Discover WINTER/SPRING 2021
A LOOK INTO
Love & Lavendar Local farm sets the stage for weddings
Top destinations, small business spotlights & an in-depth business directory guide for Appomattox County
9 out of 10 patients rate us excellent
Martha Sullivan Pneumonia recovery
With ratings as high as ours, why go anywhere else? Our exclusive recovery program and culture of caring power exceptional recoveries with lifechanging results in a total recovery environment that makes us the smartest choice for the most comprehensive recovery after an illness, injury or surgery. Have questions? Wondering how weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re keeping patients safe? Call to speak with our experts.
235 Evergreen Ave | Appomattox, VA 24522
(434) 326-4657 www.AppomattoxRehab.com
Let Me Help You
grow Staff grow Your Business! Let Me Help You
• Print Edition • Print Edition ••Special Publications Special Publications ••Online Online Marketing Marketing
EDITOR/GENERAL MANAGER C.E. Adams
WRITERS Michelle Payne & Charles Conrad
DESIGN LAYOUT Jess Ingram
GRAPHIC DESIGN | ADVERTISING Mary Beth Wellborn, Amanda Meadows, Jasmaine Motley, Lindsey Mason
FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION, CONTACT: TJ Walker, Account Executive 434-352-8215 firstname.lastname@example.org Discover Appomattox Magazine is published throughout the year by Womack Publishing Company, the publisher of the Times Virginian newspaper.
Call TJ Today! Call TJ Today!
Call434-441-1877 TJ Today! 434.441.1877 434.441.1877
advertising@ email@example.com smithmountaineagle.com
advertising@ TIMES VIRGINIAN SMITH MOUNTAIN EAGLE smithmountaineagle.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Times Virginian 589 Court Street, P.O. Box 2097 Appomattox, VA 24522 PUBLISHED BY WOMACK PUBLISHING COMPANY ©2021
COVER PAGE: Photo by Michelle Payne Bonnie and Ken Swanson built an outdoor chapel, a romantic setting for small weddings at Evergreen Lavender Farms.
4 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX Photo of lavendar field. Stock Image.
Table of Contents
6 | A WELCOME FROM THE APPOMATTOX COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 7 | APPOMATTOX SNAPSHOTS PHOTOS OF THE COMMUNITY 8 | DISCOVER APPOMATTOX COUNTY LOOKING AT ACHIEVEMENTS 10 | DISCOVER CIVIL RIGHTS TRAIL PROVIDES SAFE TOURISM OPPORTUNITY 12 | DISCOVER APPOMATTOX ATTRACTIONS 16 | DISCOVER EXPERIENCE APPOMATTOX 18 | DISCOVER OLD MILL PROVIDES LODGING FOR WEARY MISSIONARIES 22 | DISCOVER PAMPLIN STRIVES TO BRING LIFE TO DOWNTOWN 24 | DISCOVER TOWN OF APPOMATTOX REVITALIZING 26 | SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT APPOMATTOX RE/MAX STAYS BUSY SELLING REAL ESTATE 28 | SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT BLACK TARGET FIREARMS SERVES COMMUNITY POLICE 30 | SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT OUTDOOR CHAPEL SETS THE STAGE FOR WEDDINGS 32 | SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT LOCAL FAMILY JEWELER STILL IMPROVING 108 YEARS LATER 36 | SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT DETRICK EXCITED TO OFFER EDWARD JONES FINANCIAL SERVICES 38 | SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT FRIENDS TURN PASSION INTO BUSINESS 42-47 | DIRECTORY
APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 5
A Welcome from the Appomattox County Chamber of Commerce
lease accept an invitation from the Appomattox County Chamber of Commerce to “Discover Appomattox.” Our community is small but full of opportunities to grow, to prosper and to enjoy. We are a close-knit but welcoming group to those who wish to visit or join with us as residents and/or business associates. The year of 2020, as with everyone else, has been a challenge. Hospitality businesses have suffered greatly as safety concerns and associated restrictions have limited travel and gatherings. Retail has been a mixed bag with businesses supporting stay-at-home projects experiencing increased sales while others have had declining numbers. Service and manufacturing operations have been in a similar situation. Some outdoor recreational facilities have done well, while many other similar activities have been canceled. During this time, our community has shown its unity as we have joined our hearts to focus on supporting local businesses, to mourn a departed public servant, to bolster
a beloved coach’s health struggle and to light a community Christmas celebration. Our community remains strong in spirit. As we look forward to exiting the pandemic and removing the obstacles that it has created, there are many indications that the near future will be bright. The Downtown Revitalization Project, although slowed by the situation of the past few months, is moving forward and will show results in 2021 and beyond. One of the community’s shopping centers has begun upgrades to its facades, as its owner is investing in its future. The Economic Development Authority activity has several initiatives on the horizon that will not only result in short-term opportunities but provide a base for future growth. Your chamber is working with local authorities to spur entrepreneurial thinking. Exciting times are just ahead. The spirit of “Where Our Nation Reunited” is alive and well in Appomattox. Discover it and become part of it. ///
John Redding Appomattox County Chamber of Commerce President 6 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS Send in your photos of Appomattox County for a chance to be published in Discover Appomattox magazine and Times Virginian newspaper. Email quality photos at less than 10MB to C.E. Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include name of person who took the photo and where and when the photo was taken.
APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 7
Appomattox County looking at achievements By Michelle Payne Photo by Michelle Payne Shown is a Civil War reenactment scene from the 2019 154th Surrender Anniversary at the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park.
