C’ville, Then And Now: Emmet & Ivy

Holsinger Esso EmmetThis service station once stood in the 100 block of Emmet Street, just north of where University Avenue turns into Ivy Road.

DSC_2956Today it is the location of the Cavalier Inn.

Top image is by Ralph Holsinger, from the Holsinger Collection, Special Collections, UVA Library. This post is part of our continuing series, Charlottesville Then and Now. To see earlier posts from this series visit Charlottesville Then and Now.

C’ville, Then and Now: Murry’s Steaks

20490017This building on West Main Street has housed many things over the years. Seen here, circa 1980, in was a Murry’s Steaks shop. It has also been a church and a day labor office as well as a antique shop. In the early 20th Century, local photographer Rufus Holsinger had his studio to the left of this building.

_DSC7599Today, a sign on the side of the building, reveals the former occupant.

_DSC7559The detail in the well-preserved woodwork on the facade of the building stands out among the architecture along West Main Street.

This post is part of our continuing series, “Charlottesville Then and Now”. To see older posts from our original series, visit Charlottesville Then and Now.

House on West Main

Spooky House419This photo was an outtake from September’s “Rare and Remarkable Photographs”. We did a segment on the old Queen Charlotte Hotel (partially visible on the right). This house sat on West Main Street, just west of the bridge over the railroad close to the current location of Sweethaus cupcake shop. It is part of the Coiner Collection at CHIL and was taken by Jack Meredith, circa 1950. We will be showing some of the best of our ever-growing collection on October 10th at C’ville Coffee.



img531In 1962, during a parade celebrating Charlottesville’s 200th Anniversary, Ed Roseberry took this photos of a tiny baton twirler marching down Main Street.  He didn’t get the young lady’s name but a few years later she would see the photograph and stored it away as a keepsake of the big event when she was only 3 years old. Her name was Carol Cutright. 5 decades later from her home in Tennessee, Carol contacted us at CHIL to share the photograph. Ironically, we had actually recently scanned the original negative into our digital library and were thrilled to learn the identity of the little girl in the photo.

In September 2013, Carol was passing through Charlottesville and decided to make a surprise visit to see Ed Roseberry.  She contacted us and arranged to meet Ed as he was taking photographs of Lane High School alumni at the Lane reunion at the Omni Hotel downtown.

IMG_2415Ed and Carol’s reunion 51 years after he took her photo on Main Street.




img587This photo was taken in the 1950s by Ed Roseberry on the roof of a building that stood where the Water Street parking garage is today. The building was undergoing renovations or perhaps demolition at the time, Roseberry recalls, and there was a ladder up to the roof. Looking for a photo op, Ed climbed the ladder and saw these three boys up there. The posed for the picture and the photographer went on his way. Ed never got the kids’ names and to this day doesn’t know who they were. We are posting this photo to see if anyone can help us to identify the young men. They might be close to 70 today.  We have done a lot of work identifying people and places in many vintage images that come our way. This one has three recognizable faces and a known location to work with. Please feel free to contact us if you can help!



Lane Students at The Paramount

1945 Lane students at ticket boothThis photo comes to us from Sandy DeKay of the Paramount Theater and shows some local high school students (circa 1945) in front of the box office at the Main Street entrance to the Paramount.

To satisfy my own curiosity I took this photo a recent reunion of Lane High School graduates. Within minutes several people recognized old friends and before I left I had these names: (from left to right) Betty K. Wilson, Dwight Adams, Shirley McGavock, Speed Lindsey.

I don’t know any more about them, but today they would all be in there 80s. Please feel free to contact me if you knew any of them or have stories to share.

Thanks to Sandy DeKay for the photo and to the Lane alumni (especially Dr. Wallenborn) for the help identifying the students.



