The tiny Montgomery County settlement of Shawsville began in the 1850s as a rail stop for nearby Alleghany Springs. It took its name from Charles B. Shaw, chief engineer for Virginia during whose term the Southwest Turnpike was built through the nascent town. From the 1870s into the 1920s, Shawsville developed slowly but steadily, acquiring along a short stretch of turnpike a commercial main street of shops, a general store, dwellings, and a church, all in the vernacular of small-town America. The most architecturally prestigious structure in the Shawsville Historic District, the Neoclassical-style Bank of Shawsville, was built in 1910. Growth essentially ceased in the 1930s when through traffic was rerouted to the new Lee Highway to the south. Commerce received another blow in the 1970s when the depot closed and later burned. The Shawsville Historic District’s remaining fabric, now largely idle, is an interesting though plaintive vestige of a community that was.
The Shawsville Historic District was listed in the registers under the Prehistoric and Historic Resources of Montgomery County MPD.
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