Ghost Towns of Virginia

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DISCLAIMER: We are still working to find updated information for every town. We started in 2016 and with roughly 4,000 ghost towns in the United States, we hope to eventually have as much accurate information on each town as we can. If you notice any incorrect information, or if you have any information to help fill in the blanks for any towns, please feel free to contact us.

Ca Ira

County: Cumberland
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 37° 29′ 0 N, 78° 19′ 37.1 W
Elevation:
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established: 1796
Disestablished:
Comments: At the turn of the nineteenth century, Ca Ira was a typical small farming community such as could be found in many locations around Virginia. It was formally established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1796; the origin of the name is unknown, but given the spirit of the times, and the fact that many Virginians admired the French Revolution, it is suspected to have been derived from a popular French song of the era.
Remains: Ca Ira was a small community located in Cumberland County, Virginia. Formally established in 1796, it fell into disuse in the years after the American Civil War; today, few traces of the town remain, save for the old Grace Church and a handful of houses.
Current Status: Ca Ira stagnated until 1825, when the Willis River canal was completed. This served numerous purposes; it caused the removal of a pond, long the source of poor health for residents and, more importantly, it opened the town up to the tobacco trade, making it easier to transport wares along the James River between Prince Edward and Charlotte Counties and Richmond and Petersburg. Soon, a merchant class took up residence in the town. By 1836, Ca Ira could be described as a post village, with a population of 210; it had forty dwellings, three stores, a mill, a tobacco warehouse, two taverns, and a Masonic hall.
Remarks: Good fortune was not to last, however; the town’s heyday came in the middle of the 1850s, when it incorporated a bank. Its postbellum decline was rapid; the church, along with most of the rest of the town, was deserted by the end of the 19th century. A 1906 visit found little more than a “post hamlet,” with only a handful of houses, a post office, two stores, and the church surviving among the ruins of warehouses and other structures. Of these, only the church exists today, although some newer houses have been erected in the vicinity. Today, Virginia Route 632 is known as “Ca Ira Road” where it passes through the site of the former village. No other trace of the name remains.

Elko Tract

County: Henrico
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 37° 29′ 12.48 N, 77° 14′ 16.44 W
Elevation:
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established:
Disestablished:
Comments: Elko Tract is a 2,220 acre (9 km²) tract of land in Henrico County, Virginia. It is considered one of Virginia’s most well known ghost towns due to its history as a decoy airfield during World War II and suspicious activity in the area afterwards. The Peninsula Campaign (1862) of the American Civil War brought troops from both the Federal and Confederate Armies through this area.
Remains:
Current Status: The land that makes up Elko Tract was eventually sold by the state under Governor George Allen. Looking to find ways to fund increased prison construction, Governor Allen made it a priority to sell what was considered “surplus” state-owned land. Since 1996, a piece of the northwest section of the Tract has been the home of a semiconductor plant for Infineon Technologies. A 2002 trip into the tract was interrupted by a security guard apparently working for the company (see External Links). Despite increased plans for development of the Elko Tract, a large portion of the original 1953 infrastructure construction is still in place today, including the water tower, building foundations, and several fire hydrants. Remaining Elko Tract infrastructure, however, is threatened by the increased interest in commercial development in the tract.
Remarks: It has been reported that in 2004 the Virginia National Guard had been performing field exercises in the Tract. In 2007 Elko Middle School was established in the area.

Falling Creek

County:
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 37° 17′ 48 N, 79° 51′ 35 W
Elevation:
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established:
Disestablished:
Comments: Falling Creek was an unincorporated location in Virginia, United States, along Interstate 95 near the point where a local tributary, Falling Creek, has its confluence with the James River. It was perhaps best known as the site of one of the toll barriers on the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike, completed in 1958.
Remains: Along U.S. 1, also nearby, a historic stone bridge across Falling Creek was destroyed by flood waters resulting from Tropical Storm Gaston in August, 2004.
Current Status: In modern times, I-95 and the more recently built Pocahontas Parkway toll road now occupy much of the site. Nearby, at the northwestern edge, the old lost town of Port Warwick was located on the river before it was destroyed during the American Revolutionary War.
Remarks: Nearby, portions of the original Warwick Road extended through what is now South Richmond and Chesterfield County to the Bon Air, Virginia area.

Lignite

County: Botetourt
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 37°37′38″N 79°59′54″W / 37.62722°N 79.99833°W / 37.62722 -79.99833
Elevation:
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established:
Disestablished: 1920
Comments: Lignite is a ghost town in Botetourt County, Virginia, United States. A former iron ore mining town owned by Allegheny Ore and Iron Company (which later became the Lukens Steel Co. of Coachville, PA), it contained a company store, churches, school, post office, and a main street theater.
Remains: It was abandoned by the company in the 1920s after ore demands dropped, when higher grade iron ore was discovered in the Great Lakes area, but some people continued to live in the houses until the 1950s. It has very few remains and is now a part of the Jefferson National Forest.
Current Status: Abandoned
Remarks:

Westham

County: Henrico
Zip Code:
Latitude / Longitude: 37° 35′ 21 N, 77° 32′ 24 W
Elevation:
Time Zone: Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
Established: 1750
Disestablished:
Comments: Westham was an unincorporated town in Henrico County, Virginia. It is located in the present day area of Tuckahoe, Virginia. Westham was built at a transportation point on the James River. The James River flows free for several hundred miles from the west and Westham is located at the point where the Fall Line rocks prevented further river passage.
Remains: Richmond, Virginia was built on the other side of the fall line where the river is navigable to the ocean. This made Westham the first destination for iron used in Revolutionary War. In later years, Canals and then Rail transport connected Westham to Richmond along the James River trade route. Westham was eventually absorbed into Richmond.
Current Status: A neighborhood built on the site of the old town in the 1930s is still called Westham. The only town building older than the 1930s is just outside the original town borders and built around 1827.
Remarks: