Motel Mystery

getStaticImage-26 - Version 2This image from the Holsinger Collection in UVA Library began a lively debate a couple weeks back when, against my own policy, I posted the photo on Facebook without knowing where it was located. I usually do my homework when I come across an unknown image, but I like the composition and put it out there…Over the next day or so, I got inquiries:  “Where is it?” “Is it near Charlottesville?”  “A motel?” “Something else?” “Does it still exist?”

So the investigation began…  In the recently acquired Norris Collection of vintage postcards we found these postcards that not only matched the old, unidentified photo from Ralph Holsinger, they told us the name of the motel: “Skibo Lodge”.  The postcards also provided us with some useful information to help us determine where in C’ville it was. The bottom image below reads “3 miles north of Charlottesville, Va. on U.S. Highway number 29.”

We emailed copies of the postcards to anyone we thought might have a clue. We even had them posted at the Senior Center in hopes some of the old-timers might recall.

We got a lot of feedback but the consensus put it on the east side of 29 roughly where the Fashion Square Mall is today. We feel we can say for certain that it no longer exists.


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Top image courtesy Holsinger Collection, Special Collections, UVA Library. Postcards from the Norris Collection, CHIL.


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  1. Pingback: Finding Skibo | C'ville Images

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