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Ormando Gray’s 1877 “New Map of Charlottesville” and surrounding properties in Albemarle County was first published in his 1878 Atlas of the United States. Gray based the map on “Special Surveys by Jacob and George Chace, Topographical Engineers.” About 30,000 people lived in the County in this period (which included roughly 2,800 in the town of Charlottesville)— the majority of whom were African American. Charlottesville would not officially set up its own municipal government separate from Albemarle and become a city until 1888.

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(434) 296-1492

(434) 296-7294

Visit us

200 Second Street NE

Charlottesville, VA 22902

When we work

9:00a -5:00p Mon-Fri

10:00a -1:00p Sat

What’s Happening Now!

 “Albemarle and Charlottesville in the Civil War.”
Winter 2019
Instructor: Rick Britton
Seven consecutive Monday evenings, February 4 through March 18, 630-830pm
Tuition: $140 for non-members, $95 for members. (non-member tuition includes one-year membership in the Historical Society)

Living in Charlottesville, in the shadow of Thomas Jefferson’s “little mountain,” it’s easy to believe that the Civil War in the Old Dominion happened elsewhere—to the east around Richmond and Fredericksburg, up and down the Shenandoah Valley to the west, and terminating, in Virginia at least, at Appomattox Court House 60 miles to the south. Is it true that the conflict completely skipped over the central Piedmont? That our region did not support the Confederate war effort? And that somehow—miraculously—it escaped the hard hand of war? Nothing could be further from the truth. For the residents of Albemarle County, the horrible conflict was a very close, real and immediate concern.

In this unique class—perfect for both recent transplants and Civil War buffs alike—we’ll explore what happened here in Albemarle County, and what happened to the men and boys from here who served in the ranks. We’ll also discuss in detail the various branches of Civil War-era armies, how they were raised, organized, uniformed, fed, and how they fought. Each two-hour class session will feature a prepared lecture, an off-the-cuff presentation, and plenty of time for questions and answers. Some of the topics will include:

– “Saving Stonewall’s Bacon: The Charlottesville Artillery at Port Republic”
– “Disaster on South Mountain: Albemarle Boys in the Maryland Campaign”
– “My Brave Men: The 19th Virginia in Pickett’s Charge”
– “Lee’s Last Stand: Albemarle County in the Appomattox Campaign”
– “The Peculiar Institution: Slavery & the Coming Storm”
– “Riding Stirrup to Stirrup: Cavalry in the Civil War”
– “Forward Into Line! Infantry in the Civil War”
– “Manhandling the Guns: Artillery in the Civil War”

About the Instructor
Rick Britton is an award-winning historian who has published and taught extensively on the Civil War in Virginia. A much-sought-after speaker, his books include Jefferson: A Monticello Sampler and 2015’s Virginia Vignettes: Famous Characters & Events in Central Virginia History. He also teaches classes on central Virginia history, conducts tours of Civil War battlefields, and illustrates maps for history books and websites.

WHEN:  Monday evenings, February 4 – March 18. 630-830pm
WHERE: CitySpace on the Downtown Mall. (attached to the Market Street Parking Garage).
SIGN UP NOW: To register for this class, please do one of the following:
1. Call us during regular business hours Monday through Friday at (434) 296-1492. We’ll be happy to get you signed up over the phone, OR
2. Email with the subject line “Civil War Class,” provide your contact information and we’ll be in touch ASAP!

Please note that seating is limited so register right away.

Learn more about our full program of Personal Enrichment Classes.


“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.


COMING SOON: “Charlottesville’s Attic,” in the Exhibit Hall at the historic McIntire Building on Second Street.

Opening February 2019, this unique exhibit will feature dozens of historic items from the exclusive Collection of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society. This exhibit will be entirely free and open to the public. Look for more information soon!


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 contact us.

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

Among our new program offerings 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. Visit our updated Events Calendar for all the latest information about upcoming tours or contact us with any questions.

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 City Space on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. 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. No tickets or reservations are ever required. 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 Community Series does just that: travels to various community locations throughout Central Virginia, with a new location and a new speaker each month, September through May. Speakers 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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