Saturday, February 2, 2008

Moore's Creek and Woolen Mills

A portion of the Rivanna Trail can be accessed from the back of Quarry Park. From the website:

    Quarry Park to the Woolen Mills
    (1.64 miles, 19.55 from mile 0, difficult)
    The trail hugs Moore's Creek as it makes its way to the Rivanna River. Be prepared to scramble over rocks, trample through sand, and see a variety of wildlife, exposed rock cliffs, the livestock market, and historic mill buildings. We plan to build a footcrossing of Moore’s Creek near the old Woolen Mills.
This portion of the trail offers a glance at Charlottesville's underbelly and history.
Walking toward Woolen Mills, the trail follows Moore's Creek and skirts sanitation ponds. Eventually the stench leads to the above outflow into Moore's Creek. Upon reaching Woolen Mills there is the old plant across the creek still used by Allied for storage. From there the train bridge is visible. By hiking up the stone embankment, the tracks can be reached, and to the east, there are the ruins of the Charlottesville and Albemarle Railway Company power plant. This old power plant was under construction in 1913 at the time of the lower photograph.
Now its overgrown and a venue for grafitti. The statue of liberty stencil looks like the work of Banksy.

The C. and A. Ry. Co. (its lettering formed in bricks on the power plant building) was a streetcar company that in powering its cars also powered Charlottesville. According to the billboard C. & A. "keeps your home bright".In addition to the sewage treatment plant and some ruins, this stretch of trail serves as the address for a number of squatter camps. There were many visible from the trail with tents, mattresses, and pants hanging over branches to mark them. One at the end of long dry culvert, in the center of an on-ramp, looked just lived in. A bar of soap still teetered on a log. Having been in this area before, the profusion of such camps seem to indicate an economic downturn. The area along Moore's Creek may never have known good economic times. Just this week the Moore's Creek Restaurant was burglarized. This included a full-sized arcade game. (see story)

Photos thanks to Rufus Holsinger and the University of Virginia.


Anonymous said...

We visited this place today! Thanks for such an informative post.


Mike and Caitlin

Anonymous said...

Do you know the current owner of the Woolen Mills Power Pant? The Thach's sold that portion of it around 20 years ago, I can't find any information at the county. Please email me with any info you may have.

Anonymous said...

I spent some time wandering the trax here in the mid 90's while living in Belmont. I found a brother & sister living on the banks of the river past the 2nd rxr bridge on Monticello's property. They took me further down the trax to small spit of beach at "Duke's curve". This was supposed to be the site of a WW II prisoner troop transport wreck.