On Saturday, December, between 10 until 2, the Interfaith Outreach Association will be hosting the Downtown Lynchburg Historic Church Open House. Nine churches, within a 5 block area of downtown Lynchburg, VA, will be open for tours. In addition to touring the churches each church will be presenting musical performances throughout the tour time as well as a silent auction.
The participating historic churches of Lynchburg are:
- Court Street Baptist
- Court Street United Methodist
- First Unitarian
- First Baptist
- St. Paul’s Episcopal
- Holy Cross Catholic
- Diamond Hill Baptist
- Eighth Street Baptist
- Jackson Street United Methodist
Some interesting facts about a few of the churches on tour follow:
Court Street Baptist: was organized in 1843. It holds the distinction of being the “mother church” of all Black Baptist Churches in Lynchburg. The renowned architect R.C. Burkholder designed this church. Its spire is the tallest object on the downtown skyline, 167 feet above ground level. The copper ball on the top of the spire is 9 1/2 feet in circumference.
Court Street United Methodist: was organized in 1849. This church is considered the “mother church of Methodism” in Lynchburg. Known for its music, the second pipe organ in Lynchburg was installed in 1866. A Midday Music Series is performed from May through September with area organists and instrumentalists as well as guest organists from other cites and states.
St. Paul’s Episcopal: St. Paul’s crèche and angels memorialize and honor loved ones. From Advent until the Epiphany they are remembered in the prayers of the Parish. Children of the Parish add a small stone or some moss to help in the creation of the crèche scene. At the beginning of Advent the precipio are atop the columns throughout the nave. Each week they make their way to the manger. On Christmas Eve a child carries the baby Jesus as part of the procession and places him in the manger.
Diamond Hill Baptist: founded in 1872. The late Rev. Haywood Robinson, Jr. was the longest tenured Pastor having served this house of Zion for 36 years, from July 1964 until his retirement in 2000. Close relationship with Virginia Seminary (currently the Virginia University of Lynchburg) many ministers have been ordained here.
Eighth Street Baptist: grew out of Church Street Baptist. Dedicated in 1899. The interior is reflective of the worship practices of the late nineteenth century Protestant congregations. It is an auditorium church with sloping floors and carved pews facing a shallow chancel.
Tickets to the tour can be purchased via cash or check at the Lynchburg Visitor Center, Depot Grille, Boonsboro Pok-E-Joes, Aylor’s Farm Store or the Outreach Association Office at 701 Clay Street. Adult tickets are $20.00. For more information contact the association at 434.846.6098.
All proceeds form the tour benefit the Outreach Association programs. These include Emergency Assistance, Emergency Heating Assistance for the Elderly, Furniture and Furnishings for abused women, Interfaith Building and Vision Information Programs.
Again this year the YWCA is going to showcase local designers, contractors, vendors and small businesses in the YWCA Lynchburg Design House. The designers and contractors will be redesigning and redecorating rooms, using their skills and the latest design techniques, to transform an ordinary house into an extraordinary one. Each designer or contractor will utilize paint, fabric, furniture and accessories for a total makeover. You, as a guest visitor, will be able to see the work and vision of these talented people. You will see color choices and color schemes, furniture choices and placement along with rugs, artwork and accessories to make the room shine. Almost everything in the house is for sale!
In addition to touring the magnificent house this year’s special events include a fashion show, a mother-daughter tea and a bridal show. A preview party provides an opportunity to meet all of the participating designers who will be showing off their room and their work. In addition to the special events there will be an on-site boutique and Christmas shop, sponsored by the Farm Basket.
All of the proceeds from this event, put on solely by volunteers, directly supports the YWCA mission and programs, with special attention to the Domestic Violence Prevention Center.
This year’s house is located at 1418 Harrison Street, in Diamond Hill. Known as the Kean-Jackson House it was built in 1855. The style is Gothic Revival. R. G. H. Kean was the head of the Bureau of War for the Confederacy and was married to Thomas Jefferson’s great grand-daughter.
The Design House will be open Saturday, November 12 through Sunday, December 4, at various times Thursdays through Sundays. The special events will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The house is also available for community groups for events of their own.
