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Things to do

Ride train No. 611

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Train No. 611

Ride the newly restored J Class steam locomotive, featuring Train No. 611

Built in Roanoke in 1950, the J Class train was the most powerful steam locomotive ever built and arguably the best looking train ever built.  Norfolk and Western only built 14 J Class passenger locomotives and train No. 611 was retired in 1959 and was housed in Roanoke’s Transportation Museum until 1981 when it was towed to Birmingham Alabama to be revitalized, the same year Norfolk Western merged with Southern Railway to become Norfolk Southern.  Train No. 611 was used to pull excursions until 1994 when it was again retired and returned to the museum where train enthusiasts from around the word visited train No. 611.  After years of fundraising the museum again decided to undertake a massive restoration costing about $3.5 million. Last year the train was towed to North Carolina for the restoration and now that the restoration is complete, Train No. 611 will be hauling passengers on a very limited basis.

611 Train

N & W Engine No. 611

On Sunday June 14, 2015 you can ride the newly restored J Class steam locomotive, Train No. 611 from Lynchburg to Petersburg.  The train will depart at about 7:30am and will arrive in Petersburg at 12:30.  About 2:30 the train will be returning to Lynchburg where it will arrive about 6:30pm.. Tickets are going fast.

Call The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast at 434-846-1388 for a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride this famous steam powered locomotive.  With your two night stay you will receive two deluxe coach tickets (subject to availability).  Note:  Because tickets are non-refundable and going fast, you will be charged in full  when the reservation is made and the reservation is NON-REFUNDABLE.  Cost for this package is $775.00 and includes two room nights in the mansion, two deluxe coach tickets (upgrades may be available for an additional costs) and a to-go breakfast on June 14 to take on the train.  Taxes and gratuities are in addition to this cost.  Sorry gift certificates cannot be used to book this package and this cannot be combined with any other special or discount..

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by, call today to book your trip.  A portion of each room night will be donated to the “Fire Up 611” campaign to help pay for the restorations of Train No. 611.




Cabinet Makers Along the James River

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The James River runs through the heart of Virginia’s, and Lynchburg’s, history.  During the 1700’s cabinet makers and furniture makers lived and made their wares along the James River.  Recently, newly rediscovered work of colonial Richmond cabinetmakers George Donald and Thomas Arbuthnot has been studied by curators from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.

The Lynchburg Museum is proud to share it’s exhibits on significant James River objects from the 1700’s and 1800’s.  The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts will present a lecture discussing the new research and discoveries contained in their collection in Winston-Salem, NC.  The lecture and tour, of exhibits found in our museum, will take place on Saturday, May 23rd at 3:00 pm at the Lynchburg Museum located at 901 Court Street in downtown Lynchburg, VA.  The exhibit tour and lecture are free for Museum members or $10.00 for non-members.  For further information call 434.455.6226.

Monument Terrace, a rally to support our troops

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Monument Terrace

699th rally at Monument Terrace in support of the troops.

Monument Terrace

699 weeks!

On Friday May 8, 2015 a group of former military men and women along with their families will be holding their weekly rally at the foot of Monument Terrace showing their support for our military.  What is significant about this date is it represents the 700th consecutive Friday that these men and women have been here.  Taking liberty with the Post Office’s motto one could say, Neither snow nor rain nor heat keeps these individuals from showing support to our troops by attending this weekly rally.  Today, May 1st it was a chilly and rainy day when this photo was taken.  Today’s rally was number 699.

Think about it, 700 consecutive weeks, that’s almost 14 years and they have been out there during the dog days of summer as well as the coldest and snowy days of winter.  They have had to brave wind and rain and every conceivable type of weather over these 700 weeks.

The rally at Monument Terrace started at the first Gulf War and no one ever envisioned that it would last this long.  In fact, it was supposed to end at the end of the first Gulf War, but then it was decided that there should never be an end to showing support for our troops so it continues today.

Monument Terrace

Monument Terrace, Lynchburg, VA

I am urging everyone to head downtown to the foot of Monument Terrace (Church Street and 9th Street) this Friday, May 8, 2015 from noon to 1:00pm to show their support for our troops.  If you can’t stay, at least make a point to drive by and honk to show support for our troops.

The group that holds the weekly rally has a Facebook Page that I recommend everyone Like.

The inspiring rise of Monument Terrace commemorates Lynchburg citizens who fought and died in the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam and present day. At the base on Church Street stands the iconic doughboy statue. Many other sculptures and markers line the 139 steps and terraces all the way to the top, where a statue of a Confederate soldier stands.  Across the street at the top of Monument Terrace is the old Court House which is now a museum..

When planning a trip to Lynchburg and your stay at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, plan on visiting Monument Terrace and if you are here on a Friday, make sure you visit between noon and 1:00pm.





Pianos on Main Street

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Piano on Main Street, Lynchburg, VA

Lynchburg Piano on Main Street

Pianos are again returning to Main Street along with a piano on 5th Street.  The pianos were donated to the James River Council for the Arts and Humanities and local high schools painted each piano.  T. J. Matthews tuned the old pianos and Troy Tyree moved them.  The program “Keys for the Hill City” will be unavailing the new pianos for First Fridays on May 1, 2015 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM.  The pianos will be there until October 2nd.

