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Martinsville, Virginia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Martinsville, Virginia
Martinsville's uptown district.
Official seal of Martinsville, Virginia
Nickname(s): 
M-Ville, The 276, Titletown
Motto(s): 
A City Without Limits
Martinsville-Location.svg
Coordinates: 36°41′10″N 79°52′9″W / 36.68611°N 79.86917°W / 36.68611; -79.86917
CountryUnited States
StateVirginia
CountyNone (Independent city)
Founded1791
Incorporated (town)1873
Incorporated (city)1929
Named forJoseph Martin
Government
 • TypeCouncil-manager
 • MayorKathy Lawson[1]
 • Vice MayorJennifer Bowles
 • CouncilMartinsville City Council
Area
 • Total11.01 sq mi (28.51 km2)
 • Land10.96 sq mi (28.37 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.14 km2)
Elevation
1,017 ft (310 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total13,485
 • Density1,200/sq mi (470/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
24112-24115
Area code(s)276
FIPS code51-49784[3]
GNIS feature ID1498514[4]
Websitehttp://www.martinsville-va.gov

Martinsville is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 13,485.[5] A community of both Southside and Southwest Virginia, it is the county seat of Henry County,[6] although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Martinsville with Henry County for statistical purposes.

Martinsville is the principal city of the Martinsville Micropolitan Statistical Area, with a population of 73,346 as of the 2000 census.

The paper clip-shaped Martinsville Speedway, the shortest track in the NASCAR Cup Series at 0.526 miles (847 m) and one of the first paved "speedways", is located just outside the city near the town of Ridgeway.

History

Martinsville was founded by American Revolutionary War General, Native American agent and explorer Joseph Martin, born in Albemarle County.[7] He developed his plantation Scuffle Hill on the banks of the Smith River near the present-day southern city limits. General Martin and revolutionary patriot Patrick Henry, who lived briefly in Henry County and for whom the county is named, were good friends.[8]

20th century

DuPont in 1941 built a large manufacturing plant for producing textile nylon filament, a vital war material. During the Cold War, the city was identified as a target for strategic bombing by the Soviet Union. This nylon production jump-started the growth of the textiles industry in the area.

For several years Martinsville was known as the "Sweatshirt Capital of the World", and in the 1980s it boasted of having more millionaires per capita than any city in America.[9][10][11]

Business leaders in the mid-20th century, like Whitney Shumate, worked to improve sub-standard housing in Martinsville. He helped clear out a portion of Martinsville called "Mill Town", which had sub-standard rental housing originally provided for 19th century employees of a now defunct cotton mill. New homes were constructed in the neighborhood, built with sound materials and with all city services for the first time. What had originally been considered a depressed civic area rapidly became a center of progress as middle class blacks finally began to prosper. As an editorial in the local newspaper noted, "One of the projects which won him considerable attention and praise was the instigation of the redevelopment of what was once known as Martinsville Cotton Mill Village. He and associates purchased about 50 houses in North Martinsville, and using private capital rather than federal aid, rebuilt them into comfortably inhabitable homes, making it possible for many persons to purchase homes within their financial range."[12]

In the early 1990s, changing global economic conditions and new trade treaties made Martinsville textiles and furniture manufacturing economically unsustainable. Many firms closed shop and laid off thousands of workers; the production moved offshore to other countries.[13] The city is repositioning itself long-term as a center for technology development and manufacturing.

MZM, Inc. opened a facility in Martinsville as part of the Cunningham scandal.[14]

Memorial Hospital of Martinsville (now combined with the hospital in Danville, Virginia to become Sovah Health.) serves the greater Martinsville and Henry County area.[15] The earliest local hospital was the 50-bed Shackelford Hospital,[16] founded by Dr. Jesse Martin Shackelford,[17] who was later joined by surgeon son Dr. John Armstrong Shackelford, an early graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.[18] Founder of the Hospital Association of Virginia, Dr. Jesse Shackelford was an early advocate of comprehensive care for state citizens. Shackelford Hospital was sold in 1946, and Martinsville General Hospital subsequently opened with Dr. John Shackelford as its first chief surgeon.[19] In 1970 Memorial Hospital of Martinsville opened its doors, replacing Martinsville General.

