Book Signing and Photo Presentation with Ed Roseberry


On Sunday, March 19th we will be having a book signing and photo presentation from legendary Charlottesville photographer, Ed Roseberry. The event will be held at the Central Branch of the Jefferson Madison Regional Library on East Market Street in Downtown Charlottesville.

It will be a casual, open-house format allowing the public to drop in any time between 2 and 5 pm. There will be a meet & greet with Mr. Roseberry and a chance to purchase the book and have Ed inscribe it. If you already have bought the book you are welcome to bring it for signing.

The program will also including a 20-minute, looping slideshow featuring Roseberry photos that did not make it into the book.

Many thanks to Library Director John Halliday and the staff of JMRL for hosting the event.

Book Signing and Photo Presentation with Roseberry

Please join us on Thursday, November 17 for a photo presentation and book signing with Ed Roseberry for “FLASH: The Photography of Ed Roseberry”. The event will be held at the Northside Branch of The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library from 5:30-7:00. It will include a 20 minute looping slideshow of some rare images from the Roseberry Archives along with discussion with Ed Roseberry and Steve Trumbull of C’ville Images who produced the book. This will allow guests to stop in any time during the evening to see the slideshow and meet Mr. Roseberry. The book will be on sale ($29.95) and Ed will be available to make personal inscriptions in the book, if you wish. For those of you who have already purchased the book, you are welcome to bring your copy for signing. This special event is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!


If you have not visited the Northside Branch of JMRL you are in for a treat. The award-winning design shows off what a 21st Century Library can look like. It is located on Rio Road, just west of Rt. 29.

dsc_2854-version-2This is a rare chance to meet Ed Roseberry and get him to inscribe your copy. A great opportunity to make some purchases for Christmas gifts for anyone on your list that loves Charlottesville and vintage photographs!

img173The slideshow will be a 20 minute loop of rare Roseberry images that are not included in the book, many of which haven’t been shared anywhere before. Ed and Steve will be on hand to answer question and discuss the photographs. The slideshow will run continuously throughout the event allowing you to drop by when it suits your schedule, enjoy the short program, and get a copy of the book. If you can’t join us in person, the book is available through our online store and at shops around Charlottesville.


Then & Now, Part II

In our last post we featured several vintage images from the archives of Ed Roseberry, and matched up his mid-20th Century photographs with current day views of the same locations, and installed them in our new slider for a dramatic “then & now” effect. This next batch of old photographs includes a wide range of dates from the 1800s to the 1970s. Again, some things change dramatically while others are remarkably unchanged. The bar in the middle allows you to slide between “then” and “now”.

“Four Acres” on Rugby Road is a large estate built circa 1910 and designed by architect Eugene Bradbury who has many notable homes and buildings around Charlottesville and UVA to his name. “Four Acres” sits on just under 4 acres, but still one of the largest lots within the city limits. The vintage photo seen here was taken by Rufus Holsinger in 1914 (courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library) and the more recent photo was taken by C’ville Images in 2011 when we photographed the property after an extensive renovation. The estate has had several owners over the years including Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, a highly-regarded naval commander in the South Pacific during WWII, who lived here after the war, having attended UVA early in his career. (Side note: Admiral Halsey is referenced in the Paul McCartney song “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” with its familiar “Hands across the water” refrain.) Four Acres is currently on the market for sale.

This southern Albemarle home named Mountain Grove is one of the oldest estates in the county, built in 1804 by a former Revolutionary War captain, Benjamin Harris. This impressive house has had its periods of neglect but today stands preserved, very close to its original design.

One of the earliest photographs of the Chapel at UVA, this 1889 photo by J.T. Wampler shows the Chapel under construction. It opened in 1890 and with its gothic windows, rough-cut stone, and gargoyles on the bell tower, stood in stark contrast to the red bricks and columns of the Jeffersonian architecture throughout the Academical Village. Interestingly, Jefferson did not include a chapel in his original plans for the University. The second image shows the Chapel virtually unchanged 125 years later.

The corner of Garrett and 6th Streets, SE in Charlottesville. The earlier photo was taken over 100 years ago and shows the treacherous terrain of some of the city’s streets back then when both automobiles and horse-drawn carts shared the roads. This part of town contained both residential and industrial properties including many warehouses, only three blocks south of Main Street, today’s downtown pedestrian mall. In both photos you can see the C&O Railroad depot building (in the distance, up 6th St.) which was built in 1905 (although a railroad depot at that location goes back another half-century). Vintage image courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library.

