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Things to do

Ice sculpture

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Ice sculpture

Ice sculpture on Blackwater Creek

Starting to get cabin fever?  Want to work off all those holiday pounds?  Take a hike and check out some great ice sculptures.  It has been wet the past couple of weeks and as the temperature drops, water freezes and forms some great icesculptures changing the normal landscape into something quite spectacular.  In and around the Lynchburg area we have some great opportunities to see frozen waterfalls and ice formations, but if you aren’t sure about hiking up one of our mountains, at the foot of our street is one of the entrances to the Blackwater Creek trail and it is flat and paved path that has some great opportunities for some memorable photography.

Blackwater Creek Ice sculpture

Ice sculpture

Before you decide to grab your camera there are a few things to consider before capturing those great ice sculpture photos.  First, dress warmly and dress in layers.  Wear the proper shoes for hiking and wearing a pair of thick wool socks will keep your feet warm.  Bring water.  It may be cold out there but the air is dry and you will get thirsty so don’t forget the water.  Carry your camera inside your coat and take it out when you are taking pictures.  This keeps your camera somewhat warm, but it also keeps it from swinging around.  A hiking stick is also a good idea.  The ground could be icy and slippery and the stick can give you a little more stability.  Finally, it’s always a good idea to bring a friend or as a minimum tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.

These ice sculpture photos were taken off the Blackwater Creek trail near The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast last year, but with the temperatures falling into the single digits later this week, there will be lots of great ice sculptures for you to see and photograph.  Looking for a great bed and breakfast experience while hiking our trails.  Call 434.846.1388 to book your reservation today.

Best of luck and stay warm!.

The First Thanksgiving didn’t happen at Plymouth Massachusetts

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First thanksgiving

The site of the first Thanksgiving was on the grounds of the plantation

Having just celebrated Thanksgiving I thought I would tell everyone that the First Thanksgiving actually was celebrated in December.  As children we all learned about the first Thanksgiving that occurred in Plymouth Massachusetts in 1621.  Unfortunately this is not the first Thanksgiving.

First Thanksgiving

Site of the First Thanksgiving

On September 16, 1619, a group of 38 English colonists, headed by Captain John Woodlief, sailed from England aboard the Margaret.  The colonists were sent by the London Company, which owned thousands of acres in the area now known as Virginia, and settled and supported Berkeley Plantation.  They landed at Berkeley Hundred 10 weeks later, on December 4, 1619.  In 1619 Berkeley Hundred was about 8,000 acres of land on the north bank of the James River near Herring Creek in an area known as Charles Cittie (sic).  It was named for one of the original founders, Richard Berkeley, a member of the Berkeley family of Gloucestershire, England.  It was about 20 miles upstream from Jamestown, where the first permanent settlement of the Colony of Virginia was established on May 14, 1607.

The group’s charter required that the day of arrival be observed as a “day of thanksgiving” to God.  On that first day, Captain Woodlief held the service of thanksgiving after the weary travelers disembarked and immediately fell to their knees to thank God for their safe arrival. There were no Indians (native Americans) there to celebrate their arrival and there were no turkey dinners prepared.  The Charter of Berkeley Plantation specified the thanksgiving service: “We ordained that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantation in the land of Virginia shall yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God”.  The Thanksgiving at Berkeley Hundred occurred a year before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth.

Berkeley Plantation, one of the first great estates in America, comprises about 1,000 acres today.  Benjamin Harrison IV built on the estate, in 1726, what is believed to be the oldest three-story brick mansion in Virginia and is the ancestral home to two Presidents of the United States: William Henry Harrison (our ninth President), his grandson, and Benjamin Harrison (our 23rd President), his great-great-grandson.

Berkeley Plantation is located 18 miles west of Williamsburg and 35 miles east of Richmond.  The house and grounds are open daily.. Check their website for more information.

Dining Room at Berkeley Plantation

Dining Room at Berkeley Plantation

When touring Berkeley Plantation there is a letter on display to President Kennedy informing the President that the first Thanksgiving actually happened a year before the Thanksgiving celebration in Massachusetts.  The response to the letter came from Henry Kissinger which in part states the President is partial to Massachusetts and they will not be re-writing history to acknowledge the  first Thanksgiving actually happened in Virginia.


Liberty University’s tunnel.

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Liberty University Tunnel (campus side)

Liberty University Tunnel (campus side)


Tunnel at Liberty University

Liberty University side of the tunnel

Liberty University opened a new entrance onto their campus last May with the completion of their new tunnel that goes under the Norfolk-Southern railroad tracks..  What made this project unique and interesting, at least from my point of view, is how the tunnel was constructed.  The tunnels were prefabricated and shipped to the site.  Each tunnel is a large concrete box weighing 4.2 million pounds and measuring 26 feet tall, 32 feet wide and 130 feet long.

Tunnel at Liberty University

Tunnel was pulled from this side

A large concrete pad was constructed and these massive concrete boxes were positioned on the pad on the Liberty University side of the tracks. The boxes were pulled and pushed through the soil until they broke through the other side.  On the “other side” of the tracks the ground was reinforced with steel and concrete and holes were drilled through to the Liberty University campus side and cables were run through and connected to the concrete boxes that would be pulled through.  The boxes were equipped with cutting edges to aid in the process.  When pulling with the cables wasn’t sufficient to move these giant boxes they were also pushed.

