Dwight Peck's personal website

Winter 2021-2022

A photographic record of whatever leapt out at us

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

Scenes from another Staunton snow day

16 January 2022

Yesterday, significant snowfall was predicted for our area, but by late afternoon, the 'experts' had let us down again.

A profound welling up of deep disappointment, a tearful sense of betrayal. We went to bed inconsolable. The next day, 16 January 2022, we ran down to have a look out the front door, and behold . . .

The hour spent with the prayer wheel last night has, to some extent at least, paid off. O frabjous day.

It looks like every jeep and ATV in the region has been fitted out and has been trying to keep up with the snow in town for the past few hours. That's out our front door across N. Augusta St at the Parade of Banks.

A fond look back at the Old Y -- don't hold lunch.

We're luxuriating in a comfortable walk out W. Frederick St, looking back from in front of the US Post Office.

A glance up N. Central Ave, also from the Post Office intersection, but we're persisting tout droit out W. Frederick to visit briefly with the formerly alive people.

This block of five intriguing buildings on W. Frederick, generally similar in style, was built between 1890 and 1920 . . .

. . . across from the imposing Stuart Hall School campus. The school was founded as the Virginia Female Institute in 1844, and was renamed in 1907 in honor of the late headmistress, Flora Cooke Stuart, daughter of Union general Philip St George Cooke and widow of famous Confederate cavalry commander 'Jeb' Stuart, who'd died in the Overland Campaign of 1864. The school became integrated in 1966, a relatively early date for private schools in the south, and began accepting male day students in 1999. Its academic accomplishments appear statistically to be very high.

Snowy street scene, the intersection with N. Washington St

Emmanuel Episcopal Church (the green-clad gentlemen seem to be figuring out how to get the snowblower off the trailer)

More of Stuart Hall's campus -- there are also some additional facilities in the area, like the Stuart Hall School on Beverley in the centre of town. This building and the one out of frame to the left were single family homes from 1858 and (this one) 1886, later added to the Stuart Hall facilities.

We're looking up N. Madison, past the Stuart Hall campus, and then . . .

. . . continuing westward along Frederick.

That Italianate home from about 1877 is presently the Ubon Victorian Inn and Thai Restaurant.

Facing the Ubon Inn, these are still on W. Frederick (probably permanently), and . . .

. . . so is this cute little thing, but . . .

. . . at this point W. Frederick takes a little jog up this hill before rejoining W. Beverley farther on. Lest we miss any of the good stuff on Beverley, we'll turn down on N. Jefferson in a moment, after we . . .

. . . snap this recently renovated masterpiece on N. Jefferson on its way up to the tiny Reservoir Hill Park.

A Staunton classic, at 20 N. Jefferson (think Shirley Jackson: The haunting of Hill House, 1959, We have always lived in the castle, 1962)

A gemlike little renovation, which a year ago or so looked like an abandoned outhouse on a derelict Nebraska farm

Forgive this digression

The gemlike little renovation, pre-renovation (November 2019)

A looming vintage multifamily building at the corner of Jefferson and Beverley

Westward now, out W. Beverley, a row of cozy lookalikes on the south side of the street . . .

. . . and this just across the street, at 815 W. Beverley

More along lookalike row, with a soon to be sodden flag

An interesting veranda on 901 W. Beverley

On the 2018 Google Maps street view, these two are Ramshackle with a capital R, barely standing upright, but now they're charming, probably inside, too. There is a plaque indicating that the red one was built ca. 1898.

Just a bit farther on, this one at 927 has also had a recent re-do, judging from the 2018 Google Maps photo.

A few more on the south side of the street, leading to . . .

. . . 'The Cottage', formerly called 'Anne Hathaway's Cottage' when there was a tourist luncheon association in invoking the Shakespeare Theatre a mile or two downtown. [Anne was Mrs. Shakespeare, back in Stratford.]

This wonderful building, on W. Beverley at its intersection with W. Frederick and Montgomery Ave., is the home of John's Computer Service.

1020 W. Beverley, next to the Henry Funeral Home, and . . .

. . . across from entrance to the Thornrose Cemetery (how convenient). Having observed that downtown Staunton was becoming stuffed up with no longer living people, a Thornrose Cemetery Co. was chartered in 1849, and the cemetery here on twelve acres was dedicated in 1853 and now covers 30 acres.

