Downtown Ashland

The Town of Ashland prides itself on its historic downtown commercial district. Many of the buildings that line the train tracks were built in the early 1900s and have retained much of their historic character. Recently, downtown Ashland has been a work zone.


  1. Ashland was designated an official Virginia Main Street community earlier this year. An emphasis on preserving its historic downtown commercial district gave the town an edge in the application process. The Virginia Main Street program is administered at the state level and focuses on revitalizing historic downtown districts. Virginia Main Street communities are selected by the state and are eligible for revitalization grants and support services once they receive the designation.
  2. A committee of vested parties, including business owners and local government officials, helped shape the downtown streetscape design process.
  3. Mayor Faye Prichard talks about Ashland's smalltown charm in the context of the town's annual Fourth of July Parade, a full display of Americana.
  4. 4th of July Parade - Ashland, VA
  5. Ashland Coffee and Tea, a popular downtown eatery and music venue, was prone to flooding before the town corrected major infrastructure problems downtown.
  6. Ben Shirley performing Wise Bird @ Ashland Coffee and Tea Co.
  7. An instagram shot of the "Love" wagon at the Ashland Hanover Visitors Center, located just across from the project area in question.
  8. The still-burgeoning Ashland Museum offers downtown Ashland tours on occasion and has conducted candlelight tours of the small town during the winter months.
  9. The town's official website alerted citizens to the ongoing construction work. Ashland officials have been working to promote the downtown sector as a local shopping hub for the holidays.
  10. This PBS piece examines the evolution of downtown Ashland and how the small town was born from the railroad.
  11. The historic Ashland Theatre, just down the street from the intersection of Railroad Avenue and England Street, was recently donated to the town. Local officials are still assessing the circa-1948 property and hope it will again become the downtown entertainment hub it was during Hollywood's heyday.
  12. The Town of Ashland works closely with the private liberal arts college Randolph-Macon College, which is centered just across from its downtown district.
  13. Randolph-Macon College Admissions Video (R-MC)
  14. Randolph-Macon has been conducting its own construction campaign over recent years, including the addition of a new football complex. Throughout the fall, Randolph-Macon home-games bring crowds into downtown Ashland.
  15. W&L Football vs. Randolph-Macon
  16. This recent article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch centers on the reopening of downtown Ashland Henry Clay Inn. Earlier this year, the owners of the bed and breakfast announced they would be closing the facility due to financial difficulties. At one point, they had appeared before Ashland Town Council requesting a change to a town ordinance that would have allowed the Inn to operate as student housing for Randolph-Macon College.
  17. Ashland has attracted national attention as a stump spot for presidential candidates trying to connect with smalltown America. Most recently, the Romney campaign visited the Center of the Universe. During the 2008 election, Sarah Palin visited with Homemades by Suzanne to discuss the economy and government's role in fostering small business.