Archive for the ‘Charlottesville history’ Category

CVHR Meeting (February 7, 2019) – Central Virginia History on Film

Friday, January 11th, 2019

Local Filmmaker & Photographer Lorenzo Dickerson will give us an overview of new Maupintown Media projects to expect in 2019, all deeply rooted in history, including new documentary films ByrdlandDeliverance, and 3rd Street: Best Seats in the House, photography exhibit Amber Waves______, screenplays for feature films and television, what to expect at the 5th Annual Maupintown Film Festival in July and more.

CVHR Meeting (January 3, 2019): A Charlottesville Double Bill

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

Jeff Werner , the new Preservation Planner for Charlottesville, filled in for Charlene Greene
who had asked the group for feedback on the West Main Street Interpretation and Signage Program as
prepared by Howard and Revis Design. Jeff asked that the group think about the “top ten” memories
that would represent the area and be reflected in the proposed signage, for which $15,000 has been
allocated. We asked Jeff to come back and talk to the group after the lively CVHR responses were shared

Andrea Douglas spoke about the new Jefferson School African American Heritage Center projects and
particularly the Origin Project which would lay out what the area was like after Emancipation when 52%
of the local population was African American. The 1870 map of Albemarle and the location of its many
plantations would be displayed so the large migration of freed people can be better understood.
Working on this project are Niya Bates and Elizabeth Klacsynski, the education coordinator for JSAAHC.
Jordy Yager is mapping the racial covenants of Charlottesville for an interactive map on racial zoning.
The story of who stayed in the county/city will be illustrated in the story of 6 families who can trace their
lineage from Albemarle plantation times.

CVHR Meeting (July 5, 2018): Hidden in Plain Sight: The Holsinger Photo Archive and New Visions of Charlottesville’s African American History)

Monday, August 6th, 2018

John Mason, UVA professor of history, spoke to us about a project to create a multi-media exhibition of Rufus Holsinger’s late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century portraits of African Americans, which are a striking refutation of the racial stereotypes of that time.  About 500 of Holsinger’s 5,000 portraits are of African Americans, and many of those are currently unidentified.  The project team, representing UVA and the Charlottesville community, is developing a process for identifying the sitters and is particularly interested in stories that can be told about individuals and families.  They will begin seeking public input in early 2019, including hosting a Family Photo Day.  But if you have information to share now, you can contact John at
For the Holsinger Photo Collection, see  and search  “African American.”

CVHR Meeting (May 3, 2018): A New Chapter for the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society (ACHS)

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Coy Barefoot, the new Executive Director of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society (ACHS), shared with us a host of plans for the future, from basic issues like bylaws, budget and funding sources, and membership structure, to ideas for expanded programming (a new website, a speaker series, regular exhibitions) and his dream of a regional museum of history and culture here in Charlottesville.  He expressed his eagerness to collaborate with CVHR and other local organizations.  We were excited by the prospects for an educational institution central to our community and chipped in with our ideas.  If you too have suggestions or comments, Coy would like to hear your views (

CVHR Meeting (February 1, 2018): Beating the Odds: Janie Porter Barrett Day Nursery to Barrett Early Learning Center: 1935-2018

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

Dede Smith told us about the founding, in 1935, and early years of the Janie Porter Barrett Day Nursery, an important resource for working African American women in Charlottesville.  She showed how it prevailed through funding and location challenges and drew the support of a cross-section of the black and white community, highlighting the roles of founder Daisy Green as well as local leaders like Otelia Jackson and Virginia Edwards.

You can watch a 15-minute video produced in 2016 to celebrate Barrett’s 80th anniversary:

CVHR Meeting (October 5, 2017): The 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic in Charlottesville and Albemarle County

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Addeane Caelleigh evoked the terrifying months of late 1918 and early 1919, when the “Spanish influenza” came to central Virginia.  After providing a global and national context for the worst epidemic in history (700,000 deaths in the US), she told us what death certificates and other records reveal about the situation in Charlottesville and Albemarle County: 227 documented deaths (probably only half the actual figure), the role of local doctors and nurses, the actions of volunteers in making soup and stitching flu masks, and more.   See Addeane’s article on this topic, complete with lists of physicians, nurses, and flu victims, in the Magazine of Albemarle County History, volume 75 (2017), pp. 31-87.

CVHR Meeting (April 6, 2017): Waterworks: A History of the Local Water Supply, 1819–2017

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Steve Thompson, Cinder Stanton, and Dede Smith told the story of Charlottesville’s public water supply, 1819-2017, from three different perspectives.  Steve focused on the various schemes for bringing water to the University of Virginia, from its founding to its collaborative venture with Charlottesville in the 1880s.  Cinder provided some background on owners of the land that is now the Ragged Mountain Natural Area—particularly the Mayo and Houchens families, whose land was taken by eminent domain from 1885 to 1910 by the town (later city) of Charlottesville.  Dede chronicled the problematic evolution of the municipal water system since the first Ragged Mountain Reservoir in 1885 to the present, illuminating issues of water quality, watershed protection, and local government authority that have affected decisions about reservoir locations and management for over a century.



CVHR Meeting (Oct. 6): Charlottesville’s Rose Hill: A Discussion of Recent Research

Friday, September 30th, 2016

With maps and historic photographs, Steve Thompson helped us to understand the transformation of Rose Hill from an antebellum plantation to one of Charlottesville’s first subdivisions in 1890.  Rose Hill’s story includes the rise and fall of schools and industrial enterprises, Charlottesville’s changing racial demographics, and a number of interesting personalities. private

See Steve’s essay on Rose Hill, as well as colorful paintings of buildings of Rose Hill and other parts of town, in the new publication of Chroma Projects, Repository of Missing Places: Richard Crozier’s Paintings of Lost and Found Charlottesville.