Nestled between the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia just off Interstate 81, you will find the small town of Edinburg. In this town next to Stony Creek is where you will find Edinburg Mill which is the centerpiece of the town. Built in 1848, it was the target of Union Soldiers during the Civil War. It was destined for destruction until a few locals saved it from being burned down. Through the years it was an active mill until 1978. It was made into a restaurant that stayed in business for twenty years. The mill was vacant… again, but the locals saw great value in the mill. It was put on the National Register of Historic Places, and it was eventually made into the Visitor Center and Museum depicting the history of Edinburg and of transportation in the Shenandoah Valley.
Some of you are excited about the fact that this mill was saved from destruction, and you are excited that this mill has been put to great use, but you are now wondering what the railroad has to do with this mill. The one thing you do not see at this mill is a railroad. Ladies and gentlemen, here is the answer to your question.
The Shenandoah Valley Heritage Museum at the Edinburg Mill displays the history of a typical small town in the valley. This includes the railroad history of the town. Just before the Civil War began, a rail line was built connecting the town to other parts of the country, and the town grew around it. Today, the rail line that is currently in the town is no longer in service, but the people of the Edinburg Mill have a room dedicated to the railroad history of the town. In this room, you will see a model train display plus many model trains and railroad artifacts on display. Plus they also tell the interesting story of the Dinky Railroad, a narrow gauge railroad that connected the nearby iron furnaces to the main lines in Edinburg where they were shipped to other locations in the country.
The Edinburg Mill is located at 214 South Main Street in Edinburg, Virginia just a five minute drive from Interstate 81. The Visitor Center and Gift Shop is on the ground floor with the museum on the second and third floors. Museum admission is only $3.00. It is open all year round from 9:30am to 5:30pm Monday through Saturday and 12:00noon to 5:00pm on Sunday. You can find information and more history of the mill at www.edinburgmill.com.
Next time you are strolling along Interstate 81, make a short detour to Edinburg. You will be glad you did.