This post is a continuation of posts about the homes/businesses that were built in Daniels Hill during the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Christ Episcopal Church was built in 1870 as one of four satellite chapels to serve Grace Memorial Episcopal Church. Built in a simple Gothic style, the arched windows of the former nave and chancel are still visible. The building has a stepped gable roof of standing seam metal and brick siding (5-course American bond) with a brick and stone foundation. According to insurance maps a two-story brick tower stood on the front of the building and a small one-story wing was on the rear, neither of which are present today.
By 1898 its use as a church was abandoned and it was no longer used as a place of worship. In 1900, the property came into possession of William H. Baldcock, a grocer; and the firm of Baldcock & Thornhill, Grocers occupied the building. In 1902 a two-story storefront, that is on the building today, was constructed.
In 1913 Baldcock sold the property to Macie White, wife of grocer James White. The structure continued to serve as a grocery store until sometime between 1920 and 1925 when it became the Cabell Street mission for the Salvation Army.
In 1950 the Standard Notion Company began using the structure as a warehouse. In 1954 Macie White left the property to her daughter, Estelle White McDaniel.
The McDaniels continued to operate the Standard Notion Company through 1960. Then, after years of neglect the current owner’s purchased the building. They contemplated converting it to a residence but later decided to finish the space into an event venue for smallish (50-70) events such as weddings, showers, corporate events, etc. The brick balcony on the front of the building and iron staircase were added by the current owners. They installed new hardwood flooring and cleaned up the walls leaving the exposed brick and the remains of some of the old plaster. Work on the project has stalled but the hopes are that it will soon be operational and that once again people will be able to use and enjoy what was once Christ Episcopal Church.
Christ Episcopal Church is just one block from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast so if you are in need of a larger event space than we can hanlde let us know and we will see if this venue is available. Of course we would be happy to address your overnight needs.
Every other year the Old City Cemetery, in Lynchburg, VA, conducts it’s Bawdy Ladies of the 19th Century Tour. This year’s tour will be held on Sunday, September 21, 2014 between 3:00-4:00 PM.
What is a Bawdy Ladies tour? Historian Nancy Weiland will lead a tour of the cemetery grounds to the graves of some of Lynchburg’s “sporting ladies” of Buzzard’s roost and Fourth Street. Stories describing the lives and lore of the ladies and their madams will highlight life in Lynchburg’s more savory neighborhoods and houses. This is not a ghost walk, but rather a tour of the cemetery from a different perspective, describing some of it’s more colorful “inhabitants”.
Buzzard’s Roost is the area between Jefferson Street (Lynch street back then) and Commerce Street in the downtown section of Lynchburg. This area once full of bars bordellos and gambling houses thrived as a hub of commerce, especially during the war when it was said many of these ladies operated as spies as are said to pass secrets.
These “sporting houses” as they were called in Lynchburg were often run by women, both white and free women of color. As downtown industries expanded in the early 1900’s they pushed these business out of the downtown area to the red light district on Fourth Street in the Tinbridge Hill Neighborhood.
Many of the “sporting ladies” or working girls as we call them today often climbed the social ladder and became prominent citizens as they married politicians, police chiefs, mayors and other prominent citizens. It is said that they helped bail the City of Lynchburg out of financial difficulties by donating money to a church who then in turn donated it to the City since the City refused to take their money directly. Likewise a wealthy madam gave a small private college in Roanoke a large endowment and the college. During the tour in the Old City Cemetery you will hear stories of how these ladies, some of whom became very wealthy, lived and their contributions to the area.
This walking tour is free of charge, over uneven ground plus up and down hills and begins at the Old City Cemetery Gate House, located at 401 Taylor Street, or about two miles from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. Advance tickets are not required. For more information contact the cemetery office at 434.847.1465. We will see you there!
In 1899 the Cabell Street Row Houses were built on Cabell Street.
The 600 block of Cabell Street was originally owned by Judge William Daniel, Jr. and remained in the Daniel family until 1881. The owners of the property with the longest tenure after the Daniels were Dennis and Annie Morrison, who owned the lot for almost 60 years from 1883 until 1942. Dennis Morrison was a merchant on Main Street and officer of the Lynchburg Diamond Ice Company.
The Morrison’s built the six row houses but never lived in any of them. They kept them as rental properties for decades. Tenants in the early 1900’s were primarily tradesmen and railroad workers. In 1900 the last house in the row (623) was home to the pastor of the Cabell Street Baptist Church.
This group of six dwelling units is typical of many speculative townhouse developments built in the growing cities after the Civil War. The urban renewal movement had been the cause for destruction of great quantities of such buildings during the 1950’s and 1960’s.
