Changing Face of West Main: More on Midway

img364This school house was built at Midway (intersection of Ridge Street and West Main Street) in 1894 to serve as a public school for Charlottesville’s white children. Charlottesville was racially segregated until 1964 and African-American students attended nearby Jefferson School. The location of the school building was on the site of the Midway Hotel built in 1818.  That building, according to architectural historian K. Edward Lay of the University of Virginia, was a four-story frame structure.  The hotel would serve, along with other area hotels, as a hospital during the Civil War. More than 23,000 sick and wounded soldiers were treated in Charlottesville. There is a cemetery at UVA for the many Confederate soldiers who died here.

img363This postcard shows the school building, prior to April 1915 when the wood frame houses, partially seen on the right, were torn down to make room for an office building of the Charlottesville & Albemarle Railway Company. We also see horses, pulling wagons, stopped at a watering fountain in the middle of the intersection.

1915-04-01 Corner Main and Ridge demolition - CDPThis article, published in the Daily Progress, announces the plan to remove the structures.

getStaticImage-13This is the only other image we have been able to find showing these structures before demolition. Unfortunately, they are mostly obscured but we believe they were residential properties.  In the foreground, of course, is a trolley.  The trolley tracks ran along Main Street but intersected here at Ridge Street to go the short block to the trolley garage.  The garage was located just on the other side of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, the steeple of which can be seen here.

img362This next postcard image shows a slightly different angle from Ridge Street. By the early 1910s serious over-crowding led to the construction of McGuffey School on Second Street, NW, between Market and High Streets. McGuffey would open in September 1916.  Other primary schools would follow and the school at Midway would become Charlottesville’s high school (again, only for whites; blacks attended nearby Jefferson School on 4th Street).

img361This final postcard shows the school building after the Lewis and Clark monument was erected in 1919.  Postcards from this era were often made from black and white photographs with color added for effect. Based on the tree growth compared to other pictures, this is probably the late 1920s or early 30s.  It would remain a school until Lane High School was built a few blocks away in 1940.  This building would then be used for city services such as the Health Department and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

EPSON MFP imageLane High School was named for James W. Lane, long-time teacher and principal at the school at Midway, although, according to historian John Hammond Moore, the old school at Midway was sometimes referred to as “Lane High School” .

The postcards are from the Norris Collection. Former Charlottesville mayor and councilman Dave Norris was an avid collector of Charlottesville area postcards and his collection grew to over 800 over 15 years of collecting. The postcards are now part of the permanent collection at C’ville Images.

Thanks to journalist and historian Phil James for the article clipping from the Daily Progress (April 1, 1915)

Trolley photo by Rufus Holsinger, Holsinger Collection, Special Collections, UVA Library

Lane High School photograph by Ed Roseberry, circa 1968.

Changing Face of West Main: Midway, 1917

getStaticImage-1 - Version 2This is “Midway” in Charlottesville, late winter, 1917. Today, this is the location where Ridge-McIntire Road meets West Main Street at the Lewis and Clark Monument.  That monument would be erected in the island park seen here just two years later.  It was one of several to be donated to the city by Paul Goodloe McIntire.

There is much worth taking a closer look at in the above photograph.  Most prominent is the Midway School, which served as a public school from the late 19th Century until Lane High School opened in 1940.

getStaticImage-30This photo from around the same time shows a class (perhaps graduating class?) standing on the steps in front of the school. This photograph, from Special Collections at UVA Library, is undated and unidentified but C’ville Images places the date probably between 1917 and 1919 based on the clothes and other elements in the photo.  We also have no doubt that this is the Midway School (west entrance) based on the architectural elements.  A young woman in the front row is holding a magazine called “The Bumble Bee” which was the school’s magazine at least through some of the years at Lane High School.

IMG_5037In the center of the top photograph is a horse-watering fountain identical to this one still standing on Court Square, a few blocks away. In the era when many citizens and businesses still used horse-drawn vehicles, these fountains were a necessary public service.

getStaticImage-1A sign posted on the utility pole reads: “Speed Limit 15 Miles – 6 Miles Around Corners – Mufflers Must Not Be Opened”

getStaticImage-2We have not been able to locate any photographs of the dedication of the Lewis and Clark Monument but this image from several years later (undated, but our guess is early 1940s) shows the monument in place and the buildings on the north side of West Main Street appearing much as they would have in the late 1910s. The City Manager at this time, Seth Burnley, is seen on the right in the light-colored suit. The group is posing with a newly-acquired street sweeper.

