Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

030-5155 Rectortown Historic District

Rectortown Historic District
Photo credit: Maral Kalbian, 2004

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 09/08/2004

NRHP Listing Date 11/22/2004

NRHP Reference Number 04001267

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.

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

Updated: April 13, 2021