Virginia

A Guide to the Old Dominion



Compiled by Workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Virginia








Virginia State Library and Archives

in cooperation with the Virginia Center for the Book

Richmond - 1992



Published by authority of THE LIBRARY BOARD


Andrew H. McCutcheon, ChairmanJoseph C. Kearfott
Richmond, Virginia Richmond, Virginia
Patricia Wilson Berger, Vice-ChairmanTyler C. Millner
Alexandria, Virginia Axton, Virginia
Ruth Anne M. Brooks Roberta C. Rickers
Richmond, Virginia Kenbridge, Virginia
Marjorie M. Clark M. O. Roache, Jr.
Richmond, Virginia Trevilians, Virginia
Andrew M. Cole Robbie G. Tate
Reston, Virginia Norton, Virginia
Dorothy N. Cowling James B. Walthall
Richmond, Virginia Richmond, Virginia
Kay A. Cutler Hilda Y. Warden
Charlottesville, Virginia Richmond, Virginia
Margaret P. Forehand and under the direction of
Chesapeake, Virginia John C. Tyson, State Librarian


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

p. cm.
Originally published: New York:Oxford
University Press, 1940, in series: American
guide series
Includes bibliographical references and
index.
ISBN 0-88490-173-4: $35.00
1.Virginia 2. Virginia--Guidebooks
I.Virginia Writer's Project.
F226.V894 1992
917.5504'43-dc20 92-28334
© James H. Price, Governor of Virginia, 1940,1941.
© New material, Virginia State Library and
Archives 1992.
All rights reserved.
Virginia State Library and Archives, Richmond,
Virginia.


Standard Book Number: 0-88490-173-4
Printed in the United States of America.


First published in May 1940 in the American Guide
Series by Oxford University Press.


This book is printed on acid-free paper meeting
the requirements of the American National
Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed
Library Materials.


FOREWORD



The Enduring Spirit of Virginia



By Garrett Epps

0f all rhetorical modes, Virginians are most comfortable with the elegiac. Almost from the earliest days of English settlement in Virginia, its people have been complaining that the great days are gone, that outside forces have overwhelmed the old way of life, and that the things that made the Old Dominion unique have now fled, never to return. These laments for a vanished past have taken on new intensity in the half century since this book was published. Indeed, many thoughtful people now believe that regionalism is a spent force in American life and that the geographical peculiarities that inspired the WPA state guides survive only as faded memories.

Certainly the pace of change has been merciless, and the forces of centralization strong. Television, computers, telecommunications, air travel, the interstate highway system, corporate integration, and mass migration have remade every institution--from family, to farm and workplace, to local, state, and federal government. In the 1990s, Americans are entering a new period of transformation, with changes occurring on a global scale and at a computerized pace. Decisions made in Tokyo and Riyadh increasingly determine the texture of life in American cities, towns, and farms. All this has given added force to the sense of separation disappearing, to the idea that the South, as a distinct region in American life, is "a Civilization gone with the wind."

In this context we would do well to recall the words of French historian Fernand Braudel, who charted the course of history in the Mediterranean through many centuries. Braudel concluded from his study that civilizations are like sand dunes, blown and shifted by winds that may replace each individual grain of sand, yet, after storm and change, are found standing in much the same place. "We shall not allow ourselves to repeat the often-voiced opinion that 'civilizations are mortal,"' Braudel wrote. "Mortal perhaps are their ephemeral blooms, the intricate and short-lived creations of an age, their economic triumphs and their social trials, in the short term. But their foundations remain. They are not indestructible, but they are many times more solid that one might imagine. They have withstood a thousand supposed deaths, their massive bulk unmoved by the monotonous pounding of the centuries."¹

Throughout its history, I would argue, Virginia has been the center of a highly distinctive civilization-- a place where European settlers and their descendants faced unprecedented problems and forged original, often flawed, and almost always influential solutions. Virginia, I think, remains a distinctive civilization to this day.

This is not to deny that we would search in vain for the sleepy, segregated, rural dominion described in the pages of Virginia: A Guide to the Old Dominion. The years since 1940 have transformed the nation in fundamental ways, and they have had more impact on the South than on the nation as a whole. If the South has changed more than the rest of the country, Virginia has changed more than most of the South. Statistics cannot tell the story, but they may indicate its magnitude. When Virginia was published, the state had a population of 2.7 million, nearly two-thirds of whom lived in rural areas. Its per capita personal income ranked thirtieth among the forty-eight states. Today, Virginia's people number 6.2 million. Slightly more than two-thirds live in cities, and their per capita income ranks twelfth in the nation. Fifty years ago, Virginia was proud but poor and backward, living on the psychic capital of a historic past and isolated intellectually, economically, and socially from the life of the nation. Today, instead of lagging behind the nation, Virginia is cutting further into the future than any of its neighbors.

The economic changes, sweeping though they are, are only a small part of the transformation that Virginia has experienced in the last fifty years. When Virginia was written, the state was a part of the segregated South; a reader will find the chilling traces of segregation in its listings, which primly note how many hotels, picture houses, swimming pools, and tennis courts in each town are open to "Negroes." The segregated system is nearly forgotten today, or remembered at most as a period of aberrant bigotry. But segregation, as it existed in the South from the turn of the twentieth century until the 1960s, was in fact unique in American history: a comprehensive racial, social, and legal system that oppressed all those it governed, black and white. It bears comparison with South African apartheid, and it was the closest thing Americans have ever created to an authentic native totalitarianism.

For the more than half a century of its life, segregation stunted every aspect of southern life. It was an inner wound that rendered social progress impossible and made the southern states pariahs in the American family. That system was dismantled through the courage and creativity of southern black people and the integrity of federal law, and its destruction was the final step that liberated the energies of southern whites and blacks. Before the civil rights movement, Virginia, like other southern states, was caught in inner stalemate and hopelessness. After the movement's success, the region and the state became a place where anything seemed possible. Virginia's new-found prosperity and optimism flow from that liberating peaceful revolution.

