The Carriage House Inn B&B

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Archives: April 2014

Main Street Eatery

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Main Street Eatery, my favorite restaurant

Main Street Eatery

Beginning this month we will be featuring one of Lynchburg, Virginia’s fabulous downtown restaurants.  With a population of about 76,000 Lynchburg has some true “finds” when it comes to dining.  Following the principle of “buying local, staying local” the restaurants we will be featuring are all small in scale, owned and/or operated by locals and more often than not feature locally sourced ingredients that change with the month and season.  All of the restaurants featured are within walking distance to The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.  So, if it’s almost dinner time and you have not yet figured out what you’re cooking for dinner (and you’re local) review our posts and make a great selection.  Or if the restaurant posts sound intriguing and you live outside of the Lynchburg, VA area call us, make a reservation and tell us where you would like to eat.

Main Street Eatery:

Located at 907 Main Street, Lynchburg, VA 24501 434.847.2526. Chef/Owner Urs Gabathuler and his wife Michelle will take good care of you.  Open Monday-Saturday 4:30 until close.

Main Street Eatery

Mussels at Main Street Eatery are prepared four different ways

After much renovation, Main Street Eatery opened in 1998 when downtown Lynchburg was still a ghost town.  The storefront was originally a men’s clothing store and much of the buildings original features are prominent today.  Inviting brick walls, high ceilings, an oversized picture window, cozy booths and elegantly set tables are ready to make your meal special.

Owner of Main Street Eatery, Chef Urs

Owner/Chef Urs (left) cooks on the street at the annual festival “Get Downtown” in Spetember

Main Street Eatery boasts a menu with European-influenced dishes, fresh seafood, Kobe-style beef, veal cut on premises and a dessert cart laden with tempting dishes.  The food, service and hospitality do not disappoint.  Specials are offered throughout the year featuring All You Can Eat Mussels, a March Madness special of Buy One, Get One entrée, oyster specials, a menu featuring Cuban foods and, of course, Octoberfest.  Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice.  A significant wine and beer list will tempt you to imbibe with your meal.  And remember, the dessert cart awaits!  Main Street Eatery caters and provides a great space for rehearsal dinners, corporate dinners or family celebrations.  Enjoy!

You can check out their menu on their website:

As most of our downtown restaurants have limited seating when making your reservation at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we are happy to discuss your dining options.  Advanced reservations are always recommended and we are happy to help you with that.  Some of our packages include dining gift certificates, please review our specials and packages pages on our web site, or call us at 434.846.1388.

Natural Bridge

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Natural Bridge photo by The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast

Natural Bridge was once owned by Thomas Jefferson

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.

Lost River found in 1812

The Lost River at Natural Bridge

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
0.6 mi
2. Turn right onto Rivermont Ave.

  • Rivermont Ave is just past Amherst St
  • FOOD ZONE is on the corner
  • If you are on Monsview Pl and reach Hemlock Styou’ve gone a little too far
2.5 mi
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.

  • If you reach Irvington Springs Rd you’ve gone a little too far
16.2 mi
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.

  • If you reach Fanny Barger Rd you’ve gone a little too far
0.03 mi
9. 15 APPLEDORE LN is on the left.

  • Your destination is just past Lookover Ln
  • If you reach the end of Appledore Ln you’ve gone about 0.2 miles too far



Dutch Baby Pancake

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bed and breakfast recipe for Dutch baby pancake

Dutch baby pancake with fresh berries

There are a couple of ways to prepare the dutch baby pancake.  Either in a large cast iron skillet which allows you to serve a large dutch baby family style or if you have several 5 inch cast iron skillets you can cook individual dutch baby pancakes for each of your guests.  We serve them individually, however since most people don’t have four or five small cast iron skillets plan on serving this family style.  If you have a collection of five inch cast iron skillets just divide the batter between the skillets and shorten the cooking time listed below to about 15 minutes.

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • confectioners’ sugar
  • Fresh fruit


Place a 9- to 10-inch cast iron skillet in the bottom third of the oven, preheat to 425°F. allowing the skillet to get HOT.

In a small glass measuring cup, heat the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds at full power.  Using a blender, mix the milk, eggs, 2 tablespoons sugar and the salt briefly at low speed until combined.  Add the flour and blend just until incorporated.

Carefully remove the HOT skillet from the oven and add 2 tablespoons butter, then pour in the batter.  Return skillet to the oven and bake until the pancake is puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.  The batter will wick up the sides of the skillet to form a bowel.

