10 January 2015

C'ville Images

PLEASE NOTE: This blog is no longer being updated with new posts.  Please go to my other site C'ville Images for many new posts, lots of photographs, and much more about history and images in Charlottesville, Virginia.

31 May 2013

Charlottesville Then and Now

Welcome to the archives of Charlottesville Then and Now. This site includes 100s of historical images of Charlottesville, many paired with their current day counter part.  We have painstakingly revisited the location of many of the old photographs we have found and shot the "Now" view to compare it to.

We are continuing our work researching old C'ville images, documenting Charlottesville, and telling some of the lesser known history of Charlottesville on our newer, main website, C'ville Images. Please visit it for all the latest.

You can also follow us on Facebook.

Enjoy exploring both websites and keep checking back as we make new discoveries and create original content to share with viewers.

"Charlottesville Then and Now" and "Cville Images" are both produced by Charlottesville Historical Image Library, a private digital collection of photographs of Charlottesville and the surrounding area.

We've provided content for many local exhibits and publications and currently host a monthly photo presentation (slideshow) at C'ville Coffee on Harris Street.  Every second Thursday of each month join us for vintage Charlottesville images on a wide range of topics. We have a strong local following and appreciate the continued support for our work.

Old images used in this post are from the Holsinger Collection, Special Collections, UVA Library.

15 March 2013

Last Chance Texaco

In the 1960s at Barracks Road Shopping Center a Service Station was added to the expansive suburban shopping location along Emmet Street. Designed by the local architectural firm Stainback & Scribner, the building would be a mainstay of the commercial area just north of Grounds at the University of Virginia.

In recent years, the service station operated as Shell.  From Ivy Road to the 250 By-Pass, several other gas stations went out of business.

The fee schedule posted inside gave a glimpse into its history.

 This next image is the attic space above the office:

 Another bit of hidden history this drop box from the early years of Barracks Road Shopping Center was also tucked away above the service bays:

By 2012 the land had become valuable for other retail spaces and the service station moved on:

The owners left behind these important keys to the past (and to the restrooms):

A look inside the abandoned service bays:

In 2013, the building, not yet 50 years old, came down:

When the attic space was finally broken open, decades-old paperwork and billing was liberated:

 Including this car repair for a Mr. Carpenter in January, 1976 for $2.50.

Today, the successful business lives on...in Ivy, Va... just a few miles away..... as an Exxon station:

Early photo of Texaco courtesy K. Edward Lay, Professor Emeritus of Architecture at UVA, who worked briefly for the firm, Stainback & Scribner, early in his career.
Thanks also to Professor Lay for additional information used in researching this post.
All other images by Steve Trumbull and part of CHIL.
All work © 2013, Charlottesville Historical Image Library

11 March 2013


Built in 1912, Riverdale sits on the hillside at the east end of High Street overlooking the Rivanna River at Free Bridge.  Constructed for Ms. Minnie Barnes, the two story brick structure was an addition to a smaller, wood-frame house that dates to the 19th Century:

The rough-faced, concrete block quoins (corner blocks) seen in this next photo help date this house to the early years of the twentieth century when the fabricated blocks were common in Charlottesville construction:

This house in Belmont is built entirely with the block which could be formed on site with a machine sold by Sears Roebuck:

A century ago, East High Street was a dirt road, not paved until 1917, by which time Ms. Barnes had sold Riverdale to local horse trainer, Aldretus Wilton Ward. This next image from Rufus Holsinger shows East High Street being paved:

In the detail below the house is visible on the hillside:

This second detail shows Free Bridge crossing the Rivanna River just below the property:

This next Holsinger image gives us a good sense of High Street from the 1910s:

Today, the same location looks like this:

 In 1954-55 on the land just above Riverdale, Burnley-Moran School was built:

Today, Riverdale is in disrepair and is scheduled for demolition:

All Holsinger images and details courtesy Holsinger Collection, special collections, UVA Library.
All other images are from Charlottesville Historical Image Library (CHIL). 
All work copyrighted and should not be reproduced.
Special thanks to Preservation Piedmont for helping attain access to the property for photographs.
Please respect the current owner's rights and do not trespass.

27 February 2013

City Hall from Belmont Bridge

Above photo by Ed Roseberry of City Hall and the entrance ramp to the Belmont Bridge in the early 1970s.  This location is now the site of the Intelos Wireless Pavillion (see photo below by Steve Trumbull).

Please Note:  We are excited to announce our new website, C'ville Images.  It will feature even more images of Charlottesville and the surrounding area.  It will provide updates on the events (slideshows, exhibits, etc.) done by CHIL, the creators of "Charlottesville Then and Now." 

We will continue to build on "Charlottesville Then and Now" but "C'ville Images" will add to the variety of images we feature and provide visitors with a forum to add their comments and recollections.

Check it out!

If you are visiting Charlottesville Then and Now for the first time, use the navigation bar to check out the many stories and photos we've posted here.