Perhaps the best way to gauge the transformation of Virginia since then would be to repeat the "symbolic approach" Douglas Southall Freeman recommended in his introduction to the first edition of Virginia--"a southward journey from the bridge that joins the Lincoln Memorial with Arlington." That river crossing, Freeman wrote in 1940, carried the traveler into a land where "life itself has a different tempo ... more leisured without being essentially indolent." Today, the Memorial Bridge hurtles passengers into the bustling futurescape of northern Virginia, a populous, affluent network of cities and suburbs where mass transit, computers, and the automobile are combining to create the prototype for an entirely new type of community. There is a different tempo--but it is faster not slower, and newer not older, than that of the central city north of the Potomac.

The rest of Virginia's landscape today is a similar panorama of confidence and change. The old eastern cities, which not long ago were sad, sleepy, and dependent on an agricultural economy, are now rich, busy, and diversified. They are centers for finance, transport, manufacturing, and services. Much of the farm economy has been remade by technology, the global market, and the growth of corporate agriculture.

What, then, has become of the Old Dominion we will read about in Virginia? In the midst of the new landscape, I would suggest, the continuity is striking. The glossy new surface of Virginia covers a familiar skeleton.

What makes Virginia what it is? The first answer is water. The Chesapeake Bay and the rich system of rivers that feeds it--the Potomac, the York, the Rappahannock, the James, and their countless tributaries--made Virginia a natural site for colonization and exploration and fostered the growth of a plantation economy. The lapping of those waters is the unceasing, rhythmic refrain to all of Virginia history. They were the waterways that brought European settlers in the seventeenth century and learning to the cosmopolitan planters of the eighteenth century. They carried tobacco and cotton to the metropolitan markets of Europe; they created the battle lines of the Civil War; and their rise and fall even today infuse the tempo of the state's economic and social life. And the water gives to much of eastern Virginia--the rural areas of the Northern Neck and the Eastern Shore--a sensual, timeless sweetness that is found in few other places on earth.

Land is the second foundation of Virginia's civilization--the dense, wet, fertile Virginia soil that proved so fatally well adapted to the growth of tobacco. As much as any other influence, tobacco has made Virginia what it is today. It was tobacco, with its promise of overnight wealth, that drew settlers to Virginia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was tobacco, with its peculiar need for intense hand cultivation, that led Virginia planters, desperate for cheap labor, to create the American system of slavery. It was tobacco, with the relentless demands it placed on the soil that grew it, that caused the agricultural collapse that nearly ruined the state in the early nineteenth century. It was tobacco that helped create the post-Civil War sharecropping system, and it is tobacco in the twentieth century that forms a troubling pillar of the state's economy. The current legal and political struggles over tobacco's future, though they may be fought in boardrooms, legislative chambers, and courtrooms, are simply one more expression of the central tension of Virginia history--a manifestation of the same historical forces that pushed the state into the frontlines of the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the struggle over civil rights. A third constant in Virginia' s history is the role of public life. The House of Burgesses that met in 1619 was the beginning of representative government in the English colonies. Since then, Virginia society has placed a high--some would say inordinate--value on politics and government. As a result, Virginia has traditionally been a kind of political laboratory for the rest of the nation. The popular uprising of 1676, known to history as Bacon's Rebellion, was an early indication of the social tensions that would power the Revolution a century later; and Bacon's Rebellion, with its confused cries by those left out of the colonial aristocracy for representation, liberty, and greater freedom to exploit racial minorities (in this case the Indians), also foreshadowed with almost eerie precision the tangled history and eventual failure of most American populist movements.

The plantation society of the eighteenth century was the source of many basics of American liberal thought. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence; James Madison forged the radical notion of church-state separation and took the lead in writing the Constitution; George Washington led the new republic in war and peace. By 1832, when the hope and generosity of the revolutionary era were a distant memory, Virginia responded to Nat Turner's slave revolt by designing, and nearly adopting, a peaceful legal end to slavery. When that movement failed, Virginia thinkers like George Fitzhugh and Thomas Dew led the South in forging the grim proslavery argument, the rigid southern ideology of racism and states' rights that later inspired the secession movement. During the civil rights era, Virginia politicians and editors again took the lead in resistance; it was in Virginia that the arguments were first heard that southern states had the right to"nullify" the Supreme Court's school-desegregation rulings by interposing state authority between the citizen and the national government. These arguments were advanced, in the main, peacefully in Virginia; but farther south and west, they were potent weapons in the hands of less-scrupulous demagogues, and they played a major role in making the late 1950s and early 1960s a time of regional convulsion.

Virginia's political institutions today exist just across the river from the nation's capital. That proximity may be the most important single legacy left by the generation that founded the Republic. Being close to Washington has created northern Virginia, whose growth now forms the foundation of Virginia's wealth and dynamism. Being close to Washington, with its legions of ambitious activists and lawyers, has created a constant pressure on Virginia's legal and political system that has sparked a revival of the state's public creativity.

In fact, Virginia today is again a political laboratory for the South and for the nation. In the early 1980s, Virginia politicians and preachers such as Richard Viguerie, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson pioneered in direct-mail fund-raising, single-issue politics, and the use of satellite and cable-TV technology to build national constituencies through the potent mixing of religion and politics. And there are signs as well of a more hopeful creativity: In 1989, Virginia became the first state to elect a black man, L. Douglas Wilder, as its governor. In the midst of a grim decade of race-baiting at the highest national levels, the success of Wilder's campaign may foreshadow a time when racial diversity will be a positive force in American politics and when the old code words and covert appeals to racism will have lost their sting--a time, perhaps not too far off, when Virginia can lead the nation forward again.

The Virginia that greets travelers today--in all its wealth, self-assurance, and "un-Southern" bustle--is a direct outgrowth of those earlier Virginias. No state in the Union can repay a patient and enterprising tourist with as rich a lesson in the bright and dark sides of American history as Virginia can. Indeed, it is not too much to say that Virginia is worth any amount of time and travel that can be devoted to it, from a three-day holiday to a lifetime of research.

