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 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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
This Sunday, October 21, 2012, residents of the Lynchburg, VA area have 2 cemetery tours to take advantage of.
In Lynchburg’s Old City Cemetery, starting at 3:00pm, a tour highlighting the history and horticultural aspects of the grounds will take place. If you have never visited Old City Cemetery or have visited on your own and have wondered why this historic site is Lynchburg’s most visited historic site this tour will enlighten you. Explanations of the graves, grave sites, some of the “residents,” plants, shrubs and trees will give you an overview of this not so hidden gem. The leaves should be almost at their peak color, the weather is forecasted to be partly sunny and warm, so the day will be well spendt at Old City Cemetery.
Just up Route 29, in the town of Amherst, the Amherst County Museum and Historical Society is offering their first Cemetery tour at 2:00pm. The tour begins at the Christian Aid Cemetery (next to the Subaru dealer on South Main Street) and continues onto the Amherst Cemetery (on North Main Street.) This tour will feature actors, from Amherst County High School, who will portray some of Amherst’s more interesting “residents.”
As both of these tours will be walking tours, on uneven ground, it is suggested you wear comfortable shoes.
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.
Just east of downtown Farmville, a 19th century railroad bridge has been converted into a pedestrian trail that provides a sweeping panoramic view of the Virginia countryside. High Bridge spans nearly half a mile, reaches a height of 125 feet above the Appomattox River and is well worth the hour drive from Lynchburg.
Part of a 31-mile trail system and state park that connects Burkeville, Rice, Farmville, Prospect and Pamplin City the trail has become popular with walkers, bikers and even horseback riders. Though the trail is wide, level and flat it’s almost a mile from the parking lot to the bridge. The deck of High Bridge originally consisted of almost 2000 railroad ties. Along the bridge are several lookouts and covered benches to sit upon and reflect. At either end of the bridge are picnic tables.
Built in 1853 as part of the South Side Railroad the original single track, wooden bridge had a pedestrian walkway beside the tracks and a wagon bridge below. The bridge was a vital link for trade between Lynchurg and Petersburg.
In April 1865, during the Civil War, the bridge became of strategic importance to the Confederate and Union armies as they moved west from Richmond toward Appomattox Courthouse. After the Battle of Sailor’s Creek, a band of Union soldiers attempted to destroy the bridge but were thwarted by arriving Confederate horsemen. The following morning the Confederates set fire to the bridge in an attempt to prevent the Union soldiers from crossing. Despite the damage done to the bridge, the Union troops managed to follow in pursuit on the lower wagon bridge. In 1914 the railroad company completed the steel-tower bridge that remains standing today.
After our walk this past Sunday we stopped for lunch at Walker’s Diner. This 1950′s era diner is best known for it’s homemade french fries. They have the usual diner breakfast fare, served until 11 each day. The lunch menu consists of nine varieties of hamburgers, several subs, wraps and other sandwiches along with the appropriate diner sides. The people we saw eating dessert looked very satisfied. Farmville has several antique shops, various specialty shops but is best known for Greenfront.
To get to the High Bridge State Park parking area closest to the bridge take Route 460 toward Farmville. Travel Main Street through downtown. Once you pass the shops & restaurants turn right onto River Road. The parking lot is about 3 miles down River Road on your left. To walk toward the bridge follow the trail toward Richmond, not Farmville.
We plan to return in the fall when the leaves have begun to turn colors. The colors should be spectacular! As you walk the bridge trail you are in the treetops and we can’t wait to see the colored leaves against the dark green of the native pine trees.
If you choose to stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast your 4-course breakfast will keep you from being hungry until after your hike. We can pack you a picnic lunch to enjoy along the trail if you choose not to dine in Farmville. Call us at 434.846.1388 and we’ll help you enjoy a day with Mother Nature.
On the evening of August 24th we had the pleasure of attending an open house at the Lynchburg College Belk Observatory. Located on one of the highest points on the Claytor Nature Study property (approximately 960 feet above sea level) the observatory features a 177-square-foot dome. The dome houses the primary telescope and an observation deck equipped with 12 piers for mounting smaller telescopes.
Viewing the summer night sky through both large and small telescopes and astronomical binoculars we were presented with a show like none other. Mike and I have had the pleasure of viewing the night sky from the middle of the ocean on several occasions, where the truly dark sky, due to the lack of ambient light emitted from humans and buildings, provides for viewing spectacular stars and planets and maybe other life forms. At the Belk Observatory, set at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, within a 470-acre preserve our views were almost as spectacular! Plus, we had the advantage of viewing the night sky along the full horizon and “close up” and unobstructed.
Lynchburg College opens the observatory several times throughout the year to the public. Admission is free but a ticket is required. Visit the web site www.lynchburg.edu/observatory for the public viewing schedule and information on obtaining tickets.
The drive to the observatory from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is about a 45-minute drive from Lynchburg through a beautiful part of Bedford County. Stay with us for your viewing weekend and we’ll treat you like a “star” with our generous rooms, room amenities and 4-course breakfast each morning. Visit our web site www.thecarriagehouseinnbandb.com to compare our availability calendar with the viewing calendar to book your stay with us.
Now the story of the Fairy of the Eagle Nebula:
The Eagle Nebula is a young open cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens, whose “pillars of creation” are dense clouds of gas and dust that are regions of active star formation. Out of one of these ten-light-year-tall pillars emerges a gigantic alien fairy holding a telescope in her hands, aimed south toward the approximate location of the Eagle Nebula. The sculpture was envisioned and sculpted by Jon Hair and was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Irwin Belk.
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