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Outdoor Activity

Amherst County Mill Tour

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#brightwell mill

Brightwell Mill

The Amherst County Museum and Historical Society will be hosting a tour of various mills and mill sites found in Amherst County, VA.  Wear comfortable shoes as there will be hiking to some of the mill sites.

The Mill Tour will take place on Saturday, April 9, 2016.  A car pool group will meet at the Amherst County Museum (154 South Main Street) at 9:00, sharp.  The tour is being led by Chris Anderson, known as “Mr. Mills”.  Mill sites will include Amherst Mill–the only continuously operating mill in Central Virginia, two Campbell Mills, Pedlar Mill, Valley View Mill, Myers Mill, the Miller’s House and Stapleton Mill.  Some of these mill sites are standing, others are in ruins.  The tour will conclude about 1:00.  Bring a bagged lunch, snack and a drink to eat in the car while traveling between mills.

#Amherst Milling Company

Amherst Milling Company, one of the stops on the Mill Tour

To get on the tour list please call the Amherst Museum, 434.946.9068.  In the event of rain, the Mill Tour will take place on April 16th.

“The Amherst County Museum and Historical Society is a nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to discover, collect and preserve objects related to the history and genealogy of Amherst County, VA.”  The society conducts lectures, tours, exhibits, workshops  and more throughout the year.  To join the society  call the museum 434.946.9068 or visit their website www.amherstcountymuseum.org.

Stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast for 2-or more nights, the weekend of April 8 & 9, 2016 and we will provide you your bagged lunch.  Call us 434,846.1388 to discuss room availability and rates.

Old City Cemetery’s Hearse House and Caretaker’s Museum

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Hearse

When you could afford the best, this hearse was used.

Following in our series of things to see and do at Lynchbrug, Virginia’s Old City Cemetery, this month we are featuring it’s Hearse House and Caretaker’s Museum.

Old City Cemetery

The old wagon doubled as a hearse for many being buried at Old City Cemetery

The Hearse House and Caretakers Museum depicts the history of the burial and grave marking customs practiced in Lynchburg between 1866 until 1954.  It also shows the story of the cemetery’s maintenance, or lack thereof, during it’s 210 year long existence.

Old City Cemetery's Hearse House and Caretaker's Museum

Old City Cemetery’s Hearse House and Caretaker’s Museum

Included in this museum is an original, turn-of-the-century hearse from the Diuguid Funeral Home. Diuguid has been in business in Lynchburg since 1817, and is considered Lynchburg’s oldest “institution.”.  They are the second oldest funeral home in Virginia.  This hearse would have been used to carry a casket to one of the private cemeteries in Lynchburg.  Pulled by a team of horses, white horses pulled the hearse for children and black horses for adults.

Old City Cemetery

Working on old grave markers in the Hearse House and Caretaker’s Museum

A horse-drawn wagon, made by Thornhill Wagonworks, is also found here.  It too was used as a hearse, along with being used by the cemetery’s groundskeepers to haul their equipment and workers.

When the cemetery opened in 1806 families took care of their own grave sites or plots.  The cemetery hired it’s first official caretaker in 1866.  He was paid $100 per year and was only responsible for the care of the Confederate Section.  Originally, and until about 1954, the caretakers lived “on-sire” or on Taylor or Wise Streets.  As time passed their duties were expanded to include: digging graves and the maintenance of the entire cemetery.  As some of you know, the cemetery became over-grown and in much disrepair until about 1981 when the future of the cemetery was passed onto four women who renamed the association tending to the cemetery the Southern Memorial Association.  They began the arduous task of clearing dead trees, brush and overgrown weeds and plants to discover unique gravestones, walls, paths and more.  What you see today is testament to their hard work, that continues today, for over 20 years.

Old City Cemetery

Tools on display in the Hearse House and Caretaker’s Museum

Take the time to linger at this museum and imagine life in Lynchburg in the mid- to late-1800’s.  Next month we will feature the Mourning Museum, to tie into the history of burial and their customs.

The Old City Cemetery is located at 401 Taylor Street.  The grounds are open daily from dawn to dusk.  The Cemetery Center is open Monday through Saturday between 10 until 3 and Sundays between 1 until 5, April through December.

Looking for a place to stay while in Lynchburg?  The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is close to all the local attractions.  Book your stay with us on-line or by calling 434-846-1388.

 

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

 

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.

Get Downtown-2015

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High School Band preforms at Get Downtown 2013

High School Band preforms at Get Downtown 2013

Lynch’s Landing is presenting the seventh annual Get! Downtown Street Festival on Friday, September 11th.  Between the hours of 6-9 PM.  Main Street will be closed from 13th Street to 7th Street as downtown Lynchburg, VA welcomes over 10,000 festival goers.

Girl on Stilts

Girl on Stilts

Six blocks of downtown businesses, along with vendors, artists, crafters and artisans, live music and performances on three stages, dancers and street performers and local cuisine presented by some of our favorite downtown restaurants mean the largest street festival in is here again.