The tours recommended in this guidebook--to Jamestown and Williamsburg, where English settlers first lived in the New World; to Yorktown, where Washington's troops turned the old order upside down; to Monticello, where Jefferson dreamed of liberty in a stately mansion built by slaves; to Richmond, where Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee tried vainly to build a nation around the 11 peculiar institution"; to the Booker T. Washington birthplace in Franklin County, where visitors have a rare chance to see slavery through the eyes of slaves; to the grim battlefields near Fredericksburg, where one-quarter of those killed in the Civil War died; to Danville, where public officials in the 1960s tried to crush the civil rights movement using laws written for use against slave revolts; to the tidewater, where nuclear submarines sail over the graves of the Monitor and the Virginia; and to the mountains and valleys of southwestern Virginia, with their dusty coalfields, breathtaking bluegrass pastures, and rugged farmlands-all outline a rich, passionate history that is a beacon of hope, and a warning, to all those who care about this country.

A trip through Virginia--with our eyes open to all the magnificence and pain preserved in its buildings and landscape--reminds us of historian C. Vann Woodward's words: "The South has had its full share of illusions, fantasies, and pretensions, and it has continued to cling to some of them with an astonishing tenacity that defies explanation. But the illusion that 'history is something unpleasant that happens to other people' is certainly not one of them-not in the face of accumulated evidence and memory to the contrary."²

Virginia's history teaches us that our decisions matter. The ways one generation chooses to govern its economic, social, and environmental life can leave a lasting legacy, for good or ill. And it teaches further that a people can survive the shocks of history--riches and poverty, victory and defeat, glory and shame--without losing the things that make them, and their way of life, unique.



Notes


1. Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in theAge ofPhilip II (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), 2:775-776.

2. C. Vann Woodward, "The Irony of Southern History," in The Burden of Southern History (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1960; reprint, New York: Mentor Press, 1969), 136.


NOTE TO READER



Virginia: A Guide to the Old Dominion was first published in 1940 by Oxford University Press as a volume in the American Guide Series launched several years earlier by the New Deal's Federal Writers' Project. A team of publicly funded researchers and writers, working under the expert direction of Virginia Writers' Program supervisor Eudora Ramsay Richardson, spent three years digging in the collections of the Virginia State Library and visiting hundreds of communities across the state gathering material for the book. Virginia: A Guide to the Old Dominion quickly went into a second printing in 1941, and several subsequent printings followed after the end of World War II.

Although perspectives on the past have changed significantly in the years since the guide first appeared, it remains in great demand more than a half century later for the wealth of historical information it contains as well as for the insights it provides into life in mid-twentieth-century Virginia. The modern interstate highway system has superseded many of the routes recommended by the guide, yet the time-tested scenic byways still beckon adventurous and curious travelers. Virginia: A Guide to the Old Dominion offers both the avid voyager and the armchair tourist a nostalgic sojourn through a Virginia that in many ways no longer exists--yet, a Virginia whose enduring tradition and character continue to shape and inspire the future.

This reprint edition of the Virginia guide is essentially a photographic reproduction of the book as it appeared in its fourth printing in 1947, with the following minor exceptions. Ten pages of preliminary material, paginated with parenthetical roman numerals, have been added at the beginning of the book. The entire text of the 1947 printing, with its original title page and numbering, follows the new front matter. Eighty-seven of the original 101 photographs have been located in the files of the Picture Collection of the Virginia State Library and Archives and are reproduced here. Twelve of the fourteen missing illustrations have been photographed from the original volume. Virtually identical period photographs in the State Library's collection have been substituted in the remaining two cases--that of "Lower Brandon (18th Century), Prince George County" and of the "Aircraft Carrier on the Ways, Newport News." The illustration captions have been reset for this edition as they appeared in the original. The artwork printed on the front endpaper of the original guide, a "Key to Virginia Tours," has been reproduced here as the frontispiece. The foldout map of Virginia and Richmond, tucked in a special sleeve attached to the inside back cover of the original guide, has not been included in this reprint edition.

Many individuals contributed to the production of this volume. Jon Kukla, former director of the State Library's historical publishing program, conceived the project and commissioned the new foreword. Garrett Epps graciously agreed to contribute the foreword and has patiently awaited its appearance in print. Susan Bracy Sheppard, Sarah Shields Driggs, and Stacy Gibbons Moore, with the assistance of Carolyn S. Parsons and Petie Bogen-Garrett, did an outstanding job of identifying the original photographic images. Pierre Courtois and Mark Fagerburg expertly copied the aging photographs to ensure their preservation and reproduction quality. Emily J. Salmon copyedited and proofread the new material and ably guided the book through production. Special thanks go to Beverly J. Bagan and the members of the board of the Virginia Center for the Book for their enthusiastic support of and financial assistance to this project.



Sandra Gioia Treadway, Director
Division of Publications and Cultural Affairs








Virginia


A Guide to the Old Dominion











VIRGINIA

A GUIDE TO THE OLD DOMINION



Compiled by workers of the Writers' Program
of the Work Projects Administration
in the State of Virginia




American Guide Series

Illustrated




Sponsored by James H. Price, Governor of Virginia

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS - NEW YORK




First Published in May 1940
Second printing October 1941
Third printing, with corrections, 1946
Fourth printing, 1947




VIRGINIA CONSERVATION COMMISSION
State-wide Sponsor of the Virginia Writers' Project

FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY
John M. Carmody, Administrator

WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION
F.C.Harrington, Commissioner
Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner
William A. Smith, State Administrator







COPYRIGHT 1940, 1941 BY JAMES H. PRICE, GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA
PRINTED IN U.S.A. BY THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
All rights are reserved, including the right to reproduce
this book or parts thereof in any form.




COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
Governor's Office
Richmond



It gives me pleasure to commend this Guidebook, and express the hope that Virginia's future contributions to the welfare of all the nation may equal its past record and present-day progress.

Virginia welcomes the traveler throughout the year. The oldest state is favored by rugged physical beauty from seashore to mountains, a pleasant climate, excellent transportation facilities, diversified manufacturing and agricultural pursuits, and a rich tradition of accomplishment. Our people, largely of Anglo-Saxon blood, are friendly.

We welcome the visitor because he brings a freshness of view and helps us to appreciate our common heritage. We believe that to see Virginia, to know Virginia, is to like our people.



