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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

179-5021 Brookneal Historic District

Brookneal Historic District
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

NRHP Listing Date 06/08/2011

NPS property number 11000348

The Brookneal Historic District includes more than 100 contributing buildings in business and residential blocks within the heart of the Town of Brookneal. From its beginnings in 1802 as a port on the Staunton River, Brookneal’s commerce was tied to the area’s agriculture and manufacturing—derived mostly from tobacco, furniture, and textiles. During the 19th century, the town’s central business district migrated away from the Staunton River and towards the Lynchburg & Durham Railroad (1890) and the Virginia Railway (1910), both of which linked the community with broader markets throughout Virginia and beyond. A fire in 1912 destroyed much of Brookneal’s central business district, subsequently resulting in the construction of multi-story masonry buildings. Brookneal became a hub for processing timber into furniture, lumber, and flooring, and during the later 20th century five tobacco warehouses operated in the town, inspecting $10 million of tobacco annually. Timber and tobacco industries were bolstered by textile manufacturing in the mid-20th century, as the town boomed with an economic base in tobacco, textiles, and timber products. Due to changing international markets, these industrial sectors declined in the late 20th century. The historic district features buildings embodying early 19th-century vernacular, folk Victorian, and early 20th-century commercial, Art Deco, and Colonial Revival styles.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated April 4, 2018