Interview of Walter A. Payne Sr. by Ashlin Smith of the Ridge Street Oral History Project on July 26 and August 22, 1994. (Oral History)

Biographical Information
Walter Payne, a long-time resident of Charlottesville and the Ridge Street area, shares in this interview his memories of the district and its residents. He also describes the weekly "Court Days" held during the summer on Main Street, which was an early Farmer's Market where livestock and produce were sold.

Project Description
Race and Place is a project of the Virginia Center for Digital History and the Carter G. Woodson Institute for Afro-American and African Studies. The goal of the project is to chronicle the life of African-Americans in the Charlottesville, Virginia area during the period of segregation. As part of this project we have conducted a series of interviews with current residents of the Charlottesville area who were alive during that period. The project has also incorporated oral interviews conducted by other Charlottesville institutions which cover the appropriate subject area.

Notes About Our Transcription
The transcripts represent what was said in the interview to the best of our ability. It is possible that some words, particularly names, have been misspelled. Where we did not feel sure of spellings we have indicated this by the use of the term 'phonetically' in parentheses following the word in question. Places where words were unclear are noted by 'inaudible'. We have made no attempt to correct mistakes in grammar.

Mr. Payne:Now, these names I'm going to give you are not necessarily in order the way the lived on Ridge Street, but the people that lived on Ridge Street. Okay. Now we've got Brown, and I don't remember his first name, but his daughter was Mrs. Ashby. Brown was Brown Milling Company. They ran the milling company downtown. The building is still down there. I tell you Frank - Frank - Frank - Frank Lewis, he bought the building, and his wife runs a ceramic shop in that building. Now, you - are you familiar with ceramics in Charlottesville, Mr. Brown - Ms. Smith?
Mr. Brown:(Indicates yes.)
Mr. Payne:Well anyway, she runs a ceramic shop. And now, that is a tall building. You can see it as you cross Belmont Bridge. It's off to your right. You probably - it's a tall building. That was Brown Milling Company.
Mr. Brown:Let me do one thing. I want to make sure that we get this in the right place.
Mr. Payne:Okay. Is that all right now?
Mr. Brown:I think so. I hope so.
Mr. Payne:Okay.
Mr. Brown:Go ahead.
Mr. Payne:All right. Now that was Brown Milling Company. And we lived on Ridge Street. And that house has been recently purchased and renovated completely because it's an old house, and it's - the young man that lived down our street, he bought it recently, and he really tried all - to renovate it. You can't change the outside because all these historic landmarks, they will not let you touch the outside. It can - you can, you know, keep it up, but you can't change the appearance. There's one right over here. I'll let you see it when you go out there. Just look at it and you'll see what I'm talking about. Now it was two Browns. Now J. Wyatt Brown. He - I don't know what he did, whether he was a Brown that lived on Ridge Street. J. Wyatt Brown. And then there's Gleason and this one up in the farther - between Hope and Emmett Gleason. He lived on Ridge Street.
Mr. Brown:All right.
Mr. Payne:And he was related to the lady that used to be on city council. What's her name? She's a Gleason too.
Mr. Brown:Bess Gleason.
Mr. Payne:Bess Gleason. Yes. No. No. That was Doc Gleason's wife. There was another Gleason. And she had a husband that smokes a pipe that smells so good. I think she's on the city council at one time. Now Bess Gleason, that's Charles' wife. That's Hope's son's wife.
Mr. Brown:Right.
Mr. Payne:I knew her very well. And then there's Nicholas - no. Micky. Michtom, Ed Michtom's father. Do you know Ed Michtom?
Mr. Brown:Yes.
A:They - they got Ed Michtom, Jr., I guess. He lived on Ridge Street too. Now, my niece and her husband lives in the Michtom home. It's a beautiful home, inside and out. They bought the old Michtom home place. And that's where Eugene Williams lives. You know him. You know all about him. You might never had heard of him. Now, the next one is Kobre. Now this is Mr. Kobre, owned the Victory Shoe Store. Him and his wife ran Victory Shoe Store, and he did income taxes for people. And he had a daughter named - they call her Miss Tillie. She married a Miller. Well, Miss Tillie still run that Victory Shoe Store. Do you know where that is down there?
