A street fair that celebrates community. For one day...we are all Cambrians.
Where? The intersection of Depot Street and Cambria Street (both sides of the track). The street and crossing will be closed that day, but parking will be available in the freight yard between the two depots and along the side streets.
When? From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 11th (yep...the day before Mother's Day and the day after National Train Day).
There is no entrance fee, so bring your family to Cambria and enjoy the afternoon.
Welcome to Historic Cambria:
Cambria is the history of quiet lives in a quintessential railroad town. The mayor better known for his photographs than his governance. The minister better known for his models than his sermons.
It is the history of the rest of us.
If Jeremiah Kyle hadn't insisted that the railroad come through Montgomery County to provide a way to ship coal from his mine at Merrimac, Cambria would never have grown up around the station, Christiansburg and Blacksburg wouldn't exist in their current permutations, and Virginia Tech might have been located elsewhere.
While Cambria is a bit off the beaten track these days, in its heyday, it really was the center of Montgomery County. From 1868 to 1960, the Cambria Depot was the shipping point for all the goods coming into and leaving Montgomery and Floyd Counties, including the Towns of Christiansburg and Blacksburg. Every Sears mail-order house and Wishbook gift; every letter and package; every rug and factory chair and wedding dress sold by the mail order firms from New England to the West Coast; every Model T and Stutz Bearcat; and every secret decoder ring came through the Cambria Depot.
From 1868 until 1908, the Cambria Depot also served as the passenger station, including during the height of immigration. The depot and Cambria welcomed the miners from Wales and Czechoslovakia, farmers from Germany and Ireland, cabinet-makers and home-builders, masons and seamstresses. The languages spoken in the freight-house were as diverse as the last names in the County. In 1908, the Norfolk and Western built a new passenger station on a site east of the old depot and on top of a small spring fed pond (and we wonder we have water problems) an the old depot was converted to a freight station and a maintenance of ways & engineering office.
In its heyday, Cambria boasted of five mercantiles and general stores, a china shop, a notions shop, the Phoenix furniture factory, a grocery store, a couple of banks, more than a couple of hardware stores, three mills of various types, a creamery, four hotels, and more than its share of bars, brothels, and pool halls. While Cambria, like most railroad towns, went through a period of decline, a renaissance over the past 30 years has make Cambria a thriving neighborhood and a great place to visit.
Come and explore the unique shops and the history, and if you listen quietly enough and let your imagination take over, you can still hear the songs of the gandy dancers, the rumble of the steam engines, and the jingle of coins.
published by Dorsett Publications, LLC
Historic Cambria Depot
Questions or comments: Cambria Historian
Last Updated: 17 April, 2013