8 | DISCOVER M AGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
ppomattox County, known for its pivotal place in American Civil War history as a point of reunification for a nation, continues to trudge through its own battles for progress. Looking back, some of the moments where the county’s community leaders expressed delight included community events, progress on county debt, the board of supervisors’ common sense, Second Amendment rights, and the achievements of the Appomattox County High School football team. As far as community events go, the county has made an effort to contribute in various ways to cultivating more community engagement. Examples of this include hosting music events that showcase local talent, assisting with the Experience the Holidays event, and the county’s contributions to the annual Rail Road Festival, which was canceled in 2020 due to regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Christmas lights featured at the Courtland Festival Park and community tree lighting were also made possible by the efforts of community leaders and community members rallying around Jake Dawson’s vision. Regarding the county’s debt - a subject of controversy in 2019 - County Administrator Susan Adams had provided comment via email last year: “From 2016-2020 while under the direction of the current Board of Supervisor members, who have incurred $0 debt, the debt has been paid down by $12,810,865. During this 4-year term of the current Board of Supervisors who have been VERY fiscally responsible, the County has done the following.”
Discover Adams went on to note that the county had paid over approximately 40 percent of the debt, funded four resource officers for the school system, and provided the annual cost of living raises to all county and school employees, to name a few of her points. Appomattox County Board of Supervisors Chairman Samuel Carter had expressed his gratitude for the board members. “As I said earlier, (this board) is a common-sense board. I think we’ve accomplished a whole lot. A lot of times — I should rephrase that — most of the time, we don’t get credit for it,” said Carter. County leaders beamed with pride on multiple occasions over the accomplishments of the county’s Raiders. In 2019, the Appomattox County High School football team brought home the Class 2 state football championship trophy, making it the fourth time in five years. Another bragging point for county leaders could be found in the county’s decision to become an amendment sanctuary. “When we were all elected, we all swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution as well as our rights as citizens,” said Chad Millner, supervisor representing the Falling River District. “Through this resolution, this board is keeping with that sentiment tonight. And it’s great to see so many citizens here tonight who deeply care about their county, their Commonwealth, and their country.” Thanks to a grant, all 911 callers for the Appomattox County Public Safety services underwent training and received Emergency Medical Dispatch certifications. Both Bobby Wingfield, director of public safety and emergency management coordinator, and John Vannoy, the communications supervisor at public safety, described the grant and training as a life-changing and live-saving change for both emergency personnel and citizens of Appomattox County. The certification enables 911 callers to provide medical assistance over the phone. Prior to the certification, a 911 caller could not offer medical advice to the person on the other end of the phone line. Time will tell what the future has in store for the leaders and citizens of Appomattox County. /// APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 9
Civil Rights Trail Provides Safe Tourism Opportunities By Michelle Payne Photo by Michelle Payne Shown is a historical marker on national park grounds detailing the first African American school in Appomattox.
or many folks, navigating life with COVID-19 concerns is a challenge tourism opportunities are no exception to the ravages of COVID-19’s effect on the world. To the family, couple or individual looking for a safe way to spend a fall-infused Saturday, the Civil Rights In Education Heritage Trail may be just what the doctor ordered. The Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail is a self-guided driving tour through Southside Virginia and is put on by Virginia’s Crossroads. For those locations on the trail that are open inside and for those interested in venturing indoors, it’s recommended that one plans ample time to explore. Otherwise, the markers themselves are on display outdoors and they are filled with historical information. Appomattox County carries its own place in the self-guided tour, of course - three places, technically. Winonah Camp/Mozella Price Home; Carver-Price School; and The First African American School in Appomattox each have their own marker as stopping points in the selfguided tour. Both the Winonah Camp/Mozella Price Home and Carver-Price School markers sit within a couple of feet from each other in front of the Carver-Price building. The Winonah Camp/Mozella Price Home marker introduces tourists to the efforts of Mozella Jordan Price, a dedicated teacher. The marker states that Price was “instrumental in improving the education and quality of life for African Americans in Appomattox County.” Price, described as one of the county’s most popular and dynamic teachers, went beyond
10 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
the role of teaching in a classroom setting. From 1919 to 1963, she took on the role of Supervisor of Appomattox County Negro Schools. Price sought donations for a scholarship fund. She went on to start Winonah Camp (based out of her own large home) to serve underprivileged boys. Later on, the camp included girls. She also served as a foster parent. The Carver-Price School marker details the building’s history in serving African American students and how it was employed when schools became integrated. Another marker erected by the Civil Rights In Education Heritage Trail is titled “The First African American School in Appomattox.” This marker is located on Old Courthouse Road, at the entrance of a hiking trail on the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park’s property. The marker provides background on the first Freedmen’s Bureau school, which opened in October 1865. The institution enrolled almost 100 students in 1866. “Among the many ways Virginia has led the nation, its education heritage is worthy of deeper understanding,” Virginia
Crossroads states on its site. “The free public education system our country now enjoys has its roots here in this region, where the right to equal education for all was the subject of challenge, debate and courageous acts. The sleepy back roads of these rural counties were an unexpected place for inspired activism – and this trail tells the poignant and often explosive story.” The trail was organized in 2004. A tourism marketing consortium, Virginia’s Crossroads, owns and manages the trail. The following localities make up the consortium: Amelia, Appomattox, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Dinwiddie, Emporia/Greensville, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Prince Edward, City of Petersburg, Virginia State Parks, and the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. To learn more about the trail and Virginia’s Crossroads, visit www.vacrossroads.com. /// APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAG AZINE | 11
Appomattox Attractions 1.
