Before the Civil War, the Exchange Hotel with its high ceiling parlors and grand veranda welcomed passengers from the two rail lines: the Virginia Central Railroad and the Alexandria Railroad.
Soon war began. Troops, supplies, and wounded were transported on these railroads to Gordonsville. The Exchange Hotel became the Gordonsville Receiving Hospital which provided care for 70,000 soldiers, both Confederate and Union.
In the reconstruction period, this hospital served the newly freed slaves as a Freedman's Bureau Hospital. As the United States healed and the railroads boomed, this graceful building returned to its role of hotel. Now fully restored, the hotel is a museum dedicated to the Civil War era.