“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Farmville in Prince Edward County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Main Street - Mayor J. David Crute - EACO Theatre

Historic Farmville

Main Street Side image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 27, 2010
1. Main Street Side
This side of the kiosk displays pictures and postcards of Farmville against a background of a city map.
Inscription. (Main Street Side):
Once named Bizarre in 1736, Farmville was established as a town in 1798. From the town's formation, tobacco was a major factor in its prosperity. The numerous warehouses along the Main Street corridor represent Farmville's role as an important trade center. Its proximity to the Appomattox River proved invaluable for trade.

In 1834 there were mercantile houses, a Presbyterian and a Methodist church, two taverns, a printing office, blacksmith shops, a tailor, a boot and shoe factory, confectioners, cabinetmakers, physicians, and other tradesmen working on Main Street. Tobacco, manufacturing companies, and lumber companies have all become the fabric of Farmville's rich history.

Farmers Bank of Virginia was established in 1837. Just one hundred years later in the 1940's, statements showed combined resources of First National Bank, People's National Bank, and Planters Bank and Trust Company to be over 9 million dollars. In the 1960's, Farmville became the home of Green Front Furniture which maintains the integrity and pride of Maine Street.

The Randolph House, above, stood at the corner of Main and Second Streets and served as the Headquarters for Union General Grant just two days before the Appomattox surrender. It was renovated in 1907 and renamed the Hotel Prince Edward.

Mayor J. David Crute image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 27, 2010
2. Mayor J. David Crute
This side of the kiosk displays photos of the Mayor.
Crute Side):

"Dave's legacy to Farmville was his untiring dedication and love of this community."
Gerald J. Spates, Town Manager

Mayor Crute was appointed to the office on November 14, 1972 and served as the Mayor of Farmville until June 30, 1998.

He attended Hampden-Sydney College until he served in the Merchant Marines during World War II from 1942-1945. In Farmville, he owned Crute's Office Supply for thirty nine years.

Mayor Crute's public service included two terms on the Executive Council of the Virginia Municipal League, Magistrate for Prince Edward County, and service on the Planning Commission prior to his Mayoral appointment.

With his wife Jane, Mayor Crute had four children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He was a member of the Farmville Lions Club and the Farmville United Methodist Church.

Mayor Crute was a dedicated public servant and a proud community leader whose devotion to the Town of Farmville will be appreciated for generations.

(Eaco Theatre Side):
Old Opera House - MUSU
As a center for recreation and leisure, Farmville's first municipally owned building was its "Opera House". It was contracted to be built on September 9, 1885 by Mssrs. Burton and Davis at a cost of $4,000. Traveling road shows and opera companies provided seasonal entertainment. Political rallies and
EACO Theatre Side image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 27, 2010
3. EACO Theatre Side
This side displays a photo of main street, another photo off the EACO theatre, handbills and newspaper sections, and photos of Farmville's hotels. The illustrations are laid over a lot map of the city, showing the location of the State Theatre.
public meetings were also held there. The building survives to this day and continues to serve as an office space. The Opera House later became unsuitable for motion pictures.

EACO Theatre
On this site once stood the EACO Theatre. In 1921, Dr. L.D. Whitaker organized the Educational Amusement Company for the purpose of constructing a modern theatre. A capital stock of $40,000 was subscribed to by about 100 local citizens and the EACO Theatre was soon completed on the corner of Main and Fourth Street. In 1940, the Richmond based firm Neighborhood Theatres Inc., purchased the EACO Theatre and renamed it the State Theatre. The last organization to use the building was Farmville's Theatre Group "The Waterworks Players"; this group continues to perform in the Town of Farmville. The theatre collapsed unexpectedly on February 11, 1994, thus ending a 72-year old landmark for entertainment in Farmville.
Location. 37° 18.064′ N, 78° 23.585′ W. Marker is in Farmville, Virginia, in Prince Edward County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street (Business U.S. 15) and 4th Street, on the right when traveling north on South Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Farmville VA 23901, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Beulah AME Church
Maps and Attractions image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 27, 2010
4. Maps and Attractions
On the fourth side of the kiosk:
1. Longwood University
2. Popular Hill Resort
3. Robert Russa Moton Museum
4. Confederate Cemetery
5. Green Front Furniture
6. Dogwood Trail
7. Field of Dreams
8. Longwood House
9. Wilck's Lake
10. High Bridge
11. Train Station
12. Hampden-Sydney College
13. Farmville Regional Airport
14. Briery Creek Lake
15. Sandy River Reservoir
16. Bear Creek Lake State Park
17. Twin Lakes State Park
18. Old Prince Edward County Clerk's Office
19. Cumberland Courthouse
20. Longwood Center for the Visual Arts
21. Historic Needham Law School
(within shouting distance of this marker); First Baptist Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Dr. William W. H. Thackston (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Confederate Veterans Monument (about 700 feet away); Four Sororities Founded (about 800 feet away); Longwood University (was approx. 0.2 miles away but has been reported missing. ); Farmville Female Seminary Association (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of the Randolph House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Farmville.
Also see . . .  Farmville History and Culture. (Submitted on May 31, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. Churches & ReligionEntertainmentGovernmentIndustry & Commerce
Theatre Location and Kiosk image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 27, 2010
5. Theatre Location and Kiosk
The outline of the theatre is still seen on the faded bricks of nearby buildings.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 31, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,114 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 31, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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