Spring 2013

Buffalo Bill Comes to Lynchburg
by Roger G. Garfield
The behind-the-scenes operation of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West was as engaging as the show itself. The Lynchburg “fairgrounds were open to the public during the set-up, free of charge, and...crowds came just to see the large-scale logistics and exotic performers and animals.” At the peak of its popularity, thousands of visitors turned out for the event, arriving via standing-room-only special excursion trains from Danville and Clifton Forge. Vacant downtown stores were turned into temporary restaurants, and cowboys paraded down Main Street.

Looking Ahead to 2036... Seven Facts of Local Black History Every Lynchburger Should Know

by Ted Delaney.
Inspired by a “Fifty Fabulous Facts” brochure produced during Lynchburg’s 1986 bicentennial celebration, Ted Delaney has set out to update and expand the list to include more local black history. His efforts to date are, in keeping with the original alliteration, first-rate and fantastic. This memo to future historians offers a glimpse at the research that has taken place during the past twenty-seven years.

“Overwhelmed by Rock Avalanche”: Tragedy on the C&O Railroad

 by Douglas MacLeod.
Working from newspaper accounts of the tragedy and eyewitness testimonies from the court cases that followed, MacLeod tells the rockslide story as it unfolded, in a style that echoes the dramatic journalism of the day: “...the watchman saw the engine headlight coming around a sharp, eleven-degree curve below a series of cliffs called ‘the bluff.’ Using his lantern he waved a signal to stop. The train stopped all right, but there was something wrong.”

Journey to the Land of Lynches

by Peter W. Houck.
A fiftieth wedding anniversary trip to Ireland turned into a research expedition when Peter and Betsy Houck reached Galway. Once home to the father of Lynchburg’s founder, the city claims to be the place where the term “Lynch Law” originated. “The account displayed at Lynch’s castle” writes Houck, “is fascinating not only for its antiquity, but also for its resemblance to a Greek tragedy replete with romance and murder.”

Editor's Letter

History in Brief

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