The National D-Day Memorial, in Bedford, VA, expects 10,000-15,000 visitors for the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 2014. Sadly this event could be the last large gathering of area D-Day veterans, as the youngest are now in their early 90’s.
Like eleven other communities in Virginia, Bedford provided a company of solders (Company A) to the 29th Infantry Division when the National Guard’s 116th Infantry Regiment was activated on February 3, 1941. Transported by the British Navy’s 551st Assault Flotilla, Company A of the 116th Infantry Regiment landed on Omaha Beach in the first wave of the First Infantry Division’s Task Force O. By day’s end, nineteen of the company’s Bedford soldiers were dead. Bedford’s population in 1944 was about 3,200. Proportionally, this community suffered the nation’s severest D-Day losses.
Since its dedication in June 6, 2001, the Memorial has attracted more than 1.3 million visitors. The Memorial exists in tribute to the valor, fidelity and sacrifice of the Allied Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
Located on a consecrated 88-acre site the Memorial has four major components that represent the sweep of D-Day from the early planning and preparation for it, through the Channel crossing and landing in France, to the Allied victory and consolidation on the beaches and beyond Normandy into the landscape of postwar Europe. Visitors experience a moving array of small memorials, displays, sculptures and statuary, plaques and tributes.
The Memorial is open between 10:00 am through 5:00 pm daily, except on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving. Visitors can either take a shuttle-cart tour with a guide or a self-guided walking tour. Admission fees apply. Visit the D-Day Memorial Website for a list of activities during the 70th year anniversary celebration. While visiting the D-Day Memorial be sure to visit downtown Bedford as many of the stores will be displaying posters from WW II in their store windows, much like they would have in the 1940s.
Guests staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast for a minimum of three days, June 6, 2014 being one of the days, will be charged for only your Friday and Saturday night stay ( stay for 3 nights, pay for 2). Call us at 434.846.1388, mention the D-Day Memorial special and book your room.
For more information about the story of the men from Bedford who took participated in the D-Day invasion read The Bedford Boys by Alex Kershaw.
The Storming of Thunder Ridge Lynchburg, Virginia’s only local, fully-supported road cycling event will take place on May 18, 2014. This fund-raiser, benefiting the YMCA of Central Virginia, is an enjoyable road cycling experience with the Blue Ridge Mountains as your backdrop. Riders select from a route of 27, 45, 75 or 100 miles.
The 27 Miler and the 45 Miler Curtis Loop take place along flat country roads and then some hills in scenic Bedford County. The 45 Miler includes a challenging 4 mile stretch with four hills to scale. The good thing is after you go up you get to come down.
For those cyclists who have been training for months you might “enjoy” either the 75 Miler or the Century Miler (100 miles). Each of these routes starts through the flats then rolling hills of Bedford County but they each wind their way on a 13-mile ascent to Thunder Ridge, the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. Once you get to Thunder Ridge take awhile to rest, relax and enjoy the fabulous views. The trip down the mountain will be a welcome relief. While riding through Goode you’ll experience the Sausage Grinder and the Nemesis–just to test your legs a bit further.
Along all of the routes there are rest stops with water and energy snacks to refuel you and of course, shady spots to rest.
All start/finish lines are at the Jamerson Family YMCA in Wyndhurst. Riders can take advantage of the Y’s amenities: shower facilities, whirlpool and swimming pool. Just bring your swimsuit and your own towels plus a lock for your belongings. The post-celebration will include plenty of food, music, prizes and camaraderie among the riders who have completed their routes and serve as the cheering section for the riders behind you.
The start time for the 75 and 100 Miler is 7:30 AM. The 27 and 45 Milers starts at 8:30 AM. A cut-off time of 2:30 PM awaits the 100 Miler riders, at mile 62 or rest stop 5.
Those guests staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast will be provided an energizing “breakfast to go” which will allow you to sleep as long as possible but to get your morning nutrients and energy reved. Call us at 434.846.1388 to discuss room availability and our Storming of Thunder Ridge package. This package includes a therapeutic deep tissue LaStone Massage which will relax and re-energize your muscles after they have been tested to their limit. Best of luck to all of the riders!
For more detailed event information, registration material and any event updates visit www.stormingofthunderridge.org.