For more information contact Caroline Hudson at 434.847.7751 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you may know we have been posting blogs about Lynchburg, Virginia’s Old City Cemetery since the beginning of the year. We are almost at the end of highlighting a different part or aspect of this unique, historical and widely visited corner of Lynchburg.
This month we are featuring the Quartermaster’s Glanders Stable. Although the Quartermaster’s stable, that housed the thousands of horses and mules essential to the operation of the Civil War was actually located at the “fairgrounds” (which included the present E.C.Glass High School campus) it is represented and presented on the grounds of the Old City Cemetery.
Lynchburg was one of the four quartermaster depots for the Confederacy. The depot’s main function was to supply General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia with the necessary horses and mules needed to conduct the war effort. Over a 15 month period, of the 6,875 horses stabled in Lynchburg, only 1000 were sent into the field. Almost 3,000 died, 449 were shot and the remainder were unfit for service. The great glandes epizootic was affecting the horses, mules and even humans. The stable allowed for innovative medical research on the disease and how it was affecting the cavalry horses.
What is glanders? The respiratory disease, which causes major respiratory distress and death, was a virus spread at watering troughs and in unhealthy stable conditions where the horses were prone to nuzzle. Infected mucus was easily passed from one animal to another as horses use their noses and the sense of smell to identify and communicate with one another. There was no cure.
Doctor Terrell and Doctor Page studied 19 horses stricken with glanders, conducting postmortem examinations at various stages of the disease’s progression. They also intentionally transmitted the disease from a sick horse to a healthy one, sacrificing it 33 days later to study its advanced and terminal symptoms.
Prevention of the disease was the only solution to controlling the epidemic. Horses and mules were placed in uncrowded, well-ventilated stables, which introduced good sanitation and a healthy diet. The animals no longer used communal watering troughs. Any infected animals were destroyed. The ancient disease known as glanders was not completely eradicated until 1934.
Placed on the cemetery grounds, across the street from the Chapel and Columbarium, is a marker describing this important contribution to veterinary medicine. Dr. John Jay Terrell, a Quaker, is mentioned. He helped eradicate smallpox, in humans at the Pest House (blog post 1/12/16), and eradicate the spread of glanders in the animals who served a very important role in the war.
It’s that time again, time to meet some of the ghosts of Lynchburg during their annual ghost walk in historic Lynchburg.
This years Ghosts of Historic Lynchburg walk will be held in the historic district known as Federal Hill. Federal Hill became Lynchburg’s first residential suburb, until it was annexed in 1814 and again in 1819 when it became part of the town’s jurisdiction. One of the smallest and most compact historic districts the houses range in styles from Federal, Greek Revival, Colonial Revival and Queen Anne, plus a few Second Empire.
Federal Street defines the center of this district. Because of the topography some of the streets have never opened or surprisingly dead-end at a bluff or cliff and are picked back up a block or two away at a higher or lower elevation.
Federal Hill has always been a popular residential area. Close enough to downtown for the residents to easily access shops, businesses and restaurants. Closer still to the churches that line Court Street for Sunday worship.
The tour will be held on October 20, 21 and 22, 2016, starting at 6:30 pm. Tours begin about every 20 minutes. Tickets will be sold each evening starting at 6:00 pm, with a limited number of tickets each evening. Tickets are $10 each. There will not be any rain dates. This tour is primarily on sidewalks and streets, but there will be uneven areas and walking up and down hills. The tour will start and end at 1101 Federal Street, which is also the place to purchase tickets.
Even if you have toured this neighborhood before the stories vary from year to year. We will see you there!
The event is put on by the Lynchburg Historical Foundation and is sponsored by Whitten Funeral Home. If you are from out of town and need a place to stay after touring the haunted streets, give us a call. We would be happy to put you up for the evening at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.
The 7th Annual Festy experience will take place in Nelson County, VA October 7 thru 9, 2016, Columbus Day Weekend.
