April 1, 2014 – The exhibition is based on the book Lost Communities of Virginia by Terri Fisher and Kirsten Sparenborg, Community Design Assistance Center, Virginia Tech.
Virginia's back roads and rural areas are dotted with traces of once-thriving communities. General stores, train depots, schools, churches, banks, and post offices provide intriguing details of a way of life now gone. The buildings may be empty or repurposed today, the existing community may be struggling to survive or rebuilding itself in a new and different way, but the story behind each community’s original development is an interesting and important footnote to the development of Virginia and the United States.
Lost Communities of Virginia have not disappeared, but are still very much intact. It is the industries, transportation modes, and ways of life that once defined the communities that have been lost. Community members help to keep their common cultural and historical heritage alive through their stories, festivals, and the continued use of community buildings and residences. As long as the buildings and people remain, the community will not vanish entirely. Some of the lost communities have found ways to reinvent themselves, but all have in common a lost industry or way of life that has forever changed the place and the reason for the community’s development. (From Lost Communities of Virginia, p. 13)