Historic Garden Week 2014

Historic Garden Week in Virginia often focuses on the historic homes more than the gardens and this year’s tour in southern Albemarle County was no exception. Two prominent homes from the Jefferson era were open to visitors for a rare opportunity to see inside. This local tour was hosted by the Charlottesville, Albemarle, and Rivanna Garden Clubs.

Esmont 31Esmont, built nearly 200 years ago has just undergone an extensive renovation with extraordinary attention to detail, inside and out.

Esmont #3View of back porch of Esmont.  Newly added kitchen wing is on the left.

Esmont #2A small chapel was added to the property in recent years.

Redlands #1The other home on the southern Albemarle tour was Redlands, built circa 1800 by the Carter Family who still own the property today.

Redlands 2014A giant Ash tree stands in the front lawn.

04256vThis 1933 photograph taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston shows that the house is remarkably unchanged today.

Redlands #2 2014Sitting on a high elevation, there are distant vistas from Redlands in several directions with views of the Virginia country side and Blue Ridge Mountains.

Bel Air #2The final stop on the southern Albemarle tour was Bellair Farm.  Here the house was not open to the public but a thorough tour of the farm was.

Bel Air FarmBellair Farm is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Farm where locals can buy in on a yearly basis to get a weekly supply of produce during the growing season. Crops are started in the greenhouse.  The operation is working toward organic certification.

Bel Air # 3Eggs and poultry are also part of Bellair Farm.  The moveable chicken coops allow the chickens to live on green pastures, feeding on insects and grubs as well as feed provided by the farm staff.

Frances Benjamin Johnston photograph courtesy Library of Congress.
All other photographs by © 2014, Steve Trumbull/C’ville Images

“Then & Now” Returns in May

C'ville Images Poster #2The next C’ville Images slideshow will be Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 7 pm. It will be held at our regular monthly venue, C’ville Coffee on Harris Street in Charlottesville.  The second of a series, the theme is “Charlottesville Then & Now” and we will be pairing vintage photographs of Charlottesville with current day views of the same location.

This is a theme we’ve done in many versions and in many places but it is always fun to see the slow fade from the past to the present at a live show.  Some of the photos will amaze you with the dramatic transformation that has occurred while others are remarkable in how little has changed.  All photos are from Charlottesville over the past 100 years or so and narrated by me, Steve Trumbull.

This is a new show, NOT a repeat of last month. Whether you saw the April show or missed it, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

Tickets for this event are $10.  ALL tickets will be sold in advance.  To reserve yours simply contact us by email and give us your name and how many tickets you want and you’ll be put on the guest list for May 8.  We will reply to your email with two options on how to pay for the tickets.  Tickets for our shows go fast, so don’t delay in reserving yours!

UPDATE:  THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT.  We do have a second venue and date this month at Carriage Hill on Pantops on May 15, but those tickets will first be offered to the residents of Carriage Hill and, depending on sales later may be offered to the general public.

Medallion at First & Main

IMG_1346Two years ago this month the Medallion at First & Main was installed on the downtown mall in Charlottesville. Designed by Steve Trumbull (of C’ville Images and author of this blog) and funded by Steve, his wife Karyn, and a handful of generous friends, the quarter-ton granite marker was set in place to signify the center of Charlottesville.

IMG_1364This is the point where all street addresses go up from 100 in all directions.  This is the point where East Main Street becomes West Main Street and where South First Street becomes North First Street. There are two Second Streets in C’ville, as well as two Third, Fourth, and Fifth Streets, and so on.  But only one First street. This is the point where the city, like many bigger cities, is divided into four quadrants: NE, SE, NW, & SW. (A bit of trivia: Washington, D.C. has a similar medallion located in the basement of the Capitol)

IMG_1377The inspiration for this marker came, in part, from the late Preston Coiner (seen here in the foreground wearing a hat).  Preston was well-known downtown for greeting passers-by and offering directions to anyone who appeared to be lost, looking for an address and trying to make sense of Main Street.  He discovered that many people were confused about East and West Main Street since on the pedestrian mall they seamlessly flow together. We don’t know if our medallion has aided many people but we hope at the very least it adds a conversation piece to a downtown walk.

IMG_1403Next time you visit downtown Charlottesville and stroll along the pedestrian mall, take a minute to check it out.  It is simple and understated, but it is our small gift to the city of Charlottesville.

