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Town of Pearisburg VA
The small town of Pearisburg is located along 3o miles of the New River on a plateau in Giles County in Southwest Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. Pearisburg is also 40 minutes South of Roanoke and the county seat. Pearisburg has something to offer for the entire family with a hometown atmosphere that last year round. Pearisburg, VA offers visitors access to the New River, kayaking, zip-lining, fishing, camping hunting, Motorcycle tours, many lodging properties, historical attractions, shopping, family restaurants, museums, waterfalls, town parks, and much more. There are festivals a community market to also visit while you are here. Pearisburg VA is a small friendly hiker town, an AT Trail Community nearby the Appalachian Trail and many other hiking adventures.
History of Pearisburg VA
Pearisburg was founded in 1808 when Giles County was established, and was named after George Pearis, a local landowner who donated a 53-acres tract to be used for a town that would grow up around the county court house. Pearis had operated a ferry on the New River at a settlement called “Bluff City”, which is incorporated into the present boundaries of the town of Pearisburg.
The town was platted into a public square surrounded by 36 lots. By 1810, a two story stone courthouse sat at the intersection of Main St. and Wenonah Ave. and homes and stores were located on the lots. In 1811, the Giles Court House Post Office was approved.
Pearisburg has existed as a village since 1808. The historical district includes buildings from almost every period in the town’s development. The two most significant predate 1840. Pearisburg was listed in 1992 as a National Registry Community.
By 1832 the town contained thirty stone and timber homes, taverns, churches, public and private schools, general mercantiles, tanyards, a shoe factory, shops of hatters, cabinet and chair makers, and professional offices for two attorneys and a doctor. In 1836, the stately brick courthouse still in use replaced the stone courthouse today. In 1854, the name of the town was changed from Giles Court House to Pearisburg in honor of George Pearis. By 1880 the population was 285 residents.
Progress came to Appalachia in the form of highway construction. However, the unintended consequence of increased mobility was the decimation of the business districts of small towns. Pearisburg was no exception. Downtown struggled to stay alive and many storefronts sat empty in the last half of the 20th century.
In 1992, the seventeen building historic district in Pearisburg was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. Nearby stands the 1829 Andrew Johnston House, a Federal- style brick house that is owned and operated as a museum by the Giles Historical Society.
Historical structures and sites around town include the King House, Densmore House, Hale House, King Johnston School-now the Community Center, Eastern Cemetery, Bunker Hill Civil War Cemetery, Pearis Cemetery and Fort Branch Neighborhood.
The historical designation of these buildings began the revitalization for Pearisburg . Building facades have been returned to their original design. Fresh paint, awnings and attractive doors have been incorporated as well as new sidewalks and streetlights. Business is returning and the town is on its way to recapturing the vitality it once knew.