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Leesburg Lime Company Kiln

Leesburg, Virginia

The hulking remains of the Leesburg Lime Company Kiln lie dormant behind a historical marker close to the W&OD trail. 

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The Leesburg Lime Company appeared in the latter half of the 19th century as one of many businesses that spawned around the W&OD railroad. 

Leesburg Lime Company was one of the largest employers of Black Americans in the area following the American Civil War, with between 30 to 50 Black employees on the roster.

Quarriers used dynamite to break up limestone inside the pits, then utilized a steam-powered winch to transport stone out of the pits. The stone was combined with coal and burned in the kilns.

Their products were a boon to two particular industries in the area. The company supplied fertilizer to farmers, and plaster and stone to builders for walls and roads. The company folded when bluestone, quarried from the eastern part of the county, proved to be a more durable option for paving roads.

Sources vary on their operating years with some mentioning operations starting in the 1860s after the end of the Civil War, but it appears the kilns were fired up no later than 1888, with the company shutting down in 1945.

Know Before You Go

The ruins of the Lime Company's kiln operations are still visible along the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park trail near mile marker 34.

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October 26, 2023

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