James H. Price, Governor






Preface



As The Virginia Guide is about to be transformed into a book through the alchemy of printer's ink, the staff of the Virginia Writers' Project finds an alloy in its pleasure. We are thinking not so much of what has gone into the book as of all that was necessarily omitted. Compressing the story of Virginia within the covers of one volume was a painful task--particularly for the State supervisor, whose duty it became to delete more words than she allowed to remain. As first written, the Guide was perhaps four times its present length and then, according to the judgment of some of our staff, not long enough to do justice to our country's oldest commonwealth. Through amputations gradually and torturously performed, the book was reduced to meet the publishers' practical demands. We hope we have said much in few words. To those Virginians, however, who are saddened by our omissions, we promise to make the reserved material available in other books. The deleted passages are not dead; they merely sleep in files carefully guarded by Pauline Davis.

The Virginia Guide is the result of many people's efforts. A collaboration it certainly is; a mosaic we hope it will appear, with its component parts so fitted together as to present an accurate picture of our State's yesterday and today. This book was begun in April 1937 and finished three years later. Parts of the essay section were contributed by generous specialists; the city and highway sections, however, are wholly the products of workers on the Virginia Writers' Project. Men and women in the field gathered data that were sent to the office in Richmond and carefully checked and amplified by a dozen or more workers in the State Library. After the material had been assembled and the points of interest listed with their approximate locations, workers traveled along the highways and byways and visited every city, town, and hamlet, checking mileages, taking notes on the contemporary scene, and gathering stories unavailable in histories or musty records. All the writing was done in the Richmond office, and in its final form represents the craftsmanship of five writers, with the state supervisor as co-ordinator.

No manuscript that went into the making of the book--no highway tour, no essay, no city, description--is in its entirety the work of one person, for within the office we developed experts who through emphasis upon their special fields became as useful to the co-ordinator as they were sometimes annoying. John Sherwood Widdicombe, a graduate of the University of Virginia and of Oxford and a student of architecture, wrote the descriptions of all our important houses; H.Ragland Eubank, a graduate of the College of William and Mary, made us toe the mark of historical accuracy; and Frank A. Browning contributed all that the Guide has to say about battlefields, wars, and rumors of wars and much more that can be exhumed from the files for a military history of Virginia. Fortunately, Fillmore Norfleet, having a law degree and a doctor's degree in French, having taught languages, having worked upon biographies, and failing--though a native Virginian--to take his State too seriously, frequently brought his cynical pedagogism to the aid of the harassed supervisor. Likewise, Ann Heaton--still more Irish than Virginian--refrained from specialization and injected color of sorts into the tours she touched with her Hibernian hand. The essay on the Negro and Negro sections of several other essays are the work of Roscoe E. Lewis, of Hampton Institute and the staff of the Virginia Writers' Project.

Altogether we have become authorities on Virginia history--not infallible perhaps, yet capable of blasting many an error and tradition oftrepeated by our forerunners. Whatever of untruth our specialists have allowed to remain in the telling of Virginia's story, we hope to correct in subsequent editions of The Virginia Guide, for in a book filled with the minutiae of history we have surely been guilty of minor errors here and there.

The essays in their final form are largely the work of the editorial staff. Those contributed by experts in their several fields were of necessity cut and adapted to the requirements of the book. For Agriculture and Farm Life we are indebted to Wilson Gee, Director of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences at the University of Virginia; for Industry, Commerce, and Labor to George Talmage Starnes, associate Professor of Commerce and Business Administration at the University of Virginia; for The Theater to Helen Clarke, Business Manager, Richmond Theatre Guild; for Natural Setting to Arthur Bevan, State Geologist, C.O.Handley, Leader Virginia Co-operative Wildlife Research Unit in the United States Department of Agriculture, and R.J.Holden, Professor of Geology; for Architecture to H.I.Brock of The New York Times; for material on social life and racial elements incorporated in History to Thomas P. Abernethy, associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia, and Richard Lee Morton, Professor of History at the College of William and Mary; and for source material used in Transportation to John B. Mordecai, Traffic Manager for the Richmond ' Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad. We are grateful also to Fiske Kimball and Eugene Bradbury, who checked many architectural descriptions.

Members of the advisory committee appointed by our sponsor, Governor James H. Price, gallantly read and constructively criticized the manuscript of the book, which was parceled out to them in sections. So we extend our gratitude and the Governor's to Wilmer Hall, State Librarian; H.J.Eckenrode, Director of the Division of History and Archaeology for the Virginia Conservation Commission; Sidney B. Hall, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction; Blake Tyler Newton, division Superintendent of Schools, Westmoreland and Richmond Counties and Member State Board of Education; E.G.Swem, Librarian of the College of William and Mary and author of Swem's Index; and F.B.Kegley, historian of Southwest Virginia. This heroic committee read carbon copies on onion skin paper and sent to us no complaint.

Virginians must have wanted a book that tells the story of Virginia, where dramatic episodes of history were enacted, for people all over the State were quick to respond to our requests for co-operation. State departments opened to us their doors and their files. Though we must have annoyed the Highway Department no end, daily using their graphs and getting up-to-date information on new routing and surfacing of roads, the officials continued agreeably helpful. Draftsmen from the department prepared two maps used in the Guide. The State Library, that happy hunting ground of historians and genealogists, never lost patience with our painstaking research workers. The Conservation Commission gave us facts and pictures and always a hearty welcome. The National Park Service drew base maps for us and gave us much battlefield information. The State Chamber of Commerce and chambers in Virginia cities were unstinting in their co-operation; local historians everywhere answered our queries and checked our manuscripts; houses were opened to us, and we were given pictures or allowed to take them. We are sorry that it is not possible to make our gratitude more specific.

Withal, we have tried to write without bias of a Virginia that worked for democracy through Colonial years, whose statesmen led the fight for freedom from British autocracy and for the establishment of a republic, of a Virginia that lost its leadership in 1825 and in subsequent years has striven to regain a place among the commonwealths, of a Virginia that passed through its commemorative era and seems about to launch upon new accomplishment. We welcome the traveler to our shrines, and we shall always share with him our spoonbread, Smithfield ham, Brunswick stew, peanuts, and tobacco if he will but listen to the tales we like to tell of our worthy ancestors. In our book we have striven to record the exploits not only of those 'not born to die,' but also of those 'to fortune and to fame unknown,' who but for us would not have escaped undeserved oblivion.



