Tag Archives: photograph

Today in Rip Payne

24 Jan

Today in 1960, Rip Payne headed over to the 22947 to shoot the first of two series of photos of the Keswick Post Office.  According to an October 1965 article in the Daily Progress, the area known presently and contemporarily (yes, I made up that word) as Keswick had been served by a total of four post office names and locations since its establishment on July 21, 1824.  This first post office was located in what was then known as Everettsville , a small but bustling center at an intersection of Three Notch’d Road and the present county road 744 (Hacktown Road).  The town’s claim to fame dates back to 1825, when Lafayette was met by a cavalcade here as he was en route to visit Jefferson at Monticello.

Following transfers to Keswick Depot on February 8, 1849, and then to Henry W. Jackson’s store, in the 1930s the Post Office was moved to its present location on Route 22, pictured below.  At the time of these photographs, the building still had signage for James T. Morris Mechanics.  Today, the facade looks a little different.  Additionally, as you will notice, this was no ordinary trip to the post office.  The afternoon instead welcomed visitors to a small social, where one could sip a beverage while lounging near the stamp rack, or even enjoy a nice stroll around the garden outside.


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RP  2351–RP 2384, Rip Payne Collection, Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society.

The Mystery of the Embossed Album

26 Aug

I’m going all Nancy Drew on you this week.

Imagine for a moment that you’ve just moved into an old house… What is the coolest thing that could possibly find when moving in?  Here’s my list (in order):

  1.  A pile of money
  2. All my things unpacked already
  3. A ghost
Well, admittedly today’s object does not fall into any of these categories, per se.  But when Bonita Baer moved into her apartment at 1121 Wertland Street in the 1980s, she did have a rather interesting experience.  One that, in my opinion, could have involved any and all of these.   Needless to say, I would have totally traded places with her that day.  …um, had I been born yet…

1121 Wertland Street

Ms. Baer was a really nice lady, and gave ACHS what she found in her new apartment that day- so now we can share it with you all!


Okay then, here goes:

Do you know what Ms. Baer found yet?

If today’s title hasn’t given it away yet, maybe this will help…

An old photograph album!  Ms. Baer found this in the attic of her apartment at 1121 Wertland Street.  Inside the first page, an inscription can be found:

To Dean Lid
From Mag.
Xmas 1909

Truly, its quite a lovely gift.  The book is covered with embossed leather, decorated with leaves and scrolls.  Inside, the pages are embellished with colorful printed flowers and small landscapes.  The pages are thick, with recesses to place photographs.   An intricate-looking, yet inherently simple pin design locking system keeps the album closed.

The Mystery of the Album

So the album is really pretty, and we know where it came from, but who is “Dean Lit”?  And why did “Mag.” give him this album?

Well, I’d sure love to know, if you can find out…

1121 Wertland Street was built by Mr. Baker, the Registrar of the University at the turn of the (last) century.  It was occupied by his daughter and her husband -the Truymans- until 1924, when the Hill family moved in.  The Hills then rented out part of the house as apartments.  We assume that the album must have belonged to one of these tenants, of whom we have no record.  None of the known residents were Deans or Mags.

In any case, I’m sure it must have been quite an exciting find for Ms. Baer!  I know that it certainly was for me, and this isn’t even my house…  So the next time you find yourself moving into a new place, don’t dismay.  You probably won’t have a ghost help you move your stuff in and then present you with a big pile of cash.  But if you’re lucky, you might find something really cool in your attic.