Esmont in southern Albemarle County is a small town named after the nearby plantation. The older picture shows the railroad and depot which are now long gone. Other buildings, seen in the photograph from a century ago, still exist (in various conditions) in this small rural community.

The older photograph shows a car dealership on West Main Street in the early 1900s. The building, though changed, still exists. The adjacent houses also still stand more than 100 years later. Note the brick pavement and trolley tracks running down the center of the street in the earlier photo.

These photos show East Market Street at the corner of 5th Street. The earlier photo was taken in 1971 when Wilhoit Motors had a showroom and garage there, storing many of the automobiles on the roof. The building now contains office space.

West Main Street, looking east, from the intersection with 10th Street. The earlier image is from sometime in the 1970s and the recent photo from the 2010s.

The earlier photograph here was taken sometime after the 1973 fire that claimed McCrory’s and the neighboring businesses on Main Street, but before the downtown pedestrian mall was built a couple of years later. The buildings on the south side of East Main are still easily identified, and the grassy, empty lot is now Central Place, accommodating outdoor seating for the shops and restaurants nearby.

The older photo seen here was taken on East High Street in the summer of 1972 when the Rivanna River overflowed its banks. By the time it reached Virginia, Hurricane Agnes was only a tropical depression, but it still dumped more than 7 inches of rain on Charlottesville on June 22. Including the previous day’s rains it was closer to 10 inches in total according to the weather service records. Although Charlottesville didn’t get the worst of it (Central PA got more than 15 inches), the local flooding and devastation was significant. Hurricane Agnes was the most costly in terms of dollars the U.S. had seen up to that point. In Scottsville, VA the flooding that came with Agnes holds the record, 4 feet higher than even Camille, the devastating storm that hit Central Virginia just three years earlier. The “now” image was taken in 2012.

The Charlottesville & Albemarle Railway Power Plant near Woolen Mills, circa 1914,shortly after it was built.  The more recent shot shows it again about a century later, completely abandoned. (B&W image courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library)


This continuing series is created by Steve Trumbull and Steve Haske.
All images are from the C’ville Images archives, except where noted.
 ©C’ville Images


Charlottesville Then & Now

The following selections are taken from our recent exhibit, “Charlottesville Then & Now” which was on display at City Space in June of 2016.  The exhibit paired vintage images from Ed Roseberry with more recent photos by Steve Trumbull of the same locations. Steve Haske helped us create this interactive display of several of the pairings. “Then and Now” has been a great way to show the photographic history of Charlottesville and has been an integral part of our slideshows and web projects over the years. This display uses a “slider” device which allows the viewer to move between the past and present. “Pull” the arrows left or right to view two images.

The Paramount Theater on Main Street, 1959/2016: Ed Roseberry took this black and white photo in December 1959. The holiday lights are seen here hung along Main Street, which was open to motor vehicles until the pedestrian mall was built in the mid-70s. The blade sign above the marquee of The Paramount Theater would be removed a few years later, sometime in the 1960s. Roseberry’s photo has been seen in a wide variety of locations including the offices of The Paramount Theater. Steve Trumbull took the current day photograph after a replica blade sign was installed on The Paramount Theater. The photo was taken as night fell in order to mimic the scene from the Roseberry shot. Main Street is now a pedestrian mall and the Willow Oaks planted in the 1970s have become a major feature in the streetscape. The businesses surrounding the theater have changed but many of the buildings from 1959 remain.

The College Inn 1961/2016: The College Inn has been at this location since the early 1950s and the exterior has remained virtually unchanged throughout its history. This same location had previously been the University branch of Keller & George, a jewelry store, and one of the oldest businesses in Charlottesville still in operation. Eljo’s (men’s wear) is another long- lived Charlottesville area business. The tallest and most prominent building on this block is Anderson Brothers Book Store, its white-painted metal facade seen in the older photo in the distance. Today, the sidewalk is wider to accommodate outdoor seating and University Avenue is more narrow with less parking. The College Inn’s sign has changed over time although the apparatus hanging it from the roof is the same. Several of the other shops along this block have changed including the iconic Anderson Brothers Bookstore building which no longer sells books, but instead houses a CVS drugstore.

