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

Central Virginia Training Center

 
 
Central Virginia Training Center Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, April 9, 2011
1. Central Virginia Training Center Marker
Inscription.  Established in 1910 as the Virginia State Epileptic Colony, the center admitted its first patients in May 1911. The facility originally served persons with epilepsy and began accepting individuals with mental retardation in 1913. Due to the new national emphasis in the mid-1950s on mental retardation, a number of new training and developmental programs for individuals with mental retardation were developed here. The facility has undergone several name changes, and became known as the Central Virginia Training Center in 1983. The campus also contains a cemetery and a number of early twentieth-century Colonial Revival buildings.
 
Erected 2002 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number I-5.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkScience & Medicine
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. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1911.
 
Location. 37° 24.929′ N, 79° 7.225′ W. Marker is near Madison Heights, Virginia, in Amherst County. Marker is on Colony Road (Virginia Route 210) near Wright Shop Road (County Route 622), on the right when traveling south. It is at the entrance to the Training Center. From present-day Route 29, take the Route 672 Riverview Road exit west, but then stay on the unnamed divided highway until you see the left turn for Colony Road towards the Training Center. From present-day Business Route 29 take the Colony Road Exit east, then turn right to stay on Colony Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Madison Heights VA 24572, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lynchburg Defenses (approx. 0.7 miles away); Percival's Island Overlook (approx. 0.9 miles away); Lynchburg History (approx. 0.9 miles away); Luke Jordan, Blues Pioneer (approx. 0.9 miles away); Amherst County / Campbell County
Central Virginia Training Center Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, April 9, 2011
2. Central Virginia Training Center Marker
(approx. 0.9 miles away); Williams Viaduct (approx. one mile away); Lucile Barrow Turner (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Lynchburg History (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Madison Heights.
 
More about this marker. This marker replaced a previous marker with the same number erected a mile away in the early 1930s on the original alignment of Route 29 (today, State Route 163) at its intersection with Colony Road. The original marker was titled “State Colony” and read “One mile southeast is the state colony for epileptics and feeble-minded, chartered by the General Assembly, February 20, 1906, opened to patients in May, 1911. In its grounds are earthworks erected in June, 1864, to defend Lynchburg against Sheridan’s advance from the east. Sheridan, defeated by Hampton at Trevilians, did not reach here.”
 
Also see . . .  Official Website – History
View Across from the Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, April 9, 2011
3. View Across from the Marker
. A frank and informative page, with period photographs of some of the buildings on the campus. Includes discussion of the Eugenics movement. Also see the cemetery page on the link to the right. “In 1940, the type of individual served was omitted from the facility name, and it became known as simply the Lynchburg State Colony. During that year, the facility had 2019 residents under treatment, and, for the first time, allowed social visitation between male and female patients. According to the Superintendent, ‘We have continued to allow most of our male patients to call upon their female patient friends for a hour or so each Sunday afternoon. This radical experiment has proven to be a most successful one. Just how much this has been responsible for the diminution in the number of elopements from the Colony, I cannot say…’ (31st annual report, 1940).” (Submitted on August 22, 2011.) 
 
Additional keywords. Civil war defences of Lynchburg.
 
The Ruins of the Mrs. M. Hill Market image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, April 9, 2011
4. The Ruins of the Mrs. M. Hill Market
Convenience store just before the entrance to the Training Center.
Metal Sign for the Mrs. M. Hill Market image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, April 9, 2011
5. Metal Sign for the Mrs. M. Hill Market
Lynchburg Westover Ice Cream sign. The Westover dairy is still in business, now a division of Inter-American Products, bottling milk. It no longer makes ice cream.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 22, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,212 times since then and 339 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 22, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photos of the campus • Photos of the Civil War earthworks • Can you help?

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Jun. 23, 2024