C’ville Coffee

DSC_3271If you’re not already familiar with C’ville Coffee on Harris Street, you should stop by. It is one of the more spacious and welcoming coffee houses in Charlottesville. Owner Toan Nguyen has been hosting everything from private meetings to sell-out music performances as well as providing customers with a pleasant atmosphere to enjoy food and drinks.

And now, every second Thursday of each month, C’ville coffee is the venue for photo presentations by Charlottesville Historical Image Library.  These slideshows feature vintage photographs and present local history in a way you haven’t seen before. We have had several shows so far, including “Roseberry’s Charlottesville” “Main Street, C’ville” and “Signs of C’ville” Join us for the next event, June 13th at 7 p.m. $5 at the door helps us continue our work digitizing historical images and doing current documentation of Charlottesville.

img514This second image is what C’ville Coffee looked like in a former life.

Our private, digital library is an ever-growing collection of photographs used in local exhibits, publications, advertising, for academic purposes, and in our own history projects. CHIL is the creator of “Charlottesville Then and Now”.

Piedmont Cleaners image provided by Toan Nguyen

C’ville Then and Now

Most of the visitors to this site are already familiar with our work over the past few years on Charlottesville Then and Now, covering many stories from Charlottesville’s past through photographs. In exhibits, publications, a 250th Anniversary calendar, and here online, we’ve done 100s of pairs of “Then and Now” images.  In the months ahead, we will continue the photographs and stories and add some stunning new features.  You can visit our Charlottesville Then and Now archives and also check back here at C’ville Images many vintage photos to come.

For now, I’d like to share just a few of the photos I’ve been working on. With this effect,  I take two different images of the same scene (taken anywhere from 40 to 100 years apart) and merge them together in one image. The result is a surreal blending of past and present.

Preston warehouse copy This first scene is a building on Preston Avenue that once sold farm supplies and today houses an antiques store.  The older photo was taken by Ralph Holsinger.

Mall Merge This scene shows Main Street before the pedestrian mall, merged with the trees and cafes that replaced the asphalt street in the mid-70s. A pair we first showed in the 250th Anniversary calendar for Charlottesville.

Central Place Merge Here we see 300 block of East Main Street after the 1973 fire destroyed the buildings there merged with the Central Place and the building across the street. Standard Drug then is CVS now.  We also used this pair in our Daily Progress Calendar.

MadBowl Merge These two photos of Mad Bowl at UVA merge the chaos of Easter’s with the well-kept sports fields we know today. The Easter’s image was taken by Ed Roseberry and has been shown multiple times in our “Roseberry’s Charlottesville” shows, created by CHIL and co-narrated by Ed Roseberry and Steve Trumbull.

merge West Main We first showed this Then and Now pair of West Main Street images in a presentation hosted by “Charlottesville Tomorrow” at Zinc in the spring of 2012. The features from the past (1970s) are the Charco-burger sign and the enormous Safeway sign, both also featured recently in our “Signs of C’ville” slideshow.

South street Merge 2 This one has been shown a few times and merges a Rufus Holsinger photograph with a 2010 look at two warehouses on South Street, both familiar landmarks to locals.

Hotel albemarle MergeAnd finally, we have the historic Hotel Albemarle, in two of its many incarnations.  Both these images (and many others of this grand hotel) can be found on one of our older posts on Charlottesville Then and Now.

The old photographs are courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library and both the Roseberry Collection and the Coiner Collection at Charlottesville Historical Image Library.  All modern day images are by Steve Trumbull, Trumbull Photography, ©2010-2013

Dome Debate

_DSC4537Lately there has been a debate around Grounds and around town over whether the new copper dome of the Rotunda should be painted as planned.  Now that the glistening, new, copper dome is in place, fans of the look are pleading with planners to keep the fresh new-penny look and not paint it white.  Somewhat lost in the debate seems to be the fact that the copper will fade to green and brown and other colors in between. While that look has its own appeal among copper-roof purists, the shiny new look is more likely what is catching fans’ enthusiasm.  The “Jefferson-never-intended-it-to-be-white” argument might have some validity, but when Pavilion X was returned to its original beige/sand color there were audible gasps from many quarters. Then again, Jefferson didn’t intend it to be copper at all (he used tin).

Holsinger at 100: May 1913

The next in our series of Holsinger images revisited after 100 years, this one might be a bit hard to fathom… This image was taken by Rufus Holsinger in May, 1913.  It shows some pasture land which also served as a golf course at UVA. To the right, in the distance, is Lewis Mountain. To the left is what we know today as Observatory Hill.HolsingerGolfLinks

_DSC5398Which locates the photographer, Rufus Holsinger near Monroe Hill, which has this view today, looking west. That’s the pedestrian bridge crossing Emmet Street by the Curry School of Education.

IMG_3060The former golf links are now occupied by the Physics Building, the Curry School and McCormick Road Residence Area. This aerial shows the general location. Holsinger stood in the area on the right side of this image looking toward the group of evergreen trees (UVA Cemetery) on the left.

HolsingerCemeteryDetail(1)An extreme close-up view of the 1913 photograph shows the cemetery in the distance.