Dust the hot pancake immediately with the confectioners’ sugar, add your fresh fruit, cut into wedges and serve.

The nice thing about his recipe is you can use a different fresh fruit depending on the time of the year and make this a seasonal dish.  During the winter you can even use frozen fruit, for example a bag of fresh peaches combined in a large sauce pan with 2 tablespoons of sugar, a little butter and a tablespoon of lemon juice will give you a delicious warm fruit filling, something great on a cold winters day.  This would be a great family breakfast!

This recipe serves four people.

Don’t forget to check out our other recipes on our website.  Traveling to Lynchburg?  Give us a call to make your reservations.  The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast can usually accommodate any dietary restrictions with advance notice.

The History of Daniels Hill

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Point of Honor

Point of Honor, in Daniels Hill

Beginning this month The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast’s blog will present the history of one of Lynchburg, Virginia’s Historic Districts, Daniels Hill, followed by descriptions and histories of a few of the houses that comprise that historic district.

This month we begin with the history of Daniels Hill, where The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is located.

Daniels Hill takes its name from William Daniel, Jr., who once owned most of the peninsula of land between the James River, Blackwater Creek and modern-day Hollins Mill Road.  Daniel was a prominent antebellum lawyer, legislator and judge on the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia.  He lived at Point of Honor and built “Rivermont,” the Greek Revival mansion on F Street.

Daniels Hill was first developed as a residential neighborhood in the late 1840’s, when Judge Daniel began subdividing and selling his plantation.  Most of what is now Daniels Hill was within Campbell County until 1870 when it was annexed to the city.

In the mid-1870’s Daniels Hill began a building boom that transformed the neighborhood from largely rural farmland to a bustling residential suburb.  Much of the growth of Daniels Hill was fueled by industries in its backyard.  The upper basin of the James River and the lower blocks of Cabell Street were major industrial centers from the 1850’s until well into the 20th century.  A tobacco factory, lumber yard and foundry are just a few of the businesses that called Daniels Hill home.  It was illegal to have duels within the city limits and Daniels Hill up until 1870 was outside the city.  Urban myth has many duels being conducted on the grounds of Point of Honor until the neighborhood became part of the City of Lynchburg.

Among Lynchburg’s historic districts Daniels Hill is unique for the diversity of its architecture.  Styles range from Federal to Italianate to Georgian Revival and Queen Anne.  Types include opulent mansions, modest working-class homes, rowhouses, servant’s quarters, churches, stores and factories.  As the wealthy white families moved to “suburbia” starting in the 1930’s wealthy black families (doctors, lawyers and business owners) moved into the neighborhood.  After the civil rights movement, these wealthy black families also moved to suburbia and the downtown neighborhoods fell into disrepair as the poor and undesirable elements moved into these downtown neighborhoods.  Today, Daniels Hill as well as many of the downtown neighborhoods are being restored and once again becoming the desirable.  Over the years dozens of homes were lost due to neglect, but today there is a real sense of pride in the residents of this neighborhood.  Many of the smaller homes were built by the owner’s of the larger homes.  These homes were for the household staff of the wealthy or for their workers at the foundry.  From the beginning, Daniels Hill’s residents were comprised of people from every socio-economic class.  Speaking of diversity, there were bootlegers, working girls (and brothels) and speakeasys in the neighborhood during certain periods of our history.

Cabell Street is the main street running through Daniels Hill.  Cabell Street was named in 1875 to honor Dr. George Cabell, who built Point of Honor in 1815 and lived there until his death in 1823.  Cabell Street was first paved with brick in 1895.  Dr. Cabell was Patrick Henry’s personal physician.  The city and neighborhood returned the street to its original brick, by removing layers of blacktop, in 2007-2008.  Today Point of Honor is part of the Lynchburg Museum and it is open to the public.

The core of Daniels Hill-one block on either side of Cabell Street from A to H Streets-was designated an historic district in 1976.

Next month we will discuss the history and story of our house located at 404 Cabell Street, the Watt’s house.


The Battle of Sailor’s Creek

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Last major battle of Civil War

Battle of Sailor’s Creek

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.

Battle of Sailor's Creek

The old High Bridge in Farmville

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.

Battle of Sailor's Creek and High Bridge

The old High Bridge was destroyed at The Battle of Sailor’s Creek. You can walk over the old bridge on the new one.

While visiting the area, be sure to visit High Bridge Trail in Farmville.