With over 971 square miles, Augusta County is the second largest county in Virginia. The county used to be considerably larger with an unfixed border to the west, supposedly extending to the Pacific Ocean. After years of land reductions, Augusta County finally settled on its final size in 1790. Historically, the county served as the breadbasket of the Confederacy and the site of the Battle of Piedmont, one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War.
Today: The interesting history of Augusta coupled with its amazing attractions make it a great place to live and to visit. From a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a hike in one of its national parks, or an exploration of its Grand Caverns, Augusta is very memorable. One of the most incredible attractions is the Natural Chimneys, natural limestone formations which tower 120 feet above ground. Augusta also offers a wide variety of vineyards, farms, and historical inns to visit.
Arts, Culture and Historical Sights
Augusta County Courthouse–For those who have a great curiosity for history, records such as deeds, wills, marriages, births, and deaths from 1745 to the present can be found at the courthouse. Visiting hours of the courthouse are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Augusta County Railroad Museum-With four large-scale model train layouts and memorabilia from the local railroads of Waynesboro, the Augusta County Railroad Museum is a must see for all railroad fans. The museum is open on the second and last Saturday of each month from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm.
Augusta Military Academy- Located eight miles north of Staunton in the Augusta Military Alumni House in Fort Defiance, Virginia, the Augusta Military Academy was the first of sever secondary-level military academies in the state. The museum highlights cadet barrack rooms, classrooms, and a large collection of uniforms and artifacts. The museum is open Tuesday thru Sunday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and is free to the public.
Augusta Stone Church- Established in 1740 by the Rev. John Craig, Augusta Stone Church is one of the oldest Presbyterian organizations in Virginia. It also ranks as being the oldest Presbyterian Church still in use in the state.
Battle of Piedmont- Today, the battlefield resides in the farmlands of eastern Augusta County, with the Middle River running through the western section. Much of the land still sits the same as it was during the Battle of Piedmont when Maj. Gen. David “Black Dave” Hunter claimed victory for the Union troops.
The Frontier Culture Museum–Unlike the majority of museums, the Frontier Culture Museum brings colonial Virginia back to life as costumed actors mimic the lifestyles of the early settlers of the Shenandoah Valley. Other services for guests include wheelchair accessibility, public restrooms, and a gift shop.
Valley Railroad Stone Bridge- Located near Jolivue, Augusta County, the historic stone arch bridge was built in 1884 by the Valley Railroad. It was obtained by the Virginia Department of Transportation in 1965 and considered to be one of the scenic landmarks along Interstate 81.
Barren Ridge Vineyards- Locally owned and deemed “Augusta County’s Premier Winery” Barren Ridge offers guests wine tastings with breathtaking views and affordable rates. The property is also known to be a highly top rated spot for weddings and live musical entertainment. The vineyard is open Monday-Wednesday from 11 AM to 6 PM, Thursday-Saturday from 11 AM to sunset, and Sunday from 1 PM to 6 PM.
Ox-Eye Vineyards- Dedicated to creating high quality wines from the local grapes of the Shenandoah Valley, Ox-Eye Vineyards welcomes guests to come visit their tasting room in the Historic Wharf District of Downtown Staunton, just across the street from Sunspot Studios. The hours of the tasting room tend to change seasonally and can be found listed on their website.
Sugar Loaf Farm- This early 19th century property serves as the only member of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places to maintain the only surviving brick gristmill in Augusta County. Today, the farm is privately owned as serves as a raising ground for Black Angus cattle, but still remains as a significant cultural relic.
Hermitage Hill- Constructed from the inspiration of Virginia’s original roots as the “Horse Country”, Hermitage Hill owners Craig and Nichole decided to bring to the county a horse farm and event venue. The property caters to wedding services, private events, boarding, and rental units.
Mrs. Rowe’s Family Restaurant- This Southern style restaurant has been serving area locals with southern cuisine favorites for more than 65 years. Some of their popular dishes include crispy fried chicken, homemade hot biscuits, and fresh fruit pies.
T-Bone Tooter- Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, T-Bone Tooter is a great stop to take during all hours of the day. Come in and enjoy an omelet with a selection of toppings or a thick cut juicy cheeseburger with crispy steak fries.
Old School House Restaurant- Established over 30 years ago, Old School House Restaurant is where the locals go for fine seafood and home-style cooking. The restaurant also has a banquet facility perfect for private parties and wedding rehearsal dinners.
Peck’s BBQ- Recently renovated but still serving up the same quality food, Peck’s BBQ has quite the local fan base. Come in and try a plate of French fries, coleslaw, hush puppies, and barbecue today!
Edewiess German Restaurant- Located off the Greenville Exit on Interstate 81, Edweiess offers the most delicious traditional German food that can be found in Augusta County. The restaurant also has live music on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays as well as a wide selection of German brand beers and wines.
Sanzone’s Italian Restaurant- Rated by locals as an “Italian delight” the chefs of Sanzone are serving guests traditional Italian dishes including Toasted Cheese Ravioli, Chicken Parmigiana, and Stuffed Manicotti for a very low cost. Stop in and experience the real taste of Italy at Sanzone’s.
With the ability to zoom in and out, pan, and identify certain parcels, the Augusta County GIS is similar to working with detailed version of Google Maps. A GIS is set up with several layers built into the system for example: flood plains, school districts, parks, civil war battle fields, etc … you can activate the layers you want to see that are impacting a particular property you are researching. Where the parcel boundaries are outlined on the GIS is not one hundred percent reliable so in no way should this be used in place of a survey. It does however serve as a tremendous reference and you do have the ability to use the measuring tool to get rough measurements if you need to. If the aerial photography layer is active you can see the location of structures on any particular lot.
Augusta County zoning districts are defined by how a particular property is intended to be used and the regulation that goes along with the district. There are seven different zoning districts throughout the town of Augusta County. The most common Residential Districts are listed below. If you are interested in reading more into the specifics of the entire Augusta County Zoning Code, click here.
SF-Single-Family Districts – These districts are intended to be used for single-family detached residential neighborhoods on individual lots. The districts are differentiated primarily on the basis of minimum lot area and setback requirements.
TF-Two-Family Districts – These districts are intended to be used to accommodate traditional, small lot neighborhoods primarily characterized by two-family detached dwellings and other specified, compatible housing types.
MF-Multifamily Districts – The purpose of this district is to establish areas in the city to accommodate multifamily living in a higher density residential environment with due attention to existing uses, the character and suitability of areas so designated, and trends of growth and changes in the housing market.
Between the 22 schools that make up the Augusta County Public School District, approximately 11,000 students are enrolled in grades Pre-K through 12. With a student-teacher ratio of about 15 students per classroom, students have the opportunity to receive more face time with their teachers as well as engage with their classmates in small groups, allowing them to create personal connections throughout their grade school years.
Owned as shared between Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County, the landfill is operated by the Augusta County Service Authority. Residents of Augusta County are welcome to dispose of trash and discarded materials free of charge, except for tires. Those who are commercial or industrial customers will be charged $45.00 per ton of garbage. A drop-off recycling facility is also onsite, where items such as cardboard, magazines, newspapers, glass, steal cans, and aluminum are eligible for collection. Used motor oil is also accepted free of charge. The landfill is located south on Route 11 past the shopping mall; left on Route 647 by the coke plant; right on Route 648, 1.6 miles on the right. The landfill is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 AM until 4:15 PM and can be reached at (540) 337-2857.
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