Bedford County was formed in 1754 and named for the Fourth Duke of Bedford, a British government official. In 1782, the Town of Liberty (now called Bedford) was established. Originally an agrarian-based economy, Bedford’s industrial development began in 1880, and since that time, industrial growth has been consistent and often fostered by the involvement of local citizens. In the early 1980’s, the city undertook renovation of its historic downtown district and became one of Virginia’s first Main Street communities.
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To learn more about Bedford’s history, visit the Bedford Museum, located at 201 E. Main Street, Bedford, VA 24523. The Museum showcases Bedford’s history, including early Native American life through the War Between the States, and further into the 20th Century.