The History of Loudoun County, Virginia

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Ashburn
Bluemont
Leesburg
Round Hill
Hamilton
Middleburg
Purcellville
Waterford
Smaller towns

Loudoun County Towns and Villages

Taken from the book by James W. Head, History and Comprehensive Description of Loudoun County, Virginia, published by Park View Press in 1908.

Leesburg

Leesburg, a fine old town, the county-seat of Loudoun, lies at the eastern base of Catoctin Mountain, 2.5 miles from the Potomac River at Balls Bluff, and 3 7/8 miles west of Goose Creek. It is in the northern part of the County, 40 miles northwest of Washington, 132 miles in a like direction from Richmond, the State capital, within a few miles of the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains and the celebrated Valley of Virginia, 12 miles from Point of Rocks, Md., and about 22 miles from historic Harpers Ferry, W. Va. It occupies a high and healthy plain, the environs of which are waving and well cultivated and delightfully variegated by hill and dale.

The town derives its name from the Lees, who were among the early settlers of the County, and was established by act of the General Assembly, in September, 1758, in the thirty-second year of the reign of George II. Nicholas Minor, who owned sixty acres of land about the court-house, had subdivided this tract and some of the lots had been built upon prior to the passage of the act. This instrument constituted "the Hon. Philip Ludwell Lee, Esq., Thomas Mason, Esq., Francis Light Lee (father of 'Light Horse Harry' of subsequent Revolutionary fame), James Hamilton, Nicholas Minor, Josias Clapham, AEneas Campbell, John Hugh, Francis Hague, and William West," gentlemen, trustees for the newly established town. Prior to its establishment it had borne the name Georgetown, bestowed in honor of the then reigning English monarch.

14 In its birth and infancy the town was destined to win renown, for it was first founded as a fort or outpost of the then struggling colony of Virginia, as its narrow streets and close little red brick houses still testify, and for many years was the most westerly post of the colony. At one time the entire town was enclosed by stockades.

"Following its establishment the little fort became the principal outfitting post for the British and colonial forces the French and Indian war. Tradition still fondly points to the stone house, famous as the headquarters of General Braddock, who, it is claimed, passed through the place on his last fatal march to the wilderness; but in the light of thorough investigation this claim is found to be unsubstantiated. While a division of his army, under command of the eccentric old Sir Peter Halkett, did undoubtedly spend the night at the plantation of Nicholas Minor, the principal founder of the town, General Braddock is found to have gone in another direction."

Leesburg is governed by a mayor and common council and had at the time of the last government census (1900) a population of 1,513. An unusual percentage of its people are well educated, and all proverbially hospitable.

The houses, many of which are of brick and stone construction, are built in a compact and substantial manner. In the town and its environs are many of the most palatial residences to be seen in Virginia. There are several well-kept public roads leading from the town to the surrounding country seats and stock farms, nearly all of which are modernized reminders of the old plantation days.

With an elevation less than most points in the County, Leesburg, nevertheless, shares with them the distinction of being unsurpassed for healthfulness and picturesqueness of surroundings.

Crossing at right angles, its streets are regular and spacious an lighted by electricity. Many of its dwellings and business houses are also equipped with electric lighting facilities, power for which is generated at a plant located near Belmont, on Goose Creek, and controlled by Leesburg capitalists. In almost every quarter of the town are brick and granolithic sidewalks, fringed with the usual varieties of shade trees.

Some of the municipal advantages not already enumerated area sewerage system, a fire department, a public library, police protection and a thoroughly modern system of water-works of a capacity sufficient to supply the entire corporation with absolutely pure water from a noted spring issuing near the base of Catoctin Mountain.

Some of the public buildings are a town hall, one of the largest brick edifices in Northern Virginia; a comparatively new court-house and a clerk's office,15 both venerable structures with imposing facades lending them an exquisite air of Colonialism, the two liberally disposed over a fenced area with sloping lawns and umbrageous shade; a brick jail (County) containing eight steel cells, commodious residential quarters for the jailor and his family and having, as an humanitarian feature, a sunny court with towering walls; a remodeled brick academy and a colored school, both comprising primary, intermediate, and high school divisions, and provided with ample educational facilities and extensive playgrounds.

The town has 7 churches representing all the leading denominations, a Young Men's Christian Association branch, 5 fraternal orders and a weekly newspaper. Eight trains arrive at and depart from Leesburg daily.

