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Historic Lynchburg

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“To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade”

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Virginia and the American Slave Trade

The American Slave Trade

The Lynchburg Museum is currently showcasing a traveling exhibition from the Library of Virginia entitled “To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade.”

The centerpiece of the exhibit is a painting by Eyre Crowe, a British artist, called “Slaves Waiting for Sale, Richmond, Virginia,” painted in 1861, it depicts the moments just before a slave auction is held in Richmond in 1861.  Crowe’s three paintings (reproduced on panels for the traveling exhibit) show different aspects of the domestic slave trade that began in the early 1800’s.  “After the Sale: Slaves Going South” (1865) documents what came next for the slaves.

The first African slaves came to Virginia in 1619, when the tobacco industry was booming.  By the 1800’s Virginia wasn’t growing as much tobacco leaving more slaves than work.  Some slave owners began selling their slaves (about 600,000–the largest forced migration in U.S. history) to those in the Deep South (“sold South”) where the slaves would help meet the demand for cotton labor.  Richmond became a “slave-collecting and re-sale center,” the largest slave-trading center in the Upper South.  It is estimated that in 1857 the slave trade in Richmond was $4 million dollars (more than $440 million today.)  The slaves sold were transported by ship, rail or overland in groups that often numbered over 300 people.  The end of the journey was often New Orleans, the largest slave-trading city in the U.S.

In addition to the panels the exhibit showcases slave history items from the Lynchburg Museum collection–the deeds of manumission from John Lynch giving his slaves their freedom in 1782, items found during archaeological digs where the homes of Thomas Jefferson’s slaves at Poplar Forest were located, and a letter from a slave to Elijah Fletcher, father of Indiana Fletcher who founded Sweet Briar College.

You can view this exhibit at the Lynchburg Museum, 901 Court Street, until March 6, 2016.  The Museum is open Monday through Saturday between 10 until 4 and Sunday between noon until 4.  Admission to the Museum is free.

An African American genealogy workshop and lecture will be held at the Community Room of the Lynchburg Public Library on February 19 at 2 pm.  This workshop and lecture are being sponsored by the Legacy Museum of African American History.

The Lynchburg Museum is a short distance (walking distance) to The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.  

 

Lynchburg Museum Quilt Exhibit

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The Lynchburg Museum currently has an exhibit displaying 20 quilts made between 1802 and 2010.

Quilting in America started as a necessity.  Quilts were used as bed coverings or hung over doors or windows to keep the cold out.  Early quilts were usually either plain or whole quilts (three pieces of solid materials quilted together like a sandwich) or patchwork quilts (using various scraps of fabric).  Applique quilts became popular in the mid-1800’s as the availability of more materials allowed “show” quilts to be sewn, not just “utility” quilts. Quilt making became an expression of artistry and skill.  Grandmothers and mothers made applique quilts for their children or grand children.  These were often passed down from one generation to the next.

Quilting bees were an important social activity, as women and girls came together to work on a collective quilt or an individual one.  While quilting they shared stories of their lives and taught essential skills to the girls.

The quilts on display are a combination of historic and modern pieces.  The 1869 crib quilt is of particular note.

The Lynchburg Museum is located at 901 Court Street.  It is open Monday-Saturday 10-4 and Sunday 12-4.  Their phone number is 434.455.6226.  The museum is free to all visitors.

The 1855 Greek revival Court House is one of Lynchburg, Virginia’s most recognizable buildings.  It features a prominent temple façade supported by four massive Doric columns.  The building remained in continuous use as a court house between May 1865 until December 1974.  It opened as the Lynchburg Museum in 1977.

The guest rooms in the mansion, at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, are all covered with quilts.  Kathy’s mother made the quilts we use today.  When you are staying with us be sure to ask to see all of the quilts, we are very proud of them.

Old City Cemetery’s Pest House Medical Museum

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Old City Cemetery Pest House

The Pest House at Old City Cemetery

The Old City cemetery, in Lynchburg, VA, was established in 1806.  It has been in continuous operation since it’s founding, making it one of the oldest public cemeteries in the US.  Nearly 20,000 people are buried here.  They include political, religious and cultural leaders, veterans of every major American war from the Revolution to Vietnam and over 2,200 Confederate soldiers. Three-quarters of those buried are African American (both free and enslaved) and more than one-third are infants and children under the age of four.