American Civil War Museum In the heart of Virginia, one will find Appomattox - the location of General Lee’s surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia to General Grant. An event that proved to be a turning point in American history. It’s only fitting that Appomattox should host the American Civil War Museum. Lee’s surrender brought an end to both the Confederate States of America and to the end of the American Civil War. It also hailed a new beginning as the nation once again
became one. The American Civil War Museum in Appomattox is one of three locations in the state of Virginian. In the Appomattox location, there are over 400 artifacts, photographs, and documents that tell the story of the American Civil War. One of the most notable displays is General Lee’s uniform coat and his sword. The exhibit also focuses on the lives of nine different people who lived during this tumultuous era of American history, providing visitors an opportunity to see the nation’s conflict through the lens of ordinary people of the day. The museum is strategically on 159 Horseshoe Road, near Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and the site of the Battle of Appomattox Station. To learn more about the museum, visit www.acwm.org or call 434-352-5791. Pictured (from left): Shown is a sign in front of the American Civil War Museum in Appomattox. Photo by C.E. Adams. Shown is the front of the Appomattox County Historical Museum blanketed in snow. Photo by C.E. Adams. The McLean House at the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. Photo by Charles Conrad.
12 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
Historical Society Museum The Historical Society Museum and Library is housed in what was once the county jail. Construction began in 1895 and was completed in 1897. It is located in Courthouse Square at 337 Court Street, Appomattox. The third jail to have been built in Appomattox County, it was in continuous use until May 1981. The first two jails were located at the present Appomattox Court House National Historical Park. The museum, of Jeffersonian design, is sponsored by the Appomattox Historical Society for the purpose of preserving county history. Among its fascinating features are: a turn-of-thecentury one-room school, doctor’s office, jail cell, general store, country kitchen and room sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which is devoted to memorabilia of the War Between the States plus numerous artifacts and interesting mementos of the past. For more information, visit www appomattoxhistoricalsociety.org.
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park At the original Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Army of Northern Virginia, surrendered his men to Ulysses S. Grant, general-inchief of all United States forces. Though several Confederate armies under different commanders remained in the field, Lee’s surrender signaled the end of the Southern States’ attempt to create a separate nation. Three days later the men of the Army of Northern Virginia marched before the Union Army, laid down their flags, stacked their weapons, and began the journey back to their homes. For them it was an ending, but for the nation it was a new beginning. Today, the National Park Service, which manages this historical park, allows the public to walk the old country lanes where these events took place and in the quietness and stillness imagine the activity of those April days of 1865. The Appomattox Court House National Historical Park is assisted by the Appomattox 1865 Foundation, whose mission is to enrich the understanding and appreciation of the heritage and significance of the park. The foundation focuses on efforts to preserve the past, augment financial support, commemorate history and enhance each and every visitor’s experience. The stories of Appomattox Court House go far beyond the final significant battles of this nation’s Civil War. Learn more at www.nps.gov/apco.
Holliday Lake State Park Deep in the heart of Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest, Holliday Lake State Park is a paradise for the outdoor enthusiast. Fishing for largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill is a popular activity in the 150-acre lake within the park. The nearby state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries delayed-harvest trout stream allows anglers to fish for brown and rainbow trout. The park also features excellent trails open to hikers, bikers and equestrians. Swimming is a popular summer activity at the park’s life-guarded beach where the “Critter Hole” play area is a favorite of young visitors. Park facilities include a 30-site campground, a large shaded picnic area, two picnic shelters, two playgrounds, a boat ramp, a seasonal full-service concession stand and campstore, and canoe, rowboat and paddle boat rentals. Interpretive and environmental education programs also are available for school and scout groups. This park is about 12 miles from the famous Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, the site of General Robert E. Lee’s surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant in 1865. Holliday Lake State Park is open year-round.
APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 13
Visitor’s Information Center
Wolfbane Productions takes pride in bringing engaging theater to central Virginia through their blending the talents of local and New York City artists. While Wolfbane’s venue is at Wolf P.A.C. - an outdoor setup on 618 Country Club Road, they are now embracing indoor theater for some of their productions. The indoor venue is called Wolf Den and is located at 197 Old Courthouse Road. The production company grew out of Dustin Williams’ love for theater. A graduate of Lynchburg College and Appomattox County native, Williams chose to base Wolfbane out of Appomattox. He saw it as his own way to give back to his community. Since its inception, Wolfbane Productions has regaled crowds with both edgy and classical productions. From “Romeo and Juliet” to “Evil Dead: The Musical,” Wolfbane has managed to bring Broadway to Appomattox. On the dock for the 2019 season are titles such as “Cabaret,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” “Tempest” and “The Crucible.” To learn more about Wolfbane Productions and upcoming shows, visit wolfbane.org or call 434-579-3542.
General George Custer overtook General Robert E. Lee’s last train of much needed food and supplies at Appomattox Station on April 8, 1865. This was the final blow to an already ragged and starving army of Confederate men. Appomattox Station, which had been Lee’s last hope, became the site of events that hastened his defeat. The structure burned to the ground in 1923 and was rebuilt on the same foundation in 1924. Today, the renovated depot located downtown houses the county’s Visitor Information Center. It proudly proclaims the heritage of Appomattox tourists and residents alike tour the facility, which showcases many area attractions and events. Located in the renovated railroad depot building on Main Street, the center provides information on statewide and national destinations and features displays of local attractions. If you want to learn about where to visit in Appomattox, this should be your first stop. Open Monday-Sunday. Call 434-352-8999.
