Image of the C&O for Progress monogram A graphic image of the words C&O Piedmont Subdivision

Friends, one of the questions that I’ve asked myself over the years is why I and many others build models. A few years ago it occurred to me that, as a research psychologist, I know how to go about answering that question. If you’d be willing to help me out, I have a survey online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DNX3QKB. If you, too are a model builder and could spare about 30 minutes to complete the survey, I’d really appreciate it.

Trevilian

C&O Milepost 151.0


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Station Number: 151
Code Number: 0219
Telegraph Callsign: ON

Trevilian was named in honor of the Trevilian family who ran a tavern here along the Fredericksburg-Charlottesville Stage Coach Road (current state route 613). The railroad purchased from the Trevilian family both the land for the right-of-way and a home for use as the station master’s house. The house was torn down around 1945.

Trevilian Station was the site of one of the most bloody encounters of the Civil War. The battle was fought on June 11-12 of 1864. The Union’s Major General Philip Sheridan launched a large-scale cavalry raid into Louisa County threatening to cut the Virginia Central. The attack was intended to destroy the tracks and the station, after which Sheridan was to join forces with General Hunter who was coming east from Lynchburg. The Battle of Trevilian Station involved more troops than any other cavalry engagement. Between 8,000 and 9,000 Federal cavalry met 5,000 Confederate cavalry under Lieutenant General Wade Hampton at Trevilian Station. The first day the advantage went to the Union troops. General George A. Custer, in charge of the 7th Michigan Cavalry, found himself and his troops caught between two rebel divisions. Custer managed to escape but lost 416 of his men, including his color bearer. On the second day, however, the Confederates fought from excellent defensive positions across the railroad and the road to Gordonsville. After several attacks failed, the Federal troops withdrew, leaving approximately 3 miles of tracks damaged and the station (which was on the north side of the tracks and slightly east of the current one) burned. The Confederate victory at Trevilian kept Sheridan from reaching Charlottesville and cooperating with Union troops from the Valley of Virginia.

The water station in Trevilian was retired in September of 1926. In September, 1931 the depot was remodeled. The 1937 Side Track Record reported that Trevilian had a 2741' passing siding (track number 872), a 962' team track (track number 873), and a 278' house track (track number 874). In July, 1941 the C&O retired the stock pen in Trevilian. The passing track was extended in 1942, absorbing the team track. A spur (track number 2220) was built in 1944 to serve the S. B. Henson lumber yard. The 1950 Industrial Directory listed a 5 car team track (probably the house track) in Trevilian. There was also the private siding serving the S. B. Henson saw and planing mill. In early 1954 track 2220 was reversed (whatever that means). Later that year track 2220 was extended and in 1957 a turnout was built on the east end. Agency services at Trevilian were discontinued in September, 1962. Tracks 874 (the house track), track 2220 (serving the lumber yard), and part of track 872 were retired in 1978. At that time, track 2220 was absorbed by the remaining portion of track 872.

I didn’t expect to find anything in Trevilian when I first visited the area in 1998, but was pleasantly surprised - the station was still standing and was being used as the local Post Office. On a later visit, Post Mistress Mildred Smith allowed me to go through the station; some of the photos I took are below. I didn’t get many photos as only the post office in the old waiting room had power. The rest of the station was in darkness and most of the photos came out way too dark. There’s only so much a flash can do. While going through the station, I had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Atkins, who ran the S. B. Henson lumberyard. As I recall, he ran the lumberyard for about 57 years, ending in 1991, and received rail shipments during the entire time. He is also now associated with the Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation. They are trying to preserve as much of the battlefield as possible, and the station. I was very glad to hear that. When I visited the area in the summer of 2008 the post office had been closed and the station is now sitting empty.

Photos


This is the Trevilian Station as it appears today. The Post Office was in the far end in what used to be the waiting room. (1998 photo)

This is the interior of one of the waiting rooms at the Trevilian Depot. I took the top photo through a window back in 1999. The bottom photo was taken from inside the station in 2013. I think the wood work is beautiful; it must have been a treat to wait for a train here. Given that the room below was identified for me as the “white” waiting room, this must have been the “colored” waiting room. Jim Crow laws in Virginia required separate waiting rooms for whites and African-Americans and separate facilities on board the trains.
The post office is in what used to be the “white” waiting room. The stove in the photo is used to keep the room warm; I visited on a cold, rainy spring day and the stove had the room nice and toasty. If you look at the enlarged version, you can make out C&O embossed on the door.(2001 photos)
This is the office for the Trevilian Depot. It seems quite large, suggesting (to me at least) that Trevilian was once a very busy place. (2013 photo)
This is the interior of the freight room. This is one of my favorite photos that I’ve ever taken. Something about the location of the elements and the lighting really speaks to me. (2013 photo)
This freight scale is located in the freight room of the station. Surprisingly, it still functions.(2001 photo)

This is the east end of the Trevilian siding. What’s left of it served the lumber yard visible in the right-hand photo. The last time I visited, it looked as though the siding was being removed, but as of August 1999, it’s still there. (1999 photos)

Apparently, during World War II there was a series of tanker ships named for Civil War battles. One of them — as can be seen here — memorialized Trevilian. (From the collection of Larry Z. Daily)

Map


This map was prepared from U.S.G.S. topological maps, C&O track charts dated 1963, C&O Side Track Records dated 1937, a copy of the Side Track Records updated through the 1990’s, and C&O Valuation maps, also updated through the 1990’s.

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