Louisa County Historical Society

Themes of the Town Museum
TRANSPORTATION

The determination and placement of roads, “bridleways”, “posts of directions”, bridges and the appointment of road surveyors was one of the most important functions of the courts in colonial times.

Early transporationEach road was opened and maintained by an Overseer (or Surveyor) of the Highways appointed yearly by the Gentlemen Justices. For these purposes, the Justices usually assigned all the able-bodied men (the "Labouring Male Tithables") living on or near the road. These individuals then furnished their own tools, wagons, and teams and were required to work on the roads for six days a year.

In the early 1800’s the Town of Louisa was on the main route or post road which went from Fredericksburg to Spotsylvania Courthouse to Louisa and finally to Columbia, a prominent port town along the James River. This route (roughly Route 208) connected the Rappahannock River and the James River. The Rappahannock and the James Rivers, tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay, were the major routes for transport of produce.

Louisa has been the center of the county business and commerce from its inception. Modes of transportation have been foot, stage, horseback, wagon, car and train. Being an interior county with Rail Stationno navigable streams, land transportation has been vital to the town and county’s growth.

With the coming of the railroad in 1836 the population of Louisa increased and the town and county developed economically. Louisa was an important stop on the railroad. Goods and services were made more readily available in this central location. The railroad was a major employer for the citizens. The Louisa Railroad was one of the first eastern railroads to strike west to the Alleghany Mountains. It was begun to provide the landlocked Piedmont region with better transportation. The museum will display the histories of the Louisa Railroad, the Virginia Central Railroad and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.

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Louisa County Historical Society • P.O. Box 1172 • Louisa, Virginia 23093 • 540-967-5975
info@louisacountyhistoricalsociety.org