IMG_4165This is the same view as the previous image, 70 years later.

getStaticImage-1 2This view, taken on the same day in 1917 as the top image, shows the buildings on the north side of West Main on the right.  The car seen here, we believe, belonged to the photographer, Rufus Holsinger.

getStaticImage-1Two architectural features are seen on the horizon in the top image: a steeple (just beyond the fountain) and a bell tower (above the Pepsi-Cola sign), both of which are now long gone.

getStaticImage-1 3The steeple belongs to this Methodist church which stood on Second Street, SW until the congregation built their current location on East Jefferson Street around 1925.

getStaticImage-10The bell tower belonged to this firehouse on Water Street that stood until the Charlottesville Fire Department built a new firehouse on Ridge Street.

getStaticImage-3 2Yet another angle of Midway taken on the same day in 1917, this one looks southwest and includes Mt. Zion Baptist Church on Ridge Street as well as the newly-built Charlottesville and Albemarle Railway Company office building on the corner.  Midway School is out of view to the left.  A sign posted on this utility pole reads: “Do Not Spit On Sidewalk – Fine $1-$5 – Board of Health”

IMG_4152This is the same view as the previous image, nearly 95 years later.

getStaticImage-1 - Version 4One final point worth noting in the 1917 photograph is the trolley tracks running through the brick pavement. The trolley system connected Downtown Charlottesville with the University of Virginia and at one point went as far as Fry’s Spring Beach Club. The street car system was in operation from the 1880s through the 1930s.

getStaticImage-17 - Version 2This photograph shows the interior of a streetcar from the 1910s.

EPSON MFP imageThe Midway School Building was used from 1940 through 1972 for a variety of city services and other offices. This photo, by Ed Roseberry, shows it just prior to demolition.

ERApr1972DemoMidwayThis last image shows  the demolition of the building in April of 1972.  An apartment complex would be built here that still stands today.

 All images by Rufus Holsinger except: the street sweeper photo and firehouse photo, by Ralph Holsinger, the 1972 photos by Edwin Roseberry, and the current day photos by Steve Trumbull.  The Holsinger photographs are courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library.

1896 UVA Football Team, Fayerweather Gymnasium

1896footballteamThe 1896 University of Virginia Football Team on the steps of newly built Fayerweather Gymnasium on Rugby Road. This photo has also been dated 1895, but either way, this is the era of football before helmets were worn, a touchdown and field goal kick were both worth 5 points, and the forward pass hadn’t yet been invented.  Third from the right in the front row is Eugene Davis, who would go on to become a medical doctor and also serve a few years later as the football coach for VPI (Virginia Tech).

DSC_3535More than a century later Fayerweather Gymnasium’s steps and columns remain unchanged although the building (now “Fayerweather Hall”) is part of the McIntire Department of Art.

getStaticImage-1 This photograph from the early twentieth Century shows a pageant performance in front of Fayerweather Gymnasium. Fayerweather predates Memorial Gym by three decades.  Its open interior made it useful for university functions other than just sports.

getStaticImage-15This image from the early years of Fayerweather shows a horse-drawn buggy on Rugby Road, a dirt road at the time.

getStaticImage-2Gymnasts show their skills in front of Fayerweather in the early Twentieth Century. When Fayerweather was built, UVA did not have a basketball team and, with many of the college athletics being played outdoors, gymnastics was a central use of the building.

IMG_7794It’s current proximity to UVA’s art museum (partially seen on the left in this view) make the old building a logical part of the university’s art department today.

All black and white photographs are courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library.  Color photos by Steve Trumbull.

The Year in Review: 2013

2013 was a phenomenal year for C’ville Images. We continued much of the work from the previous year and, with the support and interest of the Charlottesville community, took C’ville Images to new heights.

