The Middle The Resort Era/The Railroad Era

old postcard

1893 – 1939

The Resort Era began in 1893 with the building of the Blue Ridge Inn near Bears Den Rock. Built by Washington businessman Jules Demonet and financially aided by William Lynn of Airmont. The Inn was a popular location for wealthy Washingtonians to escape the heat of the city. Before the railway arrived the most common way for people to travel in and out of the town was by one of two major roads located in the area. These roads were at present day Route 734 and Route 760. Route 734 traveled from Snickers Gap to Aldie and Route 760 connected Bluemont with Route 7.

In 1900, as Snickersville was already developing a reputation for hosting summer visitors, the Southern Railroad (later called the Washington & Old Dominion) extended its tracks west from Round Hill, with funding provided by Southern’s owner, J.P. Morgan. The first train came into the village on July 4.  Soon after the name  of Snickersville was changed to Bluemont,  it was thought to sound more appealing to visitors. The train making the trip to the last stop on the line was called “The Virginia Creeper”, due to the length of time and number of stops made along the way.

The Village prospered over the next years.  Between 1900 and 1905, the E.E. Lake Store was built to accommodate an ice cream parlor, a general store, a barber shop, the post office, and a meeting and dance hall upstairs. A branch of the Loudoun National Bank of Leesburg operated out of EE Lake for a while, but closed after robbers opened the safe with explosives in 1907. Two other stores selling general merchandise, a millinery, a livery stable, three hotels, boarding houses, along with blacksmiths, wheelwrights, carpenters and a harness shop serviced our village. Two physicians and a dentist hung their shingle in the village as well. Buggy rides transported visitors to Bear’s Den to view the valley. Drummers [travelling salesmen] took meals at Mrs. Weadon’s: fried chicken, country ham, fresh vegetables, hot rolls, pies, and buttermilk or sweet milk—all for 50 cents.

Bluemont thrived for many years.


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