A 1952 photograph of Inge’s Store at 333 West Main Street, the heart of the once-thriving Vinegar Hill community. This building was fortunately spared when most of the area was razed in the early 1960s as part of “urban renewal.” It has been the site of various restaurants since the market closed in 1979. To the left is the “Model Steam Laundry” business. An historic marker reads in part, “After graduating from the Hampton Institute, George P. Inge came to Charlottesville to teach in the public school system. In 1891 at age twenty-eight he began a business career as owner-operator of Inge’s Grocery, which was continued by his son Thomas Inge Sr. until 1979. The Inge family of nine children, among whom there were four teachers, two medical doctors, a college professor, and two businessmen, originally lived upstairs. Mr. George Inge was active in civic, social, educational, and religious affairs. At one time he served as chairman of the local Republican Party. Public hotels refused to accommodate black visitors and private homes had to fill in this void. The Inge family often had famous black guests staying at their home, including Booker T. Washington who was a classmate of Inge at Hampton Institute.”

Thoughtful, Engaging and Fascinating Opportunities

As part of a new suite of programs launched in 2018, the Charlottesville Center for History and Culture offers a full curriculum of Personal Enrichment Courses. At least one course is offered each academic semester. The current course offerings are listed below. More classes are now in development. Check our Calendar for the full schedule.

Past Courses

Albemarle and Charlottesville in the Civil War

Seven consecutive Monday evenings, February 4 through March 18, 630-830pm

Instructor: Rick Britton

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.

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