Liberty Fair Mall opened in 1989.[20]

21st century

In 2008, then Illinois democratic senator and 44th President of the United States Barack Obama held a campaign stop in Martinsville.[21][22]

In August of 2021, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam pardoned all 7 African-American men of the Martinsville Seven.[23][24]

Relationship with Henry County

Martinsville's relationship with Henry County is somewhat complex. Martinsville was fully included in Henry County's jurisdiction until it was declared a city by court order in 1928.[25] As with all cities in Virginia, Martinsville's incorporation as a city made it independent from Henry County's jurisdiction. Although Martinsville technically remains the county seat of Henry County, nearby Collinsville serves as the de facto county seat, as it is where the county's primary administrative and judicial offices are located. However, the future of this jurisdictional arrangement became unclear when Martinsville's city council unanimously voted in favor of beginning the process of reverting from a city to a town (which would reincorporate it into the county's jurisdiction) on December 10, 2019,[26] citing economic and demographic concerns.[27] The time frame for this reversion remains unclear, as the city's petition to revert must first be approved by a three-judge panel[27] in the state courts, after which begins a complex process of negotiation with the county over the division of responsibilities.[26][28]

The Beaver Creek Plantation, John Waddey Carter House, Dry Bridge School, East Church Street-Starling Avenue Historic District, Fayette Street Historic District, Little Post Office, Martinsville Fish Dam, Martinsville Historic District, Martinsville Novelty Corporation Factory, and Scuffle Hill are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[29]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.0 square miles (28.5 km2), of which 11.0 square miles (28.5 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2) (0.5%) is water.[30] The north side of the city has the highest average elevation. The east side slopes gradually down to the Smith River on the south side. The west side is hilly. Martinsville is located in the Southern Virginia region and is 30 miles (42 km) northwest of Danville,[31] 51 miles (82 km) south of Roanoke,[32] 91 miles (146 km) southwest of Lynchburg[33] and 48 miles (77 km) north of Greensboro, North Carolina.[34]

Climate

Climate data for Martinsville, Virginia (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1937–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 79
(26)
82
(28)
89
(32)
92
(33)
101
(38)
102
(39)
104
(40)
105
(41)
101
(38)
95
(35)
86
(30)
82
(28)
105
(41)
Average high °F (°C) 48.4
(9.1)
52.2
(11.2)
60.3
(15.7)
70.8
(21.6)
77.7
(25.4)
84.7
(29.3)
88.0
(31.1)
85.9
(29.9)
79.8
(26.6)
70.7
(21.5)
60.3
(15.7)
51.1
(10.6)
69.2
(20.7)
Daily mean °F (°C) 36.1
(2.3)
38.9
(3.8)
45.9
(7.7)
55.6
(13.1)
64.0
(17.8)
72.0
(22.2)
76.0
(24.4)
74.2
(23.4)
67.6
(19.8)
56.7
(13.7)
46.0
(7.8)
38.7
(3.7)
56.0
(13.3)
Average low °F (°C) 23.8
(−4.6)
25.5
(−3.6)
31.6
(−0.2)
40.4
(4.7)
50.3
(10.2)
59.2
(15.1)
64.0
(17.8)
62.6
(17.0)
55.5
(13.1)
42.8
(6.0)
31.7
(−0.2)
26.3
(−3.2)
42.8
(6.0)
Record low °F (°C) −7
(−22)
−7
(−22)
−3
(−19)
18
(−8)
26
(−3)
35
(2)
43
(6)
41
(5)
30
(−1)
14
(−10)
5
(−15)
−2
(−19)
−7
(−22)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.83
(97)
3.04
(77)
4.08
(104)
3.60
(91)
4.50
(114)
4.41
(112)
4.01
(102)
4.17
(106)
5.09
(129)
3.57
(91)
3.33
(85)
3.72
(94)
47.35
(1,203)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 3.3
(8.4)
2.4
(6.1)
1.7
(4.3)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
2.0
(5.1)
9.4
(24)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 9.5 9.1 10.5 9.7 12.0 11.3 11.7 9.8 9.0 8.0 8.2 9.9 118.7
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 0.7 0.4 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 1.9
Source: NOAA[35][36]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880289
19002,384
19103,36841.3%
19204,07521.0%
19307,70589.1%
194010,08030.8%
195017,25171.1%
196018,7989.0%
197019,6534.5%
198018,149−7.7%
199016,162−10.9%
200015,416−4.6%
201013,821−10.3%
202013,485−2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[37]
1790-1960[38] 1900-1990[39]
1990-2000[40] 2010-2020[41]

