From Porch Swings to Patios: Oral History Project

Interview of Lionel Key on November 9, 1980.

Although he did not live on Vinegar Hill, Lionel spent much time in the area and remembers it in intricate detail, laying out for the interviewer the locations and names of businesses and their proprietors. He started school in Vinegar Hill in 1912, delivered the mewspaper The Daily Progress to its residents from 1918 to 1920, and got a job in 1920 as a collector for the C. & A. Railway Company. He traces the evolution of that company over the years and also describes the changes in transportation routes and technologies from the days of the horse drawn car to what is now the University of Virginia's "Loop" bus route. Key tells of other jobs available to black men in Charlottesville at that time, such as with the city public works department, the University of Virginia and its hospital, and the fraternities there. Key relates the story he heard of how Vinegar Hill got its name and he distinguishes other neighborhoods such as "Starr Hill," "Rose Hill," the "Sixth Street SE community" and the "Seventh Street SW community".

Listen to the Interview (30 minutes long):     28.8K     56.6K     Other

From Porch Swings to Patios: An Oral History of Charlottesville's Neighborhoods Prepared by the Department of Community Planning Advisory Board and students of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 1982 - 1984.

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