IMG_8125This aerial view shows the intersection of First and Main Streets.

IMG_1394Thanks again to the team at Gropen Design for helping make this happen.

More about the production of the medallion can be found here.

C’villepedia wrote about it here.


All photos by Steve Trumbull

Collision in Southern Yards

getStaticImage-8In the early morning hours of December 3, 1912, a passenger train ran onto a side track in the Southern Railroad yard, just west of Union Station, and collided with a freight train carrying oranges. Three cars of oranges, some of which were possibly destined for the Matacia Fruit Company near South and First Streets, were destroyed in the wreck.

getStaticImage-9Apparently, a switch to the side track was left open causing the passenger train to run into the freight train. Fortunately, nobody was injured and the wreck was cleared from the tracks in a few hours.

getStaticImage-8This image might be the best look at the accident showing the location to be on the tracks just to the south of the University.  The open fields and scattered houses are in the area where the South Lawn complex and adjacent residential neighborhood are today.

Detail cabell Hall HolsingerIn the distance you can spot (in this detail of the upper right corner of the previous photo) Cabell Hall and part of the power plant that stood near it in the early Twentieth Century. Cabell Hall is the furthest building back and the smoke stack on the left is the old power plant that sat just below it.

getStaticImage-5The Daily Progress reported on the accident in great detail in the afternoon edition the same day.  The more entertaining story however, may be the coverage of the wrestling match the previous night at the Jefferson Theater in the second column.

All photographs by Rufus Holsinger, courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library.
Newspaper clipping courtesy JMRL.

Southern Railroad Crew, circa 1909

guy wade on railroadThis photograph was sent to us from the Wade Family of Charlottesville and shows a group of railroad workers near the Southern Railroad Station on West Main. Charlottesville has a rich railroad history with two lines (The C&O and the Southern) intersecting here and two large railroad yards, much larger than is apparent today.  The young boy seen at the front left in this photo is Guy Wade, a water boy at the time who would go on to work for Southern Railroad as an adult.

getStaticImage-8This is the Southern Railroad station as seen from West Main Street around the time that young Guy Wade worked for the railroad.

House near Queen Charlotte HotelThe job as a water boy was convenient for the young boy since his family lived across West Main Street in the house seen in the center of this photograph.

getStaticImage-5This photo shows a Southern locomotive in front of the station with West Main Street in the background. Along West Main Street you can see various buildings of the era including the Queen Charlotte Hotel to the right and Emanuel Lutheran Church to the far left.

DSC_1306The railroad depot building still exists, serving as an Amtrak station and also housing a restaurant.

C’ville Images is always looking to add to our collection with digital versions of photographs from Charlottesville families and businesses.  If you have anything you’d like to share, please contact us.  We can scan and return the original to you or happily accept your digital version by email or other means.  Thanks to the Wade family and all of you who continue to share your photographs, adding to our extensive collection of C’ville images.

Top photograph courtesy the Wade Family. Second, third and fourth photos by Rufus Holsinger, Special Collections, UVA Library. Color photo by Steve Trumbull.

Monticello Dairy

getStaticImage-16The Monticello Dairy was located on Grady Avenue just off Preston Avenue. Designed by architect Elmer Burruss around 1937, the dairy served Charlottesville with milk, ice cream, butter, and other dairy products for several decades. At the time of this photo, taken by Ralph Holsinger (late 1930s or 40s), Monticello Dairy had the easy-to-remember, three-digit phone number, 888. Holsinger took the photo  from across Grady Avenue in front of the Triangle Service Station

IMG_4017The building has had a few changes over the years but is still recognizable today with many of the original architectural elements intact.  It has also had a variety of tenants since the dairy closed, including most recently, Three Notch’d Brewing Company with it’s popular tasting room.  McGrady’s Irish Pub, seen in this photo taken in recent years, is in a section of the building that was added to the east (left) side of the original building.

5891474_1_lAdvertisement for Monticello Dairy

img861This interior photo by Ed Roseberry shows the milk bottling operation, circa 1955.  This photo was included in our feature in Albemarle Magazine Feb/March 2014 issue.

photo 2These days, a different beverage is produced here with Three Notch’d Brewing Company making use of the facility.

Holsinger photo courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library.  2010 photo by Steve Trumbull. Interior photo of bottling production © Edwin S. Roseberry.