Inge's Grocery Store - Historical Site

333 West Main St., Charlottesville, VA 22902


In 1890, formerly enslaved George P. Inge moved with his family from Danville, Virginia, to Charlottesville. Mr. Inge, a graduate of Hampton Institute, taught for two years at Jefferson School on 7th Street. On July 1, 1891, he opened Inge's Grocery Store at 333 West Main St, which was "nothing but a dirt road" at the time, according to his son Thomas Ferguson Inge. When in 1894 Jefferson School moved to a newly constructed building on 4th St, George Inge turned down an offer to teach there for $28 a month. The salary was one of the highest offered at Jefferson yet well below that which a white instructor would have received. Inge instead continued to operate Inge's Grocery, a lucrative enterprise that would remain so for almost a century. Inge's Grocery Store became a prominent Charlottesville business specializing in the sale of meat and fish. According to From Porch Swings to Patios: An Oral History Project of Charlottesville Neighborhoods, Inge's Store provided the only fresh fish in Charlottesville for some time, supplying the Clermont and Gleason Hotels, the Dolly Madison Inn, and the University Hospital, as well as fraternities and private homes. As the Vinegar Hill area developed into an African-American business and residential district, Inge's grocery stood at its center as an important commercial and social establishment. In 2004 the City of Charlottesville unveiled a historical marker honoring the significance of Inge's Grocery. The marker is located at the front of the 333 West Main building.