2020 census

Martinsville city, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[42] Pop 2020[41] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 6,707 5,732 48.53% 42.51%
Black or African American alone (NH) 6,191 6,043 44.79% 44.81%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 18 23 0.13% 0.17%
Asian alone (NH) 127 116 0.92% 0.86%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 4 0.00% 0.03%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 10 46 0.07% 0.34%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 216 496 1.56% 3.68%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 552 1,025 3.99% 7.60%
Total 13,821 13,485 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2010 Census

As of the census[43] of 2010, there were 13,821 people, 6,498 households, and 4,022 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,407.1 people per square mile (543.1/km2). There were 7,249 housing units at an average density of 661.7 per square mile (255.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 48.38% White, 45.45% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.69% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 5.70% of the population.

There were 6,498 households, out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.0% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.1% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.89.

The age distribution was 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 82.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,441, and the median income for a family was $35,321. Males had a median income of $28,530 versus $21,367 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,251. About 14.0% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.6% of those under age 18 and 16.9% of those age 65 or over. As of August 2010, the city's unemployment rate stood at 20 percent.[44]

Economy

The city's chief industry for many early years was the manufacture of plug chewing tobacco. The Henry County area became known as the "plug tobacco capital of the world".[45] In the wake of the collapse of the plantation economy following the American Civil War, the local economy was reeling. Stepping into the breach were several thriving plug firms which sold their merchandise across the nation beginning in the nineteenth century.

Local families were heavily involved in these companies, bestowing their names on them and reaping sizeable profits until the early twentieth century, when the tobacco monopolies created by R.J. Reynolds and James Buchanan Duke bought out most firms. (In most cases, in bold anti-competitive moves, the two tobacco titans simply shut down their acquisitions overnight.[46] These actions resulted in a U.S. government lawsuit against American Tobacco Company.[47]) Among the earliest of these firms were D.H. Spencer & Sons and Spencer Bros. Other families soon joined in founding other early firms, including the Gravelys, the Comptons, the Ruckers, the Wittens, the Lesters and the Browns.

The city's main industry for a century was furniture construction, and today Virginia furniture makers still reside in the region.[48]

On October 28, 2021, it was announced the Colorado based apparel and footwear company VF Corporation will continue to expand in Martinsville creating 82 new jobs, while investing $10 million dollars into the area.[49]

Government

The City of Martinsville operates under a council-manager government. The city council has five members who serve four-year terms. Every two years, the council elects a mayor and vice-mayor from among its members. An appointed city manager controls daily operations and manages the city's activities.

