This month we are going to start a series of blog posts entitled “the History of Lynchburg”. Each month we will post about the general history of our city, the history of businesses and places found in our city, the different historic districts and some of their houses or the historic churches found in downtown Lynchbburg. This month we will begin with an overview of Lynchburg, Virginia, from the mid-1750’s until the beginning of the Civil War.
During the mid-1750’s the village of New London, just west of today’s Lynchburg, was an important trading center, however, it was difficult to reach from northern towns due to the necessity of fording the Fluvanna (now James) River, which was 12 miles north of the village.
John Lynch, son of land-owner Charles Lynch and his wife, Quaker, Sarah Clark Lynch, decided to remedy this problem. In 1757 he established a ferry service on the river. The ferry service was profitable for many years and by the end of the American Revolution the village at Lynch’s Ferry had become an important center of trade. Lynch saw the possibilities of establishing a town on the hill overlooking the ferry site, and in late 1784 petitioned the General Assembly of Virginia for a town charter. The charter was granted in October, 1786, thus founding Lynchburg.
The town of Lynchburg grew slowly between 1786 and 1800, with the addition of tobacco warehouses, a few stores, homes, taverns, a Masonic Lodge and one small church. The first newspaper was published in 1798. In 1799 the first efforts to supply the town with water from area springs and wells began.
On January 10, 1805 the town was incorporated. By 1810 the town now included additional tobacco warehouses, groceries, tanneries, blacksmiths and druggists. The first church was built in 1806 by the Methodists.
Also in 1806 Thomas Jefferson began the construction of his home, “Poplar Forest,’ just west of Lynchburg. The construction continued for several years, during which time Jefferson used the home as a retreat from visitors to Monticello.
In 1815, Dr. George Cabell, who owned a point of land (in then Campbell County) adjoining the city of Lynchburg built his home “Point of Honor” (see blog post 7)/14/14. This historic district is today known as Daniel’s Hill (see blog post 4/8/14) and is the historic district where The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is located.
By the early 1800’s tobacco was the city’s major economy, with numerous warehouses processing and then shipping the tobacco to Richmond via river bateaux (see blog post 6/20/10). The beginning of the Salem Turnpike (today’s Route 460 between Lynchburg and Roanoke) was begun in 1817. A toll bridge across the James River was also built in 1817 into Amherst County, at the original ferry site at 9th Street.
During the 1820’s the town accomplished a major engineering feat with the construction of a water works system which drew water from the river. A reservoir was constructed at the corner of 7th and Clay Streets (you can still see it today) along with wooded pipes and a pump house at the rivers edge near the bottom of 7th Street.
By 1840 the James River and Kanawha Canal was completed, which allowed packet boats to operate between Lynchburg and Richmond. People, tobacco and other goods were shipped up and down the river. On March 24, 1848 the city of Lynchburg incorporated the Lynchburg and Tennessee Railroad. Property at the old ferry site was purchased to build a depot. Construction began in 1850 and on February 18, 1852 the railroad’s first locomotive, the “Virginia,” was tested.
The 1850’s saw many exciting and new developments in the city. Telegraph service to Richmond began. Gas works for lighting and a sewer system enhanced the residents and business owners homes and offices. A third railroad started running into Lynchburg. More and more people were moving into Lynchburg, as it was becoming a thriving southern city.
Next month we will continue this series with more history about Lynchburg from the 1860’s until the 1960’s.
It’s November and at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we are turning our thoughts to hearty side dishes, when serving an egg dish as the entree. As you know, we select our dishes based upon the time of year, ingredients in season or a holiday. This month we are serving Rainbow Hash since it has butternut squash, potatoes, carrots and spinach as ingredients. All are plentiful during the month of November and present a colorful and nutritious dish (and we are still harvesting squash, carrots and spinach from the garden!)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium purple potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook and stir squash, potato, carrot and seasonings until vegetables are tender, 8-10 minutes. Add spinach and garlic; continue cooking until vegetables are slightly browned and spinach is just wilted, 2-4 minutes.
