I've mentioned Delaplane, Virginia before - the Delaplane Post Office and the Emmanuel Episcopal Church (which bears a Delaplane address) - but perhaps this little town alongside the railroad tracks and Highway 17 in Fauquier County, Virginia is best known for the Delaplan Country Store and Antique Center - a complex of old buildings with contents that might surprise you (so stop, okay?).
So here are a few views of Delaplane - along with a bit (at the end) about the history of the Delaplane Historic District. Quite a place!
I'm not sure what you notice first: the snarling bear on the roof, the large Clark Bros Guns sign, or the fact that the parking lot is always full! I do have a question though... are there any recordings of younger brother John Clark playing bluegrass back in the day?
Clark's Gun Shop, Inc. is the story of two brothers, Jim and John, who loved shooting and hunting. Kindled by his desire to try gunsmithing and build custom rifles, Jim started a small shop in a building on their property. During this same period, John, the younger of the two, pursued his interest in bluegrass music. As Jim's Gun Shop outgrew its building and John tired of being on the road, the two began a working partnership in 1957 called Clark Brothers.
Who knew? Yes, one of the wonders of the modern World (and a Roadside America attraction) - a giant roller skate made entirely of wood and plaster - graces the side of Highway 17 (referred to as Marsh Road along this stretch of Virginia highway) in Bealeton, Virginia. Bealeton is a census-designated place in Fauquier County, found at the intersection of State Route 28 and Highway 17. Bealeton is also home to one of the last barnstorming air shows in the US - but more about that later.
Seems like the perfect place to stop for a break, perhaps skate for a bit - and could there be a better photo op?
Thanks to Mary and Mark of Massachusetts for sending this image to US 17 to share!
Located in the heart of Virginia's famous Piedmont Hunt Country, Delaplane was originally known as Piedmont Station, and renamed in honor of W. E. Delaplane, a prominent Ohio businessman who had generously restored operations at the local general store which had faltered in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Previously in 1861 General Stonewall Jackson had marched his troops from Winchester to the Piedmont Station (Delaplane) train depot, where they loaded onto rail cars headed for the First Battle of Manassas. This marked the first time a railroad had been used to move troops into battle. Historically Delaplane has encompassed some of North America's oldest fox hunting territory, and from 1932 to 1945 Delaplane's Cobbler Mountain hosted many of General George S. Patton's escapades with his fabled Cobbler Fox Hounds. Patton was Master of fox hounds until his military transfer to Hawaii in 1935, and the club was disbanded ten years later upon receiving news of his untimely death in Heidelberg, Germany. Today Piedmont Fox Hounds based in The Plains, the oldest fox hunting club in the United States, still hunts Delaplane's rustic, stone wall lined terrain; as do Orange County Hunt based in Middleburg and Old Dominion Hounds.
PEC took the lead in the designation of the Crooked Run Valley Rural Historic District, a district that encompasses 18,630 acres of picturesque rural landscape in northwest Fauquier County, Virginia. The district is visually and physically bounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains on the west and north and foothills, including Lost Mountain, on the east. The gently rolling topography of the Crooked Run Valley is interspersed with smaller valleys created by the numerous spring-fed streams that originate in and cross through it. The Crooked Run, from which the historic district takes its name, flows through the center of the district and parallels the present course of Route 17 (Winchester Road). This central transportation artery, based on a Native American trade route, takes the visitor through the heart of the district. The waters of the Crooked Run, which joins the larger Goose Creek near the village of Delaplane, provided power for mills, which were one of the valley's earliest industries. The land located within the historic district is now primarily used for farming or pastureland. Over 3,300 acres are held in open-space easement or are public-owned lands.
Paris Barns, 1037 Gap Run Road Paris, Virginia 20130
(571) 839-1143 or (703) 855-0727
I was driving on Highway 17, heading north from Delaplane, when I took Gap Run Road (County Road 701) that heads into Paris, Virginia (and where US 50 and US 17 merge). What a beautiful little detour off of Highway 17! I was thrilled to come across the Paris Farm Store (also known as Paris Barns) - and had wished I had known their hours so that I could have visited the store. Here's what they say on their website:
An historic working farm in heavenly Paris, Virginia offering farm fresh SEASONAL vegetables, herbs, eggs, hand-made soaps and alpaca, llama and sheep's wool crafts and more!
Heavenly for sure! I did enjoy watching their fun array of farm sanctuary guests - wonderfully exotic goats, a llama, an emu and more - and I'll definitely plan better the next time I'm on this beautiful stretch of road.
So remember - call and see when they're open, then plan your trip!