It’s that time again….the Downtown Loft Tour in historic Lynchburg, VA.
This benefit tour supports the Free Clinic of Central Virginia. Marking it’s 14th anniversary, this years tour may be the most exciting yet! Featuring several brand “new” loft buildings you will be able to experience several great buildings for the first time. One “new” loft building will be Factory 88, located at 320 12th Street. Originally the Ford and Winfree Tobacco Factory, it is thought to have been built in 1850 and features various one-bedroom floorplans on three floors. Other loft buildings will be announced, as we get closer to April 28th.
Several loft buildings from last year will be featuring different loft units. These include The Gish Flats, Imperial Tobacco Lofts and the Piedmont Flour Mill Lofts. The Piedmont Flour Mill was built in the 1870’s. The silos, on Washington Street, were built after 1910. There are plans to convert the silos into loft apartments also. All milling ceased at the Piedmont Flour Mill in 1987.
The tour takes place on Saturday, April 28, 2018 between 10 until 4. This is a self-guided tour. You can choose to visit any or all of the lofts, in any order. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 on the day of the tour. Will-call tickets plus a tour map and brochure will be available for pick-up at the Free Clinic, 1016 Main Street, starting at 9:00 a.m. on the 28th. For more information call 434.847.5866, ext. 23 or visit www.freeclinicva.org.
Guests staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast will be able to access the tour by walking down Cabell Street into downtown Lynchburg. Mike and I will look for you as we tour each unique and interesting loft.
Lynchburg cemeteries are located throughout the city and some date back to the early days of the city. Many of the people buried in these cemeteries are famous. If you are looking for something to do on a fine spring day, travel through the city of Lynchburg to the various cemeteries and look for the following famous “residents.”
Lynchburg has five active cemeteries plus Old City Cemetery, which at this point in time is not accepting new burials. The cemeteries in Lynchburg are as follows: Fort Hill Memorial Park, Forest Hill Burial Park, Presbyterian Cemetery, Quaker Memorial Cemetery and Spring Hill Cemetery.
The Watts family plot is located in Spring Hill Cemetery. Richard Thomas Watts was the gentleman who had 404 Cabell Street built (today known as The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.) RT died September 21, 1910. His wife, Emma, died a few months later, March 22, 1911, while on a trip to California with their daughter Mary. Their children are buried with them in the family plot. Two of the gravestones are labeled just “baby.” The impressive obelisk, designating the Watts family burial plot, was erected many years after RT and Emma were buried.
The founder of Lynchburg, John Lynch (1740-1820) is buried at the South River Meeting House Graveyard. In the late 1700’s John Lynch operated a ferry service across the James River, from the foot of today’s Ninth Street to Amherst County. In 1786 he founded Lynchburg. The church today is known as Quaker Memorial Presbyterian. This church served the Quakers until 1839. By then most had moved away as they opposed slavery.
Poet and activist Anne Spencer (1882-1975) and her husband Edward (1876-1964) are buried at Forest Hill Burial Park. The Spencer plot is located about 100 yards from the entrance, on the left side of the traffic circle. Sharing the family plot are their daughters, Bethel and Alroy and son Chauncey. Anne Spencer was the long-time librarian at Dunbar High School, and co-founded Lynchburg’s chapter of the NAACP. She and Edward hosted many notable African-American intellectuals in their Pierce Street home. Among their friends and visitors were: George Washington Carver, Paul Robeson, Dean Pickens, Adam Clayton Powell, Thurgood Marshall and W.E.B. Dubois.
Chauncey Spencer (1906-2002) shares the family plot. A pioneering aviator and educator who pushed for racial integration of the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII, he took this cause to then Missouri Senator Harry Truman. After WWII, President Truman desegregated the military.
Spring Hill Cemetery has quite a few “famous” residents. Samuel Miller (1792-1869) was a local businessman and philanthropist. He moved to Lynchburg at 18, prospered in business and became a multi-millionaire. He donated the land that became Miller Park and the Lynchburg Female Orphan Asylum, known today as the Miller Home.
Lt. Gen. Jubal Early (1816-1894) is buried at Spring Hill. Known as Gen. Robert E. Lee’s “Bad Old Man” he reportedly had a bad temper but was brilliant on the battlefield. When the Civil War ended he refused to swear allegiance to the Union so moved to Mexico and then Canada. Eventually he settled in Lynchburg.
