Originally known as Williamson, the Alleghany County town of Clifton Forge developed in the 1850s in the narrow strip between the Jackson River and the Virginia Central Railroad tracks. The railroad later became part of the Chesapeake and Ohio system, which in 1878 built a roundhouse here, a project that spurred the incorporation of the town in 1884. Concentrated growth occurred after 1890 when Clifton Forge became a major division point on the rail line and saw development of extensive railyards for the assembly of coal trains. The Clifton Forge Commercial Historic District includes what has served as the community’s commercial quarter since the 1880s. The Y-shaped area is focused primarily along Main Street and East Ridgeway Street, which are distinguished by two- and three-story small-town commercial facades. Also in the district is the 1896 C & O Freight Depot and the 1906 C & O Office Building.
A boundary increase for the previously listed Clifton Forge Commercial Historic District added to the district the Harvey Building, built in 1936. Also referred to as the Masonic Lodge Office Building, the Harvey Building signifies the growth of Clifton Forge’s downtown commercial district prior to World War II.
[VLR Listed: 9/21/2017; NRHP Listed: 11/24/2017]
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