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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

060-0418 Lafayette Historic District

Lafayette Historic District
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/20/1989

NRHP Listing Date 01/10/1991

NPS property number 90002005

This level area at the confluence of the north and south forks of the Roanoke River has been occupied since the mid-18th century. A Presbyterian meeting house was here before 1769 but did not prosper. The spot attracted attention in the 1820s because of its potential for becoming a commercial hub serviced by riverine traffic. The town was officially established in 1828 and laid out on six blocks. By 1835 it was a busy place, having forty-three houses, a large mill, tavern, shops, a shoe factory, and a tanyard. The extant Methodist church, a simple brick meetinghouse, was erected in 1848 on the public square. Growth halted in 1846 when Lafayette was bypassed by the Southwestern Turnpike. Today, the tiny village has about a half-dozen antebellum structures amid a scattering of later ones. Though a dormant settlement, off the beaten path, the village maintains its historic character.


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

Updated April 4, 2018