Natural Bridge was first discovered by the Monacan Indians who deemed it, “Bridge of God.” In 1750, George Washington, engaged by Lord Fairfax, surveyed the surrounding acreage of Natural Bridge. During that visit he scaled up the left wall of the bridge about 23 feet and carved his initials, “G.W.””, which are still visible today. A few years later, Thomas Jefferson set out on horseback on a series of bridal paths from Paxson’s Tavern (in what is the town of Glasgow today) and discovered the bridge. In 1774, Jefferson purchased the land patent from King George III which included the Natural Bridge and 157 acres for the sum of twenty shillings or about $2.40 or in today’s dollars about $160.00. The price was so low because the land wasn’t suitable for farming. There are records that Jefferson visited Natural Bridge four times. In 1803-1804 he had a two story stone and log cabin built near the present site of the Natural Bridge Hotel where he and his guests stayed. During the war of 1812, Jefferson allowed saltpeter, used for gunpowder and ammunition, to be mined from a cave near the arch and in 1816 he provided a live-in custodian by leasing the land to Patrick Henry. Upon Jefferson’s death in 1826 the property was left to his family. Thomas Jefferson kept a guest book for guests to sign and among the visitors that signed the book are: James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, Martin Van Buren, the Eighth President of the United States, John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Daniel Boone, an american pioneer and explorer, and Sam Houston, the first governor of Texas.
The Natural Bridge arch stands 215 feet high (55 feet higher than Niagara Falls), is 40 feet thick, 100 feet wide and spans 90 feet. At its peak, Natural Bridge stands 1,160 feet above sea level and Route 11 passes directly over the span.
In 2014 the Natural Bridge was sold to the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund. The sale included the arch, hotel, caverns and 1500 acres. The VCLF will donate all but the hotel and caverns to the state to be run as a park. Natural Bridge is a national historic landmark that has been in private hands since Thomas Jefferson purchased it 240 years ago.
Natural Bridge is located about 35 miles from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and takes just under an hour to reach. While visiting Natural Bridge you can continue on the path and see the saltpeter cave, the Lost River and Lace Water Falls. The walk is a gravel path on level terrain. To get to the arch you need to go down 137 steps, but if you have trouble getting around, they offer a van that will take you to the level terrain. There is an admission fee charged to enter the path to the Natural Bridge.
Using your GPS you can find Natural Bridge by using this address:
15 Appledore Lane, Natural Bridge, VA 24578 (540) 291-2121 or:
Directions from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast from Mapquest:
|1.||Start out going northwest on Cabell Sttoward E St.
Zoom to this Step
|2.||Turn right onto Rivermont Ave.
|3.||Rivermont Ave becomes Boonsboro Rd/US-501 Bus N.||2.6 mi|
|4.||Turn right onto US-501 N/Boonsboro Rd. Continue to follow US-501 N.
|5.||Turn left onto US-501 N/VA-130/Elon Rd. Continue to follow US-501 N/VA-130.||6.3 mi|
|6.||Turn slight left onto Rockbridge Rd/VA-130. Continue to follow VA-130.||6.3 mi|
|7.||Stay straight to go onto S Lee Hwy/US-11 N.||0.09 mi|
|8.||Take the 1st left onto Appledore Ln.
|9.||15 APPLEDORE LN is on the left.
The Battle of Sailor’s Creek was fought on April 6, 1865, near Farmville, Virginia, as part of the Appomattox Campaign, in the final days of the American Civil War. It was the last major battle between the armies of Gen. Robert E. Lee and Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.
After Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant broke the Confederate defenses at the Siege of Petersburg, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia evacuated Petersburg and Richmond on the nights of Aril 2 & 3, 1865. They began a retreat in hopes of linking up with Gen. Joseph Johnston’s army in North Carolina. As the union Army pursued and engaged the Confederates in the Battle of Namozine Church (on April 3) and the Battle of Amelia Springs (on April 5), Lee discovered that his route to Danville was blocked by the Union cavalry under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan. Lee’s only remaining option was to move west on a long march, without food, to Lynchburg. But the Confederate Commissary General promised Lee that he would send 80,000 rations to Farmville, about 25 miles to the west.
On the rainy morning of April 6, skirmish fire announced that Gen. Andrew Humphrey’s Union Second Corps was in pursuit. Gen. Sheridan’s cavalry cut off nearly one-fourth of the retreating Confederate army. The Confederates counter attacked but were driven back just as the Union cavalry cut through the right of the Confederate lines.
April 6, 1865 became known as “Black Thursday” among the Confederates. In the three engagements along Sailor’s Creek, Lee lost roughly one-fourth of his army, many of them captured. The Federals claimed 7,700 prisoners that day, including six generals. Lee wrote to President Jefferson Davis, “a few more Sailor’s Creeks and it will all be over.” Lee surrendered three days later.