This year’s unique, family friendly, fun festival will be set up at the Nelson County Preserve. Located on 350+ acres there will be plenty of space for the stages, music, outdoor activities, camping (in various formats), food and drink vendors and much more.
Music has always been the mainstay of the Festy Experience, but the Experience is much more. Talented well-known musicians along with obscure newcomers will be featured throughout the 3 days. Included this year are the Infamous Stringdusters, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lee Ann Womack, Sam Bush Band, Steep Canyon Rangers and many, many more.
In addition to the music you will find plenty of outdoor activities to participate in: Disc Golf, ultimate frisbee, kickball, soccer, volleyball, a rock climbing wall, guided nature tours, trail runs, hosted bike rides, yoga and the 21st Annual Blue Ridge Burn–5K/10K run.
If you are visiting for the day or the weekend there will be a variety of food and drink vendors, including an on-site café near the camping area. For those staying at the Preserve there will be unlimited showers available this year.
Tickets range in price and accessibility:
- Day-Tripper Weekend Festival Pass: $100 per person–access to festival only
- Day-Tripper Single Day Pass: $40 per person, per day–access to festival only
- Camping Weekend Festival Pass: $150 per person–access to festival, campground and showers
The Nelson County Preserve is located about 37 miles from Lynchburg, just north of Colleen. Those attendees not wanting to “rough it” may choose to stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.
For more detailed information visit www.thefesty.com or call 434.220.4000. It’s been a fun event in the past and we can assume it will be a fun event again this year.
On Sunday, September 25th, between 3:00-4:00 pm the Old City Cemetery will host it’s Bawdy Ladies of Lynchburg tour.
Lynchburg’s Bawdy ladies have been part of Lynchburg’s history since the very beginning of Lynchburg. Between 1805 until 1910 census and court records state there were at least 535 ladies of ill repute living and working in Lynchburg, VA.
In early Lynchburg the houses of ill repute were primarily located on Jefferson Street, Commerce Street (then known as Lynch Street), Seventh, Eighth and Tenth Streets. This area was known as Buzzard’ s Roost. Along with the bordellos there were plenty of bars and gambling houses found in this area of the city.
During the Civil War many of these “ladies” worked in the Confederate hospitals as nurses, cooks and laundresses. Many of these same “ladies” contributed monetarily to the cause. Some acted as spies and were said to pass along secrets learned from soldiers they were tending to in the hospitals.
Do you know how the term hooker came to be attributed to ladies of ill repute? During the Civil War (1861-1865) many women became camp followers in Joseph Hooker’s Union Army brigade. These women, primarily from Washington, D.C. brothels, became known as “Hooker’s Division” or “Hooker’s Brigade”.
After the war, in the early 1900’s, the “sporting houses” (as the houses of ill repute were called in Lynchburg) moved to Monroe, Jackson and Fourth Streets. This area was now known as “The Hill”. Between 1907 until 1910 there were at least 31 sporting houses in this area. The Hill was active until the mid-60’s. The last Madam of Fourth Street, Tootsie Clay, was arrested in 1964. She was sent out of town instead of to jail due to her declining health. Interestingly enough we have had a guest at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, from the Tidewater area, who’s father used to travel to Lynchburg, by train, in the late 50′ and early 60’s to visit the sporting houses. Not sure why the father shared this information with his son, but it does substantiate the fact that Lynchburg was well-known for it’s sporting ladies.
This years’ walking tour will again by led by Nancy Weiland. Her interest and research into the Bawdy Ladies of Lynchburg began in 1982. She will be guiding the tour group throughout the cemetery, over uneven ground and up and down hills on Sunday the 25th. Meet at the Old City Cemetery Gate by 3:00 pm, located at 401 Taylor Street. This tour is free, advance reservations are not required. Questions should be directed to the cemetery office, 434.847.1465.
Even if you have attended a Bawdy Ladies tour in the past it is worth your time to attend again this year. Each year different ladies are discussed and their lives explained. Mike and I always find it interesting how many of the ladies became prominent citizens of Lynchburg once they retired from the sporting life. They married former mayors, police chiefs and local politicians. If you stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we will be touring along with you.
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