June 11th Show

Then and Now poster June 2014

(For info on the Carriage Hill showing, see bottom of this page)

The next C’ville Images slideshow will be Wednesday, June 11, 2014.  It will be held at our regular monthly venue, C’ville Coffee on Harris Street in Charlottesville.

However, there are two changes this month.  First, please note that this month it is on a WEDNESDAY, not our usual Thursday.  Also, this month we will have TWO SHOWS that evening instead of the usual one.  The times will be 5:15 and 7 pm.  Since our shows always seem to sell out, we hope this will allow for even more of you to attend.

We are thrilled to have Ed Roseberry join us this month for a special version of “Charlottesville Then & Now.” We will be pairing vintage photographs of Charlottesville taken by Ed from the late 1940s through the 1970s with current day views of the same location or subject taken by me, Steve Trumbull.  Ed and I will co-narrate the show. We feel the “Then and Now” theme will bring a new twist to Roseberry’s fantastic collection of Charlottesville photographs.  Even if you’ve seen a lot of Ed’s work before this will be an entertaining evening with both classics and rarities from Ed and a current day perspective to go along with the images. We even promise a few surprises.

Tickets for this event are $10.  ALL tickets will be sold in advance.  To reserve yours simply contact Steve giving your name and how many tickets you want, which time slot you prefer and you’ll be put on the guest list.  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!

Remember: 1)  NAME   2) NUMBER OF TICKETS   3) WHICH TIME: 5:15 OR 7PM.

Thanks, we look forward to seeing you there!

RESIDENTS OF CARRIAGE HILL ON PANTOPS:  There will be a showing of this same program at the Clubhouse at Carriage Hill on Pantops on THURSDAY, JUNE 19th. This is currently open only to Carriage Hill residents. Tickets can be ordered as described above, just please note that you will be attending the Carriage Hill show, when you contact Steve.

Backroads: Gordonsville

A few photos from a recent “backroads” trip to the town of Gordonsville.  What we discovered in Gordonsville was that there was so much history and architecture that it would take several days of exploring to get through all this town and surrounding area has to offer.  So, for now, we’ll just share some of the sights we happened upon on the third weekend in May:
Keswick VineyardsThe half-hour drive from Charlottesville to Gordonsville takes you through some of the most beautiful country side in Central Virginia, and includes many historic homes as well as places like Castle Hill Cidery and Keswick Vineyards seen here.

House Main GordonsvilleAs you arrive in Gordonsville, turn onto Main Street and head toward the “downtown” commercial area, it seems as though you’ve stepped back in time with most of the homes and buildings appearing to be from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Shop GordonsvilleThe commercial area itself is mostly from the 1910s and 20s, primarily 2 story brick buildings.

Gordonsville MotorsThis building was a Ford Dealership in the early 20th Century.

Gordonsville UMCFor a small town, Gordonsville has a remarkable number of churches, including the United Methodist Church on Main Street, dating to the 1870s.

Christ Church GordonsvilleJust a couple of blocks away, another old church, Christ Episcopal, dates to 1875.

Church on Main GordonsvilleOne old church has been turned into the public library.

Freight Depot GordonsvilleThe old freight depot on the C&O railroad hints at Gordonsville’s heyday in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Hotel GordonsvilleAn old hotel, also on the C&O, has not been in operation for years although kept in good condition.

Signal tower GordonsvilleSignal tower on the C&O.  No longer in use.

Gordon Inn MarkerMarker at the end of Main Street points to the early days of Gordonsville.

Exchange HotelThe Old Exchange Hotel was built prior to the Civil War and served as a hospital during that war, taking care of both Confederate and Union soldiers, numbering near 70,000. After Emancipation it operated as a hospital for freed black slaves in need of care. Today the beautifully maintained building houses a Civil War Museum.

Chicken FestivalOn the third weekend in May, Gordonsville holds the annual Fried Chicken Festival.

Chicken Festival 2100s of visitors and 1000s of pieces of fried chicken in downtown Gordonsville for the Fried Chicken Festival.

BBQ ExchangeFor the rest of the year The BBQ Exchange is the most popular dining spot in town.

GvilleBusinessThis old photograph shows the commercial area of Gordonsville and the Ford Dealership on Main Street, circa 1930s.

Another look at Main Street, near the C&O bridge which takes the railroad across the center of downtown. The scene appears to be a parade, possibly in the 1920s (building on far right was built in the 1910s).

GvilleDepotThis last vintage image shows the rail yard and train depot at Gordonsville.

Nathaniel GordonOn a hillside on the outskirts of town is this memorial to the founder of this small town.  You can read more about Gordonsville’s history here, but we recommend taking a few hours to stroll the streets, see the old homes and churches, visit the shops, and enjoy some good southern cooking.  There’s much more that we didn’t have time to get to, so we’re bound to return soon.





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.

Backroads: Sugar Hollow Reservoir

This is the second post in our new “Backroads” series from C’ville Images.  I will be exploring some of the lesser-seen locations around Albemarle County and into the adjacent counties. I hope to find old photographs, take new photographs, and uncover some hidden history of places surrounding Charlottesville. “Backroads” will feature historic homes, small towns, forgotten landmarks, and anything else I find off the beaten path.  Thanks to everyone who continues to share old photos of Charlottesville with us at C’ville Images. We welcome any old pics from outlying areas as well!Sugar Hollow #2The reservoir at Sugar Hollow was built on the Moorman’s River in 1947 to supply water for the city of Charlottesville.  In the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western Albemarle County, Sugar Hollow has long been a spot visited by fishermen and locals enjoying the natural beauty of this backroads location west of C’ville.

