A Very Brief History of Two Towns In 1799, the Town of Haymarket was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly. A few years later In 1852, the Manassas Gap Railroad reached the nearby area and that stop became known as Gainesville. Gainesville was the changing point for stagecoach horses on the Fauquier & Alexandria Turnpike. Life prospered in the two towns until 1862 when during the Civil War, Haymarket succumbed to fires and looting. Sadly, only four buildings, St. Paul’s and three small houses nearby were spared. Following General Lee’s surrender, Haymarket began to recover, slowly regaining its former size and prosperity and was incorporated in 1882. Its re-growth came from orchards, vineyards, farms and new construction. The Haymarket horse race track was a 19th century attraction. Meantime, the town of Gainesville, a shipping point for grain, timber and cattle, continued their cattle shipping into the early 1960s. Haymarket ordinances provide a glimpse of Haymarket life back then:
- Horses should not be run or ridden at dangerous speeds within the town.
- Street trees and shrubbery were protected from inconsiderate citizens.
- Profane language was forbidden within hearing distance of another person.
All good rules today.
In 1994, the groundbreaking for Gainesville’s first town home community began; it was named Crossroads. This marked the beginning of mass-development for Gainesville. Within fourteen years, commerce, home building and recreational amenities have exploded. These two historic communities have a great deal to offer and rich past to build upon.