Eudora Ramsay Richardson
State Supervisor




Preface to the Second Printing


We have taken advantage of this new printing of The Virginia Guide to include appendices of 1940 population figures, recent changes in highway routes and numbers, a list of radio stations with the latest frequency allocations, and an enlarged index, which has discarded the topical plan used in the first printing. Minor errors that, in a book dealing with many minutiae, were inevitably discovered by our staff and by specialists in various fields of Virginia history, have been carefully assembled for the second edition, which we hope will be published in the not too distant future.


E.R.R.






Contents




FOREWORD, By James H. Price, Governor of Virginia V PREFACE Vii GENERAL INFORMATION xxi CALENDAR OF ANNUAL EVENTS xxv Part L Virginia's Background THE SPIRIT OF VIRGINIA, By Douglas Southall Freeman 3 NATURAL SETTING 9 INDIANS 23 HISTORY 32 THE NEGRO 76 TRANSPORTATION 87 AGRICULTURE 98 INDUSTRY, CO RCE, AND LABOR io6 EDUCATION 118 NEWSPAPERS 130 FOLKLORE AND MUSIC 138 ART 147 LITERATURE 156 THE THEATER 167 ARCHITECTURE 174 Part IL Cities ALExANDRiA 191 CHARLOTTESVILLE 204 FREDERICKSBURG 20 HAMPTON 227 HAMPTON ROADS PORT 233 NORFOLK 239 PORTSMOUTH 252 NEWPORT NEWS 259 LYNCHBURG 264 PETERSBURG 273 Xii CONTENTS RICHMOND 283 ROANOKE 301 STAUNTON 307 WILLIAMSBURG 313 WINCHESTER 329 Part III. Tours TOUR I (Washington,D.C.)-Alexandria-Fredericksburg-AshIand-Rich- mond-Petersburg-Dinwiddie-South Hill-(Henderson, N.C.) [US ij 337 Section a. District of Columbia Line to Fredericksburg 337 Section b. Fredericksburg to Richmond 350 Section c. Richmond to the North Carolina Line 356 TOUR IA Fredericksburg-Bowling Green-Hanover-Richmond [State 21 361 TOUR IB junction with State 2-Sparta-St. Stephen's Church-King and Queen-Centerville [State 141 368 TOUR 2 (Pocomoke City,Md.)-Accomac-Onley-Exmore-Eastville- Cape Charles [US 131 373 TOUR 3 (Frederick,Md.)-Leesburg-Middleburg-Warrenton-CuIpeper --Orange-Palmyra-Farmville-Clarksville-(Oxford,N.C.) [US 15J 387 Section a. Potomac River to Warrenton 387 Section b. Warrenton to Culpeper 392 Section c. Culpeper to Sprouse's Corner 393 Section d. Sprouse's Comer to junction with US 36o 396 Section e. Junction with US 36o to North Carolina Line 399 TOUR 4 (Washington, A C.)-Fairfax-Warrenton-Culpeper-Charlottes- ville-Lovingston-Amherst-Lynchburg-Danvifle-(Greens- boro,N.C.) [US 291 400 Section a. Potomac River to Warrenton 400 Section b. Culpeper to Charlottesville 405 Section c. Charlottesville to North Carolina Line 407 TOUR 4A Gainesville-Haymarket-The Plains-Marshall-Front Royal [State 55 (also Skyline Drive)j 412 TOUR 5 (Martinsburg, W.Va)-Winchester-Woodstock-Harrisonburg- Staunton-Lexington-Roanoke-Pulaski-Wytheville- Marion-Abingdon-(Bristol,Tenn.) [US iiij 415 Section a. West Virginia Line to Staunton 40 Section b. Staunton to junction with US 52 427 Section c. junction with US 52 to Tennessee Line 436 TOUR 5A Winchester-Front Royal-Luray~Waynesboro-junction with US i i [State 3, State 121 442 CONTENTS Xii! TOUR 5B Christiansburg-Blacksburg-Pearisburg-Narrows-Rich Creek [State 81 445 TOUR 6 Fredericksburg-Tappahannock-Saluda-Gloucester-Gloucester Point-Yorktown-Portsmouth-(Elizabeth City,N.C.) [US 171 448 Section a. Fredericksburg to Gloucester Point 448 Section b. Gloucester Point to North Carolina Line 459 TOUR 6A GIenns-West Point-New Kent-Bottom's Bridge [State 331 464 TOUR 7 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Suffolk-Emporia-South Hill-Boydton -Danville-MartinsviEe-Marion-Bristol-Gate City- (Cumberland Gap,Tenn.) [US 58, State 88, US 58] 468 Section a. Virginia Beach to Emporia 468 Section b. Emporia to Danville 473 Section c. Danville to Marion 476 Section d. Bristol to Tennessee-Kentucky Line 479 TOUR 8 Virginia Beach-Cape Henry-Willoughby-Old Point Comfort- Newport News-Williamsburg-Richmond-Buckingham- Amherst-Lexington-Clifton Forge-Covington-(Wliite Sul- phur Springs,W.Va.) [US 6o) 481 Section a. Virginia Beach to Richmond 481 Section b. Richmond to Lexington 488 Section c. Lexington to West Virginia Line 492 TOUR8A Williamsburg-jamestown Island [State 311 494 TOUR 9 Richmond-Louisa-GordonsviUe-StanardsviRe-Harrisonburg- (Franklin, W.Va.) [US 331 497 TOUR jo Fredericksburg-Wildemess-Orange-Barboursville-Charlottesvine [State 3, State 20, County 6131 503 TOUR ii (Marlinton,W.Va.)-Lexington-Buena Vista-Lynchburg- Brookneal-South Boston-(Roxboro,N.C.) [State Soi, US 50,1 511 Section a. West Virginia Line to Lynchburg 511 Section b. Lynchburg to North Carolina Line 50 TouR 12 (Washington,D.C.)-Fort Meyer-Upperville-Ashby's Gap- Boyce-Winchester-(Romney,W.Va.) [US 5o] 520 TOUR 13 Alexandria-FalIs Church-Tyson's Comer-Leesburg-Purcellville -Berryville-Winchester [State 71 524 TOUR 14 Petersburg-Emporia-(Weldon,N.C.) [US 3011 529 TouR15 Bluefield-Tazewell-Lebanon-Appalachia-Big Stone Gap Jonesville [US ig, State 641 533 TOUR 16 Fredericksburg-King George-Montross-Warsaw-Lancaster- Kilmamock-Westland [State 31 540 Section a. Fredericksburg to Warsaw 540 Section b. Warsaw to Westland 550 XiV CONTENTS TOUR 16A Templemans-Hague-CaHao-HeathsviRe-Burgess Store-Reed ville [State 202, US 36o] 554 TOUR 17 Richmond-Charlottesville-Waynesboro-Staunton-Monterey- (Bartow,W.Va.) [US 2501 561 Section a. Richmond to Charlottesville 562 Section b. Charlottesville to West Virginia Line 565 TOUR 18 Suffolk-Wakefield-Waverly-Petersburg [US 46ol 569 TOUR Ig Richmond-Chesterfield-Hopewell-Surry-Smithfield-Suffolk- (Sunbury,N.C.) (State iol 574 TOUR 20 Tappahannock-Richmond-Amelia-Burkeville-Halifax-Dan- ville [US 36ol 587 Section a. Tappahannock to Richmond 587 Section b. Richmond to Danville 591 TOUR 20A Central Garage-King William-West Point [State 301 599 TOUR 21 (Franklin,W.Va.)