As we wrap up our September shows we are looking ahead to some great fall projects.  A few dozen folks (both regulars and newcomers) joined us for the two shows at C’ville Coffee that featured some rare photographs from our collection along with some great century-old images from other area sources. Guests saw color photographs from Vinegar Hill neighborhood from the 1950s, some portraits from 100 years back, newly-found photographs of Free Bridge, and learned the history of the Third Street Entrance to the Paramount Theater. We also showed some rarely seen images of Lambeth Field at UVA and the historic Queen Charlotte Hotel on West Main Street. Below are just a handful of the highlights:

getStaticImage-17 This wedding portrait was taken by Rufus Holsinger (courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library)at a private home on Rugby Road that once stood where Westminster Presbyterian church stands today. This is Eugenia Davis, the great-granddaughter of UVA professor John A. G. Davis, who was infamously shot and killed on the Lawn at UVA in the 1840s. Miss Davis married John Harris of Galveston, Texas on June 14, 1917. Her grandson and great-granddaughter joined us this month for the showing of this remarkable portrait.


63430001 This photograph from Ed Roseberry gives us a rare (in color) look at the residential parts of the Vinegar Hill neighborhood that disappeared with the “urban renewal” program in the 1960s. We collected color images from Mr. Roseberry and a few other sources to provide a vivid, close-up look at this neighborhood toward the end of its existence.


c. 1964 Paramount Auditorium This striking image (courtesy Paramount Theater and Sandy DeKay) shows the separation of black and white patrons in the seating when segregation was the law in Virginia.


Bite-O-Bit (this is before my father renamed it)This photograph from the Coiner Collection at CHIL shows the restaurant that once stood at the corner of High Street and Long Street at the west end of Free Bridge.


If you missed these shows, some of the photographs are bound to appear in upcoming posts on this website, but don’t missed our next two (October and November) because some of the most remarkable photographs are yet to come!

It has been a busy first half of the month with some private shows on the schedule as well. If you would like to hire us for a private show at your home or for your group, don’t hesitate to contact us.

We will be spending the rest of September working on several upcoming projects so check back here often for news about more exciting things to come at C’ville Images.

One Year

It has been one year since I lost my good friend Preston Coiner.  Not a day has gone by that I have not thought about him.  What he might say about some current event.  What he might observe about some change downtown.  What he might think about what the future holds.  What he might laugh at that happened to tickle his funny bone.

I presented a slideshow yesterday to the Lane High School alumni.  It was the slideshow that Preston had offered to help narrate last year of vintage Charlottesville photographs from the 1940s through 70s, an era in C’ville that Preston knew well. I couldn’t help but imagine all the great stories and details he would have added to the photographs we showed. I can still hear his voice with every new photograph I find. I can still hear his voice every time I walk along Main Street.



Our town is not the same place without Preston here…

…to give directions…IMG_1321

…explain how things work…IMG_4421

…reminisce about the past…DSC_0478

…contemplate the future…IMG_8475

…share a laugh with a friend…IMG_8034

…provide a helpful lesson…IMG_3170

…encourage others…IMG_2762

…tell a story…IMG_3221

…explore an interest….IMG_2173

…lend a hand…IMG_3143

… or have some fun.IMG_6731


Our town (and world) is a lesser place without him.. but a greater place because of him.IMG_9941

Queen Charlotte Hotel

QueenCharlotteHotel The Queen Charlotte Hotel was a dominant feature on West Main Street throughout the first half of the Twentieth Century. This postcard image (from the Davis Norris Collection at CHIL) shows the hotel in it’s heyday. Though it only lasted a few decades it was once the first thing one would see when arriving in Charlottesville by train and disembarking at Union Station on the Southern Railroad.

Holsinger Queen Charlotte - Version 2This detail of the front entrance shows it also went by the name Hotel Queen Charlotte.  Late in the life of the establishment the neon sign out front began to fail and for a while the sign read “HOT QUEEN HARLOT” much to the amusement of locals.

The Queen Charlotte Hotel will be featured in this month’s slideshow at C’ville Coffee with a number of pictures showing its various looks over time.

The second photograph is from the Holsinger Collection at UVA Library.  The postcard is just one of hundreds CHIL recently acquired from former Charlottesville Mayor and long-time postcard collector, Dave Norris.  CHIL has a large collection of images we are currently scanning but we hope to work on the Norris Collection more this winter and develop it into some interesting web projects and presentations. Meanwhile, join us for our monthly shows at C’ville Coffee.