Rural Retreat Depot

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


The circa-1870 depot in the Wythe County town of Rural Retreat is one of the oldest surviving railroad-related buildings in the Commonwealth and at the time of its listing in the registers one of only three surviving railroad buildings in southwestern Virginia erected during the Reconstruction era following the Civil War. The Rural Retreat Depot is designed in a variant of the Italianate style sometimes called Railroad style. A locally well-known and esteemed landmark, the depot evokes the history and economic importance of rail transport to the area, which began in 1856 with the arrival of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. Passenger service at Rural Retreat Depot continued until the early 1970s, although freight service to the depot ended around 1965.  After a restoration in 2014, the building was re-opened to the public as a museum and meeting space.

Last Updated: July 21, 2024

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

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