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 sometimes Midway Square (being roughly mid-way between the original downtown Charlottesville at Court Square and the University of Virginia, which opened March 7, 1825). This photo was taken two years before the Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea statue was installed. The busy street trolley tracks are visible on the left, which covered much of Charlottesville from the 1880s to the 1930s. The 1894 Midway School is in the center (built on the site of the historic 1818 Midway Hotel). This school served the City’s white children, elementary through high school, while African-American children attended the nearby Jefferson School. A new McGuffey Graded School opened in 1916, and the Midway School thereafter became more commonly known as Lane High School, after teacher and school superintendent James Waller Lane. That school was replaced by the more modern Lane High School down the hill (today’s County Office Building), which opened in 1940 and was not replaced by today’s Charlottesville High School until 1974. The 1894 Midway School building later became municipal office space until 1966. The building was razed in 1973, and in 1977 became the site of the Midway Manor Senior Housing complex. (photo is courtesy of the Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia.


The Updike Token

From Our Historic Collection

Posted on September 1, 2018

F rom our Historic Collection comes this incredible piece of the past. For more than 50 years beginning in the late 19th century in Charlottesville, the five Updike brothers were leaders in brick manufacturing and masonry. Eston Updike owned and operated his self-named brickyard beginning in 1913 along what is now Cherry Avenue. During the 1910s and 20s Updike issued brass tokens to his employees– valued from 5¢ to $1.50— that could be spent at a company store in the neighborhood (now Fifeville) during the work week or traded for cash on the weekend. Updike brick was used in numerous residential and commercial construction in the City during this period, including many of the homes in Fifeville and projects at the University of Virginia. Updike sold his company in 1925, after which it was renamed the Monticello Brick Company— which became the leading brick maker in the region until it closed in 1942. The City of Charlottesville later acquired much of the former Updike brickyard and pit: now the site of Tonsler Park.




Help Support Our <em><strong>Mission</strong></em>

Become a <em><strong>Member</strong></em>