Backroads: Gordonsville

A few photos from a recent “backroads” trip to the town of Gordonsville.  What we discovered in Gordonsville was that there was so much history and architecture that it would take several days of exploring to get through all this town and surrounding area has to offer.  So, for now, we’ll just share some of the sights we happened upon on the third weekend in May:
Keswick VineyardsThe half-hour drive from Charlottesville to Gordonsville takes you through some of the most beautiful country side in Central Virginia, and includes many historic homes as well as places like Castle Hill Cidery and Keswick Vineyards seen here.

House Main GordonsvilleAs you arrive in Gordonsville, turn onto Main Street and head toward the “downtown” commercial area, it seems as though you’ve stepped back in time with most of the homes and buildings appearing to be from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Shop GordonsvilleThe commercial area itself is mostly from the 1910s and 20s, primarily 2 story brick buildings.

Gordonsville MotorsThis building was a Ford Dealership in the early 20th Century.

Gordonsville UMCFor a small town, Gordonsville has a remarkable number of churches, including the United Methodist Church on Main Street, dating to the 1870s.

Christ Church GordonsvilleJust a couple of blocks away, another old church, Christ Episcopal, dates to 1875.

Church on Main GordonsvilleOne old church has been turned into the public library.

Freight Depot GordonsvilleThe old freight depot on the C&O railroad hints at Gordonsville’s heyday in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

Hotel GordonsvilleAn old hotel, also on the C&O, has not been in operation for years although kept in good condition.

Signal tower GordonsvilleSignal tower on the C&O.  No longer in use.

Gordon Inn MarkerMarker at the end of Main Street points to the early days of Gordonsville.

Exchange HotelThe Old Exchange Hotel was built prior to the Civil War and served as a hospital during that war, taking care of both Confederate and Union soldiers, numbering near 70,000. After Emancipation it operated as a hospital for freed black slaves in need of care. Today the beautifully maintained building houses a Civil War Museum.

Chicken FestivalOn the third weekend in May, Gordonsville holds the annual Fried Chicken Festival.

Chicken Festival 2100s of visitors and 1000s of pieces of fried chicken in downtown Gordonsville for the Fried Chicken Festival.

BBQ ExchangeFor the rest of the year The BBQ Exchange is the most popular dining spot in town.

GvilleBusinessThis old photograph shows the commercial area of Gordonsville and the Ford Dealership on Main Street, circa 1930s.

Another look at Main Street, near the C&O bridge which takes the railroad across the center of downtown. The scene appears to be a parade, possibly in the 1920s (building on far right was built in the 1910s).

GvilleDepotThis last vintage image shows the rail yard and train depot at Gordonsville.

Nathaniel GordonOn a hillside on the outskirts of town is this memorial to the founder of this small town.  You can read more about Gordonsville’s history here, but we recommend taking a few hours to stroll the streets, see the old homes and churches, visit the shops, and enjoy some good southern cooking.  There’s much more that we didn’t have time to get to, so we’re bound to return soon.





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