Civil War Institute
This post is part of a series featuring behind-the-scenes dispatches from our Pohanka Interns on the front lines of history this summer as interpreters, archivists, and preservationists. See here for the introduction to the series.
The part of the Richmond-Lynchburg Stage Road running through Appomattox Court House holds various meanings for those that have used it through the years. The early 19th-century inhabitants of Appomattox Court House viewed it as the source of prosperity for the town. By connecting the two wealthy cities of Richmond and Lynchburg, it ensured a steady flow of traffic that would spur construction of the town’s first building, the Clover Hill Tavern, in 1819. Without the road, many of the non-agricultural businesses in the community could not function, thus making the road instrumental to the town’s success. In 1854, a railroad stop was established 3 miles west of the town. The road which had once been a source of prosperity spelled the town’s death sentence as people chose faster and smoother train travel over the stage road. Taverns went out of business and the population of 100 people in the 1860s decreased to just 10 by the 1890s. [excerpt]
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Shea, Lillian, "The Shifting Meaning of the Richmond-Lynchburg Stage Road" (2018). The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History. 298.