A few weeks back I posted about a motel that I had found a photograph of in the Holsinger Collection at UVA Library. Using some of the vintage postcards from the Norris Collection at CHIL I was able to determine that the photograph was of Skibo Lodge and it was located somewhere on Rt. 29, north of Charlottesville. I circulated the photo and that bit of information around to many long-time Charlottesville residents to see if we could pinpoint where Skibo Lodge was.
Everybody from Ken Staples of Staples Barber Shop to the Rinehart Family weighed in. The photo was posted at the Senior Center and memories went to work trying to place it. A few people recalled that it was “way out in the country.” Of course, 60 or 70 years ago, “country” started just outside the city limits. Most of the responses, however, narrowed it down to the section of 29 near Fashion Square Mall, although there was some debate as to which side of the highway. Close study of the shadows in one of our postcard images indicated that it was on the east side of 29.
Later, while looking through some aerial photographs from the Roseberry Collection at CHIL, I came across the above image of Berkeley, a new subdivision, built around 1960.
Today Berkeley is a quiet neighborhood with tall shade trees along Commonwealth Drive, just west of Route 29.
Looking closely at the Berkeley subdivision photo that Ed Roseberry took over 50 years ago, we can see a configuration of three buildings that match the look of Skibo Lodge from the early Holsinger image and the later postcards.
Using one of the United States Geological Survey maps from our library here at CHIL that includes both newer structures (purple) and older ones (black), we are able to see the Berkeley subdivision and Fashion Square Mall (large structure with cross-hatching). In the very center of the map, just east of Rt. 29 we see a configuration of structures that match Skibo Lodge.
Which places Skibo precisely at today’s southern entrance to Fashion Square Mall.
This is the last known image of Skibo Lodge.
Holsinger image courtesy Special collection, UVA Library. Roseberry image and edit from the Roseberry collection at CHIL. Color image of Skibo from the Norris Collection at CHIL. All other photos by Steve Trumbull. All work © 2013