Among the local enterprises are two handsome banking houses (the "Loudoun National Bank" and "Peoples National Bank"), 2 large hotels affording accommodations 130 guests, several boarding houses, stores handling every class and grade of merchandise, an artificial ice plant with a daily capacity of 5 tons, a large race course on the outskirts of the town where are held annually a horse show, races other like events, a confectionery and bakery, an ice cream factory, a pop factory, two harness factories, a lumber plaining mill, 2 private schools, 3 cobblers' establishments, 2 livery stables, 3 blacksmith shops, 2 furniture houses, 2 undertaking establishments, 2 grain elevators, a lime quarry, 3 wheelwright shops, 2 tinning establishments, a concrete construction plant, monument works, wood and coal yard, Standard Oil Company's branch and packing house.

Leesburg probably has more than the usual number of resident physicians, lawyers, and mechanics to be found in towns of a corresponding size.

Round Hill  Top of page

Round Hill, a thriving railway town in the western part of the County, lies 3 miles east of Bluemont, 3 miles west of Purcellville, and 53 miles from the city of Washington. It is the second largest town in Loudoun, has an elevation of about 600 feet above mean tide and is in the midst of a rich farming region abounding with streams of pure water from mountain water-courses. The town's name is derived from a conical hill projecting from the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, 2 miles away. It has a population of 450, 20 of which number are merchants and mechanics, and a newly established bank. More »

Waterford  Top of page

Waterfordleave site, a thriving Quaker settlement, is situated on Catoctin Creek in the northern part of the County, 6 miles south of Taylorstown, 7 miles northwest of Leesburg, 47 miles in a like direction from Washington and 159 miles north of Richmond. It was named after the town of Waterford, in Ireland,where some of its founders had formerly resided. The first house within the town limits was built by one Asa Moore, and remains standing at the present day. In common with the other towns and villages of the famous Loudoun Valley, Waterford is noted for its numerous and inexhaustible wells of the purest and best water, bracing air and low mortality rate. It has 383 inhabitants, 44 of whom are merchants and mechanics. More »

Hamilton  Top of page

Hamilton, one of the prettiest towns in the County, is spread over a considerable area and occupies one of the highest points in the beautiful Loudoun Valley. It is about 46 miles by rail from Washington, 3 miles from Purcellville and only a few miles from both the,Catoctin and Blue Ridge mountains, walling the valley to the east and west, and is the center of a group of seven towns and villages within a radius of 5 miles. It has 364 inhabitants, of which number 48 are merchants and mechanics.

Purcellville  Top of page

Purcellville, in the western part of the County with an approximate elevation of 500 feet, is about 50 miles from Washington, 3 miles from both Round Hill and Hamilton 2 1/2 miles from Lincoln, It is delightfully situated in the center of one of the finest agricultural districts in the Loudoun Valley and has a population of 300, 47 merchants and mechanics and a national bank. More »

Middleburg  Top of page

Middleburg, situated on Goose Creek in the southwestern part of Loudoun, is 12 miles from the summit of the Blue Ridge at Ashby's Gap, 5 miles west of Aldie, 1/4 of mile from the Fauquier line, and 16 miles by stage from Leesburg the seat of government. It is a growing and prosperous community, elevated and airy and overlooking a broad expanse of rich territory. Fourteen of its 296 inhabitants are merchants and mechanics.

Ashburn  Top of page

Ashburn, a railway town in lower Loudoun, formerly known as Farmwell is 34 miles from Washington, 31 miles from Alexandria, 4 miles northwest of Sterling, and 6 miles Leesburg. It is in the heart of one of the richest and most extensive dairying sections of the State, and has become somewhat famous as a resort for anglers, the bass fishing in Goose Creek, near by, being eminently satisfying and attracting many devotees of the sport from Washington and other more distant points.

Bluemont  Top of page

Bluemont, formerly known as Snickersville, is an attractive village, snugly and advantageously situated at the southeastern base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, about 3 miles from Round Hill, 54 miles by rail from Washington, and 165 miles from Richmond. It is on the western edge of the most densely populated section of Loudoun, and boasts modern hotels and boarding houses, two liveries, a grain elevator, and many handsome dwellings. Two turnpikes, leading from Washington and Alexandria to Winchester, intersect at this point. Bluemont is a popular summer resort, and lies within a very short distance of both the "Bears" Den" and "Raven Rocks," jutting points on the western slope of the Blue Ridge, from which magnificent views may be had of the Shenandoah valley and river and the Allegheny and North mountains. The town his a population of 200, 14 of which number are merchants and mechanics.

