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The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name Rural Retreat Depot
Reference Number 14000531
State Virginia
County Wythe
Town Rural Retreat
Street Address 105 Railroad Avenue
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 8/25/2014
Areas of Significance TRANSPORTATION, ARCHITECTURE
Link to full file https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/pdfs/14000531.pdf
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Railroad history in Wythe County began with the arrival of the Virginia & Tennessee (V&T) Railroad in 1856. However, the circa 1870 Rural Retreat Depot is one of only three known surviving railroad buildings in all of southwestern Virginia (along with the Abingdon and Christiansburg V&T depots) that were erected during the Reconstruction period following the Civil War. Moreover, the Rural Retreat Depot is undoubtedly one of the oldest surviving railroad-related buildings found anywhere in the Commonwealth. Therefore it has local significance under Criterion A in the area of Transportation for its association with the history of the V&T, Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio (AM&O), and Norfolk & Western (N&W) Railways, which played a significant role in the development of Wythe County and much of Virginia. It is also locally significant under Criterion C in the area of Architecture, as a rare surviving post- Civil War rail-related facility designed in a variant of the Italianate style that has been called Railroad style. The depot is a very well-known and highly esteemed historic landmark, owing in part to the paramount importance of the railroad in the post-1850 history of the area and region. Though passenger service reportedly continued until the early 1970s, the Rural Retreat Depot was retired from freight transport around 1965. Therefore its period of significance extends from its construction circa 1870 through its closing for railroad freight business ca. 1965.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria