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Purcellville in Loudoun County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Beyond Purcellville

 
 
Beyond Purcellville Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, October 3, 2009
1. Beyond Purcellville Marker
Inscription.  The trail ends here but the story does not. The founders of the Alexandria, Loudoun, & Hampshire (later the W&OD) sought to rival the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad for the coal of West Virginia and the trade of the Ohio Valley. By 1900 the railroad finally reached Snickersville, seven miles west of here, but never continued across the Blue Ridge. Snickersville's name was promptly changed to Bluemont to capitalize on a niche the founders never envisioned: the resort trade.

The hill towns of western Loudoun County provided an escape from summer heat. In 1914 you could pay one dollar for a 2 1/2-hour train ride from Washington to Bluemont. Another dollar got you a motor coach tour that featured views of the Loudoun Valley to the west. Business thrived until the 1930s when automobiles became widely available and tastes in tourism changed. In 1939 service to Bluemont ended, the tracks were torn up, and the right-of-way sold.
 
Erected by The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park - Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list:
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Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the NOVA Parks, and the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1900.
 
Location. 39° 8.311′ N, 77° 42.968′ W. Marker is in Purcellville, Virginia, in Loudoun County. Marker is at the intersection of North 21st Street (County Route 690) and North 23rd Street on North 21st Street. Located at the site of the old Purcellville Train Station, at the west end of the W&OD Trail. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Purcellville VA 20132, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Purcellville Station (here, next to this marker); A Little History (within shouting distance of this marker); Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Killed in Action Memorial (about 500 feet away); The Case Building (about 800 feet away); Tracks into History (approx. 0.2 miles away); Attacked at Purcellville (approx. 0.2 miles away); Loudoun County Emancipation Association Grounds (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Purcellville.
 
More about this marker. On the right is a copy of a
Markers in front of the Train Station image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, October 3, 2009
2. Markers in front of the Train Station
Washington & Old Dominion brochure promotes western Loudoun County resort towns.
Next to it is a photo of a signal lantern. The background of the marker is a photo of Bluemont station in 1918, two years before it was destroyed by fire.
 
Also see . . .  W & OD Railroad. Detailed page on the railroad from Wikipedia. (Submitted on November 9, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Trail End image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, October 3, 2009
3. Trail End
The trail ends here, but the railroad continued beyond to Bluemont to the west.
Western Trailhead of the W&OD image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, October 3, 2009
4. Western Trailhead of the W&OD
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 9, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,559 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 9, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

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Feb. 20, 2024