Waynesboro, Virginia has a rich architectural and cultural history reaching back to its founding in the late eighteenth century. Many significant landmarks have been meticulously maintained and restored, and they paint a vivid picture of the city’s history, industry, and heritage.
Start your tour with these historic properties and districts, all listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
This historic, Federal Style building at 330 West Main Street was built in 1806, just five years after the town was established. The Coiner-Quesenbery House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is believed to be the first brick house erected in Waynesboro.
The Crompton-Shenandoah Plant is a large complex of industrial buildings constructed between 1926 and the 1970s. Crompton-Shenandoah was a leading producer of corduroy and velveteen fabrics and served as a major employer in Waynesboro for over 50 years. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Plant represents the move towards regional manufacturing in the early 20th century and the utilitarian design of industrial architecture.
Built in 1890 as the Brandon Hotel, this historic Queen Anne-style building was originally a grand railroad hotel able to accommodate 200 guests. During its hundred years, the building has been used as a boarding house, a music school, and a finishing school for women. Following a massive renovation and restoration, Fairfax Hall now provides affordable housing for seniors.
Founded in 1879, Fishburne Military School is the oldest and smallest of all military schools for boys in Virginia. The school is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and architectural highlights include the 1915 library (Virginia’s second-oldest Carnegie library) and the 1916 barracks designed in the castellated Gothic style by T.J. Collins & Son.
General Electric Plant
The first American space missions in the 1950s-1960s owe their success in part to the GE Specialty Control Plant in Waynesboro. The Plant played a significant role in the development of relays that enabled communication with ground control as well as in the engineering, design and manufacture of early computerized equipment. Also on the property, is a 1927 airplane hangar, a remnant of the city’s first airport, Valley Airport.
Port Republic Road Historic District is Waynesboro’s principal historic African-American neighborhood and includes significant architectural and cultural landmarks including Rosenwald School and Grounds, Fairview Cemetery (1885-present), and Shiloh Baptist Church (1924).
Tree Streets Historic District is the city’s principal historic residential neighborhood and includes Old Stone House (ca. 1800) associated with the area’s early settlement and Greek Revival-style Rose Cliff (ca. 1860), seat of the former plantation and orchard from which much of the district’s lands were derived.
Waynesboro Downtown Historic District is the historic core of Waynesboro and includes numerous architecturally distinctive buildings, including the Coiner-Quesenbery House (1806), Classical Revival First National Bank (1908), the Art Deco LB&B Building (1929), the Colonial Revival Wayne Theater (1926), and the Gothic Revival Bethany Lutheran Church (1925).
The Plumb House was built between 1802 and 1804, during the time of Thomas Jefferson’s presidency. The house was caught in the midst of the Civil War Battle of Waynesboro on March 2, 1865, and still bears the scars of gunshots and a cannonball that entered a chimney and rolled across the room. Now a museum, the Plumb House features collections of Civil War and Native American artifacts, a historic garden, summer kitchen, and outbuildings.
Built circa 1850, this Greek Revival style farmhouse was once the center of a thriving apple orchard known as Rose Cliff Fruit Farm until the land was subdivided into a section of the early Tree Streets neighborhood.
Virginia Metalcrafters Historic District
Originally the home of the Stehli Silk Factory (1925), Virginia Metalcrafters expanded the complex to include two foundries and a showroom (originally a dwelling built circa 1890). Until its close in 2006, Virginia Metalcrafters manufactured traditional American decorative products and historic reproductions, hand cast in bronze, iron, aluminum, brass, and pewter, using the same sandcasting method used by colonial craftsman. The site is now home to the craft brewery, Basic City Beer Co.
History comes naturally in #WaynesboroVA – your gateway to the strong architectural heritage and vibrant culture of the Shenandoah Valley!