Carver-Price Legacy Museum Located on 102 Carver Lane in Appomattox, the Carver-Price Legacy Museum strives to preserve and depict the history of Black Americans from the perspective of daily school life during the segregation era. The buildings that now host the museum were home to Carver-Price High School. The school is named after Mozella Jordan Price, who supervised the AfricanAmerican schools of Appomattox County, and George Washington Carver, a prominent black agricultural scientist and inventor.
The school had its last graduating class in 1969. In 2008, the Carver-Price Alumni Association pulled together to open the museum. The many displays, exhibits and artifacts in the museum provide visitors with a thorough education on life for the black American moving forward after the Civil War era. Some of the memorabilia on display include photos, books and documents. The museum also holds a collection of DVDs featuring recorded interviews of
14 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
Carver-Price teachers. These recordings provide history buffs or researchers with an oral history and unique perspective on this period of black American history. Teachers featured in recorded interviews include Harriet Pierce James, Joan Lewis, Celestral Turner, Sara Elliot, Joseph Lewis and Josephine Webb. The museum offers tours to schools, churches and civic groups. To learn more about the museum, visit
If You Need The Space, We’ve Got The Place
Whether you need long term storage or just a month or two, whether you need a little space to store your files and documents, or a lot of space to store a boat, car, or a houseful of furniture, we have the space to fit your needs – and we have the
“Best Prices in Town!” Packing & Moving Supplies | Lowest Prices | 24/7 Gate Access Security Cameras | Vehicle/RV Parking | Residential and Commercial Storage Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM | Saturday 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
310 Founders Lane, Appomattox, VA (former Thomasville Furniture Plant)
All-Size Storage (434) 290-3100
EXPERIENCE APPOMATTOX puts Appomattox on the map By Michelle Payne Photo by Michelle Payne
he Appomattox Tourism Committee, a collaborative effort of various local entities, is intent on building tourism in Appomattox County.
and the event’s holiday market. And of course, how could one
After 2015, there was no tourism department in the county
Every April, the Appomattox Court House National Historical
or in the town of Appomattox. In the fall of 2016, a group of
Park puts on a big weeklong event to commemorate the
business-minded individuals gathered to brainstorm a solution
surrender anniversary of the Civil War. The week is filled with
to this void. And that’s when the Appomattox Tourism Committee
historical lectures by park staff, reenactments by dedicated
reenactors, music, children activities and more.
Under its brand, Experience Appomattox, the Appomattox Tourism Committee seeks to promote the county and tourism in the county. Some of its projects are community related, and others are tourism related, but at the end of the day, its efforts could be seen as a big win for tourism and businesses that benefit as a result of the extra foot traffic. Experience the Holidays, for example, is one of the yearly events put on by the committee. The holiday event invites folks
forget Santa himself who never fails to stop by and visit with the children?
Experience Appomattox plays a big part in pushing that event, too. Throughout the summer, Experience Appomattox promotes outdoor tourism through the national and state parks. The group invests in advertising - both online, TV and in print - drawing more visitors to the Appomattox area. Last year, they were able to meet with staff from the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
from all over for a holiday experience in Appomattox, complete
“We were able to spend the day with them,” said Don Jones,
with live music, food trucks, children activities, Christmas
the Appomattox Tourism Committee’s chairman. He noted
characters walking around and engaging with children, and
they’d never been here before.
ample opportunity to buy Christmas gifts from local shops 16 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
They were taken downtown, to the love sign for pictures, the
national park and out to try local dining at the Babcock House.
Jones said the visits from tourists to Appomattox County has
The response was positive, said Jones.
resulted in some relocating to the area later on. They come for
“Now those people know to promote (Appomattox),”
an event or an activity, fall in love with the area, and later find
themselves uprooting and relocating to Appomattox.
Jones seemed pleased by the progress made since 2016.
“That is happening. We know that is happening,” said Jones.
Despite the challenges of 2020’s coronavirus, Experience
The collaborative effort of businesses and other entities that
Appomattox continues to put forth a good effort toward
have joined Experience Appomattox or will join Experience
bringing activity to Appomattox with an added measure of
Appomattox is one of hope and determination.
safety mindedness. “Everything we do is not only related to bringing tourists here but to creating business opportunities and business revenue for the businesses in the county,” said Jones.
“We all work together for the same goal: ‘Let’s bring people to the county,’” Jones explained. To learn more about Experience Appomattox, visit www. experienceappomattox.com. ///
Santa Claus rides a horse to wrap up the holiday parade at the 2020 Experience the Holidays event in downtown Appomattox. APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 17
Old Mill Provides Lodging For Weary Missionaries By Michelle Payne
issionaries Jim and Liz Baker found a quiet place to serve God and minister to others through their whimsical property on Mill Pond
Road in Appomattox County.
This man saw to it that Penney’s dream came true in the 1990s, shortly before she died. Fast forward to the market crash in 2008 and Penney’s sister, Nancy, was the realtor for the property.
With numerous twists and turns along their journey, one
At that time, Liz Baker said they tried applying for a mortgage.
thing led to another, which in turn brought the couple to the old
“It was ’08. No one’s giving out mortgages then,” said
Just after the market crash in 2008, the Baker family found
“We had no money,” she contined. “My prayer was for a
themselves in need of a home after serving as missionaries in the
home with no money. It was a huge act of faith. I just left it with
Ukraine for more than 15 years. Family needs led them back to
the states. It was a nomadic period for them, as they didn’t have a home base stateside. Liz Baker’s sister, who resides in Appomattox County, brought the old mill property to their attention when it was up for sale.