Mr. Brown:I know the store. Yes.
Mr. Payne:Oh, you notice though, she's been there for years.
Mr. Brown:She was the one who runs it?
Mr. Payne:She runs it now. She still runs it. People just go in to speak to Miss Tillie because she's been so nice to the neighborhood. She used to sell my father those black - real high cut shoes for - like policemen used to wear. And he had a foot, about a fourteen, the biggest black shoes you ever seen. You know, your daddy. Okay. Now that was the Cobries. Now I was saying about Miss Tillie, okay. Wheeler. Now, the Wheelers are real estate. They're real estate people ever since I knowed them. Harry Wheeler and Roy Wheeler, and these are their people that lives on Ridge Street. I think they've been in real estate ever since I can remember. Harry Wheeler, he died some time ago. He had a nice place down on Stony Point Road.
Mr. Brown:I don't remember Harry.
Mr. Payne:He's been dead I hear about ten or fifteen - maybe more than that.
Mr. Brown:How was he related to Roy?
Mr. Payne:I think they were brothers, if I'm not mistaken.
Mr. Brown:Ernie -
Mr. Payne:Ernest Wheeler - Ernie for - Harry may not have been any kin, but anyway, the Wheelers that lived in that house on Ridge Street next - where the Ferguson funeral home is, and Ross Young. I got him listed as unknown. I knew he lived there, and I knew who he was. But I don't know what he did. He was kind of a vagabond-type fellow. He did a lot of drinking and carrying on. You know. He was rowdy. He's the only one on Ridge Street that you would say that about, but he never did get his-self together it seemed like. It was Ross Young, but he had a family live there. After that, you come up that little ramp, house on your right-hand side as you get to the top of that little ramp. And the Updikes came next to them, but I knew the Updikes, because they were the brick people. And Updike was a brickyard man. You ever been to Updike brickyard? No. You didn't know that. That's over in what they call Fifeville. He used to make bricks over there at a brickyard. He had a kiln where he dried the bricks and all that. That was in my time, because I can remember.
Mr. Brown:When did that close down?
Mr. Payne:That closed down early in the late '30s I guess, because they didn't make no brick after that, I don't think. But then they sold a lot of brick out of there. Now, getting back to the one I told you, the football player, Roosevelt Brown, they bought a place way up on Ridge Street, up there just before you get to where the Gleasons lived. Now, that house, I - I should not list it as historic, because it's not historic. And I don't remember who lived in the last one. I know that lives there was Roosevelt Brown. I think it was. Okay.
Mr. Brown:Thank you very much.
Mr. Payne:Diet Pepsi, I hope. No, it's Dr. Pepper isn't it? Okay. That's all right. Now, the next one was directly across from where Furgeson's funeral home was up on Ridge Street. We used to run around - we had these two Dutch girls. The two Dutch ladies, they used to stay on their porch, cleaning their porch, and they had the prettiest porch on the street. They used to wear these little caps. And I don't know why they called them Dutch girls. But that's all I've ever known. I don't know whether they ever worked or what they did, but all I ever seen them do was cleaning that porch and keeping that porch clean.
Mr. Brown:They wore Dutch hats?
Mr. Payne:Little Dutch hats I guess.
Mr. Brown:See on old Dutch -
Mr. Payne:Oh, yes. That's exactly right, exactly. That's why they called them Dutch girls, I guess. But they weren't girls, they were ladies, you know. Okay. Now, the Cooks. They were the last white family on this - on the other side of the street.
Mr. Brown:On the west side?
Mr. Payne:On the - on the west side of the street. Now, we're going to get to the black families. Now, there was a fellow by the name of Payne, and he was a - he was a yard man. You know, did cutting grass and stuff.
Mr. Brown:James Payne?
Mr. Payne:He was Jim Payne. Not the Jim Payne that run the barber shop. It was another. His name was James Payne, but -
Mr. Brown:(Inaudible) the guy who used to work for us.
Mr. Payne:Well, that's probably who he was. He used to cut grass and trim hedges and stuff. That's probably the same one. He lived on Ridge Street.
Mr. Brown:He taught me how to eat poke greens.
Mr. Payne:Is that right?
Mr. Brown:Growing in my yard, and he would always ask could he take some and I said yes, and finally he said you ought to try to some of these yourself. I've been eating them ever since.