-Warm Springs-Hot Springs-Covington-Clff- ton Forge-Roanoke--Rocky Mount-Martinsville-(Winston Salem,N.C.) [US 220] 603 Section a. West Virginia Line to Roanoke 603 Section b. Roanoke to North Carolina Line 6o8 TOUR 2 2 Warrenton-Washington-SperryviBe-Luray~New Market [US 2111 612 TOUR 23 Richmond-Goochland-Columbia-Scottsville--CharlottesvMe [State 6, County 6 13, State 2391 617 TOUR 23A junction with County 613-MonticeHo-Ash Lawn-Carter's Bridge [State 239 and County 6271 623 TOUR 24 Richmond-Charles City-Barrett's Ferry-junction State 31 [State 51 628 Part IV. Appendices 1940 CENSUS FIGURES 669 RADIO STATIONS 672 RECENT CHANGES IN HIGHWAY NUMBERING 672 INDEX 675 Illustrations THE OLD DOMINION Bdween 3o and 31 Captain John Smith's Map Stjohn's Church (1740, Richmond Scene of British Surrender-Moore House (c. 17 5o), near Yorktown The Capitol (1701-05, reconstructed 1929), Williamsburg Montpelier (176o, 1793, 1907), Home of President Madison, near Orange Ashlawn (1796-98), Home of President Monroe, near Charlottesville Mount Vernon (1743-87), Home of President Washington, near Alexandria Monticello (1770-75, 1798-iSog), Home of President Jefferson, near Charlottesville Houdon's Statue of George Washington (1785-96), the Marble Original State Capitol, Richmond Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, N.Y. Historical Society Statue of Robert E. Lee by H.M.Schrady and Leo Lentelli, Charlottesville ARCHITECTURE I Between 6o and 61 Jacobean Gable-End, Bacon's Castle (c.055), Surry County Adam Thoroughgood House (c. 1640), Princess Anne County Wilton (176 2), Middlesex County Westover (1730-35), Charles City County Lower Brandon (18th Century), Prince George County Bremo (1815-19), Fluvanna County Carter's Grove (175 1), near Williamsburg Gunston Hall (1755-58), Fairfax County Annefield (1790), near Berryville 'Great Room,' Kenmore (17 5 2-7 7), Fredericksburg Rolfe House (c.165 I) Interior, near Surry Victorian Parlor, Valentine Museum (Wickham House, 1812), Richmond Entrance Hall, Carter's Grove (17 5 1), near Williamsburg XVi ILLUSTRATIONS ARCHITECTURE II Between 122 and 123 The Rotunda (1822-26), University of Virginia, Charlottesville State Capitol (1785-92, 1904-05), Richmond Arlington (1802-20), near Alexandria White House of the Confederacy (18 r. 8, 1844), Richmond Bruton Parish Church (17 10-15), Williamsburg Governor's Palace (1705-20, reconstructed 1930), Williamsburg Wren Building (1695-99, restored 1928), College of William and Mary, Williamsburg Stratford Hall (17 29), Westmoreland County Pohick Church (1769-74), Fairfax County Hanover Courthouse (1733-35), Hanover County St.Luke's Church (I 7th century, restored 1887), near Smithfield Ruins of Barboursville (C. 1820), Orange County AGRICULTURE Between 248 and 249 Daffodils for the Market, Gloucester County Cotton, Greensville County Eastern Shore Potato Field Spinach Field in Early Spring, near Smithfield Tobacco, Charlotte County Apple Orchards, near Salem Harvest Field in the Blue Ridge Apple 'Runner,'Winchester Plowing in the Piedmont Walnut Grove, where the McCormick Reaper Was Invented (i ~3 I) Spring Planting, near Woodstock Valley Farm, near Roanoke Sky Meadow, near Saltville Dairy Herd, Rockingham County COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY Between 342 and 343 Cigarette Girl,'Tobacco Row,'Richmond Hosiery Worker in a Staunton Mill Lime Works, Eagle Rock In the Pocahontas Coal Field Covington Textile Mills along the Dan, Danville ILLUSTRATIONS XVii COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY.-Continued Oystering, off Norfolk Roasting Peanuts, Suffolk Coal Cutter, Southwestern Virginia Pulp and Paper Mill, West Point Loading Lumber for Baltimore, Northern Neck Pumping Salt from Underground, Saltville Aircraft Carrier on the Ways, Newport News Norfolk Tidewater Terminal CITIES AND TOWNS Between 468 and 469 Lower Prince Street, Alexandria U.S.S.Oklahoma against Norfolk's Skyline Five O'clock, Newport News Shipyard, Newport News Airview of Richmond, Showing Monument Avenue Smithfield A Tidewater Main Street, with Courthouse and Confederate Soldiers' Memorial-Tappahannock Village Store, Yorktown Autumn Rain, Leesburg Residential Street, Tangier Island Saluda The Big Guns, Fort Story Artificial Whirlwind-World's Largest Wind Tunnel, Langley Field ALONG THE HIGHWAY I Between 562 and 563 In the Hills, near Lexington A Blue Ridge Matron Mountaineer Postmaster Apple Peeler, Shenandoah National Park 'The Best Meal is Water-Ground' Waiting for Trade, Urbanna Time Off Boxwood, Sweet Briar Graveyard, Jamestown Falls Church (1767-69), Fairfax County City Market, Richmond Sophie's Alley, Richmond XViii ILLUSTRATIONS ALONG THE HIGHWAY II BeAveen 624 and 62S Natural Bridge, Rockbridge County A Skyline Drive Vista, Shenandoah National Park In the Blue Ridge Sharp Top, Peaks of Otter, Bedford County Lake Drummond, Dismal Swamp, Norfolk County Tye River, Nelson County Abrams Falls, near Bristol Along the Atlantic Before the Gold Cup Steeplechase, near Warrenton Valley of Virginia from Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park Fox Hunt Boating, Hungry Mother Park Shenandoah River, Warren County HEAD AND TAIL PIECES By EDwARD A. DAR.By MaFs VIRGINIA STATE MAP back pocket RICHMOND back of state map TOUR KEY front end paper PENINSULA MAP 33 ALExANDRIA 197 CHARLOTTESVILLE 21o and 211 FREDERICKSBURG 219 HAMPTON RoADs AREA 234 and 235 NoR.FoLK 246 and 247 LYNCHBURG 268 and 269 PETERSBURG 278 and 279 WILLIAMSBURG 319 ALBEMARLE COUNTY 34o and 341


