Gordonsville: Railroad Town
The Louisa Railroad reached Gordonsville on January 1, 1840-an event that would have a profound effect on town growth. Its ability to provide passenger travel, as well as freight transportation of goods, made Gordonsville a transportation center for the farms and plantations of the area. In 1850, the Louisa Railroad was renamed the Virginia Central.
The first depot was erected in 1854 when the Orange and Alexander extended its tracks from Orange to Gordonsville to connect with the Virginia Central and was situated in a triangle formed by the convergence of several lines of a single railroad. The second depot was erected in 1870, and the last one in 1904.
The arrival of the railroads heralded a new era for Gordonsville. The Dept was a hub of activity where people gathered and were thrilled at the sight of the mighty locomotive as the smoke poured from its flaring smokestack.
Passengers arrived at the depot near the sound end of Main Street and frequented the nearby Richard F. Omohundro's tavern and eating house. The taven was destroyed by fire in 1859 and Mr. Omohundro immediately build the ornate Exchange Hotel on the same site.