For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF
VLR Listing Date 06/20/2019
The Norwood-Wingina Rural Historic District encompasses about 3,450 acres along the James River in southern Nelson County. Occupied first for thousands of years by the Monacans and their ancestors, beginning around 1725 Anglo and enslaved African Americans began settling in the area, a period when a number of large plantations were established along fertile river bottomland. By the late 1700s, the area’s increased tobacco production spurred development of a warehouse in 1794 and town—known initially as New Market and later Norwood—at the confluence of the James and Tye Rivers. By the second quarter of the 1800s, with considerable improvements underway to navigation along the James and Tye Rivers, notably the James River & Kanawha Canal, a second village, called Hardwicksville or Wingina, arose at the eastern end of the district. Following the Civil War, railroad tracks were laid along the canal, and the two communities became whistle stops between Richmond and Lynchburg. In the 1900s, the growing reliance on motorized vehicles decreased railroad activity into the middle of the 20th century, and the area slowly regained much of its former agricultural character, with fewer retail and service businesses. The district features a diverse collection of historic resources, including churches and stores, and agricultural- and railroad-related buildings and structures, all recalling the district’s settlement and growth. Prominent individual sites previously listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places are Montezuma, Soldier’s Joy (pictured), Rock Cliff, and Arrowhead.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark
Updated June 20, 2019