View from Belmont Bridge, Looking East, Early 1950s/2016: When Ed Roseberry took his black and white photo from the old Belmont Bridge it was just to the west of the current bridge’s location. The railroad yard in Charlottesville was extensive, including many sidetracks, water towers, and coal and wood supplies. There was a roundhouse and turntable seen here in the distant left. A coal tower is visible in the distant right. The current Belmont Bridge was built in the early 1960s to span this broad and busy railroad yard. Today’s view shows the railroad yard is greatly diminished and Water Street is extended to the east. With the recent addition of City Walk Apartments, the street now runs past the old coal tower, the only structure from the old photograph still standing today. The LexisNexis building stands at the left in the current day image. Buckingham Branch Railroad, which operates exclusively in Central Virginia, is moving boxcars on the tracks at the right.


The Corner, University Avenue, Early 1950s/2016: The shops and restaurants along this part of The Corner in the early 1950s included (from distant right), Eljo’s, College Inn, Jameson Book Store, University Cafeteria, The Virginian, Jones Barber Shop (downstairs), Collins, Inc. (men’s clothing), and The Corner Shop. A few years later Mincer’s Pipe Shop would replace The Corner Shop and the Mincer Family has continued to own and operate a business at this location up to the present day. Seen from the same view today the location is unmistakable, with very little change having occurred to the buildings here and some of the very same businesses still serving the students and faculty of UVa more than a half-century later. The Virginian now has sidewalk patio seating shaded by a large Zelkova tree, the stone wall on the near side of the street still stands, and Mincer’s sign and awning boast UVA’s school colors.



Mad Bowl, Mid-1970s/2012: Until the early 1980s, UVA hosted Easters, a springtime social event that had morphed into a massive party by the 1970s. The scene in the black and white photo at Madison Bowl (an athletic field near some of the University’s fraternity houses) was typical of the era, with music and mayhem fueled by large quantities of booze. Rainy weather could turn Mad Bowl into a mud bowl. Roseberry had regularly photographed the Easters events from the 1950s through the 1970s. Today, Madison Bowl is a well-kept athletic field located between Madison Lane and Rugby Road. The fraternities that surround it remain. Madison Bowl gets its name from its location behind Madison Hall, named for James Madison (U.S. President and one-time rector of the University). Madison Hall opened in 1905 as a campus-based YMCA and was later the Student Union. Madison Bowl once contained tennis courts and a running track.

Emmet Street and Barracks Road, 1948/2013: Ed Roseberry’s first aerial photograph was taken above this intersection in Charlottesville. Ed’s brother, Bob, had recently acquired his private pilot’s license, and Ed took advantage of the family connection to get some unique views of his hometown. Carroll’s Tea Room, a local favorite bar for university students, sat at this intersection along with a gas station seen at the bottom of the image. This part of town was mostly wooded at the time. Today this intersection is a much busier part of Charlottesville with Barracks Road Shopping Center occupying both sides of Barracks Road. A bank has replaced Carroll’s Tea Room which was actually moved in the 1950s in an attempt to save the popular establishment when the shopping center was first being built. The service station in the near corner stood for many years as an Esso and later Exxon, but that lot now stands empty. The intersection lies in the flight path to Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport and Steve Trumbull had to make a quick pass to get a current day photo that would approximate Ed’s shot from 65 years earlier.

West Main Street, 1950/2014: Lane High School’s marching band parades down West Main Street a couple of blocks from The Corner in the older photo from Ed Roseberry. The building on the left was Vance Buick at the time and also offered Gulf gasoline and Hertz car rentals. Both a steak house and a bowling alley would later occupy the same space. Obscured by the trees, beyond the band and sitting back off the street, was the Dolley Madison Inn, where travelers could stay while visiting Charlottesville and the University. Steve Trumbull’s photograph shows the very same view more than 60 years later. The car dealership and service station eventually became Kane Furniture and other buildings along this part of West Main Street have come and gone. The 6-story building seen here is the Battle Building at UVA’s Children’s Hospital, which houses dozens of pediatric specialties. The building, with its innovative design, first opened its doors around the time of the recent photograph.

C&O Railroad Station, 1970s/2016: Ed Roseberry took this photograph looking west on Water Street from the Belmont Bridge. The covered railroad platform was still in place at the time as this station still served rail passengers. The building seen here dates to the early 20th Century although there was a railroad line to Charlottesville before the Civil War. Note the freshly painted Pepsi billboard in the distance down Water Street. That faded advertising can still be seen today. The old C&O building still stands today with later additions both east and west. Buckingham Branch currently leases the stretch of railroad in Central Virginia that includes the tracks through Charlottesville. What used to be a grassy knoll at the east end of Main Street is now occupied by the Downtown Transit Station. Completed in 2008, it serves as the central hub for the Charlottesville Transit Service. The historic C&O Train Station now contains office space.

