The Old City Cemetery, Lynchburg, VA, is Lynchburg’s most visited tourist site. During the past four months we have posted a blog describing the individual buildings/museums found on the cemetery grounds. This month we are going to introduce you to the Cemetery Museum and it’s artifacts.
The main focus of the Cemetery Center is it’s collection of American mourning customs and artifacts, burial records of the Southern Memorial Association, the Lee Reading Room, Taylor Conservatory and the Christian Vault.
This month’s blog post is going to concentrate on the American mourning customs and artifacts.
The main room in the Cemetery Center is comprised of doors, floorboards, beams and a fireplace mantle, all dated 1845. This room contains mourning artifacts and decor. Some of the most interesting pieces found include:
- mourning and funeral photographs (c. 1900).
- beeswax flowers (c. 1870). These would have surrounded the casket during the funeral, then have been placed on the grave and finally taken by the family where they were framed and hung in the parlor.
- a mantle clock draped in black crepe to signify mourning. The clock would have been stopped at the time of death.
- mourning stationary that is bordered in black. It would have been used to announce the death and to invite friends and family to the funeral..
- a cast-iron “shoulder casket” (c. 1857, from Diuguid Funeral Service). Used by upper-class citizen of Lynchburg it is painted to resemble wood.
- an embalming kit (c.1900). Some of the instruments are still used today.
A few of the interesting facts about mourning and burial customs found in the Cemetery Center are as follows:
- widows were in mourning for a total of 2 1/2 years. They were in deep mourning for 1 year and 1 day, during which time they could only wear black. After their deep mourning period they could add a touch of white, more ruffles or trim and wear hats instead of veils. Near the end of the mourning period they could wear clothing in dark colors:gray, purple, slate or blue.
- women did not attend the burial.
- flower arrangements were seldom used before the Civil War. Between the 1880’s-1890’s fresh, dried and artificial flower arrangements were used in profusion.
- mourning attire for men consisted of wearing a black armband or hatband for a period of 3 months.
- men wore mourning attire as a mark of respect. Women wore mourning attire out of fear that the omission to wear black would be interpreted as evidence of a lack of affection for the dead.
- immediately following the funeral all traces f death were to be removed from the house. Shutters were opened, blinds raised, crepe and flowers removed and clocks restarted.
The Cemetery Center is open between 11 until 3 daily, or by appointment. It contains detailed brochures and booklets relating to the history of the cemetery along with information about the various buildings and museums located on the cemetery grounds (most of which we have discussed earlier this year). There is a small gift shop that sells “Died and Gone to Heaven” honey (that is produced by the cemeteries bees), books (including Once Upon a Time…a Cemetery Story) and cookbooks (such as the award winning Food to Die For a book of funeral food, tips and tales), along with gifts and items pertaining to the cemetery.
Lazy Days Winery, located just north of The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Amherst, VA offers great wines and a spectacular view of the Virginia countryside.
The first grapes were planted on 12 of the 100 acres by John Fitzhugh and his father, Bill in 2007. Starting with petit manseng, petit verdot and merlot these grapes were quickly followed by traminac, tannat and a variety of trial vines, including malbec.
The winery and tasting room are located in a restored cattle-auction barn, previously known as the Amherst Livestock Pavilion. The comfortable tasting rooms adjoins the pavilion event area to offer a great space for spending the afternoon, attending a festival or theater production or celebrating a wedding.
Wines produced by Lazy Days include their award winning Petit Verdot, Chardonnay Reserve, Capuchin White, Sweet Lazy Days White Wine and Bill’s Blackberry Wine. Other wines offered include a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and their new Sweet Peaches (made with peaches grown in Nelson County).
Lazy Days Winery hosts their Summer Solstice Festival each June to celebrate the beginning of summer. Featuring other wineries, musicians, food vendors and local artists from the Lynchburg and Amherst area the festival allows guests to experience the winery before it gets too hot. Throughout the year they participate in other festivals and tasting events throughout the state. A member of the Jefferson Heritage Wine Trail they support the history and heritage of Central Virginia between Lynchburg and Charlottesville.
Located at 1315 N. Amherst Hwy (RT.29) in Amherst, VA they can be reached at 434.381.6088. Winery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am until 5 pm.
Stay with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast and we can plan your tour of this winery along with several others that are nearby and may participate with us in the Jefferson Heritage Trail. A chauffeured wine tour package can be found on our web site. Everyone always enjoys it!
The Lynchburg Regional Airport will host the 2016 Lynchburg Regional Airshow the weekend of May 21 & 22. Once again this year the US Navy Blue Angels will be the featured, premiere performers. America’s longest serving flight demonstration squadron will be performing at 34 locations in the United States this year. The Blue Angels were formed in 1946 and is made up of both Navy and Marine aviators. 2016 is their 70th anniversary!
In addition to the Blue Angels the performer lineup includes other aerial performers, more than 15 static displays, vendors and those who love flying and airplanes.
A few of the aerial performers include
- The Aeroshell Aerobic Tea
- The US Navy Leap Frogs-an all volunteer team of active-duty personnel from Naval Special Warfare (including Navy Seals) who comprise the US Navy Parachute Tea
- The de Havilland DH 100 Vampire-a British jet fighter that was entered into service with the Royal Air Force in 1945. The Vampire was the first fighter jet to be powered by a single engine, to cross the Atlantic and to land on an aircraft carrier. It was used as a front-line fighter until 1953. The RAF retired this fighter jet in 1966.
