Richlands Railroad Section Foreman’s House

The Section House is an important historic structure prominently located in the historic downtown area of Richlands. It was built in the 1890s by Norfolk & Western Railroad as the home of the railroad’s section foreman — a key figure who maintained the integrity of track conditions for a 10 to 20-mile section of the railroad.

The Section House is one of the town’s oldest structures, listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places, being recognized by the federal and state governments as a site of historic significance.  The exterior of the Section House retains many original features of the historic property, including windows, tin roofing and Board and Batten siding. It was built in a style common to most section houses that were constructed by the railroad in the late 1800s. 

The Section House is listed as one of two destinations in Richlands on the Virginia Coal Heritage Trail; the other being the official state Coal Miners’ Memorial. The Coal Heritage Trail was developed to highlight the crucial role Southwest Virginia plays in Virginia’s economy, as well as the nation’s economy. The Section House is unique because it is one of only two surviving such structures listed on the 325-mile trail.

The site is now listed on the Virginia Landmarks Registry and the National Register of Historic Places. The house serves as a cultural center for the town and tours are available by appointment.


1542 Front Street, Richlands, VA 24641


(276) 964-2566

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