The price on the property continued to drop as they were trying to figure out a mortgage. It was then that they explained to Nancy their situation. Nancy provided a solution to the Bakers’ dilemma.
The old mill property had seen much throughout its history,
She went out on a limb and worked out a private mortgage
serving people with its mill by Wreck Island Creek and later
with the missionary couple. Penney’s sister was ecstatic over the
becoming home to a hippy commune in the ’60s. A professor
missionary couple’s plans for the property and believed Penney
from George Mason University led several students there to
would have been thrilled to see it go into such good hands.
create the hippy community. When the commune dispersed, the professor’s wife stayed on
That plus the first-time homebuyer tax credit helped make the impossible possible for the Bakers.
the property to raise her four girls. Her name was Penney. There
Their prayers were answered.
was no plumbing and no electricity on the property.
To this day, Liz and Jim Baker keep in contact with Nancy.
The mill was in shambles due to a storm in the ’60s. Her dream
Beaming, Liz Baker added that three of Penney’s daughters
was to turn the mill into a house. After Penney was diagnosed
have visited for a tour of the mill since the Baker family
with cancer, her dream came to fruition. She remarried a
Hungarian Christian man and became a Christian herself. 18 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
It’s been one whirlwind of a ride for the Baker family as
Shown is an old mill on Mill Pond Road by Wreck Island Creek in Appomattox County. Missionaries Jim and Liz Baker provide a place of respite for other missionaries. Photo Contributed by Jim Baker. APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 19
Pictured above, Wreck Island Creek alongside the Old Mill property. Photo Contributed.
they’ve used the old mill property and improved it through the collaborative efforts of friends, families and even strangers who come out for working retreats. “You really bond in a unique way when you work together — you really sweat it out,” said Liz Baker. “We’ve had a lot of fun. The vision for the property includes leaving things as naturally as they are to keep it simple for maintenance. Jim Baker designed a trail system for the property, which pair well with the campsites and the airbnb rental. “We’ve always wanted to live in the farm house and have the mill house as a place of retreat,” explained Baker. The mill house and property continues to serve as a place
out,” said Liz Baker. The Bakers let their visitors know that they’re available on the property to converse with them, but they also respect any desired space. Oftentimes folks want to talk. “We would love to organically see Christian fellowship grow out of our presence here. We’d also love to see this continue to serve as a place of hospitality,” said Liz Baker. The Christian idea of loving the strangers is needed more than ever, she continued. Cultivating the land also is part of their vision. “I think labor and work gives dignity and value to a person.
of respite. Liz Baker said many missionaries have come out
When you have the creative edge to it — whether cooking or
gardening — it feeds the soul,” said Liz Baker.
The property has been used for retreats, a wedding and even for a film shoot location. “I know a lot of people in Christian ministry who are burned 20 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
For now, Jim and Liz Baker continue to build on their vision for the property with improvements and additions while welcoming the weary traveler. ///
Where you work, play & live! IN COUNTY
One Year.............. $56 E-Edition................. $44 OUT OF COUNTY
One Year................ $74 E-Edition................. $44
The Times Virginian 3 EASY WAYS TO SUBSCRIBE! www.timesvirginian.com
Pamplin strives to bring life to downtown By Michelle Payne
or the quiet locality of Pamplin City, big efforts have been made to breathe new life into the small American town. The leaders and citizens of Pamplin
trailers are no longer taking up space next to the depot. And
have continued to strive to bring hope to a place that had made
According to a population estimate from 2019, there are 228
it onto the Virginia Endangered Historic Places list in 2014. At one point in its history, Pamplin was bustling with activity in commerce. Main Street was busy. Pamplin was home to the biggest clay pipe factory in the country. Amid all the excitement, two major rail lines came through Pamplin. Today, the Main Street area appears like a ghost town. But if one has paid any attention, changes have been made to turn the tide. The Main Street area has been cleaned up. Tractor22 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
the town along with P.A.L.S. (Pamplin Area Legacy Supporters) have worked toward cleaning up and beautifying the area. people in Pamplin. Their small size has not stopped the people of Pamplin from taking pride in the historic town. Through community events such as the Pamplin Depot Christmas Market, Farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Market or the Annual Art Show and Sale, the unassuming town of Pamplin has brought vendors and talent under the spotlight. Before the pandemic, the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s train depot saw more
Shown at left is a portion of the High Bridge Trail. The purchase sale agreement between the Department of Conservation and Recreation and Norfolk Southern was signed for a mile of property that would connect the High Bridge Trail to the Pamplin town limits. Contributed photo. Above is the Pamplin Depot building. Photo by C.E. Adams.
activity with yoga classes, line-dancing events, and even community movie nights. Other projects that Pamplin worked through were the efforts to bring the High Bridge Trail to Pamplin — a project that they hope will attract more visitors to the area. As Pamplin and P.A.L.S. work to bring new life to the area, filmmaker Ricardo Fleshman couldn’t help but notice their efforts. He created a documentary titled “Hope’s City” detailing the history of Pamplin and the revitalization goals realized today. The hometown premiere of the film took place on June 16, 2019. The film received positive recognition, being an official selection in the Lift-Off Global Network First-Time Filmmaker
Sessions of 2019 in Los Angeles. “I was expecting it to be great. But it was so much greater than I was expecting,” said vice-mayor Sarah Hamlett. “It really portrays Pamplin in a way that we’re trying to be portrayed.” P.AL.S. also began to assemble the train depot’s museum to provide visitors with a historic background on Pamplin, the train depot and the pipe factory. The town’s water tower project also reached completion in early 2019. Time will tell what the future has in store for the determined community of Pamplin City. /// APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 23
Town of Appomattox Revitalizing By Michelle Payne The front entrance to the Appomattox County Courthouse. Photo by Charles Conrad.
hile 2020 came with its own challenges, the Town of Appomattox continued to make strides toward progress.
