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Lynchburg Historical Foundation Annual Tour features Diamond Hill Historic District


Located immediately south of downtown Lynchburg, Diamond Hill was one of the city’s most prestigious neighborhoods at the turn of the 20th century. The area is not truly a hill, but a ridge extending from the high bluff that runs parallel to the James River.

Diamond Hill was the third of Lynchburg’s original seven hills to be developed as a residential neighborhood. Although the name “Diamond Hill” appeared in a newspaper advertisement as early as 1825, the origin of the name has not been definitively established. It is quite likely, however, that the name comes from Diamond Hill plantation which was established in the late 1700s or early 1800s by Edward Lynch, brother of Lynchburg’s founder, John Lynch. Much of Diamond Hill was originally part of the plantation that Edward named for the deposits of white quartz he discovered on his land.

Prior to 1856, when the ladies of Diamond Hill collected enough money to have a footbridge built across the ravine at the foot of Church Street, the only access to the hill was via Grace Street. The city filled in the ravine containing Horseford Branch when trolley service was initiated to Diamond Hill in 1894.

The “golden age” of Diamond Hill began as the result of the land boom in the 1890s. The area flourished as a respected and somewhat exclusive residential district until World War II. The rebirth of Diamond Hill began in 1974 when a group of concerned property owners organized to form the Diamond Hill Historical Society. Their goals were twofold: to preserve the neighborhood’s turn-of-the-century character and to develop the public’s awareness of the area’s architectural gems and the city leaders who built them. Diamond Hill was established as Lynchburg’s first historic district in 1978 and along with local designation, Diamond Hill is also listed on the Virginia Register and the National Register of Historical Places.

It has been more than ten years since houses on Diamond Hill have been open for the Foundation. The following five homes will be featured during the tour, to be held Sunday, September 27 from 1:00 to 4:30 pm.

  • Mr. & Mrs. John Alvarenga, Tyree-Slaughter House (c. 1856), 1421 Harrison Street
  • Mr. Ray Pulliam, Payne-Perrow House (c. 1883), 507 Thirteenth Street
  • Ms. Nancy Zehmer, Bryant-Brightwell House (c. 1872),
  • 1220 Clay Street
  • Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Stokes, Langhorne Beck Stokes House
  • (c. 1852), 305 Washington Street
  • Mr. & Mrs. Jeffery Schneider, Powell House (c. 1886),
  • 307 Washington Street

A Patrons’ Party will also be held Sunday, September 27 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Rad Briley, The Lewis-Clark House (c. 1885), 416 Washington Street. This home will not be open for the tour.

Tickets: $20.00 for Tour, $75.00 for Tour and Party. Tickets will be available after September 1 at the following locations: Lynchburg Visitor Center, Silver Thistle and The Dancing Leaf Florist and Gallery. For more information please call the Foundation office, 528-5353.

Forest Decorating Business Wins International Design Contest
For the second consecutive year, local business owner and designer Linda Edwards has received one of her company’s highest design awards—Second Runner Up, Decorator of the Year. Presented by Decorating Den Interiors (DDI) at the company’s 41st annual conference, held in New Orleans, this award recognizes Linda’s business for her outstanding design work. In addition to being named Second Runner Up, Decorator of the Year, Edwards also received a first-place design category award for her dramatic family room makeover, which received the highest number of category votes among 250 contest entries. Her wining family room will be featured on the March page of the 2011 DDI Dream Room Calendar.

Edwards had her work judged in New York City by over 30 top home furnishing magazine editors, from such publications as Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, More, Midwest Living and Good Housekeeping. Winners were selected based on their design excellence, creative problem solving, and overall presentation.

“My client had moved from Arizona, and brought only a rug, a mahogany credenza, and family pictures and keepsakes with her when she relocated to Bedford. Her newly acquired home was originally built circa 1840 with additions added in the 1930s and again in 2005. As we worked together to design her new family room, she wanted to keep the vintage era style of the home, but requested a 21st-century flair,” said Edwards. “It was a wonderful project to be apart of, and my client was a delight to work with.”

around_town_2Tennis Greats Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf to Kick Off
Virginia 10 Miler
Tennis legends Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf will visit Lynchburg as guests of honor to help launch the 37th annual Virginia 10 Miler festivities. The weekend includes the 10 Miler, the 4 Mile Race and the Amazing Children’s Mile, all sponsored by Genworth Financial

The Downtown Festivities begin on Friday, September 24, with packet pickup for the 10 and 4 mile races and the Amazing Mile Children’s Run. The 10 Miler race will begin at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, September 25, at E.C. Glass High School.

Agassi and Graf will officially start the 10th annual Amazing Mile Children’s Run on Friday night, at 5:45 p.m. near Amazement Square. This will be the first time, the Amazing Mile Children’s Run will be held at Riverfront Park in downtown Lynchburg. All proceeds will benefit the Coalition for HIV Awareness & Prevention (CHAP). The Amazing Mile Children’s Run, sponsored by Amazement Square, The Rightmire Children’s Museum, attracts hundreds of children ages 13 and younger each year to lace up their sneakers and participate in this fun family event.

Agassi will then deliver the keynote address to kick off the 10 Miler festivities Friday at 6:30 p.m. in Riverfront Park. Agassi will talk about his experiences and share his thoughts about delivering your personal best. This event is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to sit on the lawn. In the event of rain, Agassi will deliver his keynote presentation at the E.C. Glass High School Theatre/Civic Auditorium, 2111 Memorial Avenue, at 6:30 p.m.

Also on Friday, Agassi and Graf will host a meet and greet and pre-race warm-up with Girls on the Run of Greater Lynchburg’s participants, their coaches and parents—further inspiring them to achieve their mission of preparing for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living. Centra Health will sponsor a private reception with Agassi and Graf Friday evening to provide special recognition to the leading sponsors of this year’s Virginia 10 Miler.

In addition to Title Sponsor Genworth Financial are Grand Master Sponsors: Centra Health and WSET Channel 13; Master Sponsors: Liberty University Online, Moore & Giles, Areva and WYYD 108 FM; 10 Miler Sponsors: Bank of The James, BWXT, The Cardiovascular Group, Carrington Properties, Holiday Inn, Lynchburg Regional Chamber, Medical Associates, Orthopaedic Center of Central Virginia, Rehab Associates of Central Virginia, Riverside Runners and Wells Fargo Advisors.

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