This group of row houses’ architectural style is Italianate with 7-course American bond brick construction. The houses have a total of 18 bays, with 6 one-story tall, one-bay-wide porches and have a prominent wood cornice which rises above the roof as a parapet. Entering through the front door, 13 foot ceilings and large windows throughout the house give the appearance of grandeur of other fine homes in Lynchburg. The kitchen is located in the back of the house on the ground level. The dining room is located in the front of the house on the midlevel. Spacious but economical seems to have been the plan of the developers.
When the Cabell Street Row Houses were redeveloped in the 1980’s restrictive covenants were put into the deeds prohibiting them from being rental properties so the once tenant occupied row houses are now all owner occupied.
This post is one of a series of posts about properties around The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast which are located in the Daniel’s Hill Historic District.
Point of Honor stands on a tract of land cleared from the wilderness where Monacan Indians once camped, and where some 19th century Virginia’s most remarkable citizens lived.
Dr. George Cabell, Sr., began construction of the mansion in 1806 and was completed in 1815. The sophisticated, but irregular shaped two-story, Federal-style mansion is constructed of stuccoed brick. The façade is comprised of a three-bay center section flanked by two octagonal ended projections. Features include matched polygonal bay windows and flanking doorways with arched fanlights, which reflected the era’s fondness for shapes beyond simple rectangles and squares, rich, vivid colors and great windows to enjoy the vista of the historic James River.
Born in 1776, Dr. George Cabell, Sr. attended Hampden-Sydney Academy and completed his medical training at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a friend and personal physician to Patrick Henry and a frequent correspondent with his neighbor, Thomas Jefferson.
Point of Honor passed form the Cabell family when Dr. Cabell’s son William and his wife, Eliza Daniel Cabell, both died in 1830. Her father, Judge William Daniel, Sr. inherited the mansion and left it to his son, Judge William Daniel, Jr. in 1839. In 1928 the property was purchased and given to the city and used as a rec-center and in 1968 the home was acquired and restoration work was started to bring the home back to the way it looked when Dr. Cabell owned the property and in 1977 the home was opened to the public as Point of Honor.
Up until the City of Lynchburg annexed this parcel of land in 1870 the land Point of Honor sits on and the rest of the Daniels Hill neighborhood was located in Campbell County. Since duels were illegal in the City of Lynchburg legends have it that duels fought for honor took place on the grounds of Point of Honor, which was outside the city limits, on the hillside overlooking the James River, thus giving this landmark its name.
About this time the once sprawling plantation of 737 acres was subdivided into building lots. The main road, Cabell Street, which connected downtown Lynchburg to what is now Rivermont Avenue was the main road that ran through the neighborhood and was named after Dr. Cabell.
Today you can visit Point of Honor as it is operated by the Lynchburg Museum System as a house museum. Throughout the year seasonal programs and activities are presented on the grounds. These programs include cooking demonstrations prepared in the reconstructed open hearths and brick ovens of a plantation kitchen. Each October, usually on Columbus Day weekend, the museum celebrates “Day at the Point” where admission if free and guest get to see people in period clothing demonstrating life’s activities of the 1800’s. The property is decorated with period appropriate decorations in December. While visiting Point of Honor you can purchase a ticket that will allow you access to the Lynchburg Museum on Court Street (in the old court house).
Point of Honor is located three blocks from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and is a must see during your visit to Lynchburg. It is open 7 days a week and guests get a guided tour of the main level mansion. There is also an exhibit on medicine during the early 1800’s.
Point of Honor is open Monday-Saturday from 10:00am-4:00pm and Sunday from Noon-4:00pm. They can be reached by phone at: 434.455.6226.
This 1878 Italianate mansion is the largest and finest Italianate mansion in the Daniel’s Hill Historic District and is the largest Italianate home in the city of Lynchburg.
n the spring of 1875, Richard Thomas Watts purchased the two lots on Daniel’s Hill for the sum of $2,150.00, onto which he erected his residence. Designed by R.C. Burkholder it was built between 1875 and 1878.
Watts enlisted in the Civil War as a private in Company A, Second Virginia Cavalry until he was promoted to take on the responsibility of adjutant with White’s Battalion. In May 1864, he was wounded at the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse and taken prisoner, then sent to Fort Delaware for the remainder of the war. Upon returning home he started a partnership with his brother, James W. Watts, and brother-in-law, George M. Jones, to form one of the first wholesale houses in the city: Jones, Watts, & Co. Hardware. In 1874 he married Emma T. Hurt, sold the company in 1887 and moved onto others interests, including coal mining and real estate investments. R.T. and Emma had eleven children, with only five growing to adulthood. R.T. died in 1910 bequeathing the house and lot to Emma, who died unexpectedly in 1911. As she died without a will, her five children agreed that the youngest, Mary, would receive the house and lot. In 1920 Mary married John Williams James, from Culpeper. In 1928 they sold the property to Lena Fore who furnished rooms to travelers between 1938 and 1939, when the property was known as the Cabell and D Street Tourist Home.