Main Street Piano

Piano on Main Street, Lynchburg

On May 1st there will be experienced piano players at each of the 7 pianos playing classical, jazz and popular music.  Like last year, don’t be surprised to find someone at the pianos during the day or evening hours playing to a group of passersby.  If you know how to play the piano you are encouraged to stop at any of the pianos that are on display and play your favorite tunes.  Last year for 5 months there was spontaneous music delighting visitors and residents of downtown.

The location of the pianos are as follows:

  • Bank of the James-800 block of Main Street
  • The Galleria-900 block of Main Street
  • Schewels-1000 block of Main Street
  • Kegney Irish Pub-1100 block of Main Street
  • City Market-1200 block of Main Street
  • Amazement Square-foot of 9th Street
  • 5th Street between Madison and Harrison

These pianos are your’s for the playing.  Feel free to bring a friend or two with other musical instruments for a jam session.  This type of activity brings even more life to a vibrant downtown and was a great treat to those who heard the hundreds of artists of all ages that played the pianos last year.

The photos in this post are of last year’s pianos as this year’s pianos have not been delivered as of this morning.

Piano on Main Street, Lynchburg, VA

Piano on Main Street

If you will be visiting Lynchburg and/or staying at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast you will want to get out of your car and wonder the downtown street and enjoy the music.  I’m sure it will put a smile on your face.

150th Anniversary of Appomattox Court House

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The McLean House at Appomattox Courthouse is where Lee surrendered to Grant to end the Civil War

The McLean House at Appomattox Courthouse is where Lee surrendered to Grant to end the Civil War

The Sesquicentennial (150) celebration begins tomorrow!  Both the National Park Service and the town of Appomattox are ready for the onslaught of guests from around the world, intent on experiencing this once in a lifetime event.  Have you planned out your next 5 days?

As a follow-up to last week’s blog post below you will find some additional highlights of the events, lectures, programs, real-time re-enactments and educational activities taking place between Wednesday, April 8 until Sunday, April 12, 2015.  Remember, a complimentary shuttle bus service will be running between Lynchburg and Appomattox Court House National Historic Park.  Once at the park a separate shuttle will take you to the individual venues.  For those guests staying at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast a shuttle bus pick-up location is within an easy walk.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday: an author’s tent with writers of historical books who will answer your questions, have books to purchase and will help you get a feel for the significance of April 9, 1865.

  • Each day there will be Parole Pass Printing demonstrations
  • Each day you’ll find Wet-plate Photography exhibits in the park
  • Friday, April 10, 2 different guest speakers at Appomattox County High School
  • Friday, April 10, through Sunday, April 12, real-time Stacking of Arms Ceremonies
  • Extended hours at The Museum of the Confederacy each day
  • Special lectures and exhibits at The Museum of the Confederacy each day
  • Cavalry and Horse Artillery Encampment at the Appomattox Center for Business and Commerce each day
  • United States Colored Troops Encampment at Carver Price Legacy Museum each day

The dates, times and locations of these events, programs and special activities plus many more can be found on the found on the following websites:


Need lodging?  Give us a call at 434.846.1388  or check on-line to see if we have had any cancellations.

Appomattox Courthouse Sesquicentennial

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Appomattox Court House

Appomattox Court House (reproduction)

Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, between April 8 to 12, 2015, at Appomattox Court House National Historic Park and throughout Appomattox, Virginia.

Beginning at 9:00am on Wednesday, April 8 and ending at 4:00pm on Sunday, April 12, 2015 a variety of special programs, lectures, activities and events will be held at the National Park and at various locations within the town and county of Appomattox, Virginia.

A real-time program featured on Wednesday the 8th, starting at 3:30 until7:30, will include a lecture and presentation on the Battle.

The Opening Ceremony will take place at the National Park between 11:00-12:30 on Thursday, the 9th.  Between 2:00-3:00 Lee will surrender to Grant at the McLean House within the National Park grounds.  Lee will leave the McLean House between 3:00-3:30, another real-time event.

On Friday, the 10th, Lee and Grant will meet, the Commissioner’s Meeting will be re-enacted, the Confederate Cavalry will surrender and the first Stacking of Arms will take place.  Friday evening, starting at 6:30, a special program the “Footsteps to Freedom” Memorial Ceremony (accompanied by spiritual music) will take place within the National Park.  4500 luminaries will be arranged along a country road to symbolize the slaves living in or near Appomattox when the war ended.

Saturday, the 11th and Sunday the 12th have various lectures, events and programs, held at numerous sites within the National Park, the City of Appomattox or the Museum of the Confederacy.  The last Stacking of Arms Ceremony will take place on Sunday at 1:00.

Directions, times, locations and more information can be found at the following websites.


Complimentary shuttle buses will run throughout the day between Lynchburg and Appomattox.  Parking will be extremely limited.  Separate shuttle buses will take you to the Sesquicentennial venues in the National Park and Appomattox.  Guests staying at The Carriage House Inn will be able to walk to one of the shuttle bus stops to Appomattox Court House.