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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Afton in Nelson County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Nelson County / Augusta County

 
 
Nelson County Face of Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, August 2, 2009
1. Nelson County Face of Marker
Inscription.  
Nelson County. Nelson County was named for Thomas Nelson, Governor of Virginia from June to November, 1871. It was formed in 1807 from Amherst County. Oak Ridge, birthplace of William Cabell Rives and later the residence of Thomas Fortune Ryan, is located near Lovington, the county seat. The area of the county’s 471 square miles.

Augusta County. Augusta County was named in honor of Princess Augusta, mother of George III. It was formed from Orange County in 1738 but because of the unsettled state of the region, county government was not actually established until 1745. Its area is 986 square miles. The county seat, Staunton, is the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson.
 
Erected 1982 by The Virginia Historic Landmarks. (Marker Number Z-111.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Political Subdivisions. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #28 Woodrow Wilson, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is November 1871.
 
Location. 38° 1.872′ 
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N, 78° 51.45′ W. Marker is near Afton, Virginia, in Nelson County. Marker is at the intersection of Rockfish Gap Turnpike (U.S. 250) and Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway, on the right when traveling east on Rockfish Gap Turnpike. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Afton VA 22920, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rockfish Gap (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Welcome to Shenandoah National Park (about 400 feet away); Park-to-Park Beauty (about 400 feet away); Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel (approx. ¼ mile away); Greenwood-Afton Rural Historic District (approx. 0.3 miles away); Flight of Richard C. duPont (approx. 0.3 miles away); Rockfish Gap Meeting (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Laborers (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Afton.
 
Augusta County Face of Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, August 2, 2009
2. Augusta County Face of Marker
Nelson County / Augusta County Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, August 2, 2009
3. Nelson County / Augusta County Marker
Nelson County / Augusta County Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, August 2, 2009
4. Nelson County / Augusta County Marker
Marker is at the western edge of Rockfish Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range, at the edge of Afton Mountain. Route 250, I-64, the Blue Ridge Parkway (bridge over 250 in the background) and the former C&O Railroad squeeze through this narrow gap at this point. Afton Mountain Road (Virginia Route 6) and Howardsville Turnpike (which does not go anywhere near Howardsville) both start at this gap.
Swannanoa image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, August 2, 2009
5. Swannanoa
This 1912 Italianate villa built by Richmond philanthropist James H. Dooley is less than a mile away at the crest of Afton Mountain up Howardsville Turnpike (County Route 610). It is in poor conditition these days. House and grounds are open for a small fee most weekends.
The Formal Gardens and Observation Tower Behind Swannanoa image. Click for full size.
J. J. Prats Collection
6. The Formal Gardens and Observation Tower Behind Swannanoa
Undated postcard No. 2370-29 published by Louis Kaufmann & Sons, Baltimore Md., C.T. American Art Colored. 1931 postmark.
Louis Tiffany’s Stained-Glass Masterpiece at Swannanoa, Afton Mountain, Va. image. Click for full size.
J.J. Prats Postcard Collection, circa 1940/1965
7. Louis Tiffany’s Stained-Glass Masterpiece at Swannanoa, Afton Mountain, Va.
Unused undated photochrome postcard published “by Valley View, Bridgewater, Va.” numbered 143098. The caption reads, “This unique ten-foot stained glass window was created by Louis Tiffany of New York at a cost of $100,000 as a memorial to the wife of the original owner of Swannanoa. Located at the head of a marble staircase, it is considered one of Tiffany’s major pieces. The estate is located at the junction where the Skyline Drive joins the Blue Ridge Parkway on Afton Mountain near Waynesboro, Virginia.”
Twelve Foot Wide Tiffany Window at Swannanoa image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, August 2, 2009
8. Twelve Foot Wide Tiffany Window at Swannanoa
This well-preserved window at the grand staircase’s south-facing landing lights the burgundy-and-white marble-clad Baronial Hall below. It is the first thing you see when you enter through Swannanoa’s front doors.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 16, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,414 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 16, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   6. submitted on June 12, 2013, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   7. submitted on October 3, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   8. submitted on August 16, 2009, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Apr. 19, 2024