Mr. Payne:I used to love those things, but I declare I can't eat them now to save my life. Poke salad. My mother used to boil the stuff and then drain it off, and then she'd boil it some more, then she'd put it in a pan, break egg in it, and scramble the egg in the poke salad. It was delicious. I can't eat it now. You know, I've tried. It's all around out here, just loads of it in the Spring of the year. But I can't eat it though. Nobody else here will eat it.
Mr. Brown:What were you saying about James being -
Mr. Payne:He was a yard man. I actually list him as a yard man.
Mr. Brown:You don't know his house number do you?
Mr. Payne:No I don't. I really don't. But he was on the - on this side of Ridge Street, on the east side of Ridge Street. So the second house after you pass - the third house after you pass the corner of Langford Avenue. There's an old house on the corner of Langford Avenue, and I don't know who owns it. I never did know. And further back up on Ridge Street, there's a lady owned a house up there, right at Dice and Cherry Avenue, and I didn't know her name, except her name was Miss Lottie. Everybody called her Miss Lottie, and she used to sit on the porch and she would - anybody passed by, she would send them down to the whiskey store, and get her a pint of whiskey, and she would come back and sit on the porch and drink it. But anyway, Miss Lottie took care of her own business. Nobody didn't bother nobody. Nobody bothered her. So, I guess Miss Lottie did what she wanted to do, and that's probably what it was. Then we had the Currenton family. And they - they's a black family (Inaudible). Currenton and the Mitchells, and Careys. Now, the Careys own that big house right on the corner as you leave. They're doing some painting up there now. The students are doing some painting. They got big signs up there. You might have noticed them. Now, that's a Currenton (Inaudible). Now that's a - they lived there for years and years. They raised the family's grandchildren, everything in that big house. The last one died recently. And her name was Mrs. Manley. She was Mrs. Manley. And the rock wall that you'll notice as you go out of here, when they cut this hill down, the hill used to be like this. They cut it down, so they left the wall, kind of, sitting on it's reputation. Every once in a while, the rocks would fall out down there. I ran into it and damaged my transmission. I should've sued the city, 'cause they didn't ought to be leaving it up there like that.
Mr. Brown:I commented on that when we were coming down.
Mr. Payne:See, that wall is just hanging up there by it - it's on it's reputation, that's all. And Mr. Caruso promised her that before she died, he was going to fix that wall for her, and he hasn't touched it yet. I'm going to get him though. I'll get him. He ruined my transmission. But, you know, that's half of what's wrong with Charlottesville. We get people that don't know anything about the city, or the unique, you know the quality - you know, the quality of the city of Charlottesville, and the streets, and the homes and things like that. They don't know anything about that. Now, we've got (Inaudible) and he ain't worth five cents. Now, that's the truth. He does not know anything about Charlottesville, but he pretends he knows everything. And you find people like that. What I'm talking about, I shouldn't say that to you. Well that's all right. Let it stay there. It's the truth. Okay. Then there's a fellow by the name of Muse, that lived - Lewis used to have a little store up there, and right next to this little store was a fellow named Muse.
Mr. Brown:M-u-s-e?
Mr. Payne:(Indicates yes.) That's on the west side of Ridge Street. And Holmes - was Robert Holmes, and he was a - he was related to the Careys that I just mentioned, you know, that Currentons. And he was on the corner on the left-hand side. See the Carey family lived on the right, and the Holmes lived on the left side as you go out of here. Okay. Annie Lewis. She was a widow when I could remember. Her nephew or somebody used to look after her 'til she passed. And there was a Carey, Issac Carey. He was not related to the other Careys, but he lived on Ridge Street, on the west side. And Annie Bynum, she lived on the east side of Ridge Street. Thomas Wrenn was on the east side. James Henley, he worked for Frank Ix and Company, and he was just a worker down at Ix Silk Mill.
Mr. Brown:Were these people on the Hartman's Mill Road?
