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Lynchburg’s Community Market–a hidden treasure?

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Lynchburg Community Market--Happy Birthday!

Lynchburg Community Market–Happy Birthday!

June 1st will celebrate the Lynchburg, Virginia Community Market’s 230th anniversary.  The third oldest continuously running market in the United States it is 3 years older than the city itself!

Fresh radishes

Fresh radishes

Created as a commercial center on the riverfront it, on what today is 9th Street, it started as an open air market on Water Street.  The market quickly became the central place of commerce for the growing city and as a gathering spot for the city’s residents.  It was initially heavily involved in the tobacco trade.

In 1814,when the market outgrew its original home, it moved to the center of Water Street where it remained until 1872.  In 1872 it relocated to Main Street between 11th and 12th Streets where the space allowed for ample commerce space plus a livestock yard.  It remained there until 1932 when it moved to its current location at     Main Street.

Improvements were made to the market in 1987 that included enclosing an interior space plus adding heating and central air, outside farmer’s stalls and parking.  The market is now home to over 100 vendors each year that include farmers, artisans, bakers, cheese mongers, truffle creators, 4 locally owned restaurants and boutiques.  A great place to find locally grown vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses, wine, jams and jellies, flowers and plants or purchase homemade sweets such as pies, cakes, cookies or candies.

Home grown tomatoes.

Home grown tomatoes.

This year the market is opening a demonstration kitchen.  Local chefs will demonstrate how to utilize local ingredients, found at the market, that will allow the community to learn skills and recipes featuring ingredients from our region (the grow local movement) and in season.  It is anticipated that cooking and culinary classes will be added to take the demonstrations to the next level.

The Community Market is open Tuesday through Saturday from 7 until 2.  Wednesdays, between 10-2 and Saturdays between 7-2 the farmers booths are filled to the brim with delicious offerings.  A word to the wise: get to the market early!  There are many Wednesdays and Saturdays when the booths are bare by mid-morning.

If you are staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we often shop (very early) to get produce for the mornings 4-course breakfast or for wine and cheese in the afternoon for those guests arriving between 4-5 PM .  And we source the market when gathering truffles, wine, cheese, breads and cookies for our room “add-ons” that are available as part of a package or just because.  Call us at 434.846.1388 to discuss your reservation and how to make it more special.

“Canstruction” Project in Downtown Lynchburg, VA

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Train made from donated cans

Train made from donated cans

Using donated cans of food, the Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lynchburg team, downtown venues and businesses, scout troops and concerned citizens will provide hunger relief in our community through an event called “Canstruction”

On Saturday, April 13th 6-8 teams gathered to compete in creating unique artwork structures using canned food.  Each team was mentored by an engineer, architect or contractor.  The completed structures can be seen and admired in the following locations through Saturday April 20th: Amazement Square, Bank of the James, main lobby in the main street branch, City Hall, the Galleria, Holiday Inn Select and the downtown YMCA.

Canstruction Lynchburg is designed to benefit the area by providing an established competition to generate needed canned food supplies for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. All donated cans used in the canstruction projects and other canned goods donated by individuals from the community at the canstruction sites will fill a constantly increasing need in the Lynchburg area.  The canstruction teams were also educated on the issue of hunger in our area to further help eliminate hunger in the future.

Be sure and visit the display sites this week, some of them are truly amazing.

CityArts Mosaic Mural

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Monacan Indians and farmers–Lynchburg, the early days

On Thursday, November 1st, Amazement Square unveiled its nearly completed CityArts Mosaic Mural.  The mural is located at the corner of 9th and Jefferson streets in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia.

The first bridge to Lynchburg

The mural, seven years in the making, depicts the story of Lynchburg in more than 4,800 square feet of panels.  Starting with the Monacan Indians and farmers tending crops to the industrialization of downtown in the 1920’s and its development during the 1950’s and 1960’s during the Civil Rights era the last two panels depict Lynchburg today and in the future.

Lynchburg grows–Court House at top of 9th Street built 1855

The use of volunteers from various Lynchburg organizations, groups and clubs allow many in the community to take ownership of the project, or at least their spot on the panel.

The Allied Arts building (our first skyscraper on Church Street is visible

As you stroll along Jefferson Street and study the mural from beginning to end there are many things Lynchburgers will recognize:  the James River, the old Courthouse, the original train depot, Craddock-Terry show factories, Main Street, the fountain in the James River, Riverfront Park, the mountains to our west, downtown office buildings, the Community Market and more.  On our next warm, sunny day you should take the time to enjoy this work of art that belongs to Lynchburg.  An artistic and historic addition to downtown that can be enjoyed by all.

Three railroad lines ran through Lynchburg

Amazement Square staffers are in the process of compiling a publication that documents the mural’s progress and the number of volunteer hours that went into the project.  Once the mural is complete they intend to file for recognition as the largest glass-tile mural in North America (the largest currently listed is 4,300 square feet.)

Lynchburg continues to grow and thrive!

The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is located within walking distance of downtown and this mural.  The area is rich in history, downtown has many great restaurants and some fun shops.  We look forward to meeting you on your next trip through town.

Today’s downtown Lynchburg, a great place to visit.

The American Flag and our 5th President

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The Flag in 1814 had 15 stars and 15 stripes

When you think of America you may think about Freedom, Democracy, Free Speech, Opportunity, Justice and all that makes this a great country.  The American flag is the one symbol that represents not only who we are but what we are as a county.

 


Last week Kathy and I took a road trip to Charlottesville and visited the home of our 5th president, James Monroe (1817-1825).  His home is known as Ash Lawn and is owned and maintained by The College of William and Mary, his alma mater.  In many respects it is a simple home but worth visiting.  One of the interesting facts I learned was President Monroe  had legislation enacted that makes our flag look the way it does today.

The flag that flew over Fort McHenry in Baltimore in 1814 (pictured above) has 15 stars and 15 stripes.  One star and one stripe for each state.  President Monroe recognized that if we kept adding stripes for each state the flag would create design and proportion problems so in 1818 he signed an act declaring that henceforth our flag would have 13 stripes and a star for each state of the Union.  Had he not signed this act by the time he left office in 1825 there were 24 states and one could only imagine the flag with 24 stripes.

When you see the American Flag today you have our 5th president to thank for the way it looks. Speaking of presidents, next Tuesday we, have the privilege of choosing our president for the next four years.  Remember to get out and vote.

 

 

 

 

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!

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.