7 Fabulous Historical Sites in Lexington, VA Bring Past to the Present

Lee's Chapel in Lexington, Va. Brown brick, ivy on front, trees on the side, blue sky with poufy clouds is background.

 

 

 

American history sheds its ghostly form and takes on life in the Lexington, VA., area. Here you will walk where presidents walked and stand where soldiers fell, facing the same mountains and fields that Indians and immigrants made their home.

Brierley Hill is a convenient as well as modern and comfortable place to stay when you come to the area to learn about the past. It’s just a quick jaunt to any of these seven popular sites as well as many others.

Colonial History

Recreation of a Monacan Indian village. 2 Grayish thatch-like rounded buildings. Living history exhibit at Natural Bridges, VA

1) Monacan Indian Village: This living history exhibit in Natural Bridge takes you back 300 years. Built—and rebuilt—based on archaeological data, the village shows the life of the Monacan tribe during the colonial period. Tribal members are among the demonstrators and presenters.

2) The natural bridge at Natural Bridge State Park: Thomas Jefferson owned the limestone bridge that gives park plus the town and Rockbridge County their names.

3) State highway 11: Travel the footpath that various American Indian tribes used by taking a drive on nearby Route 11. It is the same route Scots-Irish and German immigrants drove their wagons on to move south.

Rocky stream with background of early fall trees and green sun-spotted trees .

4) Chessie Nature Trail: Wander along the former C&O railway bed, which follows the mule path that made the area a transportation hub even before Civil war as the mules tugged boats upstream along the Maury River. This is also a favorite trail for hiking enthusiasts, one of many nearby.

Civil War

Black and white civil war re-enactment. Troops in fog and trees clustered on right, rifles ready or firing

5) All things Stonewall Jackson: Thomas Jackson taught (apparently terribly) at Virginia Military Institute before he earned his nickname Stonewall during the Civil War. Take a walking tour of the Stonewall Jackson memorial cemetery. Grab the children’s scavenger hunt map too—fun for all ages. Also enjoy the Stonewall Jackson House and garden in historic downtown Lexington. It is the house he owned before the war and is an authentic look at Virginian life in the 1800s.

6) Robert E. Lee’s gravesite: Commander of the Confederate Army, Lee is buried on the campus of Washington and Lee University at Lee Chapel. He commissioned the building of the chapel while he was president of the university, but probably not with the intention of him—and his horse—being buried there.

Landmarks

7) Wade’s Mill: It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and features an operating water wheel. Take the tour, see the original automated process for making stone-ground grain, and then make your own grain. Preserves, maple syrup, and other local items are available at the Mill Shop and online. Not everything has to stay in the 1800s.

These are only a taste of the history to be found in the Lexington area. Keep an eye out for informational signs; you don’t want to skip reading one.

While on your historic venture, make Brierley Hill Bed and Breakfast the start and end point of your journey each day. Enjoy the amenities, including the always-available refreshments and the free Wi-Fi, as you research and map out your days. And before you head out, enjoy a hearty breakfast while overlooking the Shenandoah Valley. Book your stay now.

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