Rectortown Historic District

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


The Rectortown Historic District recognizes this Fauquier County village that evolved from an 18th-century crossroads into a local rail center during the mid-19th-century. The Virginia House of Burgesses established Rectortown in 1772 on land owned by John Rector, making it the oldest town in the county. The town’s growth was stimulated in the 1850s after the Rector family donated land to the Manassas Gap Railroad (now the Norfolk-Southern Railway) to ensure its tracks looped through the town. During the Civil War, Rectortown became the center of “Mosby’s Confederacy,” so called because John S. Mosby and his Rangers wreaked havoc on Union forces in the area. Rectortown also was where Union commander General George B. McClellan received orders from President Abraham Lincoln officially relieving him of duty. During the early 20th century African American landowners settled much of the land in the northern part of the district, eventually building a church, community store, and many dwellings. The district encompasses approximately 115 acres that are historically and visually associated with Rectortown.

Last Updated: February 1, 2024

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

For additional information Read

Nomination Form


Warrenton Historic District (Boundary Increase 2024)

Fauquier (County)


Silver Hill Baptist Church and School

Fauquier (County)


African American Resources in Fauquier County, Virginia, 1865–1973

(MPD) Multiple Property Document