Franklin, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Recovery and Progress
Franklin's location at the junction of a railroad and important water route offered opportunities that attracted new people, so the town rapidly recovered from the War. In 1866 the Albemarle steam Navigation Company was reorganized and the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad was rebuilt. Franklin's steamboat lines built new wharves and the town's trade in lumber and peanuts, the region's principal products, grew steadily. Franklin elected its first municipal government in 1869 and incorporated in 1876. In 1879, impressed with the quantity of goods carried on the Blackwater - Chowan route, the government cleared navigational obstructions between Franklin and Edenton. Though a fire destroyed almost everything from the railroad to First Avenue in 1881, the business district was soon rebuilt in brick and stone. In the 1890s Franklin erected naphtha street lights downtown, installed a telephone system, built two new schools, and bought a pumper fire fighting machine.
"No place on earth could have undergone more changes... than Franklin. Our surprise was unbounded as we looked in vain for old and familiar residences and business stands
The Norfolk Virginian, August 1874
" A few of the rich had electric lights [in 1906], as the Town had built an electric light plant and was operating a generator in the ninties."
Edward F. Gilliam
Time Line included:
1879 - Obstructions are cleared from the Blackwater to the Neely Mill
1881 - "The Great fire of 1881" destroys most of Franklin
1886 - P.D. Camp and Company buy the Neely sawmill. Vaughan and Company, Franklin's first bank is established
1887 - Camp Manufacturing Company is organized.
1888 - The Atlantic and Danville Railroad is built through Franklin.
1890 - Franklin Male Academy, a private school is established.
1894 - Franklin Female Seminary is organized as a private school.
1898 - The Spanish - American War is declared. Franklin sends men, led by General C.C. Vaughn Jr. to fight in Cuba.
1901 - Franklin Builds a water tank.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places. A significant historical year for this entry is 1866.
Location. 36° 40.469′ N, 76° 55.175′ W. Marker is in Franklin, Virginia. Marker is on Main Street (U.S. 258) near South Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for mapTouch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Age of Gasoline (here, next to this marker); "Can't Is Not in the Camp's Vocabulary" (here, next to this marker); War Comes to the Blackwater (here, next to this marker); The Age of Steam (here, next to this marker); The Barretts: A Franklin Pioneer Family (here, next to this marker); Confederate Commissary Center (a few steps from this marker); Battle of Franklin (a few steps from this marker); The Blackwater Line (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 February 2, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 654 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on February 3, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 2. submitted on January 31, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.