Mr. Payne:No. these are Ridge Street. Now, they had - this is the black end of Ridge Street. Artie Ward, he was quite a man here. He raised hogs, and - and he just became a doctor caring for animals. He didn't need to take cats or dogs to no doctor because if there need anything needing done he'd take care of them for you. How it is he got away with it, I don't know. But it was legal. He did it legally. Nobody questioned him. And he had - there was Reverend Gordon. There was a preacher lived out there. Cut across from where Reverend Gordon and Molly Burton. Did you ever here of Molly Burton or Molly's mother? Everybody heard about Molly, because Molly was Sioux but - but if she were to walk Ridge Street, she would always put one foot on one side of the street, one on the other. That was Molly. And biggest lying in town. He would always come over with a whole lot of string beans. He grew them in his garden, he didn't grow them in his garden. He didn't have no, garden and he wouldn't tell you that. Junius Walton, now he used to drive a pickup truck and haul trash and stuff for people. Mary Carter, she did laundry work for a lady up on 10th Street years ago. They had a little, kind of, home laundry. And Pocas Sellars and she was Pocahontas Sellers and they lived on the east - eastside of Ridge Street. And Van Burkes, he was the last one on the right on the - on the west side of Ridge Street where they were the last black family. Now, Harry Slaughter and I skipped over him going, so, I'll come back to him. Harry Slaughter and Lora Hicks, and the Woods, they were all on the west side of Rugby. Before there were people that lived on the street.
Mr. Brown:Was Ridge Street paved at that time?
Mr. Payne:Ridge Street was one of the nicest streets in Charlottesville. Ridge Street could compare to any street you name in Charlottesville at that time. Straight, smooth and wide, I mean, it's an old street in Charlottesville now. But Ridge Street was wide and well kept. And as matter of fact was a pleasure to drive Ridge Street. You cross that bridge and hit Ridge Street, you're on your own almost. It was just a beautiful street to drive on.
Mr. Brown:You don't know when they first paved it? I mean that's is sort of an issue?
Mr. Payne:It was paved when I first - first came to Charlottesville.
Mr. Brown:Were - were the streets that came off of Ridge Street -
Mr. Payne:Were they paved?
Mr. Brown:Yes.
Mr. Payne:More or less. Yes.
Mr. Brown:Most of them -
Mr. Payne:I'll tell you, the only street I know of that was not paved, was Hartman's Mill and Beach street wasn't paved. You know, how Beach street was, Beach street run right down the hill by the bleachers. But that one wasn't paved and Hartman's Mill wasn't paved. And the Cellar Streets that were there and are still there now that run off of Ridge Street, they're still not paved, probably. There was Boxwood Street and another little street that Mr. Harmond (phonetically) lives on. I don't think that's very well paved. But he - Mr. Harmond, was a well known man, he plays music for the churches for weddings and things like that. He plays all around the University and everywhere. And he played all of them and knew all of them - he was all into them. Now, he didn't live on Ridge Street, he's not in the mention because he's off Ridge Street, and I didn't mention him but he's in there. His father lived there, and also there's a photographer downtown that used to - well, the man that took my picture for you. The studio downtown, not Harmond (phonetically), what's the other one? You don't remember? But anyway, he lived in a studio downtown. He took just beautiful pictures. One of the best photographers in town I think.
Mr. Brown:One thing I want to find out about the white families lived on Ridge Street until a certain point. And you said Roosevelt Brown's family was one of them?
Mr. Payne:Roosevelt Brown was the first one what moved up into the white neighborhood mostly. But then Roosevelt had gotten into big money, you know, and he could afford - they could afford to buy it there but otherwise, nobody else could afford to buy it over there. Now, when Roosevelt got into football he then began to make good money, so, he could buy what he wanted almost.
Mr. Brown:Now, Hartman Road - Hartman's Mill Road was all black neighborhood, right?
Mr. Payne:No. It's been more integrated - the lower - the lower part of it was more integrated. We had a family by the name of Bishops - the Bishops lived down there and then several others. The Harmonds, that was the name of the studio - it was Harmonds studio downtown at that point. He lived down there. And then the Harmonds, the Bishops, the Nelsons and lets see, Sills (phonetically) had family going - living down in that area. What's the name of the man that lives down at the end of Crackle? (Inaudible) - he's an electrician for the county. You know him, he's not a Nelson. You know, he fixes our electric - our electric heater here. Well now, I sure can't think of it right now. But anyway, he lives down there now.