One project of note was the downtown revitalization project. Gary Shanaberger, the town manager, along with staff and
Craig Wilson of Summit Design and Engineering, had worked long and hard to get the paperwork in order for the $700,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The grant was finally awarded, and in 2020, architects met with business owners to update the facades of their business along the downtown area of Appomattox. Shanaberger attributed the progress in the downtown revitalization efforts to Town Clerk Roxanne Casto, town staff and the expertise of Craig Wilson. “It’s really been a team effort,” said Shanaberger. The
Block Grant Project was another effort in the works to bring improvements to the Meadowlark subdivision. Among community projects that the town participated in or contributed to, the Railroad Festival and the Courtland Festival Park Christmas lights are among them. The 2020 Railroad Festival was canceled, however, due to regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. In late 2019, the town council adopted the Second 24 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
Downtown Appomattox. Photo by C.E. Adams.
Amendment resolution. They also adopted a resolution stating
The Town of Appomattox also conducted a survey with
the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s refusal to become a refugee sanctuary, becoming the
residents to update the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Comprehensive Plan. The survey
first locality in the nation to adopt such a resolution.
received a total of 92 responses; 23 responses were filled out
Additionally, the town office made a decision and took
on hard copies of the survey while 69 were filled out online.
action to move staff to a more streamlined and automated
Before his passing Oct. 19, 2020, former Mayor Paul Harvey
software system. It is hoped that the software will help the town
said he hopes to see the town cultivate more participation in
maintain increased efficiency in organization and maintenance
tourism. Pursuing more economic development opportunities
was high on his hopes for the future. /// APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 25
Small Business Spotlight
Appomattox RE/MAX Stays Busy Selling Real Estate By Charles Conrad Photo by Charles Conrad
ust over a decade ago, Kenny Gobble bought franchise
RE/MAX has remained quite busy with potential customers
rights to RE/MAX and opened its doors on Court Street
searching for homes and property.
in Appomattox to the serve real estate market in the
county and Central Virginia. RE/MAX deals with a variety of properties including residential homes, tracks of land, farms, commercial property and anything that revolves around real estate.
The primary effect the coronavirus and subsequent government-mandated restrictions has had on real estate companies in the area is that the demand outweighs the supply even more than usual, according to Gobble. “The coronavirus has basically just diminished that even
The Appomattox branch is licensed to sell real estate anywhere
further,” he said. “People don’t want people going in their house,
in Virginia but primarily focuses on the counties of Appomattox,
so we’re not getting listings because they’re holding off to see
Bedford, Amherst and Halifax, as well as Lynchburg, Farmville
what happens with the economy and everything like that.”
and Smith Mountain Lake.
An influx of people seeking residence in Appomattox
Office staff consists of Owner/Broker Gobble, Co-owner/
County and the Central Virginia area opens the need for more
Sales Associate Samuel Ferguson, Associates Doris Nash
housing. Transplants from Lynchburg often look for housing in
and Sonny Tolley, and Secretary Angie Webber — all of
the county because of a lack of inventory in the city as well,
whom possess an abundance of experience in the real
Gobble explained. Local universities such as Liberty University,
Longwood University and the University of Lynchburg attract
Despite the economic and personal challenges imposed
employees from outside the area as well. But when supply
on society by the COVID-19 coronavirus, Gobble said that
doesn’t meet the demand and many residents choose to stay
26 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
Small Business Spotlight
in the area long-term, the cost of available housing rises, Gobble said. “People are getting older, going to the next level; their kids are getting older and want to buy a new house,” he said. “The population is staying older, so you have more people in the house instead of rotating through houses. So, if you don’t have the builders to keep up with the demand, then you’re just low on demand. And then the supplies go down, prices go up — so that’s what’s happening.” “It’s a great time to sell your house if you’re thinking about selling,” Gobble added. An economic crisis creeping into small communities is nothing Gobble hasn’t seen before in the real estate business, as he recalled the recession of the early 2000s. “The real estate industry, when stuff like this happened in the
small and rural communities. It just takes a little bit longer.” RE/MAX and its home sellers are taking precautions to help slow the spread of COVID-19. When homeowners open their homes to potential buyers, they are leaving the doors open, requiring face masks and keeping hand sanitizer available. When customers leave the home, the owner closes the doors again. RE/MAX is also offering the option of virtual closing where a sales associate is able to sign electronically after viewing the buyer sign the required documents by way of a video call. Although not a common practice so far, Gobble said that several buyers have agreed to purchase homes based on virtual live tours of the home even prior to COVID-19.
past, when we dealt with the financial crisis in 2008-2009, in
RE/MAX of Appomattox is located at 570 Court Street. For
Appomattox we tend to not see it until six to eight months down
more information and to see current property listings, visit www.
the road from whenever everybody else sees it. It just trickles to
appomattoxproperties.com or call 434-352-8884. /// APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 27
Small Business Spotlight
BLACK TARGET FIREARMS Serves Community Police
By Charles Conrad
28 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
Pictured is the Black Target Firearms Training and Supply beagle mascot named “Ruger.” Photo contributed.
