On Sunday, September 21, local historian Nancy Weiland will lead a guided walking tour to the gravesites of some of Lynchburg’s colorful “sporting ladies” buried in Old City Cemetery. More than a dozen bawdy women are buried there, and Weiland will share their personal stories, along with fascinating details about the thriving business of prostitution in Lynchburg in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Cemetery’s bawdy ladies lived and worked in the city’s infamous red-light districts, Buzzard Roost (near the riverfront) and Fourth Street (between Federal and Monroe). They were well-known members of the community—and frequently the subject of newspaper articles, court cases, and local lore. Although many stories are humorous and light-hearted, their lives were often filled with tragedy and hardship.
Weiland is the foremost expert on the long history of “sporting life” in Lynchburg. As a research assistant at Jones Memorial Library she has been researching local bawdy ladies and red-light districts for over 30 years. She has frequently written about and lectured on the subject.
Join us after the tour at the Cemetery Center for light refreshments and to view the special exhibit “Sporting Life in Lynchburg, Virginia, 1850–1950.” The small exhibit includes maps of local red-light districts and rare photographs of a Fourth Street madam.
The tour is free and open to the public. Please meet inside the Cemetery’s entrance gates on Taylor Street.
All events are sponsored by the Southern Memorial Association.
Please contact us for more information about the Old City Cemetery or any of these events.
SEASONS IN THE CEMETERY
Peak of Bloom for Antique Roses: Last two weeks of May
Peak of Bloom for Lotus Pond: July and August
Peak of Fall Foliage: Last two weeks of October
Peak of Bird Population: First week of June
Peak of Butterfly Population: August