In the early 1900s, the legendary architect T J Collins was commissioned to design the gatehouse entrance above, the bridge, tower, and chapel, and the limestone stone walls round the periphery. It's therefore not surprisingly a very beautiful cemetery (and even has a Confederate section, with 1,700 residents, a heroic statue, and a cannon).

The military section, called 'Fort Stonewall Jackson', is set off at the top of the hill a few hundred meters off, so we won't celebrate that with a snowy photograph today.

That's the Collins bridge across the cemetery's main thoroughfare, to no real purpose, but there is a nice round tower cowering behind those trees at the right end of the bridge.

And now, we're bound back to the street.

Just 100 meters farther up Beverley, just next to the Exxon gas station (the Climate Crisis Saboteurs), that's a neglected sorry footnote to the grandeurs of Beverley Street.

Just across the street from the Exxon (Climate Crisis Saboteurs), we're fortunate to catch a glimpse of the traditional 'Shrouded Figure inhabiting the graveyard'.

We're staring in wonder at the house at the junction of Thornrose Ave coming down from the right to join W. Beverley.

Thornrose Ave has either escaped the snowplow or is awaiting a second pass.

At this point, sensible of a chilly drip down the collar, we'll turn round here, standing in front of the First Church of the Nazarene on Beverley and gazing fixedly up Thompson St, which having crossed Stoneburner St, Walnut St, and Forest St, issues out onto Peck St near Montgomery Hall Park. Just a coincidence, we have no known Peck connections there.

That's the sad and abandoned derelict again, just past the Climate Change Saboteur's Exxon pumps, the Little Dollar Store ('checks cashed'), and the Little Mart convenience store (where 'the Krispy Krunchy Chicken is pretty good and juicy, but bland' [comment on Google]).

Back past the Gatehouse on a chilly afternoon

It looks so cold out there, and lonely. Poor folks.

We're retracing our steps eastward into town, with looming ahead, the former Bible Way Community Church (now listed as 'permanently closed').

Passing the intersection with Stafford St down the hill

At the intersection of W. Beverley and Jefferson . . . for all your tattooing requirements

At Beverley and Fayette, that's Magdalena Pasteleria, an artisanal cake shop with a Uruguayan flair, and Barbiere, a barber shop [but For Lease?].

Just across the street, at 609 W. Beverley, and . . .

. . . two steps farther on, nos. 607 and 605

Another striking piece of work, at the corner of N. Madison and Beverley

Looking up S. St Clair St, from the . . .

. . . Staunton Grace Covenant Church

An inquisitive passerby

305 W. Beverley -- we've progressed from house numbers over a thousand down to the 300s; we're nearly home.

The Trinity Episcopal Church -- replacing an earlier original from 1763, the present central building was built in a Gothic Revival style in 1855, with the side aisles added in 1870. The Virginia Assembly met here in 1781 to duck the pesky British Army in the eastern part of the state. It's got 12 Tiffany windows, created 1898 to 1936, worth a visit for Tiffany fans.

'No Exceptions'? Really, none at all?

The length of the central downtown along the high street, W. and then E. Beverley, four blocks from here to where it runs up the hill at the far end

An intrepid jogger running the Churches Gauntlet down N. Lewis

The 'iconic' Clocktower, from 1890, formerly the old YMCA (until we at the Old Y condos became the next YMCA; the succeeding YMCA, still 'putting Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all', is out at the mall on N. Coalter by the Food Lion).

The building with the wooden tower on top is the original Masonic building from 1896, fabulous inside but just for commercial and legal offices now. (A friend of ours rents a studio, so we can admire the furnishings from time to time.)

Approaching the grid-map's centre of town, where W. becomes E. Beverley and N. Augusta becomes S. Augusta. That's the ground floor of the Masonic building, with the Baja Bean 'cantina' (smoking allowed in the part of it round the corner), the Split Banana gelateria, and a jeweler's shop all tucked in side by side.

The tower building on the right, the Marquis Building, is now a cigar club/shop on the ground floor, but began life as T J Collins' offices in 1895.

It's East Beverley from here on. That's Collins' Marquis Building on the right, with its interesting corner entrance.

A fond glance back up W. Beverley . . . and there's our jogger, huffing and puffing along.

From Augusta up E. Berkeley to N. Coalter Ave; it wanders well out into the suburbs after that.

The same

That's our local cinema, just across from our back door. And the Baja Bean's smoking section next to it.

So we're home now, only very slightly chilled, and . . .

. . . settling in to find out 'what's happened in the world today'. For our sins.

What's next, then? A January potpourri of wintry walks

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 28 January 2022.

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