In addition to the graves honoring the dead are several buildings/museums, exhibits/monuments, gardens and special horticultural areas.  In 2016 The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast’s blog is going to feature a special section of the Old City Cemetery throughout the year.

January we are highlighting the Pest House Museum Medical Center.

Located directly across the street from the Cemetery Center the 1840’s white frame building was the medical office of Dr. John Jay Terrell.  It was moved here from his farm, Rock Castle Farm in Campbell County, in 1987.  He used this office to treat patients for 40 years.  Once restored it now combines his medical office with an example of a Pest House, to explain the medical science of the 1800’s.

Dr. Terrell’s Office contains his operating table, “poison chest,” “asthma chair,” and some of his instruments.  A 1860’s hypodermic needle, clinical thermometer and chloroform mask along with his surgical kit are on display.  Medical treatments often killed patients in the 1800’s, before their ailments would have.  Dr. Terrell implemented washing hands and instruments between patients and the use of sand or sawdust on the floors to cut down on the spread of germs and bacteria. Simple things we do today and expect to be done today.  These reforms enacted by Dr. Terrell reduced the Pest House mortality rate from 50 percent to 5 percent.

The Lynchburg Pest House was originally located near Fourth and Wise Streets, beside the early cemetery boundary where most of the patients would be buried.  Used to quarantine Lynchburg residents in the 1800’s who contracted contagious diseases such as smallpox or measles the standards of cleanliness and medical care were virtually non-existent.  Dr. Terrell deplored the conditions and volunteered to assume the responsibility of improving conditions for both the residents of Lynchburg and the Confederate soldiers who spent time there in quarantine.  In the Pest House you will see examples of the straw pallets placed on the floor, that has been covered with sand.  The use of sand made it easier to clean away debris and hazardous waste.  The interior walls have been painted black to save the patients eyes, as smallpox affects the eyes and light.  The garden just outside the Pest House contains various herbs and plants that Dr. Terrell would use when making salves, tinctures and remedies for his patients.

You can tour the Old City Cemetery daily between dawn until dusk.  The various buildings and museums are not generally open to the public.  You have access to them through placards, large windows and doors and recorded descriptions of the buildings and what they contain.  The Cemetery Center is open daily between 11 until 3, or by appointment.  For more information about the cemetery, tours, events, burial records or visiting the cemetery contact them at 434.847.1465 or www.gravegarden.org

 

Diamond Hill Historic Home Tour

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Lynchburg historic district

Tour 5 homes in Diamond Hill

You are cordially invited to join the Diamond Hill Historical Society for a tour of five seasonally-decorated homes in the Diamond Hill Historic District.  The home tour will be held on Sunday, December 13, 2015 between 1:00 until 4:30 p.m.

Diamond Hill Home

Harrison Street Home

Diamond Hill was the third of Lynchburg’s original seven hills to be developed and became Lynchburg’s first historic district in 1978.  Located on the edge of downtown Lynchburg, between Church and Grace Streets Diamond Hill is comprised of a variety of architectural styles including Queen Anne, Georgian Revival, Italianate, Gothic and Colonial revival.

Homes open for the tour include: 1216 Clay Street, 1407 Harrison Street, 401 Washington Street, 503 Washington Street, and 609 Washington Street.  These homes were built between 1850 and 1919.  Varying in style, size and lot design they will give tour attendees an educational sense of this historic District.

Tickets can be purchased at the Lynchburg Visitor Center or at Givens Books.  Tickets will be available on the day of the tourat the corner of Madison and Washington Streets. Each ticket is $20.00.

Ghost Walk–Ghosts of Historic Lynchburg Virginia

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Ghost walk will be in the Garland Hills Historic District

Ghost walk will be in the Garland Hills Historic District

October 22, 23 & 24, 2015, in the Garland Hill Historic District of Lynchburg, VA, the annual Ghosts of Historic Lynchburg Walk will take place.  Each year the Lynchburg Historical Foundation and one of Lynchburg’s historic districts collaborate to present a Ghost Walk.  Guides, dressed in period costumes, will escort you through Garland Hill and relate stories of various ghost sightings and happenings in many of the fine historic homes found in Garland Hill.

