The first image in our series, “Holsinger at 100”, was taken by Rufus Holsinger exactly 100 years ago today. A personal favorite of mine since I saw it nearly twenty years ago, this photograph was taken on West Main Street in Charlottesville. The man appears to be a farmer delivering goods to a local market. His cart’s wheels are caked in mud. Most of the streets and all of the outlining roads in Charlottesville were dirt back then. Main Street was one exception, seen here paved in brick, with an electric trolley running along tracks in the middle of the street.
From my assessment of elements in the photograph and study of other images taken nearby, the farmer, cart, and ox are on the north side of West Main in the 700 block. This is approximately the location of Mel’s Cafe today. (Holsinger’s studio was very nearby this location at the time).