Small Business Spotlight
lack Target Firearms Training and Supply opened for business in Appomattox three years ago. Along with selling firearms and ammunition, the
store sells a variety of items such as T-shirts, hats, glassware, flags and more that are imprinted with themes to honor military veterans and first responders — which Ronald says make a great gift for those who have served in such capacities. The store also does special orders of certain items that are not carried and offers consignment for people who wish to sell items there. One of the store’s best sellers is the Gun Tote-n Mamas concealed weapons purse for women. “It’s a purse made for a weapon that keeps the weapon separate from everything else in the purse to make sure that keys
inside the building before they go out to the (outdoor) range.” Not only does Black Target Firearms Training and Supply give certified training to the general public, Ronald and Gloria also work with law enforcement and first responders. “We worked with a prison system, and actually prior to their officers going out to the range and qualifying, they came in to use our indoor laser range. We worked with each officer on their technique, and they qualified,” Ronald said when giving an example of law enforcement training. Ronald and Gloria do whatever they can to assist people involved in community safety work, including working on medical kits with the fire department and making necessary
aren’t getting mixed up and stuff like that,” Ronald said. “Gloria
equipment such as police duty belts and holsters available
is actually an instructor certified by Gun Tote’n Mamas to teach
how to draw out of the purse because the purse is a holster for a
Customers who enter the store might be greeted by the official
lady. Guys are used to holsters on their hips, and a lady’s holster
mascot, a female beagle dog appropriately named “Ruger”
is a purse.”
whom Ronald said, “loves giving kisses.”
Ron and Gloria are certified NRA (National Rifle Association)
Ever since social distancing orders by Virginia Gov. Ralph
and USCCA (United States Concealed Carry Association)
Northam were put in place due to the ongoing COVID-19
trainers who offer private individual training, both one-on-
pandemic, owners Ronald and Gloria Krauklis have had to
one and group. Discounts rates are given for group and
make a few adjustments to the way they handle business for the
“We do a lot of private, one-on-one individual training
The store had reduced its hours with afternoon services done
for beginner shooters and advanced shooters,” Ronald said.
by appointment only. The reason is to protect some of the most
“My wife works with the ladies, and I work with the men. For couples, we work together. So, it’s everything from basic hold of a weapon to actually then going out on the range and firing live ammo down range.” Once someone receives certification, they may take the certificate to their local court house and apply for a concealed weapons permit if they meet all other legal eligibility requirements. An indoor laser range is open to the public, where trainees hone their skills before using the outdoor range. “(The indoor laser range) is great for beginner shooters,” Ronald said. “We can see how they’re doing, what their sight picture is and how they pull the trigger without putting ammo in the gun. It’s all done by laser, so they can work on their technique
at-risk citizens from the coronavirus. “We do have some customers with compromised immune systems, so they’re asking to come in after hours. They want to get what they ordered, but at the same time they’re trying to stay away from people, also,” Ronald said. During open hours, the number of people permitted in the store was limited, and they are asked to maintain social distance. Hand sanitizer has been placed by the front door for customers to use upon entering. Black Target Firearms Training and Supply is located on U.S. 460 West at 6999 Richmond Highway, Appomattox. For more information, including firearm-training rates, call 434-942-3833 or email email@example.com. /// APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 29
Small Business Spotlight
Outdoor Chapel Sets The Stage For Weddings By Michelle Payne Shown is the outdoor chapel at Evergreen Lavender Farms features a stained glass window behind the pulpit and a bell. Photos by Michelle Payne.
30 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
Small Business Spotlight
ucked away off Old Evergreen Road, one may find
adding an elevated and church-like flair to the structure.
themselves traipsing through a cozy and inviting farm
“Everything has been designed from the pole barn out,” said
that begs for one to sit and relax for a moment at
Ken Swanson. “We started with a simple structure and then
what is called the Evergreen Lavender Farms — a place that is now offering a rustic venue for small, romantic weddings. The home of numerous festivals and events, Ken and Bonnie
embellished it.” Ken Swanson said the walkway was patterned after Yogaville where every building is lined up perfectly.
Swanson are now delighted to share a new addition to their farm
As far as the stained glass features go, most were repurposed
- a rustic, inviting outdoor chapel. It’s a welcome addition to the
pieces they acquired. The pews were bought used. The stained
romantic atmosphere cultivated on their lavender farm amid the
glass guitar window was made by a local artist, Paige Craft. The
aroma of lavender and other sweet-smelling garden life.
church also features a bell.
Prior to the chapel, they had received a few requests to use the
The chapel welcomed its first wedding in May 2020. Despite the
farm for a wedding venue. After experiencing a few wedding events
COVID-19 restrictions, the couple seemed to find delight in the farm
on their farm, they were inspired to cater to smaller weddings.
setting with numerous photo opportunities.
“People would always comment ‘this is so lovely, this is so relaxing. It would be nice to be married here,’” Bonnie Swanson said.
The Swansons look forward to hosting many more weddings in the future. Other perks to the venue include a LOVE sign, bridal party gifts
Rather than have an arbor set up in the field as had been the
options, a place for the bridal party to prepare for the ceremony,
case, the Swansons figured that perhaps a more permanent and
shelters should the couple wish to host a reception. And something’s
chapel-like structure would be fitting.
always blooming throughout the spring through fall months,
“We decided to fill a niche for smaller weddings, more intimate settings,” said Bonnie Swanson.
providing a beautiful backdrop. “To me, the chapel is kinda reverent,” said Ken Swanson, sharing
The Swansons found their preference was in working with
that he enjoys sitting in the chapel around dusk. “The lightning bugs,
smaller weddings and providing a more affordable venue option
the sound of the pond, the birds — it’s really special. I hope that
people who get married there feel the same way.”