Sugar Hollow RSWAThis photograph taken from the same angle 70 years prior shows the dam under construction in the 1940s.

Sugar HollowSugar Hollow’s location, adjacent the Shenandoah National Park, makes it a picturesque destination for day trips from C’ville.


The pipeline that moves the fresh mountain water east towards Charlottesville.

Sugar Hollow #3Sugar Hollow is one of three reservoirs that serve the Charlottesville area.

1940s image from RSWA archives, scanned and provided to C’ville Images by Charlottesville Tomorrow. Current day photos by Steve Trumbull.


Backroads: Esmont, VA

This is the first in a series of photo essays from C’ville Images called “Backroads.”  I will be exploring some of the lesser-seen locations around Albemarle County and into the adjacent counties. I hope to find old photographs, take new photographs, and uncover some hidden history of places surrounding Charlottesville. “Backroads” will feature historic homes, small towns, forgotten landmarks, and anything else I find off the beaten path.  Thanks to everyone who continues to share old photos of Charlottesville with us at C’ville Images. We welcome any old pics from outlying areas as well!

Esmont Post office #3 (1)Esmont, Virgina is a small town in southern Albemarle County.  Once a thriving little village, it is mostly a scattering of residences today.  Empty properties line the main road through town. The post office, now housed in this building that was once a bank, is the only remaining business.

3c13129u.tifThis photograph from 1910 shows Esmont in its heyday with the railroad and depot bringing goods and people to and from town.

Esmont Now 2014Today, the same view shows an abandoned general store, missing buildings, and a grassy knoll where the railroad tracks once ran.

This concise history of the town of Esmont is provided by the Virginia Center of Digital History at the University of Virginia:

“Named after the former plantation (and today farm) from which the town’s lands had been purchased, Esmont is located some seven miles northwest of Scottsville in the southern part of Albemarle County, Virginia. Although records indicate that the area had been populated since the mid-18th century, it was only at the tail-end of the nineteenth century that Esmont’s population was large enough to justify the opening of a post office. The rich red soil on which Esmont is situated has provided the principal source of livelihood both for ante-bellum plantation owners, and for the African-American residents that purchased land and settled the area subsequent to the Civil War. Until the mid-twentieth century the majority of Esmont’s African-American residents were largely self-subsistent, growing their own vegetables and raising livestock for meat and milk products. In the interviews it is apparent that most men and boys were hired, at least for a period, by local (predominantly white) farmers as farm-hands, while women and girls were employed as domestics. When the opportunity arose, however, Esmont residents took employment in such diverse fields as education, nursing, the military, railroad work, and construction. Esmont’s residents recount living in extreme poverty: some families had only old newspapers to insulate their homes during the cold winters, and children rarely owned a pair of shoes. Despite the hardships they faced, the interviewees in this collection describe a rich and vibrant community. As in many rural communities in the area, church served as a spiritual backbone as well as a social center in which residents met (sometimes seven days a week). Children converted empty lots to baseball fields and adventure parks, while parents and grandparent formed a tight social network in which vegetables, baked goods and clothing were exchanged regularly.”

Esmont #3Esmont, the plantation home and namesake for the town, has been beautifully restored and stands just a few hundred yards from the town.

Pace's Grocery EsmontPace’s Grocery and adjacent service station have not been in use in decades.

Esmont Services Signs 1977Photographer John Shepherd took this detail of Pace’s in the 1970s after the store had already closed.

Purvis's Store EsmontThis vacant building stills stands along the main road through town.

Purvis's Store Esmont 1977John Shepherd’s image reveals the building’s former life as Purvis’s Grocery and a Gulf station.

Esmont Store #2  1977Shepherd also took this photograph of the store seen in the 1910 image.  The distinctive round roof was still intact in the 1970s.

Store in EsmontThe structure still stands but Mother Nature is slowly having her way with it.

Esmont Schoolhouse??This building appears to be an old school house and now serves as a residence.

IMG_0355Artist and craftsman John Morris spent his final years working to restore one of the old homes in Esmont, despite battling illness. A native of England, Morris found charm and value in old properties and sensed the history of the small town of Esmont.

Esmont House #3The unfinished project was donated by his wife to Habitat for Humanity and is now for sale.

St. Stephen's Esmont #2The century-old St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (built 1914) stands at the north end of town.  Its cemetery reflects some of the area’s history.

The 1910 photograph comes to us courtesy the Library of Congress. The 1970s B&W photographs are courtesy John Shepherd.  You can see much more of Shepherd’s work on his website.  All other photos by Steve Trumbull. ©2010-2014



Second Venue Added for “Charlottesville Then & Now”

carriage Hill poster May 2014 #2As you may already know this Thursday’s show at C’ville Coffee sold out in less than 48 hours.  To meet the demand, we have secured a second venue this month for the same program on the following Thursday, May 15.  Carriage Hill on Pantops is a condominium community with a nice clubhouse, including a deck with beautiful views.  The inside space is a comfortable venue for this program. Carriage Hill is graciously allowing C’ville Images to use the space for our show, but again, tickets are limited .  Please note that this show is at 8 pm.
If you didn’t get tickets for this coming Thursday’s show and you would like to join us on the 15th, the routine is the same:
Tickets for this event are $10.  ALL tickets will be sold in advance.  To reserve yours simply contact Steve, giving your name and how many tickets you want and you’ll be put on the guest list for May 15th.  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!
Hope you’ll join us!  This event is less than 10 days away.
Sunset view from Carriage Hill.


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.