** we have substituted sweet potato for the butternut squash and substituted kale for the spinach and beets for the purple potato. If using kale the cooking time for the vegetables might be a bit longer.
Again this year the YWCA is going to showcase local designers, contractors, vendors and small businesses in the YWCA Lynchburg Design House. The designers and contractors will be redesigning and redecorating rooms, using their skills and the latest design techniques, to transform an ordinary house into an extraordinary one. Each designer or contractor will utilize paint, fabric, furniture and accessories for a total makeover. You, as a guest visitor, will be able to see the work and vision of these talented people. You will see color choices and color schemes, furniture choices and placement along with rugs, artwork and accessories to make the room shine. Almost everything in the house is for sale!
In addition to touring the magnificent house this year’s special events include a fashion show, a mother-daughter tea and a bridal show. A preview party provides an opportunity to meet all of the participating designers who will be showing off their room and their work. In addition to the special events there will be an on-site boutique and Christmas shop, sponsored by the Farm Basket.
All of the proceeds from this event, put on solely by volunteers, directly supports the YWCA mission and programs, with special attention to the Domestic Violence Prevention Center.
This year’s house is located at 1418 Harrison Street, in Diamond Hill. Known as the Kean-Jackson House it was built in 1855. The style is Gothic Revival. R. G. H. Kean was the head of the Bureau of War for the Confederacy and was married to Thomas Jefferson’s great grand-daughter.
The Design House will be open Saturday, November 12 through Sunday, December 4, at various times Thursdays through Sundays. The special events will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The house is also available for community groups for events of their own.
For more information contact Caroline Hudson at 434.847.7751 or email@example.com.
As you may know we have been posting blogs about Lynchburg, Virginia’s Old City Cemetery since the beginning of the year. We are almost at the end of highlighting a different part or aspect of this unique, historical and widely visited corner of Lynchburg.
This month we are featuring the Quartermaster’s Glanders Stable. Although the Quartermaster’s stable, that housed the thousands of horses and mules essential to the operation of the Civil War was actually located at the “fairgrounds” (which included the present E.C.Glass High School campus) it is represented and presented on the grounds of the Old City Cemetery.
Lynchburg was one of the four quartermaster depots for the Confederacy. The depot’s main function was to supply General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia with the necessary horses and mules needed to conduct the war effort. Over a 15 month period, of the 6,875 horses stabled in Lynchburg, only 1000 were sent into the field. Almost 3,000 died, 449 were shot and the remainder were unfit for service. The great glandes epizootic was affecting the horses, mules and even humans. The stable allowed for innovative medical research on the disease and how it was affecting the cavalry horses.
What is glanders? The respiratory disease, which causes major respiratory distress and death, was a virus spread at watering troughs and in unhealthy stable conditions where the horses were prone to nuzzle. Infected mucus was easily passed from one animal to another as horses use their noses and the sense of smell to identify and communicate with one another. There was no cure.
Doctor Terrell and Doctor Page studied 19 horses stricken with glanders, conducting postmortem examinations at various stages of the disease’s progression. They also intentionally transmitted the disease from a sick horse to a healthy one, sacrificing it 33 days later to study its advanced and terminal symptoms.
Prevention of the disease was the only solution to controlling the epidemic. Horses and mules were placed in uncrowded, well-ventilated stables, which introduced good sanitation and a healthy diet. The animals no longer used communal watering troughs. Any infected animals were destroyed. The ancient disease known as glanders was not completely eradicated until 1934.
Placed on the cemetery grounds, across the street from the Chapel and Columbarium, is a marker describing this important contribution to veterinary medicine. Dr. John Jay Terrell, a Quaker, is mentioned. He helped eradicate smallpox, in humans at the Pest House (blog post 1/12/16), and eradicate the spread of glanders in the animals who served a very important role in the war.
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