You are here

Lost Communities of Virginia

Terri Fisher and Kirsten Sparenborg. Foreword by William Ferris

BUY Cloth · 252 pp. · 12 × 10 · ISBN 9780974270739 · $49.95 · May 2011

Library of Virginia Literary Awards, Library of Virginia (2011); Outstanding Historic Preservation Research Effort Award, Preservation Virginia (2011); Leadership in History Award of Merit, American Association for State and Local History (2011)

Virginia’s back roads and rural areas are dotted with traces of once-thriving communities. General stores, train depots, schools, churches, banks, and post offices provide intriguing details of a way of life now gone. The buildings may be empty or repurposed today, the existing community may be struggling to survive or rebuilding itself in a new and different way, but the story behind each community’s original development is an interesting and important footnote to the development of Virginia and the United States.

Lost Communities of Virginia documents thirty small communities from throughout the Commonwealth that have lost their original industry, transportation mode, or way of life. Using contemporary photographs, historical information, maps, and excerpts of interviews with longtime residents of these communities, the book documents the present conditions, recalls past boom times, and explains the role of each community in regional settlement.


Lost Communities of Virginia sets down short, engaging stories of 30 spots off the beaten track throughout the state. It is a dream book, inlcuding photos of buildings that may or may not still stand. Part of the authors' purpose in writing the volume was to embrace these fading towns and "record both their architecture and the lives of their citizens." They also have hopes of revitalizing them.


[R]eading Lost Communities of Virginia made me wish that I had gone to Virginia Tech...I would have gotten involved in the Community Design Assistance Center and the Lost Communities of Virginia Project....I am still pretty jealous of the Hokies who got to perform all the research and write the beautiful book that is Lost Communities of Virginia.

Read Southside Virginia

This volume is readable, informative, and beautifully illustrated, all reasons to spend quiet time with it.

Interested in this topic?
Stay updated with our newsletters:

Related Books