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Lost Communities of Virginia

Lost Communities of Virginia logo

Have you driven through Virginia and seen the remnants of small communities?  The signs announcing arrival in a place where there are no visible signs of life?  The old general store, now closed and maybe even used as a hay barn, that once teemed with activity?  The railroad tracks leading to nowhere, now overgrown, once connecting the community with the broader world?  The Lost Communities of Virginia project began with a curiosity about such places.

Curiosity resulted in a drive-by survey of 2,600 small communities in the Commonwealth.  Of these small places, 548 of them still retaining buildings were photographed.  With the help of professors from Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture, Arts, and Design, the list was narrowed to 30 communities that covered the breadth of Virginia’s geography, history, and community types.  These 30 communities became the focus of the Lost Communities of Virginia book by CDAC Outreach Coordinator Terri Fisher and former CDAC Architecture Intern Kirsten Sparenborg, published in 2011.

Lost Communities of Virginia book cover

With so many small communities and interesting backroads in Virginia we developed Lost Communities of Virginia Driving Tour brochures to highlight the unique history of the Commonwealth. Two brochures were released in 2017: Southern Driving Tour and Backroads of Southwest Virginia.

3 brochure covers about the Lost Communities of Virginia

Fundraising continues to document more of Virginia's once-booming communities in driving tour brochures before their history and buildings disappear:

Checks may be made payable to the “Virginia Tech Foundation Inc.”, and should include the words “For the Community Design Assistance Center” in the memo line, and should be mailed to:

Office of Gift Accounting
University Development (0336), Virginia Tech
University Gateway Center, 902 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Donations via credit card may be made through Virginia Tech’s secure online giving page, use the “Give Now” button below. Please be sure to choose:

Select an Area: “College of Architecture, Arts, and Design”
Select a Fund: “Other”
Designation: “Community Design Assistance Center - Lost Communities of Virginia project”

Thank you for your support!