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The Exchange Hotel and Civil War Museum

400 South Main St. , Gordonsville, VA , 22942
540-656-8848     |
Overview Photos Video Audio


The Exchange Hotel didn’t get its “A&E”, “History Channel” ranking of 15th in the “TOP 100 Most Haunted Places in the Country” by luck of the draw. It’s earned its reputation in the world of paranormal activity.

Small groups will be lead from exhibit to exhibit listening to its history and learning what connections it can still have with the reported lingering spirits. Using scientific equipment you will monitor environmental conditions while also searching for paranormal activity. Using digital recorders you will ask historical questions in hopes of true confirmations of events of the past. Thousands of Electronic Voice Phenomena’s (EVP) have been recordered on the property. Many of significant importance, referencing it’s time as a newly freed slave hospital and teaching center, it’s time as a major Civil War receiving hospital and activities that abound during this and later times in history.

The information and audio the tours gather will be reviewed and discussed/debunked (if possible). You'll get the chance to experience a paranormal investigation from beginning to end just like you've seen on TV.


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.

The Civil War Museum at the Exchange Hotel is a museum containing exhibitions on the history of Gordonsville as a railroad town, the elegance of the Exchange Hotel and its transformation and remarkable history as the Gordonsville Receiving Hospital with its medical and Civil War artifacts.

Three floors of displays in an 1860 railroad hotel take the vistor back in time. The Georgian architecture with its verandas and second floor entry steps are reminiscent of Hotel days of a bygone era.

The Museum houses a world-renowned collection of artifacts relating to medical care during the Civil War. Among the many artifacts currently on display are: surgical instruments used by Confederate medical staff, various pharmaceutical bottles and containers, medical knapsacks and panniers, stretchers and litters, prosthetic devices, and dental tools.

The Civil War displays of uniforms and weapons and surgical artifacts remind the visitor of the era when the building served as a Battlefield Receiving Hospital-the scene of untold agony and death, the building survived the conflict and is the only Receiving Hospital still standing in Virginia.

During the reconstruction period, the Gordonsville Receiving Hospital served the newly freed slaves as a Freedman's Bureau Hospital.

Historic Gordonsville, Inc. acquired and restored the property in 1971. It was recognized and placed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1973 and acknowledged as an African-American Memorial Site in June of 2002.

Paranormal Claims

People have reported seeing orbs of light traveling from room to room, heard footsteps on the stairs, heard and seen doors opening and closing on their own, heard the one legged soldier making his way down the halls as his wooden peg taps the creaky wooden floors. They’ve smelled cigar smoke in one room and alcohol in another, scents of lilac perfume wafting through the halls as smells from the past seem to appear and resonate from time to time. They have heard the telegraph ticking when no equipment is present. Heard screaming and moans of sadness that appear from nowhere and on several occasions seen nurses dressed in black descending the stairs and walking the halls. Doctors and soldiers are seen in the hotel and on the grounds as well.



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