Mr. Brown:How about the other street coming off of Ridge Street where -
Mr. Payne:Langford (phonetically) Avenue?
Mr. Brown:Is that a (Inaudible) -
Mr. Payne:That's before you get to Ridge Street.
Mr. Brown:How long was it?
Mr. Payne:Now, Langford Avenue there never were really any graves when black - most of the families save all the way down on 1st Street. Now, you go down to 1st Street there's a big house sort of at the end - end of Langford Avenue was placed. And then coming back 1st Street this way a way's - come back to the cemetery, you know, Oak Wood Cemetery.
Mr. Brown:Yes.
Mr. Payne:There is two white ones. A white one over there and white one over in another area, of course then there was no Cherry Avenue. You're not on this side of town but -
Mr. Brown:They didn't cut that through till -
Mr. Payne:Oh, that was way in I think the early 50's.
Mr. Brown:(Indicated yes).
Mr. Payne:But you see then there was no two white families that lived down on 3rd Street. Lets see, 3rd Street dead ended and didn't come into Hartman's Mill - it comes into Hartman's Mill Road now, but it didn't then. They had put a little housing project down there.
Mr. Brown:(Indicated yes).
Mr. Payne:And that's what they wanted to take all of our property that we owned. We owned about four acres across the street - my son and - and again we owned about four acres across the street and there isn't any of left except for the houses you see there. And they wanted to take that for a housing project - housing - public housing. So, we rejected - the Nimmo family was the white family at the lower end - they had a big farm down in there just adjoining our property. And they had there own cemetery - there own private cemetery so, Mrs. Nelson - her husbands a lawyer too I believe. Penny - Penny Nelson - his wife - she was a Limo. And they had a black cemetery - their family cemetery so, the family cemetery was there and we had a lawyer. And the lawyer - I tell we were - worked with us was Tucker (phonetically) Tucker was a Richmond lawyer and they blocked it on the town - see the Nimmo - they wouldn't bother the Nimmo cemetery. They didn't really - so, they just dropped it completely but they went out there and bought some property on the black part - we wouldn't sell it back on our part. See our part ran back 660 feet and they wanted to leave us with a 150 feet and take all the rest. But I - we wouldn't sign for it but you know what they offered for it? $1800 that's all they offered for it and you know the reason why? Because when I bought that extra lot I only paid $300 for this 663 feet deep and 91 key points as wide. And the same thing for the house we owned. I paid $1000 for the house and $300 for the lot which made it only $1300 for the total property that I have on there. But you see they said you didn't pay anything for it so, your not going to get anything for it.
Mr. Brown:You had about two acres of land -
Mr. Payne:Yes. At least two acres when I moved my son bought the back part of the other property that they bought - he bought it, because it was a land lot.
Mr. Brown:But that just came up in the 1970's -
Mr. Payne:That's right, exactly (Indicated yes).
Mr. Brown:A lot of places especially in the eastern part -
Mr. Payne:Oh, a whole lot because remember - you know, we was representative of the city was John Baily Junior (phonetically).
Mr. Brown:(Indicated yes).
Mr. Payne:And you remember seeing John Baily - seeing him when he was governor, you know, when he had the whole representatives wrapped around his sleeve. And they would've, I think, represented his whole administrating staff and we had Kirklens (phonetically) - United Kirklens. Do you know Kirklens, is he still alive?
Mr. Brown:Yes. He's still alive.
Mr. Payne:Okay, he was a nice guy and also we had Tucker out of Richmond that represented us. Then in other words we one the case against the city for that and -
Mr. Brown:The city wanted to condemn the property for you.
Mr. Payne:Under imminent domain - under the name West Virginia (Inaudible) -
Mr. Brown:So, you weren't going to take Nimmo's property -
Mr. Payne:No. They couldn't take that because it had the cemetery there - they didn't want to take on the account of the cemetery.
Mr. Brown:But they wanted to take yours.
Mr. Payne:Take ours but not theirs.
Mr. Brown:But they weren't going to pay you anything for it?
Mr. Payne:That's right, nothing.
Mr. Brown:(Indicated yes).
Mr. Payne:They wanted us to give it to them. But fortunately we're not going to have to do it now. What we did just to show you the difference we all had property over there at Nob's Hill - because I remember when we looked at and bought it for $99,000 plus a percentage of the rent that you get for the billing that you put up a certain number a year. These are actually $99,000 as long as you don't get no percentages so, I said we're not going to cut a deal.
