Purcellville is a town in Northern Virginia found in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Loudoun County. A historic place of notable character, this community frequently comes together to celebrate festivities with parades and pageants. Aside from the charming Purcellville VA homes, the town also features the Bush Tabernacle Skating Rink and the Franklin Park Performing and Visual Arts Center.
The school system in Purcellville is rated as excellent and there are numerous family owned restaurants and businesses found throughout the community. The liberal arts Patrick Henry College can be found here, too, making students an active part of this small town. According to the 2010 Census, over seven thousand residents live in Purcellville VA homes. It is the main population center of western Loudoun County and of the Loudoun Valley. Many of the older structures found in the town are examples of Victorian architecture prevalent during construction in the late 19th Century.
James Dillon was the first known settler to the region who moved here from Buck’s County, PA in 1764. Transit into the region at the time was provided by a cart track known as the “Great Road.” Abraham Vickers established the first business a combination store and inn in 1799. By 1804 a post office and Purcell’s Store had been established. Valentine Vernon Purcell set up the store and gave the town its name. A blacksmith shop was set up in 1848. The first public school was built in 1883. On July 9, `853, the village officially adapted the name Purcellville. The town was incorporated by an act of the General Assembly on March 14, 1908.
Transportation Advances Led to More People and More Purcellville VA Homes
The Great Road was transformed into an authorized turnpike in 1785. It was extended westward from Alexandria to Snicker’s Gap and then to Berryville and Westchester by 1832. Traffic through Purcellville began to grow. The first stagecoach arrived in 1841. A railroad link was constructed to Leesberg before the Civil War and travel to points further west were accomplished by transfer to stagecoach at Purcellville. The railroad was extended into town in 1874. This railroad ceased operation in 1968.
Historically speaking, while there were some marches and chases, there was no major damage done in town during the Civil War. The town did suffer from some disastrous fires. The first in 1900, and then two more in 1914, which wiped out most of the central business district. This resulted in the loss of the town’s earliest architectural heritage. Despite this, the old blocks were rebuilt, and the business zone expanded.
From the start, Purcellville has depended on transportation links to the more populous portions of eastern parts of Northern Virginia. The Virginia Department of Transportation has widened State Route 7 and extended the Toll Road to western Loudoun County in the last five years, making commuting much more desirable.
Purcellville’s traditional reliance on agriculture has waned in recent years as more of its residents are employed outside the community and travel from their Purcellville VA Homes. Yet, the town still seeks to maintain its historic identity and retains the charms and amenities that are typical of life in a small town.
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