Established in 1783, the Rockbridge County village of Brownsburg was laid out on the lands of Robert Wardlaw and Samuel McChesney along a main stage line. By 1835 the community was a hub of activity, containing about twenty dwellings, a mill, three stores, two shoe factories, three wheelwrights, two blacksmith shops, two tailors, a tanyard, a saddlery, a cabinetmaker, a carpenter, and a hatter. Brownsburg lost commercial importance after 1884 when the Valley Railroad was built several miles to the east, initiating a slide into a long decline. Now a well-preserved but somnolent residential village, the Brownsburg Historic District is composed of buildings dating mostly before 1860, and from the period 1870-1910. Prevalent along the tree-shaded main road is the unembellished Valley Federal style, in both frame and brick construction, though several buildings have log cores. A noteworthy early dwelling in the Brownsburg Historic District is Sleepy Hollow, a ca. 1800 stone structure with an 1830s brick wing that is under a permanent preservation easement.
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
DHR has secured permanent legal protection for over 700 historic places - including 15,000 acres of battlefield lands
DHR has erected 2,532 highway markers in every county and city across Virginia
DHR has engaged over 450 students in 3 highway marker contests
DHR has stimulated more than $4.2 billion dollars in private investments related to historic tax credit incentives, revitalizing communities of all sizes throughout Virginia