museum) to what is now 9th Street. In 1882 August Forsberg designed stone steps, a plaza and a fountain to be placed at the base (now Church and 9th Street). In 1883 five volunteer fireman lost their lives and statue of a fireman was placed on top of a fountain with water pouring from the nozzle of his hose. That statue stood there until 1924.
Today’s Monument Terrace was completed in 1925 and it was intended to be a monument to those who fought and lost their lives in the first World War (1917-1918). Since then other monuments have been constructed to honor those local heroes from other wars. There are 132 steps taking you from Church Street to Court Street. Along the way there are 10 landings and 11 markers and monuments along the terrace. Eight of the markers are devoted to military service and three commemorate civic milestones. Today there are monuments to honor those who lost their lives in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Additionally there is a POW-MIA Monument and a Purple Heart Monument.
In addition to these monuments, every Friday since 2001 from noon-1:00 a group of citizens gather at the foot of Monument Terrace to demonstrate openly their support for the men and women who serve the United States in its military services.
In the event you are unable to visit Monument Terrace I have posted a few photos below of some of the monuments.
I started with the Vietnam Memorial because I wanted to honor those troops who were not well respected when they returned from the war.
The Korean War is the forgotten war. Lynchburg like lots of towns and cities across this nation lost troops in this far off place.
It was only after we had World War II that this memorial was called a memorial to those who died in World War I. Let’s hope we never see another World War! This monument is at the foot of Monument Terrace at the intersection of 9th Street and Church Street.
A tribute to “The Greatest Generation.” Unfortunately the memorial had to be on two different walls due to the high number of causalities. The National D-Day Memorial is just 20 minutes west of Lynchburg and is also a must see to those who fought on the Beaches of Normandy towards the end of World War II.
Unfortunately, The Spanish American War is just a foot note in many history books. Monument Terrace pays tribute to those Americans that fought in this war.
For those of you who haven’t visited the Lynchburg area, we are only 20 minutes from Appomattox Courthouse where the country was reunited almost 149 years ago. It is worth the trip to visit this national park.
The origin of the Purple Heart Medal dates back to the American Revolution. The medal that is used today is given to those wounded or killed in time of war and was established in 1932. Unfortunately, it is estimated that more than 1.7 million medals have been given out since 1932.
This monument is to honor those that were held as a Prisoner of War (POW) or those that never returned from the war, Missing in Action (MIA).
I hope that all of us takes a moment to remember our Armed Forces, both current and past. Veteran’s Day is more than just a day off or a time to go shopping at the mall. If you have a reason to visit Central Virginia, I would hope you carve out time to visit Monument Terrace, The Old City Cemetery, The National D-Day Memorial, Appomattox Courthouse and the Museum of the Confederacy. There are many other interesting places to visit and things to do, but on this Veteran’s Day lets focus on these venues. Today at 10:30am there will be a ceremony at the base of Monument Terrace. Church Street will be closed during the event.
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