Waddell's Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871


CHAPTER XVIII.

FROM 1833 TO 1844.

Let us now endeavor to take a view of Staunton, and to some extent of the county, in 1833, or we may say from 1823 to 1843, for as far as we can ascertain, the condition of things during that period remained substantially unchanged.

Whatever the people of Staunton may think of it at this time, in 1833 the town was very shabby and unattractive, in respect to its streets and buildings, public and private. Very few of the side-walks were paved, and pedestrians floundered in the mire at almost every step. The side-walks of some of the streets had been railed off, to protect people on foot from vehicles and cattle, but most of the rails had fallen off, so that only a remnant remained, with here and there a post. The town authorities discouraged the planting of trees, and therefore the aspect of the town was bare and bleak. The court-house stood in the yard still used for that purpose. It was an unsightly stone structure, nearly square, and two stories high. The entrances were on the north and south sides.

The County Court clerk’s office was a long one-story brick building near the southwest corner of the lot, and south of the court-house. On the north side of the lot adjoining the alley and Augusta street, was a brick house of two stories, where the clerk’s offices of the Chancery and Circuit Courts were accommodated. This house was entered through a two-storied porch on its south side, fronting the court-house.

The county jail occupied the site of the present prison, and was as plain and unsightly as the courthouse. The town market-house was a large shed with roof supported by posts, and no side walls, on the corner of the jail lot next Augusta street. In the rear of the market-house stood the whipping-post and pillory.

Augusta street terminated a short distance south of the creek. The top of “Gospel Hill” was the eastern terminus of Beverley street, and the main Winchester road entered the town over that hill, Coalter street being an extension of the road.

The people of Staunton obtained water for drinking and cooking from a half dozen public wells, and the labor of carrying water to distant


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