Friday, April 22, 2016

APRIL 26 - Thomas Jefferson's Fruit & Vegetable Gardens at Monticello

Tuesday, April 26 – 10:00 a.m. to Noon – MONTICELLO presents a special talk and tour! Join Gabrielle Rausse, director of gardens and grounds, for a lecture in the Woodland Pavilion on Jefferson’s exceptional vegetable garden and fruitery, including present-day efforts to restore and preserve Jefferson’s horticultural legacy, followed by a walking tour of the Monticello gardens at 11:15 a.m.

Starts at the Visitor Center. FREE, but registration is required. For more information, visit

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

APRIL 23-30: Virginia's 83rd Annual Historic Garden Week

APRIL 23 - 30, 2016

The beginning of Historic Garden Week dates back to 1927 when a flower show organized by Garden Club of Virginia volunteers raised $7,000 to save trees planted by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. According to an online inflation calculator, that is approximately $95,000 in today’s money. In 1929 the first tours were organized to support restoration work at Kenmore in Fredericksburg. More than 80 years later, tour proceeds fund the restoration and preservation of nearly 50 of the Commonwealth’s significant historic public gardens as well as a new initiative with Virginia’s state parks.

“Historic Garden Week has raised millions of dollars to keep Virginia beautiful,” notes President Jeanette Cadwallender. “The grounds of Virginia’s most cherished landmarks including Mount Vernon and Stratford Hall have been restored with tour proceeds. As the Garden Club of Virginia approaches its Centennial in 2020, we are also supporting Virginia State Parks with a portion of HGW proceeds.”

Our favorite picks during this year's event include:
Saturday, April 23 - Staunton, VA
Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library

Tuesday, April 26 - Lynchburg, VA
(1) Anne Spencer House (1313 Pierce St.), home of Harlem Renaissance poet Anne Spencer;
(2) Old City Cemetery (401 Taylor St.)

Tuesday, April 26 - Fredericksburg, VA
Historic Kenmore (1201 Washington St.), built by Fielding Lewis, George Washington's brother-in-law

Thursday & Friday - April 28 & 29 - Richmond, VA
Hollywood Cemetery (412 South Cherry St.), final resting place of three presidents - James Monroe, John Tyler, and Jefferson Davis- and lots of famous Confederates: George Picket, J.E.B. Stuart, etc.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

APRIL 18 - A Brief History of Civil War Photography

Monday, April 18 – 7 p.m. - THE CHARLOTTESVILLE CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE hosts Rod Coddington speaking on A Brief History of Civil War Photography.” As Editor and Publisher of “Military Images”—a quarterly dedicated to showcasing, interpreting, and preserving early American military photographs—Ron is an expert on this fascinating topic.

A 1985 graduate of the University of Georgia, Ron is currently Editor, Visuals, for “The Chronicle of Higher Education” and “The Chronicle of Philanthropy.” During the Sesquicentennial Ron penned the “New York Times” series “Disunion,” documenting the day-to-day experiences of the Civil War’s rank and file.

The Charlottesville CWRT is a great organization of American history enthusiasts who get together to dine (optional) and enjoy a presentation on our nation’s fascinating Civil War. Visitors can come the first time for free, children are welcome. Individual year-long memberships are $25.00 (a great deal).

Monthly CWRT meetings are held the third Monday at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge on 250 East starting at 7 p.m. Dinner (optional) starts at 6 p.m. Dinner menu: salmon, steak, or crab cakes with salad & desert for $20. For more info call Sandy vonThelen at (434) 971-8567.

(Photo: Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

APRIL 16 - Sheep Shearing at Ash Lawn-Highland

Saturday, April 16 – 11:00 a.m. to Noon – ASH LAWN-HIGHLAND holds its annual sheep-shearing event. Tom Stanley—an agriculture extension agent who keeps a small flock of 40 breeding sheep—will demonstrate the New Zealand sheep-shearing method at this educational, agricultural event. Traditional wool carding and spinning demonstrations follow the shearing. If the weather is favorable, visitors are encouraged to enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds. Bring your own or choose from their selection of fresh sandwiches at the Museum Shop.

