July 12, 2006
Gordonsville is a model small town. It's history is preserved, and developments kept to a minimum. Recently, visitors came to experience that small-town feel.
Nearly 100 visitors had a special tour of Gordonsville on foot. As part of the annual Living Towns Workshop, visitors from small towns all over Virginia walked along Main Street to see the history of the town.
"We are small enough where truly people walk to church, they walk to the shop, they walk everywhere, we're small enough," said Bob Coiner, Gordonsville's Mayor.
That is exactly what residents and about 90 others did. The mayor led the way, walking down historic Main Street.
It was all part of the annual Living Towns Workshop that helps representatives from small regions all over Virginia model their towns after Gordonsville. It is the place that's called the ideal area, balancing minor growth with the historic feel.
"Historic preservation is a big issue in every small town these days," said Jane Beasley, a representative of the Town of Woodstock.
Beasley and the rest of her group are from the 4,000 person Town of Woodstock. Beasley said she learned a lot about how to preserve the history and natural heritage of her region.
"Getting together with some of these folks who have experienced similar issues and challenges is invaluable to what we are doing in downtown revitalization and community revitalization," said Beasley.
All of those who attended seem to agree. They said they are going to take back with them the smart growth strategy that Gordonsville has implemented and is so proud of.
"It's a wonderful little town," said Coiner. This is one way to market small town Virginia.
While the residents of Gordonsville want to keep it small, it is bound to grow. According to the mayor, there are enough housing developments currently in the works to double the size of the town.