The village of White Hall lies in western Albemarle County, about a dozen miles northwest of Charlottesville, between the foot of Bucks Elbow Mountain and the Moormans River where it emerges from Sugar Hollow, both of which lead up into the Blue Ridge Mountains. Charlottesvillians and UVa students know us as the gateway to swimming holes on the Moormans and the hiking trails of the Shenandoah National Park; long-distance cyclists and locals know us as the home of two country stores where food and drink are available early and late nearly 365 days a year. Like much of rural Albemarle, we are a mix of newcomers and old-timers, of employees who commute to jobs at the University or downtown Charlottesville and farmers whose cattle and orchards occupy the same land their families settled in the mid-eighteenth century.
The community now known as White Hall has gone by various names since European settlers first arrived in the 18th century: Glenn's Store, William Maupin's Store, Maupin's Tavern, Miller's Tavern, and Shumate's Tavern, besides Whitehall or White Hall, a name dating from about 1835. Among the earliest settlers were members of the Huguenot French Maupin family, who arrived prior to 1750; among their descendants is White Hall Ruritan Club member Dan Maupin and many other Maupins in central Virginia. Mount Moriah Methodist Church was founded in 1834 (replacing an earlier meeting house dating to 1788). Several of the existing houses in the village date to the second half of the 19th century; among the oldest is the original Piedmont Store building (just behind the modern-day Piedmont Store), built in the 1840s. Wyant's Store's was built in 1888 by Adam Wyant (the original building burned in 1918, and was replaced by the building in use today). A half mile down the road to Sugar Hollow is White Hall's second remaining church, Mount Olivet Baptist, whose small African-American congregration has worshipped there since the 1890s.
White Hall was relatively sheltered from the excitement and violence of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars (although Stonewall Jackson's troops are said to have camped near Piedmont Store during a march in May 1862). But during World War II, some 260 German prisoners of war were housed here in a prison camp starting in August 1944, helping bring in the apple and peach harvests and performing other agricultural labor until the close of the war. (The prison buildings had originally been constructed in 1933 as a Civilian Conservation Corps camp; among the remaining local residents who worked in that camp is WHRC member Truman Huckstep.)
Sources: Kay Chretien, "A Farming Focal Point," Charlottesville Home, October 1993; Susan De Alba, Country Roads: Albemarle County, Virginia (Rockbridge Publishing, 1991); "White Hall Real Estate", http://www.charlottesville-area-real-estate.com/White-Hall-Real-Estate.html.
Last modified: Sunday, 13-Feb-2011 16:51:29 PST