Fifeville and Tonsler Neighborhoods Historic District

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The Fifeville and Tonsler Neighborhoods Historic District, located in western Charlottesville, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 18, 2009. This historic district, which was added to the Virginia Landmarks Register on March 19, 2008, is defined to the north by the C&O railroad tracks. The southern and western boundaries, Cherry Street and Spring Street, are neighborhood streets while an entrance corridor, Ridge Street, forms the eastern boundary.

The history of this district demonstrates the complex race relations that existed throughout the country, but especially in the South. While middle class whites lived in the western portion of this district, professional and working class African-Americans constructed homes in the eastern section. The Fife family owned Oak Lawn during the subdivision of the land and creation of the neighborhoods, and their name became associated with the area now known as Fifeville. Meanwhile, the Tonsler neighborhood is named for the revered principle of the Jefferson School; the African-American school that was sponsored by the Freedmen’s Bureau during Reconstruction and has continued to be a community focal point throughout Charlottesville’s history.[1]


  1. Web. Fifeville and Tonsler Neighborhoods Historic District, retrieved 29 Dec. 2010.