Lexington, Virginia is a well preserved downtown and its historical sites invite you to step back through time. Taking the short jaunt off of I-81 into Lexington, you’ll find it is a winding path that leads to a beautiful little town tucked into the hills that make Lexington. Our first stop was at the Visitor’s Center on East Washington Street.
Lexington is a picturesque town and the Civil War era buildings give each street so much character. Who knew so much history is tucked into these rolling hills? Driving through Downtown, you pass this ordinary door not realizing that it was the home of Stonewall Jackson! It is open daily March – December. For those of you who didn’t know, General Jackson was a professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy in 1851.
Sitting on 134 acres, 12 are designated as the Virginia Military Institute Historic District and since 1839 Virginia Military Institute has been educating and preparing cadets to lead is all aspects of their lives. It is the oldest state-supported military college in the United States. After driving through town, we decided to walk around this hilltop campus.
Some notable alumni include George S. Patton, Sr., grandfather to George Smith Patton, Jr.; Benjamin Franklin Ficklin, a founder of the Pony Express; Harry Watkey Easterly, Jr., President of the USGA and First Executive Director; Baseball player Ryan Glynn; General George Marshall, Nobel Prize winner and US Secretary of Defense (1950) as well as the Chief of Staff of the Army during World War II; Brigadier General Frank McCarthy who was also a producer of the 1970 Academy Award winning movie Patton; Pro football player Bobby Thomason who was an NFL Pro Bowl Quarterback; Basketball player Reggie Williams and actor Dabney Coleman.
Four of the Barrack’s five arched entries are named after George Washington, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, George C. Marshall ‘01, and Jonathan Daniels ‘61.
Cadet-guided tours of the campus are available and can be arranged through the VMI Museum. They are offered daily and begin at the lobby of the VMI Museum in Jackson Memorial Hall.
Here is an inside courtyard view of the barracks.
The parade grounds are impressive! Here is an awesome view from the end of the field by Stonewall Jackson’s statute.
Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson looks over the parade grounds above the cannons. He’s quite the impressive statute!
Couldn’t leave the VMI Post without seeing their football field! For college football fans everywhere, a football field is always a must-see!
Even though we were leaving the VMI Post, our visit in Lexington was not over. Stay tuned for more….