TwHP Lessons

Waterford, Virginia: From Mill Town to National Historic Landmark
[Photo] Mill and miller's house.
(Bronwen Souders)

Today, visitors to Waterford, Virginia, experience many of the same views as residents in the 19th century. A National Historic Landmark District, Waterford preserves the ambiance and many of the structures that characterized it during its heyday as a flour milling town in the 19th century. In fact, the village has changed so little in shape and size that founder Amos Janney would find it quite recognizable. He could stroll from his 1733 home to the area of his original mill and then on to the Quaker meeting house he founded in 1741.

In 1943, descendants of village families and newcomers interested in preserving the buildings, traditions, and rural character of Waterford formed the non-profit Waterford Foundation. The Foundation has played an important role in revitalizing the physical fabric of Waterford as well as increasing the public's knowledge of life and work in an early American rural community.


About This Lesson

Getting Started: Inquiry Question

Setting the Stage: Historical Context

Locating the Site: Maps
 1. Loudoun County, Virginia, 1870s
 2. Waterford and surrounding farms, 1853

Determining the Facts: Readings
 1. Waterford: From Mill Town to National
 Historic Landmark

 2. Early 19th-Century Wheat Farming
 Near Waterford

 3. Waterford's Mill Ledger

Visual Evidence: Images
 1. Plan of Waterford, 1853
 2. Mill and miller's house, 1882
 3. Mill and miller's house today
 4. View down Main Street, c. 1862
 5. View down Main Street today
 6. Quaker meeting house

Putting It All Together: Activities
 1. A Step Back in Time
 2. Waterford, Then and Now
 3. Change Over Time in Your Town

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This lesson is based on the Waterford Historic District in Virginia, one of the thousands of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The district has been designated a National Historic Landmark.



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