Current council members:[50]

  • Kathy Lawson, mayor
  • Jennifer Bowles, vice mayor
  • Eric H. Monday, city attorney
  • Tammy Pearson, council member
  • Danny Turner, council member
  • Chad Martin, council member
  • Leon Towarnicki, city manager

Politics

Presidential Elections Results[51]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2020 36.0% 2,165 62.6% 3,766 1.4% 82
2016 36.4% 2,149 59.8% 3,533 3.8% 225
2012 36.8% 2,312 61.4% 3,855 1.9% 117
2008 35.4% 2,311 63.5% 4,139 1.1% 70
2004 45.3% 2,538 54.2% 3,036 0.5% 29
2000 45.0% 2,560 53.5% 3,048 1.5% 86
1996 41.9% 2,446 50.3% 2,941 7.8% 455
1992 40.7% 2,690 46.4% 3,073 12.9% 854
1988 53.6% 3,360 44.6% 2,794 1.8% 110
1984 58.4% 4,234 40.6% 2,942 1.1% 78
1980 48.8% 3,433 47.5% 3,337 3.7% 262
1976 45.4% 3,147 50.3% 3,491 4.3% 297
1972 61.3% 3,879 36.2% 2,292 2.5% 155
1968 36.0% 2,618 37.5% 2,727 26.5% 1,931
1964 37.4% 1,805 61.0% 2,943 1.6% 76
1960 49.2% 1,729 48.3% 1,699 2.5% 89
1956 59.7% 2,125 38.4% 1,368 1.9% 68
1952 55.8% 1,772 43.8% 1,391 0.4% 11
1948 31.2% 642 39.5% 814 29.4% 605
1944 29.5% 458 70.4% 1,093 0.1% 2
1940 21.5% 269 78.2% 980 0.4% 5
1936 21.1% 255 78.6% 949 0.3% 4
1932 22.1% 212 77.1% 739 0.7% 7

Transportation

The Piedmont Area Regional Transit (PART) operates and serves the city of Martinsville. Routes include parts of both Martinsville and Henry county.[52] The Blue Ridge Airport is used for general aviation and is located 9 miles (14 km) outside the city.[53]

Education

The city is served by the Martinsville City Public Schools.[54] There are five public schools in Martinsville:

  • Martinsville High School, opened in 1968 and serves roughly 580 students in grades 9-12.[55]
  • Martinsville Middle School, originally built as a high school in 1939 and serves roughly 430 students in grades 6–8.[56]
  • Albert Harris Elementary School, opened as a high school in 1958 and now serves roughly 490 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.[57] The school is named after Albert Harris, an African-American minister who was a key advocate for the education of local African-American children.[57]
  • Patrick Henry Elementary School, opened in 1950 and serves roughly 435 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.[58] The school is named after founding father Patrick Henry.[58]
  • Clearview Early Childhood Center, opened as an elementary school in 1954 and now serves roughly 140 students in preschool as part of the Virginia Preschool Initiative.[59]

The city is also home to the K-12 private school, Carlisle School. The school serves approximately 400 students, about 130 of them are high school students. The School was established in 1968[60]

Colleges and universities in Martinsville include the New College Institute[61] and Patrick & Henry Community College, where students can also take satellite courses through Old Dominion University.[62]

Religion

Houses of Worship in Martinsville:

  • First Baptist Church[63]
  • Broad Street Christian Church[64]
  • Christ Episcopal Church[65]
  • Christ's Church
  • First Baptist Church of East Martinsville[66]
  • Fayette Street Christian Church
  • First UMC Uptown Ministry Center[67]
  • First Presbyterian Church[68]
  • Refuge Temple Holiness Church[69]
  • Galilean House of Worship

Arts and culture

Events & Festivals

  • Martinsville Uptown Oktoberfest: An annual family friendly event held in Uptown Martinsville featuring music, crafts, beer gardens, food, and many children activities.[71][72]

Attractions

Sports

2019 STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway
2019 STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway

Martinsville is home to the Martinsville Mustangs of the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer baseball league.[75] The Mustangs play at Hooker Field in Martinsville.[76] The Mustangs began play for the league's 2005 season.

The Martinsville area is also home to Martinsville Speedway, which opened in 1947.[77] The NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series hosts two races there every year while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series hosts one race there every year. The speedway also host the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.[78]

Notable people

Media

Print

Television

Martinsville is served by television stations in the Roanoke/Lynchburg television market.