The first ghost walk tour begins at 6:30 PM each evening, with several more tours offered each evening in about 20 minute intervals.  Tickets go on sale at 6:00 PM each evening in Garland Hill, right off of 5th Street (look for the signs) at 300 Harrison Street.  Tickets cost $10.00 per person and can be purchased the evening you wish to take the walking tour or, for groups of 10 or more, in advance through the Historical Foundation.  The Ghost Walk covers uneven ground, at dusk or in the dark, so bring along a flashlight.  There are no rain dates.

Garland Hill is one of Lynchburg’s more distinctive and well-preserved historic neighborhoods.  Much of the land that comprises Garland Hill was originally part of the farm owned by John Lynch.  Garland Hill was fully incorporated into the city in 1870.  During the mid-19th century, the area was so populated with Garland family members that the hill took the family name.  Madison Street was among the first residential streets in the city to be paved in brick in 1895 (along with Court Street and Cabell Street–where The Carriage House Inn Bed & breakfast is located).  Much of the original curbing, as well as flagstone and brick walks, along with original brick paving remain.

There are 70 structures and approximately 15 outbuildings, including carriage houses, in Garland Hill.  Garland Hill contains the largest percentage of Queen Anne style homes in Lynchburg.  Greek Revival and Classical Revival make up the remaining majority of house styles.  Original lots were an entire block in size.

Garland Hill was designated a Lynchburg Historic District in 1978 and is listed as a Virginia Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Federal Hill Historic District Tour of Homes

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1121 Harrison Street will be open for the tour of homes

1121 Harrison Street will be open for the tour of homes

The Lynchburg Historic Foundation Annual Tour of Homes will take place Sunday, September 27, 2015 between 1:00-4:30 PM.  The tour this year will be in the Federal Hill Historic District.

Tour of Homes will be in the Federal Hill Historic District

Tour of Homes will be in the Federal Hill Historic District

Federal Hill was Lynchburg, Virginia’s first residential suburb.  Annexed in 1852 many of the district’s earliest houses were built in the 1820’s.  Federal Hill developed slowly.  This slow development allowed it to consist of a variety of architectural styles.  You will find Federal, French Second Empire, Georgian Revival and Queen Anne styles.  Areas at opposite ends of Federal Street make-up distinctive sub-districts, owing to topography.

Federal Hill is one of the smallest and most compact historic districts in Lynchburg.  67 structures plus 25 outbuildings comprise the district.  Frame vernacular dwellings make up the majority of the structures.  25% of the dwellings are brick.  85% of the homes have some type of front porch.  Federal Hill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

1115 Federal Street will be open for the tour of homes

1115 Federal Street will be open for the tour of homes

There will be four homes open to tour on the 27th:

1121 Harrison Street, built in 1876.  This brick, French Second Empire sits high on a hill with excellent views of downtown Lynchburg.  Designed by Robert Burkholder it has its original Mansard roof, built of Virginia slate.

1014 Harrison Street, built in 1878.  A unique turret is one of the special features of this brick home.  Also designed by Robert Burkholder it was built for a prominet tobacconist.

1115 Federal Street, built in 1890.  This home was also built by a tobacconist in a transition between a Queen Anne and First Colonial revival style.

1012 Federal Street, built in 1910.  This frame home overlooks downtown Lynchburg from it’s large deck.  This Colonial Revival has kept many of its original fixtures and all of its character.

Tickets for the tour are $20.00 per person.  Tickets can be purchased at the Lynchburg Visitor Center, lynchburgtickets.com or by calling the Historic Foundation Office at 434.528.5353.  The annual tour is always a huge success for the Historic Foundation and serves as it’s major fund raiser.

Stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast and we’ll let you enjoy our historic home.  Call 434.846.1388 to discuss package details.  We look forward to welcoming you to Lynchburg.