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Near Leesburg in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Clarkes Gap
 
Clarkes Gap Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, August 3, 2007
1. Clarkes Gap Marker
 
Inscription. At 582 feet, Clarkes Gap, up the hill to your left, was the highest point on the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad. The stone bridge dates from the 1870s, when the tracks were completed to Clarkes Gap. The station stood on the site where you are now located. Newspaper ads from the 1880s promote stagecoach service from Clarkes Gap to Waterford.

After passing beneath the bridge the tracks originally continued north-northwest to Paeonian Springs. The switchback portion of the trail that you see today west of the arch did not exist during the time of the railroad.
 
Erected by Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad marker series.
 
Location. 39° 8.279′ N, 77° 36.602′ W. Marker is near Leesburg, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is on Dry Mill Road, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Located about 25 feet from the roadway, on the W&OD Trail. Marker is in this post office area: Leesburg VA 20176, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Paeonian Springs Station (approx. 0.8 miles away); Early’s Washington Campaign (approx. 1.1 miles away); Swann's Castle (approx. 2 miles away); Tracks into History (approx. 2.2 miles away); Hamilton Station (approx. 2.2 miles away); The Great Falls Line (approx. 2.4 miles away); Electric Trains on the W&OD (approx. 2.6 miles away); Fighting for Freedom (approx. 2.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Leesburg.
 
Marker Beside the Trail and Site of Old Station Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, August 3, 2007
2. Marker Beside the Trail and Site of Old Station
 

 
More about this marker. The marker has a background picture of a train passing beneath the Clarkes Gap bridge, captioned “A diesel engine passes under the stone bridge on its way westward.” A smaller picture of the railroad station at Clarkes Gap carries the caption, “The Clarkes Gap Station, shown in 1930, was one of the earliest stations on the railroad. It was built in the 1870s in a standardized style that matched stations in West Falls Church and Vienna.”
 
Regarding Clarkes Gap. The stone bridge was originally where the Leesburg Turnpike, now modern Route 7, passed over the railroad. The bridge stands a few hundred feet from the present day roadbed. Today the W&OD Trail crosses Route 7 via an overpass connecting to Charles Town Pike (Route 9).
 
Also see . . .
1. Better Picture of the Station. (Submitted on August 9, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Friends of the W&OD Trail. Detailed map of the area around this segment of the trail. (Submitted on August 9, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad. Book by Ames Williams available on Amazon.com (Submitted on May 7, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.) 

4. Rails to the Blue Ridge: The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad, 1847 - 1968. Book by Herbert Harwood available on Amazon.com (Submitted on May 7, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. W&OD Trail Relocation
This marker, which is located on the former site of the Clarke's Gap station, was on the northeast side of the W&OD Trail and faced the Trail until 2010. In that year, the Trail was relocated, but the historical marker remained in place. In October 2012, the marker was on the northwest side of the trail and faced away from the Trail.
 
The Old Stone Bridge, West Side Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, August 3, 2007
3. The Old Stone Bridge, West Side
 
    — Submitted January 2, 2013, by Bernard H. Berne of Arlington, Virginia.
 
Close Up of the Bridge, East Side Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, August 3, 2007
4. Close Up of the Bridge, East Side
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on August 9, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,662 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 9, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
 
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