Sedalia in the Old Dominion

A Sedalia Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Blog

By L.C. Melton

Considering that West Virginia was split off of the state of Virginia during the Civil War in 1863, I didn’t anticipate finding a Sedalia in the Old Dominion. Nevertheless, there it is so I presume it preceded West Virginia’s but can find out little about it’s origin.

As I google down beautiful State Road 122, also known as Big Island Highway, in Bedford County, I come to S.R. 638 and the “Sedalia Country Store”. Now if I take Charlmont Road North, I come to the Sedalia Baptist Church. However, if I take the Sedalia School Road South I come to Sedalia Center. The Center is a 17 acre retreat and festival facility “under” the Blue Ridge Mountains with an energetic calendar of events. 1

I also discover that Sedalia VA is just 17 miles northwest of Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s Summer Home. I spent some time excavating there 25 years ago on an Archaeology fellowship. I wish I had known Sedalia was just off my starboard bow as I traveled the Blueridge Parkway to Lynchburg. Had I driven down the rode a bit further then, I might know more about the Virginia Sedalia now!

I can understand how the name Sedalia spread along the railroad lines in both directions but some of our name sakes are not associated with the rails. As I research these towns however, I find the local newspapers full of Sedalia datelines and references to Sedalia residents in both good and bad situations and especially during the Civil War. J.West Goodwin alone at the Weekly Bazoo usually gave paper s across the country something sensational to write about.

1 Sedalia Center;