This year will include activities such as skate demos, chalk art, an arcade trailer, magic performances, face-painters, jugglers and balloon artists.  The BBT parking lot will host a Food Truck Roundup so that you can try their great food, if you can’t get to them on Food Truck Thursdays in Miller Park.  Restaurants participating include CAO Artisan Chocolates, Dish, Jimmy on the James, Kegney Brothers, Market at MainRA Bistro and White Hart Café.

A shuttle bus will run from the James River Conference Center parking lot to the festival, as parking is always at a premium.  Guests staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast are within a 10 minute walk to all of the activities.

This free event is open to the general public and in fact grows each year as more and more residents of Lynchburg take advantage of this fun evening.  We’ll look for you there!

 

 

Ankida Ridge Winery

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Ankida Ridge

View from Ankida Ridge Winery

Ankida Ridge Winery is not your average winery.  Your first indication that this isn’t the typical winery is the journey to get there.  To say it is off the beaten path is an understatement (directions are at the end of this post).  The second indication is that their tasting room is only open the first Saturday of each month or 12 days per year vs. the 300 days a year most tasting rooms are open.  This raises lots of questions but before you start asking questions let me try to answer them.

ankida Ridge Winery

Tasting Room at Ankida Ridge

Ankida translates to where heaven and earth join and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the highest elevation vineyard in Virginia.  A trip to Ankida Ridge is truly inspiring.  The view from the tasting room is absolutely breath taking.  At about 1800 feet in elevation on a clear day you have great views of the valleys and other nearby peaks.  After some brief introductions one of the owners will take you up another 400 feet to their vineyard and tell you a little history about the property.  Believe it or not, the property was actually settled in the 1880’s by farmers who terraced the land and grew crops there.  After World War II, this type of farming was impractical so the land was abandoned and the forest reclaimed the land until Christine and her husband, Dennis, discovered the property and purchased it.  They cleared a couple of acres of the rocky mountain side and planted grapes.  You will learn about the soil conditions, the climate and why this location grows some awesome grapes and why they planted twice as many vines per acre as most vineyards when you are given the tour.  (I’m leaving out a lot of the story on purpose so that you want to venture out and experience the winery first hand.)  From there you head up to a clearing overlooking the small vineyard (they just cleared another four acres and hope to plant that in 2017).  If you thought the view from the tasting room was impressive this view is even better.  After finishing off a bottle of their Vert (Vinho Verde) we headed back to the tasting room where we enjoyed tasting the remainder of their wines.  This was followed by a tour to the lower level where the wine is actually made.

ankida ridge winery

Someone has to keep the grass cut in the vineyard!

Chances are you have never heard of Ankida Ridge Winery.  There are no signs on the highway directing you to them. They  are so small that they make less than 1000  cases a year.  What separates them from many of their competitors is they made the conscience decision to separate themselves from their competition by doing thing better than everyone else and by making a better wine.  Yes, the elevation of the vineyard enables them to grow grapes that others can’t and the soil conditions make for better grapes.  The rocky granite soil, steep slope, aspect to the sun, elevation, vine density, canopy management, incorporating animals in the vineyard all add to growing grapes of the highest quality,along with a good dose of TLC

If you ever thought about heading to the Lynchburg area and you will be here on the first Saturday of the month then this might be a great day trip.  Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy your food with a great bottle of wine.  At The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we do offer picnic lunches for just this type of occasion.  On September 19, 2015 the “Hail to the Harvest” celebration will take place at Ankida Ridge.  Live music, hayrides, winery tours and of course, wine tastings will begin at 12:00, noon.  If traveling to Central Virginia is not in your plans don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy some fine wine, join their wine club.

Ankida Ridge

This is where the fun begins, making wine at Ankida Ridge!

Finally, how the winery got its name.   Shortly after the owners purchased the property they were camping there in a little cabin on the property.  As you can imagine the stars are brilliant when you are that far removed from the lights of the city.  That evening there were thousands of fireflies flying around and the lights of the fireflies and the brilliant stars merged together and it appeared the heavens and earth joined.

If you are looking for more of an “experience” when you are visiting a winery we highly recommend a visit to Anika Ridge.

Directions: From Amherst Village:

Enjoy the scenery as you drive to Anika Ridge Winery.

Enjoy the scenery as you drive to Anika Ridge Winery.

  • Head west on Rte 60, continuing west beyond the traffic circle.
  • ·Go approximately 9 miles until you see Ogden’s Liberty gas station on the left.
  • Just after Ogden’s, turn right onto Mt. Pleasant Rd. (If coming from Buena Vista, stay on Rte 60E for 17.4 miles, then turn left onto Mt. Pleasant Rd.)
  • Go ¼ mile and turn left onto Franklin Creek Rd.
  • Follow this road all the way to the end, approximately 3 miles, to just past the sign “END OF STATE MAINTENANCE.”  The road narrows and winds through the woods.  There are no signs to the property,
  •  Go through opened gate and bear right just above the pond, at the big boulder.
  • Follow driveway up the mountainside (about 2/10 mile) to light grey winery on left.
  • You can park along the driveway just beyond the building (Ankida Ridge Tasting Room is on the upper level.).
  • Enjoy!!!!