100 Block, East Main Street, 1970/2016: Roseberry’s color photograph, taken on slide film, shows some of the shops along Main Street including the Jefferson Theater when it showed films. The shot is one of thousands Roseberry took of parades in Charlottesville in the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. Boy Scouts motor past with their campsite display and other kids entertain with bike tricks as crowds of locals look on. This part of Main Street would remain a drivable street for just a few more years. Most of the buildings in this same view, taken by Steve Trumbull, are easily recognizable today. Still, many have undergone changes. Most dramatic is the1930s building on the right with the ornate stone and tile facade. Originally built as a woman’s clothing store, the current owner has restored the original street-side look and added a large apartment on the second story. The Jefferson Theater has also had renovations in recent years and lives on as a live music venue.

First & Main, 1962/2016: When Ed Roseberry took his photo in 1962 looking west from the intersection of First and Main Streets, the shops in the first block of West Main included Robinsons, Roses, and Joe The Motorists’ Friend. Miller’s, on the north side of the street was a drug store at the time. The long-lived Young Men’s Shop was in the tall building on the left. In the distance you can see that the first phase of demolition in the Vinegar Hill urban renewal has taken the commercial buildings along Main Street. Looking at the same view in Steve Trumbull’s current day shot, many of the buildings along the north side of the street remain relatively unchanged from a half-century ago, although the shops and businesses have all changed. Miller’s Drug Store was converted in recent decades to the restaurant and bar known simply as Miller’s. The Willow Oaks now shade the brick and stone pavers of the pedestrian mall, and a marker in the center of the intersection at First & Main (seen in the foreground of Trumbull’s photo, notes the point where the city is divided into its geographical quadrants, NE, NW, SE, and SW.

200 Block, East Main Street, 1964/2016: Ed Roseberry stood in the street in front of The Paramount Theater to get this black and white shot looking west. Car traffic on Main Street was only one-way at the time. The Art Deco facade of the Citizens Bank and Trust Company can be seen on the left. The three story building on the right housing the Hallmark Card Shop would be destroyed by fire a decade later. Also note the signs hanging prominently above the storefronts along Main Street at the time. Today, street vendors and outdoor cafes have replaced the automobiles along Main Street. The 1973 fire that destroyed several buildings on the north side of the street left the space that became Central Place with a fountain, outdoor seating, and more open space worked into the original design of the pedestrian mall. Citizens Bank changed its facade several decades ago and that location is now the infamous and abandoned Landmark Hotel project.

300 Block, East Main Street, 1962/2016: A drivable Main Street allowed cars to pull right up to the storefronts back in the mid-Twentieth Century. Prominent in the older photo is the People’s National Bank Building, built in the 1910s and displaying large columns with Corinthian capitals. It has been the home to several different banks over the past 100 years. Also seen in the 1962 view at the distant right is the Paramount blade sign that was removed (and never seen again) a few years after this photo was taken. These days, giant Willow Oaks shade outdoor seating for restaurants on Main Street, now a pedestrian mall. The bank still stands and awaits a new tenant. An exact replica of The Paramount Theater’s old sign was constructed and installed in 2015. There wasn’t a sign there at all for most of the years between these two photos. The look of many of the buildings in this stretch of downtown is remarkably well-preserved, and still no building here is taller than the Charlottesville National Bank Building, built circa 1920, seen in the distant right.

View from Belmont Bridge, 1970/2016: After the Belmont Bridge was replaced in 1962 you could still access Main and Water Streets by using the ramps seen in the older photograph, taken some time after City Hall was completed in 1969. The Monticello Hotel, built in 1925, can be seen in the distance. The large, white building at the right was the National Ground Intelligence Center (built mid-1960s). The pedestrian mall, the Market Street Parking Garage, and City Hall Annex are yet to be built. The the current day photo you see the Charlottesville Pavilion which was built in 2005 at the east end of the downtown pedestrian mall to provide an outdoor venue for music performances including Fridays After Five. The Monticello Hotel still remains the tallest building in Downtown Charlottesville. The old NGIC building is now SNL Financial and is painted a dark green. The Transit Station is also a recent addition to this part of downtown.