Smaller Towns  Top of page

Other towns, post villages and settlements in the County are:

  • Airmont, 2.54 miles from Bluemont, population 25;
  • Aldie, on Little River, 5 miles from both Middleburg and Oatlands and 11 miles from Leesburg, the County seat, population 155, 7 merchants and mechanics
  • Arcola,:6 miles from Sterling and 12 miles from Leesburg, population 400, 4 merchants and mechanics;
  • Belmont Park, a small railway station on the east bank of Goose Creek about 4 miles east of Leesburg, formerly a picturesque resort and popular excursion point managed by the old Richmond and Danville Railroad Company, attracting, during the few years of its operation, many thousands of visitors;
  • Bloomfield, 7, miles from Round Hill, population 50;
  • Britain, 8 miles from Purcellville, population 45;
  • Clarkes Gap, one of the highest and healthiest points in the County and an important shipping point, draining a large extent of fertile country, 4 miles west of Leesburg, population 25;
  • Conklin, 10 miles from Sterling, population 40
  • Daysville, 2 miles from Sterling, population 20;
  • Elvan, 1 mile from Lovettsville, population 18
  • Evergreen Mills, 7 miles from Leesburg, population 40
  • Georges Mill in the extreme northwestern part of the County
  • Hillsboro, 5 miles by stage from Purcellville, population 434, 9 merchants and mechanics More »
  • Hughesville, 7 miles from Leesburg, population 12
  • Irene, on the Southern Railway one mile from Hamilton and the railroad station for that town, population 20
  • Leithtown, 8 miles from Purcellville and Round Hill, population 25
  • Lenah, 3 miles west of Arcola, population 25
  • Levy, on Bull Run, 3 miles south of Aldie
  • Lincoln, 254 miles southeast of Purcellville, in the heart of the "Quaker Settlement," population 200, 3 merchants and mechanics
  • Lovettsville, 254 or 3 miles so Brunswick, Md., and 7 miles from both Waterford and Harpers Ferry, W. Va., in an industrious and progressive German neighborhood, population 97, 46 merchants and mechanics More »
  • Luckets, 5 miles from Point of Rocks, Maryland, and 7 from Leesburg, population 50, 8 merchants and mechanics
  • Lunette, 4 miles south of Arcola, population 40
  • Mahala 2 miles from Ashburn, population 45
  • Mechanicsville
  • Mountain Gap, 4 1/2 miles by stage from Leesburg, population 25
  • Mount Gilead, a centrally and charmingly situated village on Catoctin Mountain about 8 miles respectively from the towns of Leesburg, Middleburg and Aldie, population 50
  • Mountville a small settlement in a neighborhood abounding with best quality lime and other minerals, 2 1/2 miles southeast of Philomont and about 1 1/2 miles from both the waters of Goose Creek and Beaver Dam, population 25
  • Morrisonville, 6 miles by stage from Brunswick, Maryland and 4 miles from Lovettsville, population 20
  • Neersville, 5 miles by stage from Harpers Ferry, W. Va., population 25
  • North Fork, 6 miles from Purcellville, population 26
  • Oatlands, bordering on Catoctin Mountain 7, miles southwest of Leesburg and 5 miles north of Aldie, population 20
  • Paeonian Springs, 4 mile northwest of Clarke's Gap, population 112, 6 merchants and mechanics
  • Paxson, an exceptionally healthy community 2 miles east of Bluemont, population 15
  • Philomont, a Quaker settlement lying 3 miles southeast of Silcott Springs in a fertile and wealthy wheat-growing neighborhood, population 161
  • Royville, 2 miles north of Arcola
  • Ryan, 2 miles south of Ashburn, population 50
  • Silcott Springs, a one-time noted resort 3 � miles southwest of Purcellville, population 25
  • Sycoline, between 4 and 5 miles south of Leesburg
  • Stumptown, 2 miles from Luckets, population 20
  • Taylorstown, 3 miles southwest of Point of Rocks, Md., population 50
  • Trapp, 5 miles from Bluemont, population 36
  • Unison, 6 miles from Bluemont and 9 miles from Purcellville, population 100, 3 merchants and mechanics
  • Watson, 9 miles from Leesburg, population 10
  • Waxpool 2 1/2 miles north of Royville and 8 miles from Leesburg, population 25
  • Welbourne, about 5 miles northeast of Upperville, in Fauquier county
  • Wheatland, 5 miles from both Hamilton and Purcellville, population 25
  • Willard, 5 miles southwest of Herndon, in Fairfax county, and Woodburn, 3 miles from Leesburg, population 15.

 

NOTES
14. Mrs. A. H. Throckmorton in the Richmond Times.
15. Prior to 1873, the Leesburg Academy.

 

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