With its exceptional collection of ornamental, free-standing frame dwellings and a compact business core, all set among hundreds of trees, the Ashland Historic District in Hanover County is an engaging example of a turn-of-the-19th-century railroad and streetcar suburb. Defining the district’s spine are the tracks of the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad and the parallel Center Street, on either side of which is a full range of Victorian styles and later styles: Italianate, Eastlake, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival. Also along the tracks is the small but sophisticated Ashland depot. The Ashland commercial area is an assemblage of “Main Street” brick structures of the 1920s. With the addition of the Randolph Macon College quadrangle the district illustrates the important role that both the railroad and the college have played in Ashland’s development. A strong sense of community pride has served to maintain Ashland’s historic flavor.
Located in the Town of Ashland in Hanover County, the Ashland Historic District was listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1982 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Additional documentation to update the original Ashland Historic District nomination in order to provide more current information about the district’s physical condition and history was accepted by the National Register in 2019. The district’s period of significance, originally broadly defined as the 19th and 20th centuries, was refined to begin in 1836, the date of the establishment of the settlement that became Ashland, and to end in 1966, the end of the post-World War II building boom period. The historic boundaries of the Ashland Historic District were not changed as a result of this update.
[NRHP Accepted: 4/17/2019]
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