Essex County Virginia

15 Sites Added to the VA Landmarks Register

Posted on 09/21/2020
Essex County's Historical District was added to the 15 Historic Sites to the Virginia Landmarks Register. Among 15 places approved for listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register are a site that traces back to Nottoway tribal reservation lands established in the colonial era, a historic district where one of the largest textile mill villages in the South evolved during the 20th century, and a rare surviving former “poor farm” established in the 1890s. The Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) listings were approved by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources during its quarterly public meeting, which the Department of Historic Resources convened virtually due to the covid pandemic. The VLR is the commonwealth’s official list of places of historic, architectural, archaeological, and cultural significance.

VLR listings are in the counties of Albemarle, Arlington, Campbell, Craig (2), Essex, Fairfax, Halifax, Mecklenburg, Middlesex, Southampton, and Washington; and the cites of Alexandria, Charlottesville, and Danville.

Essex County’s Occupacia-Rappahannock Rural Historic District encompasses a vernacular landscape of more than 44,884 acres that boasts a significant collection of buildings, structures, landscape features, and sites that highlight the evolution of a rural Tidewater community from the early 1700s through the mid-20th century. The Rappahannock River, smaller waterways, and historic roadways defined and shaped the area’s infrastructure and development, giving rise to a cluster of former riverfront plantations, and 19th and early 20th century crossroad communities and farms. The district’s period of significance extends from circa 1730, marking the construction of Glencairn, the oldest house in the district, to 1969, when the population increasingly relied on commuting lifestyles less dependent on agriculture for livelihoods, a trend that began prior to World War II. The district also includes numerous historic sites associated with its African American population. 

The Department of Historic Resources will forward the documentation for these newly listed VLR sites to the National Park Service for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Listing a property in the state or national registers is honorary and sets no restrictions on what property owners may do with their property. The designation is foremost an invitation to learn about and experience authentic and significant places in Virginia’s history.