Franklin Junction Historic Railroad Park, Gretna, Virginia

John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad

The small town of Gretna in the U.S. state of Virginia in the southern-southwestern region of the state is a town that is not popular with travelers. It is a suburb of Danville, and the town’s commercial district is on the National Register of Historic Places, and it is home to historic structures like Yates Tavern (also on the National Register of Historic Places), the Gretna Theater, and Lavalette House which now houses a restaurant.

Some of you are saying, “This is nice, but does this town have anything to do with the railroad?”

A Bench Commemorating the Railroad Heritage of the Town

The town of Gretna, Virginia is a town that benefitted from the railroad. In 1874, the Lynchburg and Danville Railroad came to Gretna. In 1879, the railroad line was taken over by the Franklin and Pittsylvania Railroad which built a passenger and freight depot and a post…

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