Spaces & Places:
America's Cultural Landscapes
Appomattox Court House Village
Appomattox County, VA
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park is a rehabilitated 19th century Virginia courthouse town and surrounding agricultural landscape that commemorates Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant there in 1865, ending the Civil War and beginning the peace. The village homes, outbuildings, and businesses formed a hub for county government dating from the 1840s.
Of the 27 existing structures in the village, 14 have been reconstructed. The focal point of the village is the reconstructed Courthouse building, which now houses the Visitor Center. The village as a whole offers a cohesive experience of a rural courthouse town of its time, with narrow lanes surfaced in crushed stone and grass leading the visitor among homes, fenced yards, and outbuildings; the tavern, jail and store; small family burial plots; and orchards. Sweeping views of the surrounding pastureland and forested hills are visible throughout the village.
Appomattox Court House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is noted for its association with the final battle of the Civil War and Lee’s surrender to Grant, and with the lives of Lee, Grant, and others commanders who served there. The period of significance for both these criteria is 1865. In addition it is significant for the distinctive characteristics of architecture for the ensemble of restored or reconstructed buildings in the village, and the values of commemoration and conservation expressed through them. The period of significance for architecture is currently noted in the National Register documentation as 1930, and for historic preservation as 1935-1940.
The village retains integrity of location, feeling and setting for the rural courthouse town it represents. With a few exceptions, it also illustrates the materials and workmanship of both this 1865 period and the period of commemoration. Vistas within the park and to adjacent lands are somewhat more restricted than they historically would have been, but create the setting and feeling of the rural community in 1865. The landscape characteristics of the village generally retain integrity to 1865 or the period of commemoration.