A boundary increase for the previously listed Port Royal Historic District in Caroline County enlarges the district by nearly 91 acres and encompasses 27 historic buildings, one historic structure, and five archaeological sites. The latter include sites correlating to the Late Woodland period (900 AD to 1600 AD) reflecting Virginia Indian occupation to the east and west of present-day Port Royal along the banks of the Rappahannock River. The increased boundary also captures the archaeological site along the river of John Buckner’s establishment in 1673 of the area’s first tobacco inspection warehouse, part of today’s extant Buckner-Roy property. That property is also affiliated with Dorothy (Buckner) Smith Roy, who became a prominent businesswoman beginning in 1731, a rare role for the period. Other potentially rich archaeological sites pertain to enslaved African and African American quarters and related agricultural buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries that are associated with Townfield, a community situated within Port Royal. Architectural resources in the expanded district reflect the town’s commercial trend during the 20th century away from rail and steamboat trade. The advent of motor vehicle-based commerce saw the construction along highways US 301 and US 17 of motor courts, motels, service stations, and similar enterprises geared to attract trade, tourism, or suburban commuters—commerce that the opening and expansion of Interstate 95 eventually siphoned away.
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