2013-03-03-15.12.53We did nearly 20 photo presentations including this one at the McIntire Room at JMRL. Our monthly shows at C’ville Coffee were a huge success with sell-out crowds month after month.  Some months we expanded to two shows. A couple of the shows pushed the capacity of the facility, leaving standing room only so, we have started selling the tickets in advance for 2014. The presentations featured a wide selection of photographs with different themes each month. We featured the photography of Ed Roseberry for a couple of the programs and we unveiled some historic film footage taken in C’ville in the 1920s-40s. Guests enjoyed many photos that have not been shown elsewhere, even on our own website.

_DSC9037C’ville Images continued our documentation work of the Charlottesville area, focusing on buildings being built or demolished and we have added an astounding number of images to our archives documenting the rapid change that is occurring here. This documentation will be part of local history in the decades ahead.  For some of our documentation we worked with Preservation Piedmont, a local non-profit that is leading the way with documenting properties before they are lost to demolition.

IMG_8482Photographs from C’ville Images’ extensive digital library have been used in local publications and have shown up in various web projects. We have done photo installations for both businesses and in private homes.  Early in the year we also had an exhibit at the Central Branch of JMRL.

IMG_1587The digital collection has expanded at a vigorous pace in 2013 with images being donated by local businesses, families, and individuals.  The collection now easily numbers more than 25,000 images including 1000s of photographs that won’t be found elsewhere. We are very grateful to all the people who have been willing to share their photos so we could scan them into the library and, in turn, share them with the Charlottesville community through our projects.

DSC_2849We have spent a huge amount of time this year working with legendary Charlottesville photographer Ed Roseberry digitizing large portions of his archives. We have especially enjoyed getting the opportunity to view some of his lesser-known work in the form of original negatives which have been stored away for decades. C’ville Images has shown, and will continue to show in 2014, many of these rare gems. We have also opened the Roseberry Collection, a selection of Roseberry’s work now available for purchase as prints.

Rugby Hills110 - Version 2One last note to clarify things for those who have inquired:  C’ville Images is an independent operation and has no affiliation whatsoever with the local historical society.  Although we are not “for-profit” we operate as part of Trumbull Photography, a privately owned business. C’ville Images operates with volunteers, primarily the donated time and resources of Steve Trumbull and his wife, Karyn. We do NOT hold tax-exempt status or get support from local governments.  Our rent is NOT subsidized by taxpayers.

We raise funds through sales of prints, our slideshow presentations, and also by the generous contributions of our fans who have used the “Donate” button on our website. If you like what we’re doing here please consider helping us keep this going in 2014!

Changing Face of West Main: Demolition on Vinegar Hill

Here are a few photos from the recent demolition of the former Russell Mooney Oldsmobile showroom and the adjacent building which was the original Russell Mooney dealership as well as a Texaco station.  More recently it was home to Random Row Books:_DSC9025 IMG_2840_DSC8995_DSC9032 _DSC9021 _DSC9071 _DSC9087_DSC9000 _DSC9004 _DSC9069 _DSC9006 _DSC9013_DSC9078The Lewis and Clark Monument at the end of 2013 after the buildings are removed. The demolition has made way for a 7-story Residence Inn Marriott on the corner of Ridge-McIntire and West Main Street. The buildings were two of only a small handful of structures that were not razed in the 1960s when the controversial “Urban Renewal” program took much of Vinegar Hill.  Lewis, Clark and Sacajawea, for so long forced to look only westward, can now for a short while, cast their gazes a bit more to the north.

img536      Lewis and Clark Monument, circa 1960, by Ed Roseberry.  The Olds dealership (built in the late 1950s) can be partially seen at the left in this image. Some of the old commercial buildings on Vinegar Hill can be seen on the right.  These were among the first removed with “Urban Renewal.”

63470002Both buildings can be seen in this parade shot (also by Roseberry) from the 1970s after most of the rest of Vinegar Hill had been demolished.

IMG_9453This is perhaps the last aerial photo taken in November 2013 of the two structures intact (the buildings are in the center of this photo; click on image to enlarge).  Demolition began just a few days later.

