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Purcellville VA lies in western Loudoun County, in the heart of the beautiful Loudoun Valley in Northern Virginia. It’s a major population center, having 9,000+ residents, and growing. Originally named the “Village of Purcell Store”, after its first postmaster, Old Train Depot, Purcellville was settled in 1764. This small town was located along an ox cart path which later expanded into a historic turnpike known as The Great Road. The Village was officially named Purcellville on July 9, 1852 and 56 years later it was incorporated by an Act of the General Assembly in 1908.
The Great Road
In 1785, The Great Road became an authorized turnpike and the system moved westward from Alexandria to Snicker’s Gap and then on into Berryville and Winchester. The town took Leesburg’s place as the beginning of the stage route until the railroad was extended to Round Hill in 1875. By 1832, traffic through Purcellville was increasing and in 1874 became a stop along the W&OD railroad, carrying supplies and goods to the eastern countryside. The rail line ran from Alexandria to Purcellville. In 1904, Southern Railway constructed the historical Purcellville Train Station. It was on the W&OD Railway from 1912 until it closed in 1968, with passenger service ending in 1951. The rails were removed and a viable trail was made for the public to enjoy their biking and hiking. The first section opened in 1974 within the City of Church Falls.
The W&OD Train Depot and Bike & Walking Trail
Proving to be a great source of exercise, the trail would eventually be completed to Purcellville in 1988. The historical train station was restored and serves as a resting, bathroom spot along the W&OD Trail and has a small social room that can be used for gatherings or meetings. Today, there is 45 miles of asphalt and 32.5 miles of crushed stone and dirt bridle paths for trail users to enjoy. The W&OD was designated a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1987. Preserved by rich Virginia history the old W&OD Trail and Train Depot and Bush Tabernacle is a perfect mix of historic charm and modern amenities for the enjoyment of residents and frequent visitors alike.
Purcellville During the Civil War
During the Civil War, several marches and chases went through Purcellville but the town sustained no major damages. In 1900, a disastrous fire eradicated all of their business district, ruining all of its earliest architectural heritage. Only to be followed by two more in 1914, but through the citizen’s determination and dedication to their heritage, it has been rebuilt and their downtown area has expanded.
Purcellville’s Agricultural Heritage
Following the war, the region rebuilt itself on its numerous dairy farms and farming. Farming remained the main occupation for several generations but with the urban growth coming from the east, it lost its prominence in the valley. Today, ranked 20th in the overall agricultural production in Virginia there is still a strong presence. Wheat, corn and beans are their staples while the berry production is growing dramatically, ranked 1st in the state. Christmas tree farming and livestock production are also major agricultural venues.
Purcellville VA homes