Friends of Esmont Virginia
Revitalizing Esmont Virginia

5. Chronicle Historic Esmont Village History

Southern Albemarle County’s Forgotten Corner

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The history of Esmont does not exist in one single document, but rather in bits and pieces in numerous places.  Esmont has a rich history going back to the 1800’s when it played an important role in the county and region.  It is worthy of being documented and published as a teaching tool.    

Knowing the history has helped in selecting other projects for the Village such as the Rails to Trails project and Rebuilding the Esmont Depot.  

BENEFIT TO THE COMMUNITY: Chronicling a comprehensive history is likely to be well received and will raise the level of interest in the Village.

RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER PROJECTS: The Lane Family, trains and soapstone all had major impact on Esmont which lead to the selection of Rails to Trails Project, Rebuilding the Depot Project and Esmont Fulfillment Farm Project involving the Esmont Soapstone Quarry.  

ESTIMATED COST: Research costs for this Project will be donated.  Printing costs will be $2000.  SUSTAINABILITY OF PROJECT: Publications of Esmont’s history will be distributed electronically and in bound booklets.

JANUARY 2020 UPDATE: Friends of Esmont, Inc. has been awarded a grant for a historian to research and write the History of Esmont, funded by Virginia Humanities of Charlottesville.  Included in the research: how and when Esmont became a village;  the impact of the Soapstone Shortlines rail system; quarry mining of soapstone and slate;  the wonderful farms in the immediate area; and face-to-face interviews with folks from Chestnut Grove, Porters and the village of Esmont.

Lane Co. Headquarters (left)

​​Photo Credit: S.A. Payne’s Store, Esmont (destroyed in fire) Photo by Steven G. Meeks. Courtesy of the Albemarle County Historic Preservation Committee, Country Stores Poster Presentation, accessed 5/13/2019 from Community Development | Historic Preservation Committee Projects