Vinegar Hill, Early 1960s/2016: This section of west Main Street was historically known as Vinegar Hill and by the mid-Twentieth Century contained shops and restaurants, although many of the buildings here were in disrepair. The red brick building since in the vintage, color image was a Masonic Lodge (note the symbol between the second story windows). Instead of being preserved, everything seen in the old photo was lost to the federally-funded “urban renewal” program not long after Ed Rosebery took this photograph. This portion of Vinegar Hill would remain mostly empty until the 1980s when the Omni Hotel (out of view to the right in the recent photo) and the U.S. District Courthouse (seen just beyond the trees) were built. The drivable West Main Street no longer comes down Vinegar Hill, but instead, traffic coming from the west connects to Water Street on the left. Brick walks and landscaping now fill the space where the cars are seen in the earlier photo.

About the photographers: Ed Roseberry, now in his 90s, has been taking pictures around Charlottesville and UVA since the 1940s and is a regular contributor of photos to C’ville Images. His best work is the subject of a new book “Flash: The Photography of Ed Roseberry” written and edited by Steve Trumbull of C’ville Images. Steve has been documenting Charlottesville for years and has been working with vintage Charlottesville photographs since 2010, including websites, exhibits, slideshows, and publications, and the new book. A special thanks to Steve Haske for his work on this post, the recent exhibit, the new book, and other C’ville Images projects.

All work © C’ville Images, 2010-2016

Charlottesville: Then & Now

Scan - Version 3
Paramount Sign1-2We have taken a few months off from the slideshows to work on the Roseberry Book (to be released soon) as well as some other photo related projects. In June, at City Space in downtown Charlottesville, we will have an exhibit called “Charlottesville: Then & Now” featuring 30 pairings of vintage Charlottesville photos from Ed Roseberry with current day photos of the same location taken by me. The exhibit will be in the gallery at City Space (location of Charlottesville Tomorrow) throughout the month of June.

To pay for the production of this exhibit we need the help of friends and followers of C’ville Images. Even small contributions will add up to help us pay for the printing of the photos and other expenses. For those who wish to contribute more we would like to offer some benefits (see below). Thanks for considering helping with this!

Contributors (up to $39): Invitation to the opening reception.

Supporters ($40-99): Invitation to the opening reception; choice of one print (8×10) from the Roseberry Collection on the website; and name listed on the Supporters Board in the exhibit.

Patrons ($100 and over): Invitation to the opening reception; set of 3 prints (8×10) from the Roseberry Collection; and name or company logo on the Patrons Board in the exhibit.

Please use the donate button below to help fund this project. Thanks as always for supporting our work at C’ville Images!

Monroe Statue, 1905

getStaticImage-29By the late 19th Century the Academical Village at the University of Virginia included a large Annex built on the north side of the Rotunda, which provided classroom space for the growing student population.

prints00110After the 1895 fire that gutted the Rotunda and completely destroyed the Annex, the Academical Village would undergo some major changes.  The Rotunda would be rebuilt, but without the Annex, and the lost classroom space would be made up by the construction of three new buildings that would enclose the south end of the Lawn. Those buildings would be built around the turn of the Twentieth Century.

getStaticImage-2Cabell Hall, first known simply as the “Academical Building” and today known as “Old Cabell Hall”, would be situated facing the Rotunda across the long expanse of the Lawn. The building was dedicated in June of 1898.

getStaticImage-22 - Version 2Holsinger Ralph Homer
On June 10, 1907, a statue of Homer and his student, would be unveiled in the open space in front of Cabell Hall.  The statue, which sits in the same location 108 years later, was a gift of J.W. Simpson, a wealthy investor who had first attempted to give the sculpture to his alma mater, Amherst College in Massachusetts. For uncertain reasons they passed and it found a home at the University of Virginia.

The sculptor, Moses Ezekial, completed the statue and shipped it from Rome, Italy on March 8, 1907 in time to be in place on the UVA Lawn for commencement ceremonies in June.

getStaticImage-8For most of the years between the completion of Cabell Hall in 1898 and the unveiling of Homer in 1907, the area on the south end of the Lawn was empty except for the newly planted trees.

img440However, this postcard photo from 1905, showing the inauguration of the University’s first president, Edwin Alderman, reveals another statue preceded Homer.  This photo was taken on Founder’s Day, April 13th (Thomas Jefferson’s birthday).  A brief written account of this particular Founder’s Day identifies the sculpture seen in this photo postcard as being a statue of James Monroe.

img444What happened to this statue, and why was it on the Lawn for such a short period of time?  C’ville Images has been unable to find any additional record of the Monroe statue at UVA.  However, we have been able to trace it to its origins.

getStaticImage-4Our first thought, of course looked for the local connection.  Ashland-Highland, Monroe’s home near Charlottesville, added a statue of Monroe to their grounds sometime in the early 20th Century.  Was it this statue?

