The Lovettsville Historic District is located in the Town of Lovettsville in the northwestern part of Loudoun County, just two-and-one-half miles south of the Potomac River and the Maryland state line. Situated in the Loudoun Valley between the Short Hill and the Catoctin Mountains, Lovettsville is one of seven incorporated towns in Loudoun County. It developed during the early and mid-19th century as a residential, religious, and commercial hub that served the surrounding agricultural community. Originally known as the German Settlement, Lovettsville was officially established in 1820, incorporated in 1842 and then re-incorporated in 1876, although German settlers, many of whom are buried in the Town‘s surrounding cemeteries, were living in the area by the 1730s. Its location at the intersection of the Berlin Turnpike and Lovettsville Road, and its proximity to an important Potomac River crossing, allowed the town to grow and prosper well into the 20th century.
The Lovettsville Historic District encompasses approximately 90 acres that make up the core of the town and represent the community as it was in the mid-20th century. The central part of Lovettsville along East Pennsylvania Avenue and East Broad Way contain the oldest resources in the historic district, with the exception of early cemeteries located on the outskirts of town. The main east-west arteries are East Pennsylvania Avenue and East Broad Way, with South Loudoun Street as the major north-south thoroughfare. Several other small streets are located within the historic district as well as three cemeteries and a visually prominent church that are located outside the town limits. The town was laid out in a modified grid pattern with the two main parallel east-west streets connected by smaller perpendicular streets that include South Church Street (now addressed as South Berlin Pike), South Light Street, and South Locust Street. South Loudoun Street was the main north-south artery into town and was previously known as the Berlin Turnpike. It has now been bypassed slightly to the west by the present Berlin Pike. More modern development of the town has occurred in areas to the west and north that are not included within the historic district boundaries.
The majority of resources within the Lovettsville Historic District are residences and associated outbuildings. Commercial resources are primarily concentrated along East Broad Way, although a few stand along East Pennsylvania Avenue and South Loudoun Street. The district contains three historic churches representing several denominations, as well as five cemeteries that are religiously affiliated with one exception, the Lovettsville Union Cemetery. The historic district includes 111 properties, with 181 contributing resources and 83 non-contributing resources.
Although Lovettsville was not established until 1820, two cemeteries contain burials from the late 18th century and reflect the early settlement of the area. The first half of the 19th century saw modest growth in the community, with only about a dozen resources that reflect that era surviving. More than 60% of the historic buildings within the historic district date to the years between 1880 and 1930, with the majority of growth occurring in the first three decades of the 20th century. The town was fully incorporated in 1876, which launched a period of growth and development. The surviving architecture within the Lovettsville Historic District thus reflects the town as it appeared in the early to mid-20th century.
The majority of residential buildings within the Lovettsville Historic District are vernacular in nature, although popular architectural styles of the period were used including the Federal, Queen Anne, Folk Victorian, Colonial Revival, and Craftsman styles. Mid-20th-century dwellings primarily follow the Minimal Traditional form. The majority of the single-family residences also contain associated historic outbuildings such as sheds, garages, and in some cases, meat houses and small barns. The district also includes three churches that exhibit a variety of architectural styles, eight commercial buildings, two former social halls, a former school, a former post office, and a communications facility.