Central Business District in Lynchburg, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Percival’s Island Natural Area
At the western end of the island is a shallow rise in the river bottom that provided a crossing for Virginia Indians. Early European explorers followed these trails and named the crossing Horse Ford. In 1745, the island then known as Chain Island, was part of a 425-acre royal patent that colonist John Bolling II obtained. In 1750, Charles Lynch acquired Bolling’s grant; Lynch's sons, John and Edward Lynch, established Lynch’s Ferry just upstream to provide a safe, year-round crossing to replace Horse Ford.
The island is named for John Percival, who purchased it in 1820 from John Lynch, Lynchburg‘s founder. Percival built his home here; in 1845, the property was sold to the Southside Railroad for its Lynchburg terminal. The Southside Railroad became part of the Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio Railroad in 1870, which later became the Norfolk and Western Railway. A railway
In 1991, Lynchburg purchased the island for use as a natural area. Percival’s Island is home to a diverse assortment of ﬂora and fauna as well as ghostly concrete and iron relics of the past.
(lower left) Percival’s Island, 1939 – Courtesy Norfolk Southern Archives, Digital Library, Virginia Tech
(upper right) Norfolk and Western Railroad train at Island Yard, 1898 Courtesy Norfolk Southern Archives, Digital Library, Virginia Tech
(lower right) Norfolk and Western Engine House, Island Yard Courtesy Norfolk & Western Historical Society
Lynchburg is a city rich in the history of Virginia and the nation. As with any city, some of our sites and buildings that reflect that history have changed over the centuries since Lynchburg’s origins in the 1750s. You can see for yourself the city’s historic places and how they have changed or remained intact. Just let the map guide you to the many historical markers that are located downtown. Enjoy learning about Lynchburg!
Erected 2011 by The Lynchburg History Marker Program.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 37° 24.735′ N, 79° 8.181′ W. Marker is in the Central Business District in Lynchburg, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Concord Turnpike and Washington Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1600 Concord Turnpike, Lynchburg VA 24504, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Luke Jordan, Blues Pioneer (within shouting distance of this marker); Percival's Island Overlook (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lucile Barrow Turner (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Lynchburg History (about 700 feet away); Federal Transient Bureau Fire (approx. ¼ mile away); Civil War Lynchburg (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Lynchburg History (approx. 0.4 miles away); Point of Beginning (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Central Business District.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 27, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 564 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 27, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.