The town of Remington, Va., population 610 to 620, is a quiet, rural locale in southwest Fauquier County.
The gently rolling landscape is dressed in a muted winter palette. Dark green evergreens and tan deciduous tree trunks surround russet fields. Along U.S. Route 29, cows, horses and sheep graze.
The Rappahannock — River of Swift Rising Waters in the Manahoac Indian language — flows past town on the Norfolk-Southern line.
“The James Madison Street or Old Route 29, river and railroad provided a place for commerce to develop and for people to come together, socialize and be friends in the past,” said Mayor Gerald Billingsley, a resident since 1981 yet still considered a newcomer.
“They still do so today, which helps preserve the character of our small town. People who live outside of town have a Remington address and can pick up their mail at the post office in town. This contributes to our sense of community,” he said.
Remington incorporated in 1890 because some townspeople wanted to eliminate alcohol sales, Billingsley said.
“Supposedly there were a number of pool halls that served alcohol,” he said. “Remington was a small Southern town back then, and drinking was frowned upon. So residents applied to the state for a self-governing charter, under which they could write their own town ordinances.”
“The story is that someone attached a thick metal chain to the last standing pool hall and to a train on the tracks. The train took off and pulled the drinking establishment down. No one is alive to say this is true,” Billingsley said with a smile.
Modest but charming homes: Housing stock is diverse with “some so tiny they must be only two rooms,” said Mary Root, a local historic preservation activist who moved to the town from Fairfax two decades ago. “We have cottages, Victorians, bungalows and a lot of one-story single-families in brick, clapboard or siding. The homes are modest but perfectly charming.”
“That white stucco,” she said, gesturing toward a house at Marshall and Church streets, “was an old mortuary in 1910. It’s supposed to have ghosts in it.”
Some Victorian homes, especially on Church Street, are “painted ladies” with multicolor facades, window trim and front doors. Decorative black and green low-rise wrought-iron fences line many front yards along the street.
Building within the town has been minimal in recent decades, with a couple of townhouse developments, a small, recently constructed subdivision and a few small two-story brick apartment buildings.
“Subdivisions weren’t built in the town but farther afield. That has helped preserve our small-town character,” Billingsley said.
“A bit hokey”: Culpeper is the destination for groceries, but a few beloved specialty shops line Main Street. The Corner Deli offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and was packed on a recent Friday afternoon. Groves Hardware, Purple Poodle Pet Salon, Forget Me Not Flowers, Remington Karate Academy and Infinity Art and Comics are nearby. Three Little Free Libraries are scattered around.
A pool is adjacent to the carnival grounds, which are owned by the volunteer fire department and which light up in the summer with rides, outdoor music and lots of screaming children. “People can walk to the grounds and kids can bike. It’s all a bit hokey, but I like hokey. It’s really a small town,” said Root.
A walking-tour brochure highlights 29 historic buildings and sites.
“Biking is safe, and we encourage it because there’s not much traffic on the back roads. You can ride all the way to Culpeper [12 miles] and halfway to Fredericksburg [29 miles] along back roads that take you as far as Virginia State Route 3,” Billingsley said.
The Civil War Trust owns a beautiful piece of land on a knoll overlooking the railroad and vehicular bridges that traverse the rapid, curving waters of the Rappahannock River. The river is popular with paddlers and fishermen. It’s the future site of Rappahannock Station Battlefield Park, a joint project of the county, the Civil War Trust and the Piedmont Environmental Council.
“The view is outstanding. I can envision art groups setting up easels here and doing plein-air painting,” said Root.
Living there: Remington, Zip code 22734, is an irregular-shaped town less than one square mile in area. “It’s truly a diamond in the rough. I can’t imagine calling another place home,” said Stanley Heaney, a Century 21 New Millennium agent who was born in Remington.
According to Heaney, 13 houses are for sale, ranging from a two-bedroom, two-bathroom single-family home for $195,000 to a three-bedroom, two-bathroom newly constructed single-family house for $426,500.
Four houses are under contract, ranging from a three-bedroom, two-bathroom single-family for $239,500 to a five-bedroom, three bathroom single-family for $389,000.
In 2018, 20 homes sold, ranging from a two-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouse for $150,000 to a four-bedroom, four-bathroom single-family for $344,000.
Schools: Margaret M. Pierce Elementary, Cedar Lee or Taylor Middle, Liberty High.
Transit: Remington is south of Exit 43A on Interstate 66 and off U.S. Route 29. It’s 13 miles from Warrenton, 26 miles from The Plains, 35 miles from Middleburg and 46 miles from Front Royal. There is no public transit.
Crime: According to the Fauquier County police department, there were two burglaries, one robbery and 24 assaults this past year.