Backroads: Stony Point

LoC Stoney Point TavernThis photograph of Stony Point Tavern was taken in 1935 by Frances Benjamin Johnston.  The tavern stood along Rt. 20 (Stony Point Rd.) which was a main road between Charlottesville and Washington, D.C. in the early 19th Century and was likely travelled by Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe earning it the modern nickname “Presidents Road.”  The road dates to at least 1748.

04324vThe Tavern was run by Nathaniel Burnley in the 1820s who later was the miller at Hydraulic Mills.

Site of TavernSome of the information we found seems to point to this location for the tavern, now long gone, but we’re still searching for old photographs that might help confirm this. This site was the location of a more recent store at the junction of Route 20 and Watt’s Passage.  A post office and gas station also stood here.

Stony Point Elem.Directly across Stony Point Road is the Stony Point Elementary School which was completed in 1935, the same year as Johnston’s photographs of the tavern.

All Saints ChapelAnother structure of interest in Stony Point is this small chapel, built as a mission chapel for Grace Episcopal Church, just over the Southwest Mountains in Cismont.

Holsinger All Saint ChapelCalled “All Saints Chapel”, it was built between 1926-29 and remains relatively unchanged from this photograph taken in its early years. Services are held here twice a month.

_DSC2121We hope to add more info, vintage images, and new pics of Stony Point as we get them. For this backroads outing, however, we only made the acquaintance of this resident, who greeted us at the start of Watt’s Passage.

For a more complete, yet concise, history of the area go here.

Tavern photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnston, circa 1935, courtesy Library of Congress.  B&W image of All Saints Chapel, by Ralph Holsinger, courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library.  Current day photos by Steve Trumbull of C’ville Images.

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