Random Row BooksBoth buildings are now just a memory.

computer-generated virtual drive-by of the planned hotel can be seen on the website of Design Develop, LLC.

Roseberry images are © Edwin S. Roseberry and scanned and digitized by C’ville Images for our use here.  All other photos by Steve Trumbull © C’ville Images 2010-2014

Locust Avenue Overpass

While some C’ville locals might bemoan the long, slow construction project at McIntire Road and the 250 By-pass, perhaps it is time to look back at an earlier project along Rt. 250 in Charlottesville.

551823_221366344633680_1528408586_nThis photo from the 1950s shows the original construction of the 250 By-pass, specifically the excavation of the east-west road so that it could go under Locust Avenue.  The view here looks east toward Pantops.  Some of the homes seen in this photo still stand today.


521373_221367124633602_860637776_nIn this aerial view we see the completed By-pass with the Locust Avenue overpass in place. In the distance you can see a second bridge at Park Street.  The by-pass allowed for easier flow of through-town traffic.  Interstate 64 would be built only a decade or so later and today the “by-pass” handles mostly local traffic.


IMG_4717This is a current day view from the bridge looking east, showing the extent of the original dig to get the road under Locust Avenue.


551823_221366344633680_1528408586_n - Version 2VDOT records aren’t clear but it is possible that the earlier road work was done by Mike Mulligan.



Historical photos courtesy Randy Olsson

Martha Jefferson Hospital

img335Martha Jefferson Hospital was founded in Charlottesville by seven local physicians in 1903.  The original building sat on E. High Street about the location that would be used as the ramp to the ER in more recent years. This building opened just a couple of years after UVA Hospital.

The covered porch, seen in this image, was added later to provide patients a place for fresh air and sunshine.

img332A larger hospital, facing Locust Avenue would be built in the 1910s.

img334This postcard gives the view from Locust Avenue.

img331In the 1950s the “Rucker Wing” was added and the older section dubbed the “Patterson Wing”, each in honor of the benefactors that helped fund the growth of the hospital.

img333Expansion of the Hospital continued, and by its 75th anniversary Martha Jefferson Hospital looked like this.

IMG_6335This photo is from 2011, shortly before the Locust Avenue location closed.

IMG_5415Once MJH outgrew the original location, a massive hospital complex was built on Pantops Mountain, across the Rivanna River from Monticello, the home designed by Martha Jefferson’s father, Thomas Jefferson.

IMG_6425This photo shows a night view of the new MJH on Pantops.

_DSC4279The old hospital building would be purchased and undergo extensive renovations.

This aerial shot of the 2013 renovation reveals a portion of the early hospital in the upper left. The grey roof and brick chimneys are from the early hospital, later known as the  “Patterson Wing”, seen in the historical postcard below.

MJH666This color postcard was made from a photo taken in the 1910s. This building, now a century old, still stands.

On a personal note, it was the balcony seen here on the older section where my wife Karyn and I stood on an unseasonably warm, misty, quiet night on January, 7 2001 getting some fresh air.  The next morning, our son Stephen would be born.

The older images are from vintage postcards selected from the Norris Collection at C’ville Images.  Latter day photos © Steve Trumbull.


Roseberry Show is SOLD OUT!

DSC_2854Our February 13th photo presentation with local photography legend Ed Roseberry is sold out. Thanks to the overwhelming response this show sold out in just 7 days, weeks ahead of the event.

If you were lucky enough to reserve your tickets by emailing C’ville Images, please complete the purchase as per instructions in the reply email.

If you missed out or follow us from out of town, don’t despair as we will have a few posts featuring some of Ed’s work right here leading up to the show. Ed Roseberry, now 88 years old, is a local legend and his photographs, especially from the late 40s through the 70s, have really captured an era in Charlottesville history that might otherwise be lost to time.  C’ville Images is working hard to digitize Ed’s work as well as gather other images from this era, so if you or your family or business have old photographs to share we would love to see them!

Meanwhile, enjoy Roseberry’s work on C’ville Images. You can use the search bar at the top of this page to find all our recent posts on Ed.  Just type in “Roseberry”.

You can also purchase some of Ed’s classic prints by visiting the Roseberry Collection through the navigation bar at the top.