Franklin, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Barretts: A Franklin Pioneer Family
In 1847 one of Franklin's most influential couples, Richard and Mary Rebecca Murfee Barrett, married and received a 260 acre farm from Mary's father, Simon. The couple built a house near the center of the new settlement and began providing meals to the railroad's track layers. The Barretts' new business soon developed into a hotel, a popular stopover on the Norfolk to Edenton run. In 1857 Richard persuaded the railroad to relocate its depot to the west side of the river and build a larger hotel to accommodate the rapidly increasing rail and river traffic. The Barrett Hotel, located on one of the four corners created by the railroad and Main Street, was a large building with double verandas, which "ranked as high as the reputation of the hotels of Norfolk, Richmond and Baltimore." The hotel burned in 1881 but the Barretts continued to be leaders in Franklin's early commercial, social, and religious life.
(Lower left picture included:)
...Mary Rebecca Murfee Barrett (1822- 1897)...
(Left center picture included:)
The Barrett family ...
(Upper right center
Richard Crawford Barrett (1849 - 1928), son of Richard and Mary Rebecca, and his wife, ...
(Left lower center picture included:)
...desk from Goodman and Barrett's drugstore ...
(Far left picture included:)
Barrett's Cornet Band, ca. 1890 ...
(Bottom; Franklin Timeline included:)
1903 - The Parker Buggy Company sparks a "buggy boom."
1906 - Franklin begins developing a water and sewage system.
1907 - C.C. Vaughan buys the first automobile in Southampton.
1910 - Franklin's wooden Blackwater Bridge is replaced with a steel bridge.
1912 - The Franklin Female Seminary becomes a public school.
1913 - Two automobile dealerships open in Franklin.
1917 - 1918 America fights in World War I. Franklin begins to pave its streets with oil - soaked gravel.
1922 - Franklin adopts the Town Manager form of government and builds a brick high school.
1926 - The Franklin - Murfreesboro Road is built and the Franklin Public Library is established.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1847.
Location. 36° 40.466′ N, 76° 55.172′ W. Marker is in Franklin, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and South Street, on the right when traveling west on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Franklin VA 23851, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Age of Steam (here, next to this marker); War Comes to the Blackwater (here, next to this marker); "Can't Is Not in the Camp's Vocabulary" (here, next to this marker); The Age of Gasoline (here, next to this marker); Recovery and Progress (here, next to this marker); Confederate Commissary Center (a few steps from this marker); The Blackwater Line (a few steps from this marker); Battle of Franklin (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Franklin.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 31, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 13, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 789 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on December 14, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 2. submitted on January 31, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.