Tunnel at Liberty University

Tunnel pushes through to the other side

As the boxes were being pushed and pulled, excavating equipment was in the box to remove the earth as it made its way under the railroad tracks.  This is the first time that this type of tunnel construction had been done in North America. During the entire process, engineers from Norfolk-Southern were on site to ensure the earth below the tracks was solid so that trains passing overhead wouldn’t derail.

After breaking through to the other side (Wards Road), pavement was put down and the tunnel was opened for traffic just in time for Liberty University’s 2013 graduation.  Since its opening the entrances on both sides have undergone some cosmetic improvements such as bricking the walls, landscaping, adding lighting and putting in a pedestrian walkway.


Tunnel at Liberty University

Inside tunnel facing Wards Road

Today, driving through the tunnels one would never think about how they got here, but I found it very interesting to watch the process.  To most it is just a tunnel but to me, it is a project that demonstrated man’s ability to think outside the box in problem solving.  Next time you drive by the tunnel imagine what it took to drag/pull a 4.2 million pound box of concrete through the earth. While the tunnel will never be a tourist attraction in Lynchburg or for Liberty University, the story about how it got here is worth remembering.

Recently the tunnel construction project was named best Small Project (under $10 million) in the MidAtlantic region, consisting of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia by Engineering News-Record (ENR) MidAtlantic, a magazine and website for construction industry professionals.

There are many things to do and see during your stay at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, but if you drive by the tunnel perhaps now you can appreciate the story of “The Tunnel” as we now call it.



Old City Cemetery-All Hallows Eve Service

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Old City Cemetery Chapel

Chapel at Old City Cemetery, Lynchburg, VA

Old City Cemetery is presenting a service in their chapel on October 31st from 5:30-6:30 p. m.  This All Hallows Eve Service will be preformed by local  Episcopal clergy and will be based on legitimate bible passages that have been chosen for their Hallowed theme.  The service is non denominational and is open to the public and promises to be positive and uplifting.

On All Hallows Eve many Christian denominations encourage abstinence from meat.  In the Northern Hemisphere Halloween comes in the wake of the yearly apple harvest.  Candy, caramel or taffy apples are common Halloween treats.

There is no charge to attend this event which will be held in the Cemetery Chapel at the Old City Cemetery which is located at 401 Taylor Street, Lynchburg, VA  24501.  For more information call the Cemetery office at 434.847.1465 or visit their website,

Unlike the candlelight tours of the grounds of Old City Cemetery, this event while educational will not be talking about the residents.  There are events throughout the year so check their website on a regular basis.  Guest of The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast find the Old City Cemetery to be an interesting place to visit so if you haven’t been there you won’t want to miss this opportunity to become acquainted with on of the City’s most interesting spots.

Apple Picking

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Apple Picking

Apple Picking

How long has it been since you picked your own apples?  Have you tried a “new” variety of apple lately?  Would you like to spend time outdoors, enjoying the crisp fall air, colorful leaves and views and head home with a box or two of fresh picked apples?

In Central Virginia we have orchards in Amherst, Bedford and Nelson counties.  The farms and orchards are family-owned and usually offer produce other than apples throughout the rest of the year.  Virginia is the sixth-largest producer of apples in the United States.

Apples come in a variety of shades and types.  Locally you can find Honeycrest, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, Fiji, Red Delicious or Winesap.  A crisp apple, picked from the tree is a true delight in the fall.  Once you are home you can turn your apples into cakes, apple butter or sauce, breads or salads.

Saturday, October 18th two of our local orchards will be hosting an apple harvest festival.  Drumheller’s Orchard in Lovingston (from 8:00am until 6:00 pm) and Gross’ Orchard in Bedford (from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm) will have fun for the entire family.  The sale of apples (19 varieties at Drumheller’s and 8 varieties at Gross’), hay rides, a corn maze, music, craft and food vendors, apple-themed food and more will keep you busy.  Gross’ Orchard will offer apple picking too.

Stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Lynchburg, VA.  Our signature breakfast dish for the month of October is Apple French Toast with Spiced Maple Syrup.  This recipe will be our blog post next week!  Call us to book your reservation, then enjoy your day in the orchard.

Blue Ridge Country editorial mention

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The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Lynchburg, VA, is proud to announce we have been mentioned in the October issue of Blue Ridge Country magazine!

The featured article this month is “50 Great Things to Do and See this Fall.  Starting in North Carolina and working their way through the eight states highlighted each month that make up Blue Ridge Country (Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and of course, Virginia) a treasure trove of suggestions are included.  Beyond viewing leaves and luscious fall colors there are peaks to climb, rivers to forge or float, wine trails to taste, farms to purchase fresh produce or cheese, trails to hike or bike, campgrounds and parks to explore, relaxing places to stay and delicious places to eat.  As promised, 50 things to see, do or experience all within a drive from where you live.

Suggestion number 13  is “Learn More.”  The Anne Spencer House & Garden is suggested.  Isabella’s Italian Trattoria is recommended for dinner.  And, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is suggested as a “romantic, historic inn walking distance from downtown.”

What are you waiting for?  Get your copy of the most recent issue, decide where you would like to travel to this fall and make your plans.  If you’re lucky enough to live in Lynchburg you don’t even need to travel.  Why not plan a vacation without leaving Lynchburg?  Check in to our magnificently restored mansion, indulge in our 4-course breakfast each morning, take the time to explore all that Lynchburg has to offer (arts, trails, museums, wineries, outdoor activities) and spend some time, quality time, with your loved one.

Call us 434.846.1388.  We have a variety of packages and specials offered this fall.  We’re looking forward to seeing you enjoy Lynchburg and the surrounding counties.  Don’t delay, rooms are booking up!