Goshen was once inhabited by Indian tribes such as the Cherokee and Shawnee, but in the 18th century, European settler, Alexander Dunlop and his Scottish wife, Anna MacFarlane moved to the Calfpasture.   A few of the first settlers include, Bratton, Lockridge, Graham, Carter, and Davis.  Land was bountiful and sold for 33 1/3 cent per acre.   The first Goshen council was instructed in 1744 by James Patton and John Lewis.  Goshen was based on farms, much like today, raising mainly corn.  While Goshen was mere farmland, in the 1800’s, Goshen Pass and Panther’s Gap was a bustling community with a school, hotel, Post Office, and foundaries, the record salary reached was $60.00/yr, earned by Mr. Charles Knight, schoolmaster. 
The Alleghany Hotel, built to serve as a hotel by “the Goshen Improvement company; the company which in the boom period of 1890 selected Goshen station as a site for laying of and the founding of a new city.”  The hotel was known as the “house of entertainment,” but a few years before the fire, Alleghany Hotel was renamed the Alleghany Sanitarium, housing Tuberculosis patients.  On Thanksgiving day, 1922, the Alleghany Hotel smoldered in flames and ash for 2 1/2 hours before the building was completely destroyed.  During this time, Goshen was without a fire department to combat the flames.



“All gave some, some gave all, This monument stands in tribute to Goshens contribution to the greatest generation.”


During the onset of World War II, Goshen residents saw off 198 recognized soldiers to fight for their country.  While some returned and some did not, Goshen memorializes the brave men and women who risked life and limb for peace and humanity.  Standing proudly in front of the Town Hall on Main street, a World War II memorial lists veterans and those killed in action. 

81 thoughts on “History

  1. My mother-in-law, Ellen Cameron Bell Brown Gray, age 95, lived at Cameron Hall with her parents. Ellen was born in 1920 and currently lives at Baldwin Park Brightview, Staunton, Virginia. She loves sharing information about Cameron Hall that was in her family for many, many years. Her phone number is 540-887-2508. She was also related to Cameron Seay, who was listed in one of the messages.

  2. My mother-in-law, Ellen Cameron Bell Brown Gray, age 95, lived at Cameron Hall with her parents. Ellen was born in 1920 and currently lives in the independent apartments at Baldwin Park Brightview, Staunton, Virginia. She loves sharing information about Cameron Hall that was in her family for many, many years. Her phone number is 540-887-2508. She was also related to Cameron Seay, who was listed in one of the messages.

  3. I am searching my Ingram family that is from the Goshen area of Virginia. I am trying to find where a church and cemetery is located that was called Buffalo Gap Chapel and the Buffalo Cemetery. I have an obituary from 1911 that lists that the funeral for Catherine Montgomery Ingram, widow of Hugh Ingram, was held at the Buffalo Gap Chapel and burial was in the Buffalo Cemetery. I have searched in Augusta County and no luck. I’m told that maybe this church and cemetery was on the Rockbridge county side and may have been near Goshen. Any help appreciated.

  4. I would love to talk with your mother-in-law, Ms. Gray about her time at Cameron Hall and the surrounding area.

  5. Karen, please contact my mother-in-law. She has pictures of Cameron Hall that was actually owned by her parents and other members of her family (I think). On her 95th birthday, her daughter took her to Cameron Hall and had a picture made standing in front of the house. Ellen is of very sound mind; exercises four times a week; still drives; and, would love a visit or phone call to discuss living at Cameron Hall with her parents

  6. I am trying to find information on the First Baptist Church (which is no longer in use). It is located on Rt. 42 app. 1 mile past the Bridge over the River, heading to Craigsville. I have been told it was a black church, but would appreciate any information anyone would share with me about it.

  7. My husband and myself recently purchased a home in Goshen at 19 Bell Hill Ln. We have been told by a few people here that it was the first house built in the town of Goshen which we have found confusing since the ad for the home listed it as having been built in 1890 and yet we have heard that many places here were built before this. We believe the house may be older than what it was listed as. We would love any information on this house or copies of any pictures of this house from the past. We help out occassionally at one of the local camps and love the area; which is how we found this home. We have recently retired and planned to make this our home if we can fix this old place up some. It needs quite a bit of tender loving care! 🙂

  8. Tom,Buffalo Gap Chapel is a Presbyterian Church near Buffalo Gap in Augusta Co.Located about 1 mile South of the 254/42 intersection.As to a cemetary,I do not know of one.

  9. My name is Darryl Knick and my grandfather was a guard at a prison located in Goshen, VA. I am trying to find out where the prison was exactly, and if anyone might have a picture of the prison. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Live in Goshen with family live in probably one of oldest houses in town built in 1860

  11. You can do a deed search at the Court house and bring the previous owner names to the Environmental Health office and look to see if we have any information. We do have information on properties in Goshen area. I have some files dated back to 1939. But in by last name only, no tax map and no street address just Route numbers.

  12. hello my name is Harry white my grandfather Eugene Thornton and my uncle Heavey owned a grocery store and gun shop near Still Water in Goshen . Im trying to find some pics of him and stores they were write on the side of the railroad tracks. my grandfather was a permanent fixture hanging out with his friends at the gas station telling stories and jokes. I also have a aunt, her name Sue that was working at the grocery store in the town owned by my uncle Bill Ingram that I haven’t seen in years if anyone could help me with pictures. My children and I would greatly appreciate your help. Even if you can’t help us, thank you for reading my post. I sure do miss Goshen, I had a lot of great memories and would like to have more.
    Harry White

  13. There was another hotel on the Knob called “Camp Knob” according to my mother who was raised on the Knob. Part of it still stands and is used as a camp by a gentleman from Lexington. My mother said the camp served meals outside, I believe in open areas. There is still the spring, a pond, and a partially hidden swimming pool that belongs to the property

  14. I know there are pictures at the Goshen Library of some of the town homes and buildings and of the Hotel on Alleghany. I am in the process of going through pictures my Mom has and trying to find out about them. She is 100 (in June of this year). I remember the different stores in Goshen and often shopped in the Thornton store and the Jane Turnage store, also Oma Wilhelm’s store. Mr. Thornton’s store is still there but is used as storage I think. I would love to learn more of the history of our town. I have lived here for over 71 years.

