From Porch Swings to Patios: Oral History Project

Interview of Thomas Ferguson Inge, Sr. by Milton J. Carpenter on November 7, 1980.

Thomas Ferguson Inge, Sr. was the second Inge proprietor of the grocery store at 333 West Main Street. He received the store from his father, George P. Inge, a Charlottesville public school teacher as well as a grocer, who founded it in 1891. At one time, Inge's Store provided all the fresh fish sold in town. It supplied the Clermont and Gleason Hotels, the University Hospital, Dolly Madison Inn, and boarding houses in the University area. In the absence of public boarding accommodations in Charlottesville, the older Inges often shared their home above the store with many distinguished black visitors. Among them was Booker T. Washington. Thomas Inge, Sr. was born in his father's store, worked there as a boy, and with his wife ran it from 1946 to 1978. He remembers that his father was active in civic affairs. His recollections span the social changes of Charlottesville as well as the physical. He gives us the perspective of a black businessman in Charlottesville as the city was going through desegregation. He considers the greatest change to be the much improved relations between blacks and whites. [parts taken from pg. 48, "From Porch Swings to Patios"]

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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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