June 25, 1953

img416 - Version 2Finishing up the program for tomorrow night, I began studying the detail in this photo from Ed Roseberry taken on June 25, 1953. In this photo, the Charlottesville Fire Department is tending to the aftermath of a fire that destroyed the Hoff Motor Company on East Main Street. A Richmond newspaper reported flames leaping 200 feet in the air and citizens watching the blaze from the Belmont Bridge had to move because of the intense heat.

img416 - Version 2One thing that caught my eye was the small sign on the right that reads The Nook. It is in the location of current day Java-Java, a block away from where The Nook is today. A city directory confirms that the Nook location was the Club Cafe as late as 1955 but by the end of the decade The Nook would replace it and still holds the same spot today.

A couple of doors down from The Nook is a night club by the name of Tin Rin.  The building across Main Street (seen in the top photo) was saved from the massive blaze next door and looks pretty much the same today. It is the current location of the Discovery Museum. Also note in the photo that the firetruck door bears an image of Monticello.


2 thoughts on “June 25, 1953

  1. Steve, I remember the firetrucks having the Monticello picture on the doors, possibly into the 60’s. One of the Charlottesville FB sites has a couple of pictures and an article from the Fredericksburg paper, dated the day after the fire. Hoff owned Virginia Oil Co,. the local Shell distributor, and probably other businesses.

    • Steve, thanks for the feedback. We covered the Hoff Motors fire in more detail at one of our slideshows earlier this year with a lot more photos including the blaze at night and the charred wreckage of cars stored inside. Remarkably, only the third story was a complete loss and the same structure still stands today. I’m sure I’ll get the pics and story worked into a post here sooner or later. All in good time…

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