02 December 2012

Charlottesville Motors

In 1936, Ford Motor company announced it was manufacturing its three millionth truck. 

Despite the Depression of the 1930s, Ford continued to be a successful car maker and Charlottesville Motors, the local dealership, had success as well. This photograph by Ralph Holsinger shows the staff of the dealership in front of their location in the 300 block of West Main across from Inge's Store (now West Main Restaurant).

The building has been used for many other things over the years including a bowling alley and cable TV company. Today the building looks like this:

Not long after the Holsinger photo was taken Charlottesville Motors would move to a greatly expanded location just west of the bridge on West Main Street.  Throughout much of the Twentieth Century, West Main Street, between the University and Midway (Ridge St.), was Charlottesville's "Motor Mile" with auto dealerships and service stations concentrated in this part of the town.

This building also still stands, but awaits demolition:

This next image shows the view from the railroad tracks that run behind the building:

This is the very same view in the early decades of the 20th Century, before Charlottesville Motors moved to the location. 9th Street, SW crossed the tracks in those days where now it comes to a dead end on both sides of the track:

The former motor mile today is an area in transition with many of the old dealerships and service stations now specialty shops and bistros. Here are just a few of the places that once served the automotive industry along West Main Street:

Holsinger images courtesy Special Collections, UVA Library.  
All other photos ©2009-2013 Trumbull Photography.


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