Mr. Brown:Tell me what's going to happen to that land?
Mr. Payne:What's going to happen to it?
Mr. Brown:Yes.
Mr. Payne:I turned it over to my two daughters and my son. We don't own anything - my wife and I don't own anything we gave that to our two daughters and a son. I know they'll really treat us fine because my daughter lives with us and it's hers -
Mr. Brown:But there's nothing built on it now?
Mr. Payne:On this property?
Mr. Brown:(Inaudible) -
Mr. Payne:Nothing but the home place where the children were raised and you know about the rest of the parcel here.
Mr. Brown:That's your shop?
Mr. Payne:That's my shop. Yes.
Mr. Brown:Because you have a lot of other land -
Mr. Payne:Oh, there's land all around that place you'd be surprised how much land. I can tell you we cover at least three acres of land in and around town. But anyway -
Mr. Brown:Did you have any questions you want me to get into -
Mr. Payne:We can't walk Main Street now, and feel safe.
Mr. Brown:I just want to ask you about the sidewalks or sidewalks along Ridge Street that you first remembered?
Mr. Payne:The bulk of that street had sidewalk now, when you got into the black area still no sidewalk there I believe - even now.
Mr. Brown:(Inaudible) -
Mr. Payne:It has been about three years time, yes.
Mr. Brown:And you all lived on Park Street?
Mr. Payne:Yes, we very much liked Park, yes.
Mr. Brown:Was it like that on Ridge Street.
Mr. Payne:Mostly, now where the Brown's live up there is that great big huge giant Oak Tree just a beautiful tree. That thing brew down and just missed the house but a lot trees like that - they cut down a lot of the trees and cut them back, you know, where - you know, where they let telephone come in or the electric company cut them back - way back.
Mr. Brown:I know.
Mr. Payne:And they ruined a lot of the trees, but anyway, there doing that on Park Street now too I believe down the road, I mean, I believe they were rejecting them that were full enough.
Mr. Brown:You have all kinds of types around our house and they're very pretty. Tell me did you see in the late '30's early 40's (Inaudible)?
Mr. Payne:Yes. I did when we moved here a man by the name John Robinson had a team of mules, he would ground plow through the garden with them. He couldn't hear very well and he - he - lived in the house right across the road right next to our landlord. After Ms. Dowell (phonetically) - a white lady lived there after she moved out - she died and he moved in the house after she moved out. He rented it from the Nimmo family, but anyway, he had a team of mules and also Artie Ward he had a one horse wagon and he would go out and pick up garbage all around the university to feed hogs, you know. You never know anything about that? Because people would save garbage in the garbage can he would go around and empty the garbage can twice a week and feed it to his hogs. And he raised some of the finest hogs you've ever seen over there.
Mr. Brown:I understand that.
Mr. Payne:Huh?
Mr. Brown:It causes them to get trichinosis.
Mr. Payne:Yes. I know but you see the family wasn't doing that down there they would have to cook it. If you don't use it out of the oven, cook it.
Mr. Brown:Yes.
Mr. Payne:And he wasn't the only one that knew how to raise hogs anyway. When I first came to Charlottesville I used to raise hogs over there and I had some of the prettiest hogs you ever laid eyes on. And I used to take them to market on the back of the truck, sell them, and, you know, they had -
Mr. Brown:How many could be raised over there?
Mr. Payne:Huh?
Mr. Brown:I said how many could you keep at one time, a dozen?
Mr. Payne:As many as I wanted and as many as I could. And one guy over there had a (Inaudible) hog - he had a whole field full of hogs over there and they didn't bother him. But then he got to the point that he couldn't keep all them with getting sick of them - (Inaudible) - than shoot them in the mouth.
Mr. Brown:I know.
Mr. Payne:We was having (Inaudible) - chicken they would get in that Cedar tree over there and every morning (Inaudible) - we do anything - we didn't eat them. We would eat the eggs but we wouldn't eat the chickens and so, (Inaudible) - and every one of them would come in with five, six, seven, eight, ten chickens. Sometimes and they'd go up - go up in those Cedar trees early in the morning and hit the ground - hit the ground fighting. (Inaudible) - now, I used to enjoy them myself here.
