The intersection of Emmet Street and Barracks Road, July 1948. A gas station-turned-roadhouse, Carroll’s Tea Room was located here from 1937 to 1957, one of the most legendary nightspots in UVA and Charlottesville history. It is now the site of a bank at the Barracks Road Shopping Center, and this once rural crossroads has become one of the busiest intersections in Central Virginia. Photo by Ed Roseberry.

Our <strong><em>Vision</em></strong>

History is not the past, it is the story we tell about the past. And whoever gets to tell that story, who gets to put up statues and who doesn’t, this will shape the history that we leave for those who come after us. We believe everyone has a unique and powerful story to share, and that we should all have an opportunity to help make history.

Our <strong><em>Mission</em></strong>

We are committed to using history as a tool to create experiences that can inform, enlighten, inspire, and bring people together, offering opportunities for new relationships and new understandings. Our goal is to re-imagine and re-invent the role of an historical society in the 21st century: to be a strong civic organization that works to enrich the lives of our neighbors and visitors here in Central Virginia.

Our <strong><em>Values</em></strong>

Our work is grounded on a belief in the worth and dignity of every human being. We respect people, communities and cultures. We value discovery, creativity, integrity, and diversity. We believe in the potential for history to enrich our lives, to create stronger relationships and more vibrant communities.



On Wednesday, March 7, 1917, photographer Rufus Holsinger (1866-1930) stepped out of his car on University Street (today’s West Main Street) and captured this classic image of Charlottesville. This street has its origins as the “Three Notch’d Road,” an early 18th century roadway that connected Richmond across the Blue Ridge Mountains up to Staunton in the Valley. Throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th, this part of town at the crest of Vinegar Hill was referred to as “Midway” — being mid distance between the heart of downtown Charlottesville at Court Square and the University of Virginia to the west. The buildings on the right in this image, homes and businesses predominantly owned by African Americans, were all razed during the controversial period of “urban renewal” in the early 1960s. Only two years after this photo was taken, in 1919, a statue honoring Lewis, Clark and Sacajawea was installed in the median, where it remains to this day. (photo courtesy Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia).

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