Clifford as a Community
Clifford is a rural community near and dear to our hearts – whether we were born there or moved there on our own. When you turn onto Route 151 and see the green fields of the farms rolling out beside you and the Blue Ridge Mountains rising in the distance, you can’t help but be awed by God’s creation.
Clifford is one of the oldest settlements in Amherst County, beginning in the mid 1700’s. St. Mark’s Church replaced an earlier wooden frame church built two miles north by Maple Run Creek in 1747. At that time, the church was a part of the Church of England with King George II on the throne. A very different time indeed. Houses built about the same time as Maple Run and St. Mark’s Churches still stand in Clifford today. The Glebe, the Brick House, the Parsonage, Geddes and Winton are still lived in even now.
The oldest roundabout in Virginia is right here in Amherst County. The Village Garden Club work tirelessly to make the fountain in the middle of the roundabout a show stopping display of flowers year round.
The village of Clifford is close to many other towns and cities. Nearby is the county seat, Amherst, with shopping, restaurants, all the necessities, a center for creativity and arts at Second Stage, and a museum that covers much of Amherst County history. The Monacan Indian Museum is located nearby. Also, close to Amherst is Sweet Briar College, a four-year women’s school which sponsors many interesting programs, cultural activities, and offers classes that one can attend. The city of Lynchburg has many restaurants, the Academy of Fine Arts, shopping, medical practices, and the area’s closest hospital. Forty-five minutes north on Route 29 is Charlottesville, a center of excellent medical care, many cultural events and unique shopping. Less than two hours away by interstate is the capital of Virginia, Richmond, also a center of culture with great shopping and restaurants.
Amherst County celebrates Amherst County Batteau Day, honoring Benjamin and Anthony Rucker of Amherst County with the invention of the James River Batteau nearly two centuries ago.
Amherst County has a rich history, which is seen every year with our Monacan Indian Pow Wow. It is a two day celebration of those that came before and keeping traditions alive.
A beautiful photo showcasing the amazing landscape and rolling mountains of Amherst County.
A popular event in Amherst County is the Wine and Garlic Festival. This event brings people from all over to enjoy wine and garlic infused treats from the area.
Amherst County offers many outdoor activities for all ages and interests. Hikers enjoy the Appalachian Trail and the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. The County owns Mill Creek Lake where you can fish, boat or swim. The Tye and Pedlar Rivers offer great fishing, while the James River is known for boating and fishing. The George Washington National Forest gives hikers and fishermen experiences that offer much fun and relaxation. Golf is a focal point in Clifford at Winton Farm.
Patrick Henry Highway (Route 151) has breweries, wineries, and Wintergreen Ski Resort located a short drive away in Nelson County. Amherst County has several fine wineries and holds festivals throughout the Fall Season. The Clifford Ruritan Club sponsors the Sorghum Festival the first weekend in October, and Rebec Vineyards holds the Garlic Festival on the second weekend of October. The Apple Harvest Festival is held on the third weekend of October. There are several orchards located near Clifford today. November brings many church bazaars with the making of Brunswick Stew, ending with the Annual Holiday Cookie Walk and Bazaar at St. Mark’s on the first Saturday in December.
Though Clifford may have seen changes over the past two hundred years, the people have remained the same – proud of our community, helpful in time of need, and looking to a promising future in the village that we love.
Amherst County was once a train town that still retains many aspects of those times. The Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center of Amherst County now resides in the old Train Depot just a quarter mile of where it original stood. Trains still come by everyday past the Depot for many to enjoy.
Let us give thanks to God our Father
for all his goodness so freely given to us.