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Virginia Springs - Summer Arrangement, Broadside, 1855


Western Virginia's mineral-spring resorts were extremely popular in the nineteenth century. Travelers from throughout the United States, but especially from the South, visited the resorts, taking the "cure" and enjoying the bucolic rural landscapes and restorative mountain air. On their way to the springs, travelers also sought the sublime and picturesque beauty of the state's natural wonders such as the Peaks of Otter and Natural Bridge.

The expansion of the Old Dominion's railroad network during the 1850s made the long trip to western Virginia's resorts far easier. Broadside advertisements urged urban dwellers from Richmond and Petersburg to escape the humid, unhealthy summers by traveling the railroads. Travelers could complete in one day (getting "through by day-light") what had formerly taken several days over bumpy, dusty mountain roads. In 1855, Virginians visiting the springs could travel on the state's newest railroad, the Virginia and Tennessee. The route linked several other rail lines and accelerated the population growth and economic development of much of southwestern Virginia and eastern Tennessee.

Citation: Virginia Springs, Richmond & Danville, South-side and Virginia and Tennessee Railroads: summer arrangement. Richmond: Dispatch Steam Presses, 1855. Broadside 1855 .V8 FH, Manuscripts & Special Collections, Library of Virginia


Social Studies: VS.1, VS.6 USI.1, USI.8
Art: 4.1, 5.1

Suggested Questions

Analyze: Use this broadside as a starting point, how did the economics and technology of the East Coast compare to other parts of the U.S. in the 1850s?

Artistic Exploration: Design a broadside similar to this item for a trip to the Pacific along the Transcontinental Railroad. Be sure to research stops, prices, etc.

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