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Ghost Town USA’s

Guide to the Ghost Towns of

VIRGINIA

“The Old Dominion State”

 

 

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Dust in the Wind - A Guide to American Ghost Towns

 

GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM

 

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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for Virginia.

 

Virginia is one of the original 13 colonies and first states.  As a British colony, it dates back over 400 years, to 1607.  At that time Jamestown Colony was founded, and the future of America was established on the swampy shores of what became known as the James River.

 

 

Virginia with its 400 years of “civilization” is ripe for the avid researcher to dig into the pages of history and find forgotten settlements, lost farming towns, hidden iron forge communities, and just plain old ghost towns.  Presented on this page are only a few of the locations in this very historic state.

 

 

The designation SSH stands for one of Virginia’s Secondary State Highways.

$ means there is a fee to visit the site.

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: 

Where photos are indicated thusly (PHOTO!), please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this page.  More photos will be added over time.

 

THE GHOSTS

 

ALLEN’S ORDINARY

(AKA – Six-Mile Ordinary)

James City

Also known as Six-Mile Ordinary, this old 1700s era tavern was located on US 60, 4.3 miles southeast of present Toano, and just northwest of Williamsburg.  Just to the east was a Quaker community.

APPOMATTOX COURTHOUSE

Appomattox Co.

This class C/F ($) ghost town is located on SH 24, three miles northeast of the town of Appomattox. It began in 1819 as Clover Hill Tavern, and in 1845 when Appomattox County was established it became the county seat.  Then in 1865, this town’s place in history was secured when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant, ending the American Civil War.  After the war ended, so did the town’s prosperity. 

See our APPOMATTOX COURTHOUSE page for additional details.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

BLACK HORSE TAVERN

Botetourt Co.

Near US 11, eight miles north of Roanoke, on the old road between Pennsylvania & the Yadkin Valley.

BRENT TOWN

Fauquier Co.

This forgotten community dates back to 1688 with a blockhouse erected by George Brent.  It was located on SSH 806, five miles south of Catlett. 

CASTLE’S WOODS

Russell Co.

This late 1700s era frontier community was located along the Clinch River in southwestern Virginia, but its actual location is not determined.  It is possibly near the present town of Castlewood.  It was an early frontier community founded in 1869, and used as a “stepping stone” to the unexplored territories to the west.  Several pioneer forts such as Elk Garden Fort, Glade Hollow Fort and Russell’s Fort were all located in the area.

DUNKARD BOTTOM

Pulaski Co.

A 1750s hamlet located about five miles southwest of its historical marker, which is located on old US 11, 1.9 miles west of Radford.  The town was established in 1750 and was the first settlement west of the New River. 

GERMANNA

Orange Co.

This German colony dates to 1714, when it was established by Governor Alexander Spotswood.  It was located near SH 3, about 4.8 miles west of Wilderness, in the northeastern corner of the county.  In 1716 it relocated to Fauquier County.

GOLD HILL

Buckingham Co.

This class D-gold mining community is a tiny village today with a 1990 population of 85.  It sits along US 15, eight miles northeast of Dillwyn, a skeleton of the booming gold mining center it once was.  In 1992, all that remained were an abandoned store, active gas station/store, laundry, and a few houses.

GOLDVEIN

Fauquier Co.

This class D-gold mining town of 35 people (1990) is the nearest town to the Franklin Mine, which was in operation from 1837-1936. Only foundations and ruins remain of the old mine.  Another nearby mine was the Liberty Mine, which was in operation in early 1834. Some 19 gold mines once operated in the region around Goldvein, which is on US 17, 18 miles northwest of Fredericksburg.

GRASTY TRACT MINE

Orange Co.

Near the semi-ghost of Mine Run.  This five-acre gold field that began operations in 1831 and has been worked sporadically since then. In early years the gold assayed at from $6 to $32 a ton.

JAMESTOWN

 

James River Co,

The ruins of this magnificent class B/F (NHS-$) English colony is located along the north bank of the James River, 10.8 miles southwest of Williamsburg.  In 1934, the site became part of Colonial National Historic Park.  Foundations and tumbled down walls of a number of buildings have been excavated.  A private tourist attraction replica of the original Jamestown (Jamestown Settlement) is next door.

See our JAMESTOWN page for additional details.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

MITCHIE TAVERN

Albemarle Co.

This class C/F, restored ($)-tavern/wayside stop is located on SH 53, a mile and a half south of I-64 at EXIT 24, just southeast of Charlottesville and west of Monticello (President Thomas Jefferson’s Home).  This historic old tavern was originally opened around 1784, and operated until 1927, when it was moved to its present location.

MORROW MINE

Buckingham Co.

This historic old gold mine is located near Dilwyn, several miles northeast of the junction of US 60/US 15, about 50 miles west of Richmond.  It dates to 1835 (or earlier), and was one of the earliest gold mines in which underground mining methods were used.

MOUNT AIRY

Wythe Co.

A 1770s German settlement located along US 11, 12.9 miles west of Wytheville.  That would place it in the vicinity of the community of Rural Retreat.

POCAHONTAS

Tazewell Co.

“Pocahontas is worth an onsite visit.  This town was created around 1895 when New Yorkers discovered coal.  It remained a vibrant community until the 40's or 50's.  These once beautiful buildings patterned after architecture in NYC are now falling into the ground.  Beautiful tin ceilings, ornate facades are crumbling.  I visited the town (in October 2008) and experienced the sadness of an abandoned lifestyle. The road system is so difficult that entrance to the area is only for the hardy, adventureous type!  It is located a little over nine miles from Bluefield.  How I wish other Americans could appreciate this town and save one of our TREASURES.”

Contributed by Jeri Whitely, November 01, 2008 / November 30, 2010.

 

See http://www.pocahontasva.org/ for more info. (GBS)

WILDERNESS TAVERN

Spotsylvania Co.

This class B-tavern/way station is located on SH 3 at the junction with SH 20, 12 miles northwest of Fredericksburg.  The Wilderness Tavern was a busy cross roads complex with a tavern, blacksmith shop, tailor, and general store that catered to travelers on the old Fredericksburg-Orange Turnpike.  On May 2, 1863 the community became a huge field hospital to care for Confederate forces that were wounded during the Battle of Chancellorsville.  Over 3000 men were treated in the existing buildings and a huge assortment of tents.  One of the patients was Lt. General Stonewall Jackson, who had his left arm amputated here in the makeshift field hospital.  He died a week later.  All but one of the buildings were eventually destroyed by the war, and that one burned in 1978, leaving only fallen walls and a stone chimney.

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

There are over 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America. Gary B. Speck Publications is trying to capture as many of these historical locations as possible and is currently in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of *** ™.  These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

 

For more information on the ghost towns of VIRGINIA, contact us at Ghost Town USA.

 

E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:  Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to any e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line.   

 

 

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!

IMPORTANT NOTE

 

These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in VIRGINIA as shown above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.

 

If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.   ALWAYS respect the rights of the landowners. 

 

When you are exploring the ghost towns of VIRGINIA, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.

 

 

 

 

Also visit: Ghost Town USA’s

 

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THIS PAGE

FIRST POSTED:  March 01, 2002

LAST UPDATED: November 28, 2010

 

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