Welcome to Waterford!
A Piece of History
When you stroll the streets of the Waterford National Historic Landmark in Waterford, Virginia, you’ll step back in time. First settled in 1733 by Quakers from Pennsylvania, it is an extraordinary collection of 18th- and 19th-century buildings set within 1,420 acres of rolling farmland located just one hour from Washington, D.C.
The village’s homes, places of business, and the rolling fields that surround them today look much as they did in the 19th century. With its rich heritage in furniture manufacturing, farming, Civil War actions, and African-American life, Waterford is a wonderful place to visit.
Waterford has a rich Civil War history. The village was an island of resistance during the war, when it sided with the Union despite its location in Confederate Virginia. Waterford’s Quaker residents set aside their pacifist beliefs and stood up a cavalry unit to defend their country — the only Union Army unit raised in the state.
Waterford was within the part of Loudoun County known as the Underground Railroad route. It was also a haven for free blacks. The Village’s African-American schoolhouse, the Second Street School, is used today for educational programs. The John Wesley Community Church, built by its black congregation in the late 1800s, is open for special events. Read more >
National Historic Landmark
In 1970, the Secretary of the Interior determined that the Waterford Historic District possessed national significance and designated it a National Historic Landmark. It is the highest designation of historic importance possible in the U.S., and places it on par with Mt. Vernon and Monticello—a rare honor.
Things to know
Visit the Foundation Office at the Old School (40222 Fairfax Street) for parking, information, mini-bookstore and restrooms. The office is open Tuesday – Friday from 9am to 5pm.
Waterford is a historic village with brick walkways and hills. Most of your visit will be outside. Restrooms at the Old School are accessible. Shuttle service is available for the mobility impaired during the Waterford Fair in October.
Food and Drink:
Snacks and drinks are available at the Waterford Market on Second Street. Waterford is a short drive from many restaurants in nearby Lovettsville, Purcellville and Leesburg.
Waterford is close to several wineries which are identified as the Waterford Cluster on the Loudoun Wine Trail. You can see the Visit Loudoun website for a map and information on wineries or download the Loudoun Wine Trail Guide here.
Things to do in Waterford
Self-guided Village Tour
Stroll through the historic village. See a remarkable variety of early dwellings, spring houses, barns, former shops, and 19th century churches. Download our Self-Guided Walking Tour Booklet to enjoy the Landmark’s history.
Visit our cemeteries where Waterford’s early Quakers, residents, and soldiers were laid to rest.
Send a postcard from Waterford’s post office – the oldest Virginia post office in continuous operation at the same site.
Phillips Farm Trail
Walk the 1.5 mile Interpretive Trail on the Phillips Farm. The trail details the natural and cultural history on the property, with numbered posts corresponding to points of interest. Learn more about Phillips Farm here.
Peek into the village jail which housed mischief-makers from the early 1800s until 1936.
The Waterford Fair
Come to the Waterford Fair (held since 1944 on first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October) and return to a day from an earlier time. Tour historic houses, watch juried artisans demonstrate traditional craftsmanship, stroll through the village and find music, crafts, paintings, dried flowers, baked goods and more. Visit the Waterford Fair website.