General Information



Railroads: The Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac R.R. from Washington to Richmond, handles trains of the Atlantic Coast Line and the Seaboard Air Line, both lines continuing southward to the Gulf States; the Southern Ry. crosses the State diagonally from Washington to the North Carolina line near Danville and has in addition lines from Richmond to Danville, from Danville to Norfolk, and in the Southwest; the Chesapeake and Ohio Ry., the Norfolk and Western Ry., and the Virginian Ry. cross the State from the Hampton Roads area to the western boundary; the Seaboard enters Norfolk from North Carolina; the Pennsylvania R.R. traverses the Eastern Shore from Maryland to Cape Charles and enters Norfolk by ferry; the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. and the Southern Ry. traverse the Shenandoah Valley; and numerous small lines operate in the vicinity of Norfolk, of Northern Virginia, and in the Southwest.

Highways: Paved Federal and State highways form a network over the State; county roads, taken over by the State secondary road system except in three counties, form networks within the larger pattern. The State has 9,43 2 miles of primary road, of which 82 per cent are hard-surfaced. There are 36,356 miles of secondary road, of which more than half have been paved or improved.

Bus Lines: Interstate lines cover the main north-south and east-west highways; intrastate lines cover many of the sectional areas.

Air Lines: Eastern Air Line stops at Richmond: New York-Richmond, four trips; New York-Miami (Pan American); New York-Atlanta (Piedmont Flyer); New York-San Antonio (Southwestern); and New York to Tampa. Pennsylvania Central Airlines, Norfolk-Washington, connects for north and west. American Airlines, Albany, N.Y.-Fort Worth, Texas, stops at Lynchburg, Roanoke, and Bristol.

Waterways: Merchants and Miners Line, Norfolk to Philadelphia and to Boston; Old Dominion Line, Norfolk to New York and to Miami; Baltimore Steam Packet Company (Old Bay Line) and Chesapeake Line, Norfolk to Baltimore; Chesapeake Line, West Point to Baltimore. Ferries run regularly from Norfolk, Little Creek, and Old Point Comfort to Cape Charles.

Traffic Regulations: Operation of private out-of-state cars is limited to six months unless reciprocal agreements permit of longer operation. Maximum speed: on highways, 55 m.p.h.; residential districts, 25 m.p.h.; business districts and when passing schools, 15 m.p.h.; passing stationary school buses, 5 m.p.h. Norfolk and Richmond (latter on trial) have parking meters and both cities enforce ordinances against jaywalking.

Accommodations: All the cities and many towns have good modern hotels; there are many tourist homes, generally near communities. Tourist camps are at frequent intervals, some with trailer grounds; inquiry as to quality is advisable. Campsites are in the National forests and in the Shenandoah National Park. Cabins are available in State parks (reservations made at Virginia Conservation Commission, Richmond). On the Skyline Drive are many cabins, lodges, and several campsites.

Climate: Virginia climate is generally mild and equable, with short periods of severe temperature in winter and in summer. The annual average temperature is about 57° F.

Recreational Areas: National forests and National and State parks for various amusements; waters along Atlantic Coast and Chesapeake Bay for saltwater bathing and fishing; Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway and the mountains for scenic pleasures. Inquire of local communities for diversified recreations.

National Parks: Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington; Colonial National Historical Park, on the peninsula between the York and James Rivers; Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, around Fredericksburg; George Washington Birthplace National Monument, 37.5 m.E. of Fredericksburg off State 3; Petersburg National Military Park, around Petersburg; Richmond National Battlefield Park, near Richmond; Shenandoah National Park, extends 70 m. along the west of the Blue Ridge, traversed by Skyline Drive.

National Forests: George Washington National Forest, in three parts, headquarters at Harrisonburg; Jefferson National Forest, headquarters at Roanoke.

State Parks: Douthat, entrance 3 m. E. of Clifton Forge, off US 60; Fairystone, 20 m. NW. of Martinsville, off State 57; Hungry Mother, 3 m. W. Of Marion, off US 11; Seashore, 3 m. W. of Cape Henry, off US 60; Staunton River, SE. corner Halifax County, off US 360; Westmoreland, 40 m. E. of Fredericksburg, off State 3.

Federal Recreational Areas: Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area, 2 m. W. of Triangle, off US 1 (30 m. S. of Washington); Swift Creek Recreation Park, 13 m. SW. of Richmond, off State 10; Blue Ridge Parkway, under construction, will extend from North Carolina line to Shenandoah National Park; Bull Run, 4 m. W. of Manassas.