A closer look reveals that while the two statues both show Monroe standing in similar poses, they are not the same.  From our extensive research, it seems very few images exist showing the Monroe statue seen on the Lawn.

But what we did find took us to St. Louis, Missouri over 100 years ago. It turns out that the statue of Monroe was sculpted by Julia Bracken for the 1904 Exposition in St. Louis commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Monroe_1904_Issue-3cHistory reminds us that James Monroe played an integral part in the Louisiana Purchase so it made sense that a sculpture of him would be included at the St. Louis event centered around Lewis & Clark’s exploration of the territory acquired in the Louisiana Purchase.  St. Louis, where the expedition originated was the obvious location for the centennial celebration. The U.S Post Office issued commemorative stamps for the occasion, including one for James Monroe, Jefferson’s envoy to negotiate the 1803 deal with France.

Louisiana_Purchase_Exposition_St._Louis_1904The exposition, also known as the St. Louis World’s Fair was a massive event attracting nearly 20 million visitors. The buildings, grounds, and displays covered over 1200 acres with exhibits from more than 60 nations and almost all the U.S. states. It was so large that it had to be delayed (the 100th year anniversary of the Lewis & Clark Expedition was actually 1903) to allow inclusion of all the countries that wanted to participate.

Julia Bracken, (later Julia Bracken Wendt; 1871-1942) was an American sculptor who studied at the Chicago Art Institute and in 1893 was one of several women sculptors to work on statues for the Columbian Exposition (Chicago World’s Fair). She sculpted the James Monroe statue for the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, and shortly thereafter married painter William Wendt and moved to California where she continued sculpting and teaching art.

1904_St-Louis-World-FairThe exposition in St. Louis lasted for 7 months and when it closed in December, 1904 the exhibits were dismantled and distributed, much of it scattered across the United States to various appropriate destinations. The statues (there were many of them) ended up in parks, museums, and government buildings.

4a12530vThe Monroe statue may have spent some small amount of time in Washington, D.C.- it’s not exactly clear- but it eventually made its way to the University of Virginia. There is some indication that it was not particularly well received at UVA with students irreverently decorating the statue and criticizing its prominent place on the Lawn. The Jefferson Statue on the West side of the Lawn and the Jefferson Statue on the north side of the Rotunda wouldn’t be in place for several more years and it may have seemed strange to have the Monroe figure so centrally displayed.

Homer at CabellC’ville Images has not been able to discover the fate of the Monroe statue but it is clear it didn’t stay in place long. By 1907 it would be replaced by the Homer Statue which has stood on the location for more than a century.

Photo credits: Special Collections/UVA library, C’ville Images archives, Norris Collection at C’ville Images, Wikipedia, and Steve Trumbull. Special thanks to Catherine Clarke Coiner for her assistance in the research.

Patty Steve and Mom 2Future C’ville Images editor, Steve Trumbull (circa 1967, with his mother and sister) on the Lawn near the Homer Statue. The trees seen here have all been replaced over time.

The Paramount Theater in Downtown C’ville

C’ville Images is back with our first photo presentation of Fall 2015 and it promises to be a good one! On Thursday, October 8th, at 7 pm. we will return to C’ville Coffee for a narrated slideshow presentation of vintage Charlottesville photographs.


We will be looking at the history of The Paramount Theater and Downtown Charlottesville through an extensive selection of photos we’ve put together, many of which have never been shown before in public. The Paramount Theater was an anchor of downtown during the middle of the 20th Century and is again since it reopened in 2004. We will look at this classic theater in depth and also explore Main Street around the theater and the changes that have occurred here over the years.

Our guest speaker this month is Sandy DeKay from The Paramount. Sandy is Assistant to the Theater Director and the unofficial theater historian. She has a BA in History from UVa. and loves the history of motion pictures and in particular the emergence of Hollywood in the first half of the 20th Century as great movie houses like the Paramount were being built across the U.S.

A significant portion of the proceeds from this show will go to The Paramount to support the “Bring Back the Blade” campaign which will restore the iconic Paramount sign to the front of the theater. Click on The Blade icon below to get your button and be part of making history!

PrintTo purchase tickets for this show contact Steve Trumbull. Admission is $10. Just let Steve know how many tickets you’d like to reserve and he’ll reply with instructions on how to purchase them. Our shows tend to sell out quickly so reserve yours soon!

