today as a celebration of tashi's midwinter break we took her to amazement square, a children's museum in lynchburg. housed in an old brick warehouse built prior to the civil war, the museum has stairs that light up when you step on them and a core of tunnels, nets, slides and ladders that span its four floors. there were exhibits on electricity, gravity, architecture, wild birds, the human body, the monacan indians and the james river. 'twas fun.
lynchburg (pop. 66,000) has a large historic district built on hill that rises from the james river. it was a big tobacco town in its day. dozens of warehouses lined the river and small boats called bateaux, manned by strong slaves, waited on the water to transport containers of the smokable leaf to richmond. it was a wildly prosperous town back in the day, and now it lives off of its history.
lynchburg is sometimes called the "city of churches" with over 130 houses of the lord as well as jerry falwell's "liberty university." yike.
thomas jefferson's retreat, poplar forest, is located in lynchburg, and nearby, the appomattox courthouse, where general lee surrendered to general grant, thus ending the bloody civil war. lynchburg is also home to the randolph-macon women's college whose most famous alumnus is pearl s. buck.
i was impressed with the decrepit old brick warehouses, the well preserved victorian row houses, and the ostentatious antebellum mansions. definitely and eyeful of old funk.