Holsinger Images courtesy of Special Collections, UVA Library. Other images by Steve Trumbull, Trumbull Photography. © CHIL 2013

Films of C’ville

The Charlottesville Historical Image Library is pleased to announce our show for June, 2013.  We have been studying two films from two independent sources.  One was shot in 1929 and the other around 1939.  At our June 13th show at C’ville Coffee we will feature clips from these two films and show other historical images to give the films context.  In general, the films feature scenes from around Charlottesville and the University of Virginia.

img907Varsity Hall at UVA, seen here in its original location is featured in one of the films.

The two films include a variety of scenes, including some aerial footage over downtown Charlottesville (in color!) and some very rare footage inside UVA hospital. You will also see a bustling Main Street in 1939 and cars driving past The Corner in 1929. Check back here over the next few weeks for details and previews, but mark your calendars now for Thursday, June 13th, 2013.  Show starts at 7 p.m.  $5 at the door helps CHIL continue it’s work finding and researching C’ville images.

Walking Down Wertland

_DSC5312Enjoyed a walk down Wertand Street in Charlottesville last week with friend Fred Dove. Wertland is parallel to Main Street and just behind the Corner at UVA. Fred’s family owned businesses on The Corner and Fred grew up in this house which we stopped by to visit.

_DSC5297This historic neighborhood is home to many locally significant houses built including this one where artist Georgia O’Keefe stayed while attending UVA (long before women were generally admitted there).

I have previously written about this area on “Charlottesville Then and Now” but took many new photos last week to add to the archives and future stories about this part of town.

_DSC5309Fred Dove on the porch of his childhood home that now bears his name.

Holsinger At 100: May 17, 1913

getStaticImageExactly 100 years ago Rufus Holsinger took this photograph of a building on The Corner at the University of Virginia. Temperance Hall, built in the 1850s, later served as a student union building and, as seen in this photo, housed a bookstore, post office and ticket office for the C&O Railroad. Later this very same year it would be torn down and replaced by the the Entrance Building. Designed by Eugene Bradbury, the Entrance Building would serve similar purposes and add a tearoom (Prohibition was the law in VA, by this time).  The Entrance Building would be moved a few yards to the east in the 1920s where it remains today.


 Holsinger image courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library. current day photo by Steve Trumbull, Trumbull Photography

Montalto Album # 2

After running the Monalto Challange 5K race with my son Stephen a couple of weeks ago I was inspired to dig through my archives of photographs and post an album here of some of them.  Digging even further I have found some more worth another look.

IMG_6374 Another storm brewing.

IMG_6881 Montalto in autumn.

IMG_2871 Montalto after a summer rain.

IMG_4019 The view from atop Montalto at sunset.

IMG_4021 The first sliver of the new moon as seen from Montalto looking out over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Hydraulic Mills/Earlysville Tour

Below are a few photos from Saturday’s tour of the Hydraulic Mills/Earlysville area and some of the sites that are among the remaining connections to the rural African-American community that once thrived here.  While the controversy surrounding the long-abandoned Sammons property on Lambs Road is dominating the local news lately, there are many other significant sites that are being well-preserved and are a wealth of local Charlottesville history that should be visited and shared.

_DSC5200The barn on the Carr-Greer Farm

_DSC5137 The Preservation Piedmont tour group visits the home of Link Evans, an African-American blacksmith in Earlysville, whose home has been well-kept and preserved by its current owner.

_DSC5093 Alice Cannon invites guests into her antebellum plantation home and shares the history of the slaves who worked there and their many descendants, whose history she has worked tirelessly to research and preserve.

_DSC5123 A beautifully preserved plantation home on the tour.

_DSC5131 Several of the Central Virginia History Researchers, who have extensively studied these rural communities, joined the tour and provided outstanding insight and commentary throughout the afternoon.

_DSC5143 Nathaniel “Link” Evans house near Earlysville.

_DSC5165 The congregation of Union Ridge Baptist Church welcomed our tour group with friendly hospitality and stories from their 143 year history. Union Ridge was an integral part of this community since just after Emancipation and still serves the area today.

_DSC5186 The tour group concluded the afternoon with a tour of the Greer Farm provided by the Ivy Creek Foundation and a reception provided by Preservation Piedmont.

For more information about these lost and endangered communities, visit the Central Virginia History Researchers website.  CVHR’s research and participation in this event was invaluable.

Thanks to everyone who helped me pull this tour together, but a special thanks to my wife, Karyn, who is always there when the pressure is on.

“Signs of C’ville” Poster

Signs Poster 11x17


This is the promo poster for our “Signs of C’ville” show.  The two images here are edits from Ralph Holsinger photos (courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library) but we will include many other photographs from Ed Roseberry and John Shepherd and myself plus many images of signs and storefronts that have been donated to our digital library.  If you have any photos you would like to add to our collection (we only make a digital copy, returning the original to you), please let me know.  You can contact me through the Contact Page with any contributions or with questions you might have.

“Sign of C’ville” will have its first showing this Thursday, May 9th, but like all of our slideshows is offered for private showing at parties and functions.  Please contact me.