Cautions: Fires: In the National forests and parks fires should be built only at designated campgrounds. Poisonous Snakes: Rattlesnakes in the western mountains; copperhead moccasins are widely distributed; and cottonmouth moccasins are restricted to the Dismal Swamp area.

Information Bureaus: The Virginia State Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Conservation Commission issue literature descriptive of the State and its attractions; local chambers of commerce furnish information generally restricted to their vicinities; hotels, railroad stations, automobile clubs, and gas companies supply general information as to travel; and stations in the National forests and National parks are equipped to give guidance in their particular areas.

Admission to Private Houses: Mere conditions of admission to private houses and estates have been established those conditions are given. Houses that strangers may enter only by invitation of the owner are marked private. Most of those that are named without mention of conditions of admission or without the warning private are the homes of Virginians who are happy to receive the courteous visitor, even though he is wholly a stranger within their gates--provided that he appears at seasonable hours, preferably in mid-afternoon, and does not stay too long. Grounds should not be used for picnicking.


Calendar of Events (I nfd' means nofixed date; as many dates are subject to slight changes, items are listed in approximate sequence.) JANUARY Ig Stratford Hall Robert E. Lee Birthday Celebration MARCH midmonth Warrenton Warrenton Hunt Point-to Point Races last half Gloucester and Gloucester-Mathews Mathews Counties Narcissus Tour nfd Norfolk Annual Camellia Show nfd Middleburg Middleburg Hunt Point-to Point Races APRIL nfd Richmond Deep Run Hunt Race Meet nfd Foxville Fauquier Field Trials Association-Spring Trials 13 Charlottesville Founders Day Celebration (Jefferson's Birthday) at University of Virginia nfd Alexandria Annual Narcissus Show of the Garden Club of Virginia midmonth Norfolk Annual Spring Flower Show midmonth Middleburg The Middleburg Races-flat and steeplechase midmonth Alexandria Alexandria Association Old Home Interiors Tour nfd Middleburg Middleburg Spring Meet nfd Hot Springs Spring Tennis Tournament XXVi CALENDAR OF EVENTS 26 Cape Henry Cape Henry Pilgrimage, com memorating the first landing on April 26, 1607 nfd Lynchburg Lynchburg junior Horse Show last week State-wide Garden Week in Virginia; many private homes open last Tuesday Norfolk Annual AKC Dog Show, sponsored by Hampton Roads Kennel Club, Inc. last Wed. and Richmond Virginia Kennel Club Show Thurs. last Sat. Alexandria Old Dominion Kennel Club Show last week or first Winchester Shenandoah Apple Blossom of May Festival MAY ist week Stratford Hall Spring Celebration, sponsored by the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation nfd Warrenton Stuyvesant School Horse Show nfd Warrenton Virginia Gold Cup Race nfd Virginia Beach Cavalier Horse Show nfd Warrenton Warrenton Country School Horse Show nfd Norfolk Tidewater Horse Show 13 Jamestown Jamestown Day; commemorating the founding of the first English colony 2nd Sun. Fredericksburg Mary Washington Mother's Day Celebration midmonth Virginia Beach Rose Show, sponsored by Princess Anne Garden Club 23 Richmond Powhatan Hill Festival, celebrating the arrival of the English to the site of Richmond nfd Hampton Hampton Horse Show CALENDAR OF EVENTS XXVij nfd Richmond Deep Run Hunt Club Horse Show last weekend Richmond National Championship Motorcycle Races and Hill Climb nfd Bristol Virginia Dogwood Festival nfd Warrenton Gymkhana nfd Blacksburg V.P.I. Horseshow nfd Fort Myer Military Horse Show nfd Norfolk Maury Regatta 30 State-wide Memorial Day May to Nov. Middleburg Polo Matches every Thursday and Sunday JUNE ist week Place varies State Woman's Golf Tournament nfd Culpeper Culpeper Horse Show 9 Petersburg 'The Ninth of June,' celebrating the origin of Memorial Day nfd Tasley Potato Blossom Festival nfd Bassett Bassett Horse Show nfd Upperville Upperville Colt and Horse Show nfd Virginia Beach Virginia Amateur Golf Tournament nfd Warrenton Warrenton Pony Show JULY 1-2 Richmond National Outboard Regatta Trials nfd Norton Rhododendron Festival 4 West Point Outboard Motor Regatta 4 Stratford Hall Celebration in honor of two signers of the Declaration of Independence born at Stratford Hall, Francis Lightfoot and Richaxd Henry Lee XXViii CALENDAR OF EVENTS week Of 4th Hampton Yacht Club Regatta, including Virginia Gold Cup, Inboard Motor Races, Sailboat Regatta ist half Charlottesville Institute of Public Affairs nfd Hot Springs Mixed Golf Tournament nfd Hot Springs Midsummer Tennis Tournament last Thurs. Chincoteague Pony Penning Day Island nfd Hot Springs Skeet Tournament nfd Front Royal Horse Show at U.S. Army Remount Station AUGUST 2nd Thurs. and Hot Springs Bath County Horse Show Fri. 2nd Fri. and Sat. White Top Mtn. White Top Folk Music Festival 3rd Thurs. Fri. Berryville Clarke County Horse Show and Sat. nfd Keswick Keswick Hunt Club Horse Show nfd Irvington Rappahannock River Yacht Club Regatta 27-30 Hot Springs Golf Tournament nfd Manassas Annual Dairy Fair SEPTEMBER ist Sat. to Mon. Warrenton Warrenton Horse Show nfd Norfolk Regatta NoTfolk-Portsmouth Yacht Racing Associa tion nfd South BostoR National Tobacco Festival and Pageant nfd Upperville Upperville Horse Show nfd Fairfax Fairfax Horse and Pony Show nfd Orange Orange Horseman's Show last week Richmond Virginia State Fair CALENDAR OF EVENTS XXiX OCTOBFR nfd Charlottesville Farmington Hunt Club Horse Show 12 Stratford Hall Anniversary of the death of General Robert E. Lee ig Yorktown Yorktown Day-Anniversary of Cornwallis's Surrender nfd Norfolk Navy Day Observance at Naval Operating Base nfd Fredericksburg Dog Mart October to March State-wide Fox hunting at more than a dozen nationally recognized hunts, chiefly in northern Virginia