Although farming families began settling in the area in the 1790s, the town of Stokesville was not created until 1901. Named after Colonel Thomas Stokes of New York, the town came into existence through Stokes' connection to the newly formed Chesapeake Western Railway.
Established in 1895, the Chesapeake Western Railway was meant to stretch from the Tidewater of Virginia to the mountains of West Virginia. Though Stokesville became the western terminus for the railway, it was originally only meant to be a stepping stone into the coal mines of West Virginia.
This railroad connection resulted in the construction of a two-story passenger depot near the center of town. Today, this depot is practically all that remains of this turn-of-the-century boom town. Unfortunately, financial hardship, abandonment of the railroad, and a flood in 1949 caused the town to virtually disappear.
This site seeks to provide public access to the history of Stokesville, Virginia, located in the North River Gap of Augusta County, about 20 miles from Harrisonburg. The town as it existed from 1901-1930s has vanished, although efforts have been made to recover the town's history little of this research is readily available outside local archives.