Located in the southwest corner of Charlottesville, the Fry’s Spring neighborhood was named for its two resident natural springs and its original owner James Francis Fry. Fry constructed his mansion, Azalea Hall in the mid 1800’s. The estate was famous for both architectural and landscape features, and included apple orchards, vegetable gardens, and tobacco fields. It also had two cemeteries, one for family members and one for slaves.
Initially, the springs served as a tourist attraction. In the early 1900’s, large estate properties within Fry’s Spring were subdivided into lots, and residential development ensued. Fry’s Spring Beach Club, which continues to serve as a focal point for the Fry’s Spring-Jefferson Park Avenue neighborhoods, was built around that time.
The western part of the Azalea estate became the Monte Vista subdivision (developed by Robert L. McElroy), part of the 1938 annexation by the City. The portion of Fry’s Spring lying between Cherry Avenue and the City limits was annexed by the City in 1963.
Today this neighborhood is still largely residential and boasts a variety of housing types and architectural styles. Some homes have been converted to rental properties for students, due to the neighborhood’s proximity to the University. Jefferson Park Avenue and Harris Road serve as primary entrance corridors. The neighborhood’s major facilities include Fry’s Spring Beach Club, Azalea Park and several prominent churches.