Mr. Brown:So, you kept those chickens there -
Mr. Payne:Yes. And then after a while they said you couldn't raise chickens so, I -
Mr. Brown:(Inaudible) - did you have to feed the milk cow or -
Mr. Payne:No. But my wife's father had a milk cow next door.
Mr. Brown:(Indicated yes).
Mr. Payne:He always had a cow and he always had hogs next door.
Mr. Brown:And did any of the people down here have horses on their property - horses on their land?
Mr. Payne:The man down - the man next to James Henley down there where I grew up - he raised horses and ponies too. And my brother-in-law had one of those sneak and peak ponies. You know, the big ponies. So, me and Henry used to have these Shetland like ponies only they weren't Shetland - Shetland ponies have the long tail but these - these didn't have the long tails. People went to ride up and down the street with their ponies and their pony carts and there was a lot of ponies.
Mr. Brown:Now, tell me this. I remember in the summer time especially on a Saturday people would come in with a horse and a wagon full of vegetables and sell them on the street. They also ran Watermelons, fresh tomatos, strawberry's -
Mr. Payne:I can bring you up to date that right here in Charlottesville because, you ever heard of the trading ground?
Mr. Brown:Yes.
Mr. Payne:You know where they're building the parking garage there on Water Street. Now, the trading ground was there. The problem in the early days was they're trucks then, they brought their produce into town on wagons and they brought hallows to trade horses and all that kind of stuff and vegetables like string beans, tomatoes, corn, watermelons and all that stuff. Bring down and set it right down there on that shelf on the trading ground. And they would sell and people would come and buy stuff just like you were going to the Farmer's Market. Now, they go to (Inaudible) - market. And all that produce was traded right there and once a month on the first Monday of the month they had what they called a Court Day. And that was the day that the farmers would come into town to trade horses, cattle, sheep or whatever they had that they wanted to trade or what they wanted to sell. And my father and his Uncle they were horse traders. Out of all the peddlers key he used to feed them baking soda in order to make them look like they were fat. Take them home and two days later he had a skinny little horse already. But there was all kinds of tricking in those times you know it. And then you would look at a horse to see how old it was and the first thing he would ask is how old is the horse. And they would say well he's four years old. Ray would look up and say huh, uh he's more than four years old. He'd go he's about ten years old he could tell by looking at the teeth (Inaudible) -
Mr. Brown:So, that - that trading took place where the new parking garage is?
Mr. Payne:When there the parking garage is in there or where the - they would call it the coat round - the coat round they called it. And even back before then there was a lady who is living in Charlottesville right now. Her mother was sold off the block right down there on - on a - on Water Street. Sold to somebody somewhere down the way (Inaudible) - Rebecca McGinnis (phonetically) you could still see them in the pavement not to long ago. One of the oldest flagstone in Charlottesville I believe. But anyway, her mother was sold off the block, you know, they put them on the block and they walked by and she looked like a pretty good old - just like the same as with a horse. You know, people had pretty good horses. They had good shoulder variety - good shoulders (Inaudible) -
Mr. Brown:And you say that was right off of Water Street?
Mr. Payne:(Indicated yes). There was a big wide-open space there, I'll tell you what else was there - you know where the freight depot that used to be through there?
Mr. Brown:Yes.
Mr. Payne:Where the railroad would come down the road there?
Mr. Brown:(Indicates, yes.)
Mr. Payne:All that was combined into one; the freight department and the trading ground and all in one location. They had a ground wave (Inaudible) - we went to ride the horse up there to drink water and run and father. Everything was in pretty good order down there. And there was, people down from Buck Island. You ever hear of Buck Island well, anyways -
Mr. Brown:That's down on the James right?
Mr. Payne:Yes. Going down there a way they would drive the horse up here and load the watermelon and all the produce. They'd drive the horse wagon on Sunday, get up early in the morning around nine or ten o'clock then go back and get home about dark.
Mr. Brown:Did they sell right from Ridge Street or Park Street -
Mr. Payne:They would stay away from the trading ground out there. They would go into that area there to stay away from the wagon there.
Mr. Brown:(Inaudible) -

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