Below is a sneak preview of just a few of the images that will take you back in time to the mid-20th Century in Charlottesville.  These photographs are from the Roseberry Archives at C’ville Images but Ed’s work is only some of what we’ll feature at the show.  We have assembled a large selection of images of this part of town from a wide range of sources.


1952 Apple Harvest Parade 2



1951 East Main Street

Photographs by Ed Roseberry from the Roseberry Archives at C’ville Images. All the photographs in this post are copyrighted and may not be used without permission.

Hurricane Agnes, 1972

By the time it reached Virginia, Hurricane Agnes was only a tropical depression, but it still dumped more than 7 inches of rain on Charlottesville on June 22, 1972. Including the previous day’s rains it was closer to 10 inches in total according to the weather service records.  Although this area didn’t get the worst of it (Central PA got more than 15 inches), the local flooding and devastation was significant. Hurricane Agnes was the most costly in terms of dollars the U.S. had seen up to that point. In Scottsville, VA the flooding that came with Agnes holds the record, 4 feet higher than even Camille, the devastating storm that hit Central Virginia just three years earlier.

Here in Charlottesville it was enough to send the rivers and streams over their banks.  These photos show the area on the east side of C’ville, primarily along East High Street. Free Bridge (crossing the Rivanna on Route 250) was smaller and lower at that time than it is today and the water levels photographed here reached the bottom of the bridge.

The rains didn’t last long, the sun came out, and the citizens of Charlottesville watched as the river raged along the edge of town as it has done many times before and since.

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It took many weeks to clean up from the flooding. The devastation was evident and a major topic of conversation throughout that summer. Then on October 5th, 1972, just over three months after Agnes, heavy rains hit Virginia once again and the river began to rise… (to be continued)…


All work © 2015, C’ville Images. Photographs should not be reproduced or used for any purpose without permission.

Tobacco Barns Project

I recently had the opportunity to join a group from Preservation Virginia as they toured the backroads of Southside Virginia. The visit to the area was part of the Tobacco Barns Preservation Project to check out some of the barns that have been preserved as well as some that are candidates for preservation funding.

While tobacco is still grown in the area, many of the old tobacco barns are no longer in use. Preserving them maintains a connection to the agricultural heritage of this region as well as contributing to the rural landscape. To learn more about this project visit the project’s own page on the Preservation Virginia website. A few photos from the trip follow…

PV Tobacco Barns 4PV Barn 4 PV Tobacco Barn 1 PV Tobacco Barn 2PV Tobacco Barns projectPV Tobacco Barn 3PV Barn Interior 4 PV Barn interior 2 PV Barn interior 1 PV Barn 3 PV Barn 2 PV Barn 1
PV Tobacco Field

We also visited the town of South Boston, one time a major market for the area’s tobacco industry. Today it is a relatively quiet town with an active arts community but still maintains ties to its agricultural roots. Here are a few photos from around town:

SoBo Town Hall SoBo Cantaloupe Festival
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South Boston (yes, named after the town in Massachusetts) is on the Danville River and close to the North Carolina border.

The town of South Boston has painted its fire hydrants in the downtown area to represent some of the notable people from the city’s past. Here are a few of the painted hydrants:

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All photos by Steve Trumbull, © C’ville Images

If you would like to support the work of Preservation Virginia and have access to some amazing historic properties, join now.

Roseberry’s “Giant”

img94960 years ago, in June of 1955, “Giant” came to town.

The film, directed by George Stevens and starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean, was filmed in part in Keswick, VA, just east of Charlottesville.  The Keswick Depot served as the train depot of the fictitious town of Ardmore, Maryland where Taylor’s character’s family lived.  They owned a prized horse, “Warwinds”, that the Rock Hudson character came to purchase. He then falls in love with Taylor and they move back to Texas where the saga continues.

In June, 1955, Charlottesville was buzzing with excitement as the cast and crew for this epic motion picture arrived to shoot the first part of the film.  They used the historic Belmont Farm (just off Route 22 in Keswick) as the home of the cherished horse and its owners.

