Village of Palmyra
Fluvanna's County Seat: Palmyra
The Village of Palmyra was designated the county seat in 1828. The courthouse was completed in 1830. Palmyra was a thriving town through the 1800s and early 1900s with a business district including general merchandise stores, a poolroom, a theater, and a newspaper. The fire of June 1930 wiped out a number of buildings that were never rebuilt as the country weathered the Great Depression.
Today the Village of Palmyra is still the governmental center of the county with the Courthouse and County Administration occupying the area. A few businesses line Main Street and a nearby retail building. In 1971 the Village of Palmyra was listed on both the Virginia Landmark Registry and the National Registry of Historic Places.
Learn more about the village below!
Historic Courthouse and Old Stone Jail
The Historic Courthouse (1831) and the Old Stone Jail (1829) were designed by Gen. John Hartwell Cocke. Today the Old Stone Jail serves as the primary building of historical information on Fluvanna County. The Historical Society operates the Old Stone Jail with open tour times throughout the year.
While Palmyra is quaint, there are a three parks in the Village.
The Civil War Park includes three memorials: the Civil War Memorial, Emancipation Proclamation Memorial, and Seaman Dakota Rigsby Persimmon Tree Memorial. Civil War Park has benches and picnic tables for a lovely lunch in the village.
Triangle Park is located near the Post Office at the northern end of the village. Triangle Park is owned and operated by the Fluvanna Historical Society.
The Rail Trail is a walking trail following the old Virginia Airline (VAL) rail bed. The mile trail goes along the Rivanna River in Palmyra and includes scenic overlooks to the river below. Parking for the Rail Trail is near the Courthouse.
The Palmyra Self-Guided Tour highlights 28 spots in the Village of Palmyra with a brief history on each.
Palmyra's founding was based on Rev. William Timberlake's Palmyra Mills, using a dam Timberlake constructed on the Rivanna River. Today you can still see the remnants of past including the mills foundation can be viewed from Petit Bridge (Route 15). The original stone pillar to hold the Palmyra Covered Bridge is also still visible in the Rivanna River. Across the river, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries operates a boat launch on the Rivanna River.
Business in the Village
Palmyra's commercial past is still visible with offices and a few boutique shops on Main Street. On Route 15, a few commercial buildings host several local shops and office spaces.
The Holland-Page Place, located just a few short miles from the Village of Palmyra, is a post Civil War log cabin built by John Benjamin Page in 1865. The property includes both farmland and woods surrounding the cabin. John W. Holland bought the property in 1934, and in 1998, Mrs. Sara Holland Loving generously donated the cabin and 8 acres to the Society. With a very generous grant from an anonymous donor, the Society was able to restore the cabin to the period 1865, and to tell the story of everyday farm life in Fluvanna just after the Civil War. I The cabin opened May 26, 2007, interpreting an agrarian life on the homestead in the period after the Civil War. Classes and workshops for children in early crafts of the 19th century are planned for the future.