Montpelier Station in Orange County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Montpelier Train Station
In the Time of Segregation
John Hope Franklin, historian,
Speaking at the Montpelier slave descendants reunion, 2007
William duPont built the Depot to upgrade passenger and freight service for Montpelier, which he purchased in 1901. The Depot was constructed in 1910 from Southern Railway plans with two waiting rooms - one for "colored" passengers and one for "white" passengers - as required by racial segregation laws in force in Virginia and across the South from the 1890s until the 1960s.
The Montpelier Foundation has restored the Train Depot to its appearance in the 1910s to document this time of legalized segregation in American history. This exhibit is just one part of a broader effort at Montpelier to explore the historical experiences of African Americans from the early 18th century to today.
When the post office opened here in 1912, "Montpelier Station" became the official name for the neighborhood. A vibrant black community called Montpelier Station home. With endurance and fortitude, they endeavored to build a better world for themselves and their children, in spite of a landscape littered with "white only" and "colored" signs and the discrimination those imposed.
Location. 38° 13.707′ N, 78° 10.603′ W. Marker is in Montpelier Station, Virginia, in Orange County. Marker is at the intersection of Constitution Highway (State Highway 20) and County Route 693, on the right when traveling east on Constitution Highway. Click for map. Located on the Montpelier Station depot and post office. Marker is in this post office area: Montpelier Station VA 22957, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Montpelier Flag Stop (a few steps from this marker); Confederate Camp & Freedman's Farm Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Dolley Madison (approx. ¼ mile away); Civil War Encampment (approx. ¼ mile away); Gilmore Farm (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Gilmore Farm (approx. 0.3 miles away); Post-Emancipation (approx. 0.3 miles away); Slave Cemetery (approx. 0.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Montpelier Station.
Categories. • African Americans • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 954 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.