The theme of this year’s airshow is “A Salute to Service”. This theme was selected to honor those who serve to protect our country and communities, specifically our military and first responders. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to support these individuals.
Tickets can be purchased at www.lynchburgairshow.com. General admission tickets are currently $25, children (6-12) $8, and VIP tickets $125. Tickets can be purchased on site the days of the show at $35 each. Tickets are valid either Saturday or Sunday and include parking. Gates open each day at 9:00 AM and the show will conclude by 5:00 PM.
Guests staying with us at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast can request a box lunch, should you not want to purchase food at the airshow. Just let us know at least 72 hours in advance of your reservation. Call us, 434.846.1388 to discuss room availability. We attended the show during it’s last visit to Lynchburg, 2011, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Do you like doughnuts? And who doesn’t? Have you tried a crisp apple cider doughnut (after waiting in line, on a cold winter day), hot from the fryer, coated in cinnamon sugar, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and just plain yummy?
If you have answered yes, then maybe you have discovered Mama Crockett’s Cider Donuts. If you have answered no then you need to get to downtown Lynchburg. Made inside a teeny, tiny, vintage 1950’s-1960’s, light teal green, renovated trailer (food truck) with a silhouette of a lady wearing retro horn-rimmed glasses, and a bandana on the side of it. Found, oftentimes, in downtown Lynchburg, VA near the corner of 12th and Main Streets. Or on Thursdays in Miller Park for the food truck roundup. You’ll know you’re close when you can smell the sweetness of the dough–made with 45% apple cider, the sugar with cinnamon and the soybean oil that’s always hot and ready. Served by the dozen, in a paper bag that’s darkened by the soybean oil that the batter was fried in they’ll be gone before you know it. On cold winter days try them with a delicious cup of hot chocolate or hot cider.
So be on the lookout next time you’re traveling on Main Street. If you see a line standing in front of a strange, little trailer you’ll know you’re in the right spot for a treat. Get out of your car, wait in line and enjoy in a delicious bite. If you can’t find them downtown they can be reached at 540.460.5048. Enjoy!
Our Breakfast Tortilla Bowl is an easy twist on eggs and sausage.. The dish featured each month is something we have served to our guests at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast. The featured monthly recipe uses ingredients that are fresh and in season that month, are reminiscent of the season or celebrate a holiday that is celebrated that month. This year, as last, we will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo at the B & B when we serve breakfast on Thursday, May 5th.
Our Cinco de Mayo entré this year is a Breakfast Tortilla Bowl.
We make the tortilla breakfast bowl using a special tortilla baking pan. The shape of the pan is fluted, allowing you to place a 6 or 9-inch tortilla inside. Pressing the tortilla to conform with the shape of the pan results in a fluted bowl. We have used both flour and corn tortillas. If using corn tortillas this recipe can be gluten-free.
The tortilla bowl can be filled with any breakfast items you like. We brown sausage, onions, and peppers. We then make scrambled eggs, which are added to the meat mixture when they are almost set. To the egg-sausage mixture we add black beans, roasted kernel corn and shredded cheese. Once combined we place the mixture into the tortilla bowl and top with a bit more cheese. The plate is dressed with sliced mango and avocado, along with some sliced tomatoes (for a bit more color). We serve this dish with a side of sour cream and salsa plus hot sauce.
Since we are serving this for breakfast we have adjusted the ingredients toward breakfast foods. I have made the tortilla bowls and filled them with taco salad fixings, shrimp (above) or chicken salad, or any other ingredients you think go well with tortillas. Use your creativity. And happy Cinco de Mayo! Olé!
Old City Cemetery, in Lynchburg, VA, is hosting the 21st Annual Antique Rose Festival on Saturday and Sunday, May 7 & 8, 2016.
The Antique Rose collection was planted in 1986 on both sides of the 800 foot remains of the 1860’s old brick wall. The 60 varieties planted here are representative of rose history from before 1581 thrrought the 19th century. The roses chosen include the full range of classes and colors exhibited by these ancestors of modern day roses. The original plants were gathered from across the United States and Canada, including local gardens.
The “mother roses” have been grown locally. They are cut and rooted by local volunteers, who take care of them throughout the year. These cuttings, showcasing about 120 varieties of roses this year, will be for sale on both May 7 & 8. Prices will be dependent upon the size of the rose plant. Old City Cemetery is also selling some perennial off-shoots this year. Some of the perennials will be clematis, snowball, deutzia and rosemary plants.
The roses and perennials will be sold starting on Friday, May 6th at 5:00 pm. The sales continue until Sunday, May 8th at 5:00 pm.
On Sunday, May 8th at 3:00 the Mother’s Day Rose Walk will take place. This walking tour of the roses growing along the brick wall will describe and explain the history of these roses. Some will be in bloom, while others will be in bud. The walking tour should delight your senses!
For more information you can contact Old City Cemetery at 434.847.1465 or visit www.gravegarden.org.
The pictures of the roses, found in this blog post, were taken by Mike Bedsworth during last year’s rose festival.
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