Ed Roseberry was 29 years old at the time and, with years of photography experience, easily managed to get on the set to shoot some still images during production.

img956Roseberry took this photograph while the crew was filming horses and riders and dogs in a hunt while the train runs along the tracks. It later turned out that this was the scene that would be used for the opening shot of the film.

img948The train arrives at the depot (first image at top) and Rock Hudson gets off the train and is picked up by Dr. Lynnton, the man who owns the horse, played by Paul Fix. The film’s story begins in the early 1920s and the car, a Cadillac Phaeton, is from that period.

img953This photo shows the cast and crew behind the scenes going over details just outside the depot. The name of the fictitious town can be seen on the building. Local citizens, curious about the filmmaking, stand in the background, some snapping photos as souvenirs.

img285Screenwriter Fred Guiol overlooks the fields and railroad track for one of the shots in the opening sequence.

img955Ed Roseberry got to shadow the crew closely. Ed recalls the train was backed up and run forward again and again until they got the smoke from the steam engine just right.

Amtrak on bendThis is the same stretch of track today in eastern Albemarle County.

img849Roseberry also worked it out to be at the Jefferson Inn, one of Charlottesville’s few hotels at the time, on Emmet Street in Charlottesville, where the cast and crew stayed during the filming. He got this shot during one of the meals.

He also got this photo of the 23 year-old Taylor in the Jefferson Inn’s dining room. While the actress was gracious, other cast members were not and cursed Roseberry as he fired the flash of his camera.

Elizabeth Taylor at 5’3″ and Rock Hudson, more than a foot taller, stand together on location near the train depot in Keswick. The Director’s son, George Stevens, Jr. was also involved with the filmmaking and is seen here on the left.

Ed on Giant locationExactly 60 years later, Ed Roseberry would be interviewed for a local TV news story standing in the very same location where he took the above photo of Taylor and Hudson.

_DSC8010Ed shows reporter Anna Phillips and her cameraman some of the photos he took on the set.

You can see the story here.

Roseberry wasn’t the only one who had access and was able to get photographs. Bob Bencoach, who ran the Ridge Drive-in Theater which in the mid-twentieth century was located near Hydraulic Road and Route 29 (about where the Kroger is today), was also on the set.  He was hired as an assistant to Fred Guiol. Bob took the photos below while on location at Belmont, the house that was used as the estate for the Lynnton Family (Paul Fix as the father and Liz Taylor as his daughter, Leslie).

324460_4602911074590_284843340_oBob Bencoach took this shot of Taylor and Hudson in front of Belmont, during the shoot. In this scene, the newly-acquainted couple are looking out into the pasture at the prized horse, Warwinds.

462193_4602942355372_167381517_oBencoach photographed Warwinds, along with the cast and crew, at Belmont. Hudson can be seen beyond the horse, and only Taylor’s dress is showing in this photo.

243313_4602912314621_1324011854_oActress Carolyn Craig who also was in the film, at Belmont.

img955The epic motion picture has become a classic since it was released in 1956.  Here in Charlottesville, it has been shown multiple times at the Paramount theater on East Main Street. This photo from the early 1970s (also by Roseberry) shows a group gathered to hear live music downtown.  The marquee of the Paramount announces “Giant”, reminding film-goers of its local connections.


The Paramount showed it again, just this past year. The Paramount’s Sandy DeKay, who  is passionate about both movies and local history, introduced last year’s showing to an enthusiastic audience.

Sandy DeKay explained the lasting appeal of the film: “Visually it was big, bold and colorful, a true epic. The movie also faced head-on – cautiously, it may seem to us now –social topics that continue to frustrate us today: racial tension; sexual inequality (Elizabeth Taylor defiantly making her opinions known regarding “men’s business”); and class/social mobility (the poor uneducated James Dean suddenly made rich by the discovery of oil).”

She added that the Paramount in particular has been the ideal place to see the film: “The Paramount continues to return “Giant” to the screen as a celebration of the theater’s history as a grand movie palace and gathering place for the community, and as a tribute to the film that had a significant local presence.”

img947This last photograph from Roseberry’s shoot 60 years ago is back at the train depot. Hudson and Fix stand below the steps to the passenger car that Hudson’s character, Bick Benedict, arrived on. The hunt group can be seen in the distance.  You can also see Montalto (aka Patterson’s Mountain, later called Brown’s Mountain) on the horizon.

Keswick Depot 22The depot still stands today, completely enveloped in vegetation, and the excitement of Hollywood coming to town to film “Giant” is only a distant memory for those who can remember it at all. And for Ed Roseberry, turning 90 in July, that is a good memory indeed.

All work © C’ville Images. Photographs on this website should not be reproduced or used for any purpose without permission. Roseberry photos are part of C’ville Images’ Roseberry Collection. High-quality prints may be purchase of any of Ed Roseberry’s photos by contacting us.

Bob Bencoach photos are used here with permission from Rosanna Bencoach.