  15. Karen–Could you please contact me–We went over some genealogy some years back and I have an update question now

  16. Mr. James Ramsey, Thank you so much for your reply to my 2015 question about African American churches in Goshen. I apologize for the delay, but forgot all about this blog until today. I road north on 42 with the help of Google Maps and spied the church on the right about a quarter mile out from town. Do you know if the old house beside the church was once a parsonage? The Google picture was captured in October before the foliage died back so it was almost covered, but I could make out the entry way.

    Would the cemetery be located on the Bell’s Valley Road (614) as it leads west off of 42. The sign at 42 says you have to ford the river if you go 3 miles out that road. I assume that would be the Little Calf Pasture River. Just wanted to make sure I ID’ed the right places in hope I can drive down in February and get some quick pictures while the leaves are gone.

  17. Bernadette Nicholas Donovan is searching for father’s family. Grandmother was Grace Wooden (maiden name Nicholas). Mother of Walter Lee Nicholas. FATHER UNKNOWN. I have traced ancestors on my paternal grandmother’s side. My father was born in 1903 and died in 1949. I would like to find information of my father’s father’s family.

  18. Looking for my father’s farther’s family. Spent summers in Goshen with my aunt Ethel Wooden, who was a half sister. My father’s name was Walter Lee Nicholas. His mother was Grace Nicholas Wooden.
    I have traced info on my grandmorher’s family, but am unable to locate any info on my grandfather .

  19. Mrs Nicholas:
    The cemetery with the First Baptist Church is located N on 42 less than a mile from the church on the left on top of a hill.The parcel is 13-A-4 on the Rockbridge County tax maps.You would have to cros property owned by Mr Mike Lowry to access it.(13-A-5).
    There are two cemeteries on 614 adjacent to one another.The Bells Valley Methodist and the Ingram Family are there just of 42.You do not want to cross the mtn. and ford the river.Fording is deep and poor quality.

  20. I’m interested in information regarding where the creosote was shipped into the old Burke-Parsons-Bowlby plant back in the 1980’s and earlier. Are there any old timers out there that worked at the creosote plant back when the smell would make your eyes burn and skin burn when it was fresh in the air? Any information of the old days would be most helpful. Thank you in advance.
    Mrs. Donna M. Pritt

  21. It’s been a while…..I found a picture of Kamp Knob on the Internet. It was run by Bill Guinn and I think his wife ran the Rockbridge Inn which looks to be what is now the Hummingbird Inn. I don’t know what year Kamp Knob burned (all except the building still used for a camp which my mother said was the kitchen). I know there was a swimming pool because it is still there, although filled with leaves. Also have been told there were tennis courts. It is now owned by the Chittum family. Part of that land was once owned by my Uncle Arthur Burke and was known as the Curtis field. Mom said planes had landed there when she was a girl. I don’t have a clue how to get the picture to you. If you can help me with the technical end, I would be glad to send it.

  22. I worked at Stillwater a couple yrs 2nd shift i loved it to bad i was laid off with lots of people when they were preparing to close. Did they ever close, what did they do with the building? I moved to New York so I have no clue any1 I worked with there get back to me lets catch up. btw I ran the big dryer on 2nd shift I worked for Eddie. oh I lived in rockbridge bath , just addin some things that might help people remember me lol

  23. Had a curious thought the other day, tried to Google it but came up empty. Have any of you guys heard of ‘Camp Virginia?’ As I recall (40 years ago!), it was near Goshen. It was a boys camp but not Boy Scouts. It had cabins for each age group that were named after Indian tribes. It offered various activities including rifle range, archery and horseback riding. At one point, I remember the staff from U of Va football staff coming out for a day-long training day for everyone. Any recollections of this place and whatever happened to it?

  24. Does anyone know anyway to find records for an African American church called Aenon Baptist and a cemetery named Gospel Hill?

  25. For those interested the Ingraham (now shortened to Ingram) family showed up in a census of the area in 1710. The family lineage still lives on in the Ingrams of Bath County and Goshen (family split in the 30s due to a fued, all Ingrams in the area are related) one member still uses the Ingraham spelling.

  26. The Rockbridge Historical Society is presenting a talk and slide show given by Anne McClung on the history of Goshen. It will be held on September 10, at 2:30, at the Goshen Baptist Church. It is free of charge and everyone is welcome. Refreshments and fellowship will follow the program.
    Some of the questions asked above will be covered. The presentation will include drone photography, archival photographs, Goshen’s intriguing history and interviews with some of its life long residents. Please join us!

  27. Hello, My name is Heather Rose.
    I have some 1869 images of soldier veterans and the history points them as being in Goshen at the time images were taken. In one image is a Civil War period train depot believed to have once been close to Hummingbird Inn. I read that Goshen was flooded out in parts in 1870 but am hoping that someone who has lived in the town for a long time might be able to provide information. If we can ID this station it helps build a case for the VMI cadets that are identified in the images. I know they say that the old station down there is the original but it cannot be because cement blocks like that were not used in the 1800s. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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