One of Daniels Hill’s most ornate mansions, the red brick Italianate was enlarged over the years. The front porch addition, made popular at the end of the 19th century by Queen Victoria, terminates at the north end of the porte-cohere´. The elaborate carriage house was constructed about 1909. Surrounded by an iron fence with brick pillars, the house gives passersby a sense of dignity and opulence.
The original brick house was trimmed with three bay windows and with two small porches facing Cabell Street. Six outbuildings dotted the property, which consists of 1.5 acres, along with two large frame structures fronting D Street. By 1902 the Cabell Street façade of the main house had been renovated and the Queen Anne-style porch features, seen today, had been added. Both the exterior and interior walls are constructed of three courses of brick. The floor plan features a sweeping staircase in the entry foyer, two parlors, a library, 5 bedrooms and 4 full baths (that are original to the house) with wonderful claw footed tubs. A living space for a servant can be found above the kitchen. When the house was built each room had a fireplace, originally coal-burning, as this is how the house was heated. About 1900 steam radiators were added, which have since been converted to hot water radiators. Several of the original gas lighting fixtures remain in the house. Rounded Romanesque arches frame windows and doors. Pediments, scrolled brackets, pilasters, overhanging eaves and pillars were common on Italianate homes.
Mike and Kathy purchased the home in 2003. Working weekly, 3-4 days per week, for almost five years the property has been restored to it’s former glory. Except for the addition of central air conditioning and Wi-Fi the house is much as it was when R.T. and Emma raised their family here. Most of the doors, window casings, light fixtures, mantels, plumbing fixtures and baseboards are original to the house as are the wainscoting in the foyer, dining room and library.
As stated by the Lynchburg Historical Foundation “this house is a fine example of preserving the past for the future”.
150 years ago today, although not a major battle, the city of Lynchburg heard cannon fire and gunshots. The Battle of Lynchburg is technically a misnomer as the failure of the Union assault kept Lee’s supply lines open, which enabled him to fight for an additional eight months.
It took more than three years for the war to reach Lynchburg. Troop trains regularly pulled into Lynchburg’s Ninth Street Station bearing carloads of wounded Confederate soldiers, as the majority of the tobacco warehouses had been converted into hospitals, making Lynchburg the second-busiest hospital town in the south. Lynchburg manufactured ammunition at it’s foundries and provided milled grain and flour from one of the area’s largest grist mills. As a major supply route for the Confederate Troops, General Grant gave General Hunter orders to destroy Lynchburg thereby disrupting supplies to the Confederate Army and thereby ending the war.
As General Hunter marched through the Shenandoah Valley on his way to Lynchburg he ran into little resistance. He took a page out of General Sherman’s march through the south as he burned and plundered the small towns and villages, including VMI in Lexington as he headed towards Lynchburg. Meanwhile General Lee, knowing the importance of Lynchburg to the South sent General Jubal Early to defend the city as there were very few able bodied persons left in Lynchburg to mount any type of defense.
As General Early was racing to Lynchburg to defend the city, General Hunter and his men, on their way from Lexington to Lynchburg, arrived in the Town of New London where they were offered food and drink. This slowed the advance on Lynchburg by several hours buying General Early several hours of time. Finally, General Hunter arrives in Lynchburg and takes over Sandusky, a plantation in the northwest section of Lynchburg, as his headquarters. While preparing his battle plan he sends out spies to the city.
During the evening and night of June 17, 1864, empty trains kept pulling into the 9th Street Station to the cheers of the townspeople as the band played. Word got back to General Hunter that dozens of trains full of Confederate Troops were arriving to defend the City. Fearing that he was outnumbered General Hunter decided not to attack the City and retreated. In a letter to General Grant, General Hunter states, “It had now become sufficiently evident that the enemy concentrated a force at least double the numerical strength of mine and what added to the gravity of the situation was the fact that my troops had scarcely enough of ammunition left to sustain another well-contested battle.”
While there were a few small skirmishes in Lynchburg during the Battle of Lynchburg, the city was left standing and continued to supply the South for the remainder of the war. Because of General Hunter’s retreat from the Battle of Lynchburg we have many buildings that may have been destroyed if he was able to complete his mission. Sandusky stands today and has been restored to the way it looked when it was General Hunter’s headquarters. It is open to the public. Check the link for more information.
If you are interested in the Civil War, the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse celebrates its 150th year anniversary next spring. We are now taking reservations, and I recommend you book early, if you plan on taking part of all the activities the National Park Service has planned for that week. We are about 20 minutes from Appomattox Courthouse!
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