Skip to main content

Small Towns of Virginia Series - Hanover

 The Historic Hanover Courthouse Building built in 1735.
The small village of Hanover sits as the County Seat of growing Hanover County.  Surrounded by centuries of history, this town of nearly 500 people along US Route 301 has lodged many famous dignitaries at an over two centuries old tavern and has been the birthplace of many notable names in American History.  The historic courthouse that sits off of the main highway was built in 1735.  Patrick Henry would make a name for himself here when he argued the Parson's Case in 1763.

The well-known Hanover Tavern
Directly across from the historic Courthouse building stands an equally historic location, Hanover Tavern.  Since 1733, a tavern has located its site.  The oldest part of the current building dates to 1791.  Many well-known names in early American history stayed at the Hanover Tavern site.  George Washington, Marquis de LaFayette, and Lord Cornwallis spent time here.  As did Patrick Henry when he argued the 1763 Parson's case.  The tavern would see years of use diminish as the automobile era lessened the need for overnight stays.  The tavern would remain active through World War II, but by the 1950s, it would sit almost empty.  In 1953, a group of New York actors would buy the tavern, restore it, and start the Barkdale Theatre.  It was a very popular Richmond destination into the 1980s.  In 1990, the Hanover Tavern Foundation was formed, and they purchased the building and the surrounding land.  The group began a restoration in the mid-90s and in 2004-05 began another restoration.  Today, the Hanover Tavern hosts dinners and banquets, art showings, historical reenactments, and other civic events.
 
The Hanover Cafe adds to the charm of modern day Hanover.
Today, Hanover is a small village that sits on US 301.  It is full of history and is worth taking 30 minutes out of your travels to walk around and experience.

Site Navigation:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Check the box: Interstate 495 to 87 conversion administratively approved

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials have recently approved North Carolina's application to remove the short-lived Interstate 495 and future I-495 from Raleigh to Rocky Mount.  This administrative move most likely will result in North Carolina signing Interstate 87 and Future I-87 on the entire corridor in the near future.

Approved in 2013, Interstate 495 was first signed in 2014 along US 64 from Interstate 440 in Raleigh to Interstate 540 in Knightdale.  The remaining segment of highway to Rocky Mount was signed as Future Interstate 495.  However, in 2016, North Carolina's congressional legislators were able to get language in the 2015 FAST ACT designating the US 64/US 13/US 17 corridor from Raleigh to Norfolk as an Interstate.  In 2016, the FHWA and AASHTO designated this entire corridor (including the existing Interstate and Future 495) as Interstate 87.  (NCDOT had applied for Interstate 89 along this route.)

It is currently unknown when t…

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

Starrucca Viaduct

Even older than the Tunkhannock Viaduct is the Starrucca Viaduct, built in 1848. Located in the far northeastern Pennsylvania borough of Lanesboro, this impressive bridge carried the New York and Erie Railroad over a valley as well as the Starrucca Creek and is currently the oldest stone arch railroad in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1). An engineering marvel of its time, and even in today's world, the 1080 foot length, 100 foot height and 25 foot width (2) of the viaduct is simply spectacular. Using local materials such as Pennsylvania bluestone, the Starrucca Viaduct has stood the test of time.With a price estimated at $325,000 in 1848 dollars, the bridge was one of the largest and costliest stone arch railroad bridges built in America at its time (3) . However, the very material that made it expensive to build gave the Starrucca Viaduct much durabilitycompared to other viaducts built in that era.

I've happened to check out the Starrucca Viaduct on a few occasions sin…