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along Route 15 in Virginia's Piedmont
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Recent and historic views of Culpeper
Historic photographs courtesy of Museum of Culpeper History, color photographs courtesy of Scenic America: Deborah L. Myerson

The county-seat town of Culpeper is significant for its architectural cohesiveness and associations with commercial, military, political, and transportation history. Originally known as Fairfax, Culpeper was founded in 1759. Most of the commercial buildings are vernacular, Italianate, and neoclassical-style brick structures. The quiet, tree-shaded residential streets hold a rich variety of domestic architecture. The district's focal point is the Culpeper County Courthouse, completed in 1874 by Samuel Proctor who crowned it with a fanciful cupola. Commercial history is linked with its early roads, stagecoach routes, and the railroad. Military history is represented by the homes of Revolutionary War general Edward Stevens and Confederate Lieutenant General Ambrose Powell Hill. The town served as a staging area and hospital center for armies of both sides in the Civil War. Though a growing community, Culpeper preserves a genial, typically American small-town ambiance.

The Culpeper Historic District is bounded by Edmonson, Stevens and West Sts. and the railroad tracks, in Culpeper. The Culpeper Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center can provide you with "In and Around Culpeper," a brochure that includes 5 self-guided walking tours, and information on guided walking tours that start in June. Located at 109 South Commerce St., the Chamber is open 8:30am to 5:00pm weekdays, 10:00am to 4:00pm Saturdays, and 1:00pm to 4:00pm Sundays, or call 540-825-8628. The Museum of Culpeper History can provide you with more information on the history of Culpeper, and visit the website for details on the opening of their new museum.


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