The Appomattox County Historical Society will present the battlefield re-enactment of “The Battle of Sailor’s Creek” April 11-13, 2014. The location of the re-enactment is the Appomattox Center for Business and Commerce, Industrial Park Lane (access from Route 26), Appomattox, VA 24522. The business center is about 1/4 mile northwest of Route 460 and the town of Appomattox. Spectator admission is $10 for a single day pass or $15 for a 2-day pass. Guests attending the re-enactment while staying at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast will be provided with a “bag lunch” to take with you to the re-enactment. Call us at 434.846.1388 to inquire about availability and prices.
While visiting the area, be sure to visit High Bridge Trail in Farmville.
Randolph College and Poplar Forest, sharing resources, have developed a two-day symposium entitled “Facing the Past, Freeing the Future: Slavery’s Legacy, Freedom’s Promise”. The event took place April 3-5, 2014, primarily at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA.
Open to the community, the symposium included archaeologists, historians, performance artists and scholars who facilitated and encouraged discussions about the society left in the aftermath of slavery and how the elimination of Jim Crow laws were designed to hinder the progress of blacks.
Scholars included: Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family”; Christy Coleman, president of the American Civil War Center in Richmond; and Spencer Crew, former director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
One event combined scholarship with people’s lives and heritage when Annette Gordon-Reed moderated a discussion highlighting the importance of oral history. This discussion included two people from Bedford, one of whom is a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson.
A special tour of Poplar Forest focused on the plantation landscapes and stories normally not shared on the general tour. Entire families lived at Poplar Forest, year-round, even though Jefferson only visited several times a year. Stories were shared about what happened to slaves who became too old to work in the fields, what happened when slaves fell in love with another person living at a different plantation, what life was like as a slave at Poplar Forest.
During the course of two days, Lynchburg author and playwright, Dee Brown presented his monologue featuring several generations of African Americans, beginning with a man newly freed from bondage, following a young man who is the first to receive an education, continuing with a member of the Black Panthers and finally an African American Republican judge.
This event was free and open to the public, about 165 people attended. Please visit www.RandolphCollege.edu/SlaverySymposium to review the schedule of events. For guests who stayed at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we provided an early breakfast and “bag lunch”. We are two miles from Randolph College!
Phil Vassar singing Love is Alive
Phil Vassar returns to Lynchburg as he has done for many years to perform a benefit concert for the Miller Home. Phil is unusual in that he remembers his roots and returns home to donate his time and share his talents for this annual fundraiser for the Miller Home for Girls which offers a safe haven to young women who, for whatever reason, are unable to live at home.
As a child, Phil Vassar attended church next to the Miller Home and his youth group used to sing there when he was a teenager. After moving to Nashville and making it in the music business, Phil remembered those days at the Miller Home and decided to support them by performing and donating 100% of the proceeds to the home. Phil also has done a benefit concert for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital. OK, I admit, I really didn’t know much about Phil Vassar before I started writing this blog post, but I must say that I am impressed with the man because he is so generous in helping organizations that help children. That alone should be reason enough for you to buy a ticket, even if you aren’t familiar with him or if you don’t care for country music.
This years concert will be April 2-3, 2014. There will be an acoustic benefit concert held downtown Lynchburg (walking distance from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast). Tickets for this event are $125.00 for an individual ticket, $600.00 for a half table (6 guests) or $1,200 for a full table for 12 guests. This event is limited to 250 guests so it will offer an intimate environment where you will be able to be close to the star. On April 3 Phil Vassar and friends will play at Phase 2 in Lynchburg. VIP tickets are $95.00 and include a balcony lounge, dinner and acoustic concert by a friend of Phil Vassar (last year Charlie Daniels and Robbin Thompson came to Lynchburg with Phil) during dinner. If you just want to hear Phil Vassar, general admission tickets are only $35.00.
Since The Miller Home for Girls opened its doors in 1875, it has cared for more than 900 young women ages four to eighteen, from different counties, cities and even states. The home strives to provide a traditional family environment while addressing the individual needs, behaviors, and goals of each young woman that comes through the doors. Tickets to the Phil Vassar concert can be purchased using your credit card by calling the Miller Home at 434-845-0241 during regular business hours or if you are in town, you can stop by the Miller Home at 2134 Westerly Drive to purchase your tickets where they only take cash or checks.
If you will be visiting Lynchburg to attend on of Phil Vassar’s concert and stay at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, we will donate a portion of your room charges to the Miller Home. Just let us know when booking your reservation that you will be attending his concert.
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