Notes from the Field: Investigations in Augusta County, VA

12 Jun 2021 10:10 AM | Christine R Henry (Administrator)

by Sam Biggers

Mysterious stone foundations in Augusta County, VA. photo courtesy of Sam Biggers

Over the past few years, members of the Augusta County Historical Society formed an unofficial “Old Buildings Committee.” Formed in much the same vein as VAF’s formation decades ago, the mission of the committee is to study old buildings in Augusta County, Virginia through careful and methodical documentation. Our escapades have primarily brought us to properties threatened through neglect; several which have already been lost. In many cases, our measured drawings and photographs are the only remaining record for lost buildings.

In 2019, members of the group visited a fascinating site in north-central Augusta County that left us scratching our heads. The site sits just above the Middle River, where the owner contacted us about a mystery pair of stone foundations. In profile, they appear to be ramps, with a gap in the middle at grade.

Stone foundations from above, Augusta County, VA. photo courtesy of Sam BiggersOur thinking was that these were used for agricultural purposes, namely to load materials into a cart or something similar. We also considered an industrial use, such as milling. However, the site sits 30 feet to the north, on a bluff over Middle River, and is not located at an established road. Historic maps and aerials do not give any additional clues as to lost roads.

The homeowner is curious, as is our cadre of abandoned building admirers. If anyone has any ideas, please contact me at I’d appreciate any and all input.

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