Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mounting Blocks

Mounting Block at Pleasant Grove Christian Church
Halifax, VA

On my recent genealogy "tour" of Halifax County, VA, I encountered these two structures I had never seen before. They are the mounting blocks for getting into and out of carriages. They are also referred to as carriage steps and common in the 19th century. Can't you just see ladies in their Sunday best mounting the steps to get into their carriage? Hmm....I wonder if my great x 3 grandmother Sarah Owen Talbott walked these steps (at Pleasant Grove). Have I placed my feet where hers were?
Mounting Block at Harmony United Methodist Church
Alton, VA


  1. Lisa, those are cool pictures. Those look a bit different than the one I've seen (personally) at an old plantation in NC, but the caretaker explained that the mounting block (that's what he called it) there, also served as an "auction block" during slave auctions. I wonder if it was common practice for these to have this dual usage, or if that was just the case on that one plantation? Hmmm...

    Thanks for sharing your pictures.


  2. Lisa, I had never heard of these before--thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for sharing these cool pictures! I haven't seen anything like this before.

  4. The Village of Fairport in New York State, a community of about 6000, has mounting blocks and hitching posts at 26 locations. The Fairport Historic Preservation Commission has just designated as landmarks those that are on the treelawn area of Village property. Our historic society has been instrumental in this effort to preserve these unique artifacts. Check out www, under About and Historic Tours. Also you will find information on the ones designated under History then Village Preservation.


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