Originally known as Middletown, this small crossroads settlement was established southeast of Mills Gap, an important early crossing of North Mountain. David Gerrard laid out forty lots in 1784, and the Virginia General Assembly incorporated the town three years later. The name was later changed, undoubtedly to avoid confusion with other Middletowns as much as to honor Gerrard. By 1803 the Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia had issued policies on eleven buildings in town, a sure sign of growth. Fortunately, Gerrardstown seems sufficiently removed from Interstate 81 and its attendant development that it continues to appear as an almost pristine nineteenth-century village.
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