01 February 2013

The Farm

In December 1825, a prominent Charlottesville citizen and husband of Thomas Jefferson’s great niece, John A. G. Davis purchased nearly 70 acres on the east side of Charlottesville.  The tract was known simply as “The Farm.”

Davis used contractors who had worked for Jefferson building the Academical Village at the University of Virginia to build a house on The Farm.

In 1848 Davis’ widow sold the property to Thomas Farish, who would later serve in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.  During that war U.S. General Armstrong Custer stayed in the house for a few days.

In the early Twentieth Century, local businesman George Michie bought the property.  The surrounding estate still covered more than 35 acres. 

After Michie died, his wife sold the property to a developer who turned the surrounding land into a neighborhood.  Many of those homes can still be seen today.

The Davis House today retains just over an acre of land and many tall trees.

In the latter half of the Twentieth Century the house served for some time as both apartments for rent and a nursing home.  The double railing above the portico seen in this next photo was added during this period.

But by the 1990s the property had fallen into serious disrepair, with water coming through the eaves and vines growing through the windows.

In the early 1990s the property was purchased by two architects, Michael Bednar and his wife, Elizabeth Lawson.

Working with Jack and Jeff Wray, two local contractors, Bednar (at left, in this next photo) and Lawson began an extensive renovation of the Davis House:

This drawing shows the South elevation and the portico as restored by the Wray Brothers.

Today, the house is a home again, preserving much of the history that took place here.

Another house, owned by Nicholas Lewis and dating to 1770, stood next to where the Davis House was built.  Still standing, it is believed to be the oldest house in Charlottesville, dating to 1770:

This location is thought to be the site of the Revolutionary War encampment of Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton, making it more likely that the famed “Tarleton Oak” stood here rather than the location on 9th Street as local tradition has it.  Indeed, the house is still shaded by ancient oaks:

This photograph shows one of the large oak trees on the property that easily dates well before the Revolutionary War:

This next current day look at the rear of the house shows an addition that was done while the property was owned by Thomas Farish:

The Farm has been placed on the Register of Historic Places in addition to receiving other historic designations:

The original owner, J.A.G. Davis, is believed to have lived at the corner of High and Third Streets (Third was named "School Street" then) prior to building the house at The Farm.  This Rufus Holsinger image from a century ago shows the house (left) that the young Davis Family lived in. The house was demolished in the 1950s:

Today, the location of the Davis Family's earlier home is now a private girl's school:

Coincidentally, on the opposite corner at Third and High Streets, sat this Nineteeth Century house.  Although strikingly similar to the J.A.G. Davis house, it is not known if there was any connection between the two properties:

After completing the construction of the house at The Farm, Davis was appointed Law Professor at UVA and moved to Pavilion X on The Lawn at UVA:

Tragically, Professor Davis was shot and killed by a student just outside the Pavillion in 1840, the year his youngest daughter was born.  The Davis Family would later install stained glass in the UVA Chapel in memory of the family patriarch:

170 years later, J.A.G. Davis' great-great-great-granddaughter would visit the Davis House:

In Spring of 2011, Michael Bednar and Elizabeth Lawson would host a family reunion for two dozen  descendants of John A. G. Davis:

This early Charlottesville map shows the large tract of land to the east of town known as The Farm.

This next photograph, again by Holsinger from over a century ago shows the expanse of land east of town and down to the Rivanna River.  The view, looking west shows the river in the foreground as it begins to wrap the base of Pantops Mountain (behind the viewer).  The knoll in the middle ground is where Riverbend Condominiums stand today.  In the distance just right of the tall trees in the middle you can spot the Davis House.  As seen in the above map, The Farm covered a large portion of land south and west of the Rivanna.

Michael Bednar and Elizabeth Lawson have received numerous awards and recognition for their outstanding work in preserving this historic home.  For more history and photos visited the website for the John A. G. Davis House.

This final image of The Farm is a painting by local artist, Richard Crozier.  He has painted nearly 3000 works, including many of local homes and landscapes. You can see more of Mr. Crozier's work at Reynolds Gallery in Richmond.

Images for this post were provided courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library, Charlottesville Historical Image Library, the Wray Brothers, Richard Crozier, Michael J. Bednar, 
and The Library of Congress. 
All current day photos and aerial shots by Trumbull Photography.
All work © CHIL, 2013 


Charlottesville Then and Now is a photoblog showing vintage images from around Charlottesville and pairing them up with current day views of the same location.

The blog is the work of Steve Trumbull of Trumbull Photography.

This website features photographs of places in and around Charlottesville, Virginia. I have collected a number of old images, taken over the past century or more, and paired them with photos of the current day location.

Use the archive below or the "Older Posts" link at the bottom of this page to explore the many places and stories I have researched for this project. Check back often for new additions. Feel free to contact me with any comments or to share old photos at: steve@trumbulldesign.com

You can now follow this project and other photography happenings on Facebook and Trumbull Photography.

Thanks for your interest!

-Steve Trumbull