Cyrus McCormick Farm and Workshop

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Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809-1884) developed the first effective reaper on this farm, Walnut Grove, in northern Rockbridge County, along the Augusta County line. This invention, successfully demonstrated in July 1831, revolutionized world agricultural production, for it permitted the farmer to reap with minimal effort as much grain as he could sow. McCormick patented the machine in 1834 and made improvements in the 1840s. Commercial manufacture of the reaper began at Walnut Grove. In 1847, McCormick, in partnership with his brother Leander, founded the McCormick Harvesting and Machine Company in Chicago and became one of the most successful manufacturers in America’s industrial age. The Cyrus McCormick Farm and Workshop property is now owned by Virginia Tech, which operates the farm as the Shenandoah Valley Research Station. The log workshop where the first reaper was built and the adjacent log mill are exhibited to the public.

Last Updated: February 16, 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

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