Artist Georgia Morgan (1869-1951) is buried at Spring Hill with her tombstone decorated with a painter’s pallet and brush. Known for her still life and landscape paintings she was chair of Lynchburg College’s art department for 30 years. Today her work can be found at the Jones Memorial Library and the Lynchburg Museum.
Don Reno (1927-1984) is also buried at Spring Hill. Known as “The King of Flat Picking Guitarists” he was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. He is credited with co-writing “Dueling Banjos,” the song made famous in the 1972 movie Deliverance.
Presbyterian Cemetery is the final resting place of Edwin “Ned” Emerson (1839-1922). He was an actor, performing at Ford’s Theatre when President Lincoln was shot on April 14, 1865. He was delivering a line from “our American Cousin” when John Wilkes Booth, a friend of Emerson’s, killed Lincoln. After Lincoln’s assassination, Emerson quit acting and moved to Lynchburg where he worked in the stationery and book business.
Folk artist Emma Serena “Queena” Stovall (1887-1980) is also buried at Presbyterian Cemetery. A self-taught artist she didn’t start painting until she was 62 years old. Sometimes called the “Grandma Moses of Virginia” her scenes of country life–farm auctions, funerals, hog killings, etc.–are in museums as well as private collections.
All of the Lynchburg cemeteries mentioned above are open to visitors from dawn to dusk.
A Lynchburg tradition worth trying out. We have had many guests stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast for weddings, high school or college reunions, family celebrations or just as a getaway. If the guests grew up here they know The Texas Inn and almost always stop by for a “Cheesy Western” on their way back the bed and breakfast, just like they did years ago.
Not known as fine dining or for their ambience it is a Lynchburg institution anyway. Originally opened in 1935 at the corner of 5th Street and Main Street. Their address is 422 Main Street. The building was once a gas station, so thus the white brick building with a bright blue tile roof. Only 15 bar stools around a counter for eating in, but all menu items can be to go. Known as The Texas Inn, The T Room or the Texas Tavern it’s all the same place. Open between 5:00 AM until midnight, Monday through Wednesday and 24 hours Thursday through Saturday.
Although they are best known for their Cheesy Western they offer a small menu of breakfast and lunch items all day long. The breakfast plates come with bacon, ham or sausage along with eggs and toast. Hot dogs, with various relishes and chili are staples. Soup and a grilled cheese? They serve both Coke and Pepsi products…..have you experienced that before?
So the next time you are staying with us or just passing through town stop in for a quick bite. It will probably be just as you remember,
Emma Serena “Queena” Stovall has just been honored with a historical marker, the publishing of a new book–Inside Looking Out: The Art of Queena Stovall–and the current exhibition of her works on display at Lynchburg College’s Daura Gallery.
Emma Serena Dillard “Queena” Stovall was born in Amherst County in 1887. She received the nickname “Queena” from her grandmother because of how other young children could not pronounce Serena. She married Jonathan Stovall, a traveling salesman in 1908. They had 9 children. Living in Lynchburg, Virginia during the fall and winter and spending the spring and summer at their farm in Amherst County, Virginia they had a good life.
In 1949 Queena decided to pursue artistic ventures, she was 62. She enrolled at Randolph-Macon Women’s College to take art classes under the direction of Pierre Daura. Daura liked her natural style of painting so much that he suggested she stop taking classes with him and follow her own unique style without any outside influences.
Queena Stovall’s artwork depicts both black and white Virginians in rural settings, which earned her the title of “Grandma Moses of Virginia.” She produced scenes of ordinary life such as crop harvests, funerals, jarring for the winter, baptisms, cooking and livestock and estate auctions. In 1956 she displayed her first solo exhibition at Lynchburg College. She continued to paint until her health started to fail in 1967.
An exhibition of 44 of her 49 original oil paintings, along with five reproductions, are currently on display at Lynchburg College’s Daura Gallery. This is the largest collection of her paintings ever shown together. The exhibit will be open until April 13, 2018. After leaving Lynchburg College the exhibit will travel to the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond. It will be featured there between May 12 through October 14, 2018.
The Daura Gallery also sponsored the publishing of the book “Inside Looking Out: The Art of Queena Stovall.” The 104-page book marks the first time all of Stovall’s works have been printed in color.
Located along Route 130, in Amherst County, Virginia, the historical marker highlights her life and work. Located less than one-half mile from the farm where she lived for 35 years and painted it is a compliment to the strength of her artwork.
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