Admission is $5 per person. Monroe’s Farm Friends are admitted free. Ash Lawn-Highland, located at 2050 James Monroe Pkwy., is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April through October, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. November through March. Admission is regularly $14 and $8 for local residents. For more information, visit

Monday, April 11, 2016

APRIL 13 - Historian Ron Wilson on "The Civil War Battle of Five Forks"

Wednesday, April 13 – 6 p.m. - THE SENIOR CENTER, INC. hosts a FREE talk by Historian Ron Wilson on “The Civil War Battle of Five Forks: The Beginning of the End” (as part of its “Old Dominion Lecture & Day-Trip Series”). Fought on April 1, 1865, on the extreme right flank of the Petersburg defenses, Five Forks pitted Confederate Gen. George Picket against the ever-aggressive Union Gen. Philip Sheridan. The overwhelming Union victory was truly the beginning of the end for Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Come hear NPS Historian Ron Wilson tell this great story!

Then join us for the related day-trip on Tuesday, May 3, to the Five Forks Battlefield & Pamplin Park – In the morning we’ll walk the Five Forks Battlefield, visit the visitor center, and take in the truly impressive nearby fortifications. After lunch we’ll tour Pamplin Park, located on the site of the April 2 Union breakthrough that ended the Petersburg Campaign. It features two award-winning museums, four antebellum homes, living history encampments, and more! Tour departs at 8:00 a.m. and returns between 5:30 & 6:30 p.m.

Sign up today! Talk is FREE and open to the public. Charge for Five Forks day-trip: Senior Center members: $79.00—guests: $89.00. To register for the day trip, visit

Sunday, April 10, 2016

APRIL 10 - Frank Dabney Peregoy's 100th Birthday

Sunday, April 10 – 2 p.m. - THE SENIOR CENTER, INC. Join us as award-winning historian Rick Britton and retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Duncan Campbell present a FREE talk and slide show on one of our area's greatest World War II heroes entitled “Best Enemy-Fighter in the World: The Frank Dabney Peregoy Story.” Technical Sergeant Peregoy—a member of the Monticello Guard, 116th Infantry, 29th Division—was awarded the Medal of Honor for his amazing feat of heroism on June 8, 1944, 48 hours after the D-Day invasion. On April 10, Peregoy’s 100th birthday, we'll honor him for his incredible courage under fire, and launch a campaign to correct the numerous historical markers on which his name is misspelled "P-e-r-e-g-o-r-y." Also misspelled is a Virginia Reserve building named in his honor, and, sadly, his gravestone in the U.S. cemetery in Normandy, France. 

Held at the Senior Center of Charlottesville, the talk is FREE and open to the public. For more information, call the Travel Office at (434) 974-6538.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

APRIL 9 - Journey from Slavery to Freedom

Saturday, April 9 – 2:00 p.m. - JAMES MADISON’S MONTPELIER offers a special tour entitled “Journey from Slavery to Freedom.” Experience the African American transition from slavery to freedom. Visit sites and original structures that bring to life the generations of enslaved individuals who lived at Montpelier, and learn how citizenship in America evolved through Emancipation, Reconstruction, segregation, and the Civil Rights Movement. This walking and driving tour will visit sites of enslavement near the mansion, as well as the Gilmore Cabin and the 1910 Train Depot.

Tour starts at the Visitor Center. Charge is $10 per person, or $5 person with purchase of a mansion tour. James Madison's Montpelier is located on Route 20 in Orange, Virginia, 4 miles south of Orange, 25 minutes north of Charlottesville, and 2 hours south of Washington, D.C., at 11407 Constitution Highway, Montpelier Station, VA 22957. For more information go to or call (540) 672-2728 x450.