Radio stations

  • WHEE 1370, broadcast station based in Martinsville[123]
  • WROV-FM 96.3, commercial FM radio station based in Martinsville

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ "Kathy Lawson elected as new mayor of Martinsville". WSLS.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  3. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "Martinsville city, Martinsville city, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Virginia: A Guide to the Old Dominion'(Sixth Printing, 1956). Virginia Writers' Project, Work Projects Administration. p. 611. New York: Oxford University Press. Books.google.com. Retrieved on May 9, 2012.
  8. ^ Dorsey, Barry (December 24, 2017). "Looking back on Southside: Three transitions". Martinsville Bulletin. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  9. ^ Derks, Scott. Working Americans, 1880-1999: Sports & recreation, 2000, page 426.
  10. ^ Hietala, Callie (March 25, 2022). "Martinsville's textile heritage celebrated at Founders Day". Henrycountyenterprise.com. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  11. ^ Young, Denise (July 2, 2022). "Organizing the South's 'Sweatshirt Capital'". unityarchiveproject.org. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  12. ^ Martinsville Bulletin. March 3, 1966. "City Loses Citizen who Helped Make it a Better Community."
  13. ^ "Threadbare: The Unravelling of Henry County" Archived September 11, 2012, at archive.today, The Roanoke Times, 17 August 2002. (August 17, 2002). Retrieved on May 9, 2012.
  14. ^ Rozen, Laura (January 13, 2006). "'Duke' Of Deception". CBS News. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  15. ^ "Sovah Health – Martinsville". www.sovahhealth.com. Sovah Health. February 3, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  16. ^ The Doctors Shackelford and the Shackelford Hospital, Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society Archived March 14, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. Mhchistoricalsociety.com (October 8, 2009). Retrieved on May 9, 2012.
  17. ^ Jesse Martin Shackelford, M.D., Martinsville Henry County Historical Society Archived July 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Mhchistoricalsociety.com (October 6, 2009). Retrieved on May 9, 2012.
  18. ^ John Armstrong Shackelford, M.D., Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society Archived July 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Mhchistoricalsociety.com (October 6, 2009). Retrieved on May 9, 2012.
  19. ^ The History of Memorial Hospital Archived August 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Martinsvillehospital.org. Retrieved on May 9, 2012.
  20. ^ Powell, Mickey (January 6, 2017). "Martinsville mall doesn't include Sears building". Martinsville Bulletin. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  21. ^ Meola, Olympia (August 17, 2008). "Obama to visit Martinsville with Warner". Richmond Times Dispatch. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  22. ^ Sluss, Michael (June 7, 2019). "Economy key during Barack Obama's Virginia trip". Roanoke.com. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  23. ^ Schneider, Gregory (August 31, 2021). "Northam grants posthumous pardons to the Martinsville Seven, Black men executed in 1951 for rape". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  24. ^ Vigdor, Neil (August 31, 2021). "70 Years after being executed for rape, 7 Black Men are pardoned in Virginia". New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  25. ^ "The Hornbook of Virginia History: Cities of Virginia". Encyclopedia Virginia: Virginia Humanities. Library of Virginia. December 19, 2016. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  26. ^ a b "Martinsville Reversion". Henry County. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
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  28. ^ Crews, Daniel (October 15, 2021). "Martinsville's reversion to town moves forward following commission's recommendation". WSET.com. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
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  32. ^ "Distance between Roanoke, VA and Martinsville, VA". www.distance-cities.com. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  33. ^ "Distance between Lynchburg, VA and Martinsville, VA". www.distance-cities.com. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  34. ^ "Distance between Greensboro, NC and Martinsville, VA". www.distance-cities.com. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
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  36. ^ "Station: Martinsville FLTR PLT, VA". U.S. Climate Normals 2020: U.S. Monthly Climate Normals (1991-2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  37. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
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  39. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
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