The Charlottesville Center for History and Culture

Home of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society
ABOUT THIS PHOTO

From the collection of legendary photographer Ed “Flash” Roseberry (b. 1925) comes this classic photo of downtown Charlottesville, East Main Street, December 1959: The heart of Charlottesville during the holiday season 1959, with Christmas lights and sparkling garlands strung across Main Street (today’s Downtown Mall). The marquee of the Paramount Theater advertises the film The Five Pennies starring Danny Kaye. The 1931 Paramount Theater had desegregated just one year before this picture was taken. The sign for Standard Drug Company is also noticeable on the left, now the site of a CVS. Charlottesville’s Main Street had its origins as the 18th-century roadway, the Three Notched Road, which ran west across the Piedmont from Richmond, over the Blue Ridge and across the valley to Staunton. Today’s Downtown Mall, West Main Street, University Avenue, and Ivy Road follow that same colonial-era route used by early European settlers and Native Americans before them. (photo is courtesy of the Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia).

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Rick Britton Tour

Rufus Holsinger (1866-1930) took this photo of "Midway" looking east on March 7, 1917. This part of town at the crest of Vinegar Hill along the historic Three Notch'd Road (later West Main Street) was known throughout the 19th and early 20th century as Midway or...

Rare TV Footage from 1973

Rufus Holsinger (1866-1930) took this photo of "Midway" looking east on March 7, 1917. This part of town at the crest of Vinegar Hill along the historic Three Notch'd Road (later West Main Street) was known throughout the 19th and early 20th century as Midway or...

Tunnel Talk and Tour

Rufus Holsinger (1866-1930) took this photo of "Midway" looking east on March 7, 1917. This part of town at the crest of Vinegar Hill along the historic Three Notch'd Road (later West Main Street) was known throughout the 19th and early 20th century as Midway or...

Royal Wedding 1981

Rufus Holsinger (1866-1930) took this photo of "Midway" looking east on March 7, 1917. This part of town at the crest of Vinegar Hill along the historic Three Notch'd Road (later West Main Street) was known throughout the 19th and early 20th century as...

NBC29 Covers New Programs

Rufus Holsinger (1866-1930) took this photo of "Midway" looking east on March 7, 1917. This part of town at the crest of Vinegar Hill along the historic Three Notch'd Road (later West Main Street) was known throughout the 19th and early 20th century as...

Thanks to John Mason

Rufus Holsinger (1866-1930) took this photo of "Midway" looking east on March 7, 1917. This part of town at the crest of Vinegar Hill along the historic Three Notch'd Road (later West Main Street) was known throughout the 19th and early 20th century as Midway or...

Now Playing

“Jefferson v Hamilton.”
Fall 2018
Instructor: Coy Barefoot

Long before there was Republicans versus Democrats or Conservatives against Liberals, there was Hamilton and Jefferson, fighting it out to see who would capture the American soul. They both won. They both lost. This class will explore the dramatic political and personal battles between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton and how that significantly impacted the course of of the American Republic and set the stage for the very political system we have today. The class will be offered over the course of 8 weeks this fall, meeting one night a week, 630p-830p from September 11 through October 29. All classes will be held in downtown Charlottesville. Seating is limited.
STATUS: Enrollment is closed for this class.

Learn more about our full program of Personal Enrichment Classes.

 

“Gone But Not Forgotten: Unearthing Memories at Daughters of Zion Cemetery,” now on display in our Exhibit Hall.

In partnership with the Preservers of the Daughters of Zion Cemetery, this exhibit explores the fascinating stories of people interred in one of the first public, African-American cemeteries in this part of the South, first established in 1873 near downtown Charlottesville. This free exhibit will be on display during our regular business hours in the Exhibit Hall of our main building through the early Fall.

 

“Ed Roseberry’s Charlottesville,” at the City Space Gallery on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall.

This free exhibit showcases dozens of classic photographs from the Roseberry Collection, and includes detailed historic captions for every image. Known to generations of his friends as “Flash,” Ed Roseberry (born 1925) continues to be one of Virginia’s most celebrated and accomplished photographers. His iconic and award-winning work spans more than six decades, and has focused on the people, events and scenes of Charlottesville, Albemarle and the University of Virginia. “Ed Roseberry’s Charlottesville” will be on display at the City Space Gallery on the Downtown Mall throughout the month of August 2018.

 

Learn more about our Historic and Cultural Exhibits Program.

Walking Tours of Historic Charlottesville
Schedule: Spring – Fall

Personally guided walking tours of historic downtown Charlottesville that focus on a variety of topics have been a hallmark among our program offerings for decades. Tours are offered to both small and large groups from mid-April through early October, and begin here at our main building. Click here to learn more and to schedule your tour. And if you’d like to learn about volunteering to be a Guide, please click here.

“The Discovery Series”
A Unique Collection of Tours Exploring Albemarle County and Charlottesville
Schedule: September 2018 – May 2019

Among our new program offerings for 2018 is an entirely new set of walking tours with expert guides that will take visitors to various historic sites throughout Central Virginia: learn about Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village at the University of Virginia with renowned architectural historian Richard Guy Wilson; explore the Jewish history of Charlottesville with scholar Phyllis Leffler; get a behind-the-scenes tour of James Monroe’s Highland; and go deep inside Crozet’s Blue Ridge Tunnel in the mountains. All tours are free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required. Click the button below to learn more about the full schedule.

Learn more about our Tours Program.

Third Fridays Series
Schedule: September 2018 — May 2019

On the evening of every third Friday of each month, from September 2018 through May 2019, we will host a free public lecture and discussion at 7p in the Meeting Room at Cville Coffee on McIntire Road downtown. Speakers and topics will include: Historian and artist John Mason on the African-American portraiture of photographer Rufus Holsinger; architectural historian Edward Lay on the Classical Architecture of “Jefferson Country;” historian Preston Reynolds on the tragic story of eugenics at the University of Virginia; and much more. All our public lectures include Powerpoint-style presentations with rarely seen historic images. Click the button below for a full schedule and all details. You can also check the Events Calendar. Follow us on Facebook and check out the Blog for all the latest updates. These lectures are all free and open to the public. Seating is limited, so please plan to arrive early.

The Community Series
Schedule: September 2018 — May 2019

While our Third Fridays series of talks is held at the same time and in the same location each month, our Traveling Series does just that: travels. This series of talks and conversations take place in various communities throughout Albemarle and Charlottesville, a new location and a new speaker each month, September through May. Speakers will include author and historian Mary Lyons on the wave of Irish immigration to Virginia in the mid 19th century to build the railroad; architectural historian Richard Guy Wilson on the history and architecture of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village; local historian Phil James on the history of Crozet; historical archaeologist Steve Thompson on the history of the Carr/Greer home at the Ivy Creek Natural Area; and much more. All our public lectures include Powerpoint-style presentations with rarely seen historic images. All talks and and discussions are free and open to the public.  Click the button below for a full schedule and all details. You can also check the Events Calendar. In most locations, seating will be limited so please plan to arrive a bit early. No reservations or tickets are required.

Learn more about our Speakers Series Program.

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