Friday, October 16, 2009

Gordonsville Past & Present

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. "
Anatole France

Today we are taking a trip both in distance and in time. Our destination is the town of Gordonsville in Orange County.

The town began in 1794 with a tavern established by one Nathaniel Gordon at the crossroads of what are now the Rockingham and Blue Ridge Turnpikes. By 1813 the area had grown enough for the appointment of a Postmaster who was none other that Mr. Gordon and the town took on the name of Gordonsville. Soon the railroads arrived. The Orange & Alexandria Railroad running north/south and later the Central Virginia Railroad running east/west from Richmond to Staunton. During the Civil War the town was a major supply point for the Confederacy and also was the site of a major military hospital. Later a new rail line through Barboursville bypassed Gordonsville and its role as a major center in the region began to decline. In 1916 a fire devastated the downtown. Today there still exists evidence of its past prominence.

Thanks to a little on line research you will get a glimpse of both Gordonsville's past as well as its present............

When Rail Was King
Two views of the Gordonsville railroad station when the town was still a regional transportation hub. The main station is gone. The rail switching building still stands as well as the water tower and one of the out-buildings.

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