Welcome to Franklin Southampton VA

By Mallory B. Taylor |
Posted on March 10, 2015
| Posted in History & Heritage

The City of Franklin – Once a railroad and steamboat hub of commerce, the City of Franklin is a laid-back cousin to the larger cities just miles away. The welcoming Visitor Center, in the old railroad depot, is in the heart of the historic area. You’ll find a variety of shops and restaurants as well as beautifully restored vintage homes, including a plush period B&B, and parks perfect for an impromptu picnic. A mile or two away you’ll find familiar chain restaurants, hotels and other traveler conveniences. Be sure to check out the mini-museum of firefighting, cast a fishing line at Barrett’s Landing on the Blackwater River, and visit the downtown farmers market.

Southampton County – A sprawling landscape boasts small towns waiting to be explored and more Century Farms than any other Virginia county. Numerous boat landings welcome casual boaters and fishermen. Hunters find abundant game and local outfitters who offer guides and comfortable lodges. Homes from the 1800’s surround the classic courthouse and Courtland’s quaint business district. The Rawls Museum Arts, part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, exhibits work by local, regional and nationally known artists. The gift shop features the work of local artisans-jewelry, pottery, glass, paintings and fine crafts.

The Southampton Agriculture and Forestry Museum/Heritage Museum-with a grist mill, saw mill, county store, schoolhouse and more-reflects rural life form the last 200 years. Here you’ll also see the Rebecca Vaughan House where the last casualties died in the slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in 1831. Turner and his followers were tried and executed in Courtland.

Near the North Carolina line where VA 35 and VA 186 meet, Boykins and Branchville are a small community with a big heart. In the Boykins town square a patriotic evergreen displays photos of local veterans and military. Main Street invites you into a charming array of shops. Linger for a cup of coffee, ice cream cone or meal on Main Street and then find the Boykins Museum, an 1840 train station displaying memorabilia of the county’s railroad history.

On VA 58, set in some of Southampton County’s lushest farmland, Capron is home to the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia’s new museum, housed in a vintage Masonic Hall. Newsoms, a farming community and “home of the jumbo peanut”, is also home for 130 exotic animals at Bart Path Acres Zoo and Animal Education Center. Meet Lenny the ring-tailed Lemur, Hug, the brown bear, and others at the learning center.

As always, we welcome you to Escape to Tradition in the City of Franklin and Southampton County.