Origins

The intersection of Ninth and Main Streets has been the focal point of downtown Lynchburg for more than two centuries...

When Lynchburg was laid out by surveyor Richard Stith in 1787 (one year after the town’s establishment), the junction of Second Street (now Main) and Water Street (now Ninth) was at the center of the 45-acre town. In June of 1787, 22 lots were sold at public auction, with lot number five at the room1west corner of Second and Water Streets (site of the present-day Krise Building) being acquired by Charles Tenile (probably Terrell). 1 In the spring of 1793, Richard Venable reported that improvements at Lynchburg were “arising fast, three years ago only two or three small houses at the place,
now there are numbers of small houses and about 20 very good houses—all things look new.” Writing to Thomas Jefferson about the establishment of a new postal route in the area, William Tatham noted that Lynchburg had 14 stores.2 By 1798, Major Samuel Scott (1754-1822), who lived at nearby “Locust Thicket” on what is now Old Forest Road, purchased lot number five and constructed three buildings on the property, including a large 32 by 40-foot, two-story, frame retail store directly on the corner of what is now Ninth and Main Streets. The store was operated by merchant Joseph Dakings (1760-1844), surviving partner of the mercantile firm of Shadrack Munnings & Co. of Baltimore.3