Brownsburg Village History

In 1973 the unincorporated community of Brownsburg was added to the National Register of Historic Places because, “the village has changed very little in size since the late 19th century, and having been established in the 18th century, provides an excellent picture of a typical early valley village in a well-preserved state.” 

Mr. Elam B. Bosworth in buggy, and Anne Bosworth Read riding side-saddle in front of Bosworth’s Store. Photo from Elaine Heffelfinger.

The village was established in 1793.  It was on the main stagecoach route between Lexington and Staunton, and reputed be the one of the most important trade centers in the county.  At the start of the 19th century there were 20 houses, a school, 3 general stores, 2 shoe factories 3 wheelwrights, 2 tailors, a tanyard,  a saddlery, a cabinet maker, a carpenter, a hatter, 2 blacksmith shops, and 2 mills.

The opening of the Valley Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad several miles to the east of the village in 1880, and more recently U.S. Route 11 and Interstate 81 took traffic away from the once bustling Brownsburg.  As a result, Brownsburg has retained its early 19th century dwellings and support structures.