Ken Swanson shared that the outdoor chapel’s construction
For booking a wedding event, the family-owned farm may be
essentially began as a pole barn that Dennis Scott was contracted
reached through their website evergreenlavender.com or phone
to build for the purpose of the chapel. The roof features two tiers,
number 434-664-9561. /// APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 31
Small Business Spotlight
By Michelle Payne Photos by Michelle Payne
Local Family Jeweler Still
108 Years Later 32 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
Small Business Spotlight
ustomers in various seasons and walks of life will
in with some of the hard work.
find themselves greeted by friendly smiles at Wilkes’
A larger handicap restroom, a kitchen and a special workplace
Jewelers thanks to a multi-generational tradition
to deal with fumes from Chris Simpson’s jewelry repair work were
of putting the customer first. Driving by, locals may notice some changes at the 108 year old business - namely in the form of renovations that increased the store’s footprint.
significant additions to the store. Chris Simpson’s great grandfather, L.M. Wilkes, started the business in 1912. Wilkes began his watch and clock business by
Renovations began in June 2019. Fourth generation jeweler at
renting a small window space at the building that is now the 1848
Wilke’s, Chris Simpson, said that Christmas of 2018 made it clear to
Venue on Church Street. It was just enough space for only a desk.
them that expansion was important. The store was becoming more
Chris Simpson pointed out the original desk that still serves the store.
and more cramped in front of and behind the counter.
To pay rent, Wilkes would sweep the floors in the entire building.
The family-owned store set to work with a plan.
Once a week, Wilkes would travel to Pamplin via train to repair
They enlisted Philip Jamerson to draft up the basic plan for the
clocks and watches.
renovations. The plan was slightly adjusted by the jewelry store
Mabel Wilkes Simpson was L.M. Wilkes’ daughter. Together, the
family. DHT Woodworks was instrumental in the design for the
father daughter duo expanded beyond watches and into jewelry.
Mabel Wilkes Simpson was certified by a railroad company to
The renovations process greeted the family with numerous
service and ensure accuracy for railroad employee time pieces.
weather-related setbacks. In February 2020, the store shutdown to
She worked with her father full time. After his passing, she
accommodate indoor renovations. Prior to renovations, the inside
inherited the business. The family said she only stopped working in
featured wood paneling and a mossy green paint color making for
2008 due to dementia and passed in 2009.
a dark interior. Thanks to the supervision of Chris Simpson’s mother, Peggie Simpson, the indoor aesthetic underwent a facelift that
Wayne Simpson, who represents the third generation in the line of jewelers, went to college with the intent of pursuing a different line of work but found himself drawn to the family business.
accommodated for better lighting along with a much lighter
Chris Simpson, fourth generation, graduated Appomattox
interior in the choice of paint. Such an aesthetic has proven more
County High School in 1999. He graduated from Hampden-
conducive to letting the display jewelry shine and in giving the shop
Sydney College in 2003 with a degree in managerial economics.
a fresh look. They even added a speaker system to contribute to the
He worked at the Farmer’s Bank full time until 2013. Sometimes
he’d work at the jewelry store on Saturday’s. One day he asked the
“Some people said it was so dark in here, they thought we were closed,” said Wayne Simpson of the pre-remodel interior.
elder Simpson about joining the family business full time. “He said ‘let’s do it.’ It was kinda scary, we didn’t know we would
Of the renovations, Chris Simpson said it’s a relief to have come
make it salary-wise, but we’ve been blessed,” said Chris Simpson.
so far. It wasn’t about their comfort only but also the customers - to
Since coming on board full time, Chris Simpson has gained
give them more space and better lighting to shop.
further training in jewelry repair, proving an asset to the small
The work areas also were expanded for the Simpson family.
business. Repairs that would normally be outsourced are now
While they hired contractors, the Simpson family was hands-on in
tackled in-store, giving customers further peace of mind.
helping rip out wood paneling, knocking out walls, and numerous
“I still have more learning to do,” said Chris Simpson.
other projects related to the remodel.
Peggie Simpson started part time to help keep the books. Now
Chris Simpson said the local football team even came out to pitch
she works at the store full time with her husband and son. APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 33
Small Business Spotlight
Everyone in the family has had a part, said Peggie Simpson. Their daughter Lori set up a computer system in the shop. Customer service, trust and friendly genuine smiles are at the heart of the multi-generational business. “The way we treat our customers, the way we help our customers,” said Wayne Simpson. “I tell people everyday that I’m gonna treat you as if I were the one standing on the other side of the counter.” “We treat people like we want to be treated,” said Peggie Simpson. “All we want is an opportunity to serve the community and each customer. That’s all we can ask for,” said Wayne Simpson. Their multi-generational story means the world to the Simpsons. The rapport and trust built over generations is a responsibility they do not carry lightly. “I would not risk my family’s reputation to do anything shady,” said Chris Simpson. He said they like to take their time to help their customers understand their jewelry pieces rather than rush them through a sale or repair. The family said that several clients carry a relationship with the 34 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
store that goes beyond one generation. They’ve had mothers bring their daughters into the same place they had their own ears pierced. In many cases, a little boy who tags along to see dad shop for mom’s jewelry will grow up and shop for a girlfriend’s, fiance’s or wife’s jewelry at the store, too. Marquitta Scruggs, 36, from Farmville, said that she’s been coming to Wilkes’ Jewelers since she was young, thanks to her mom. She said she loves the respectful atmosphere of the community of Appomattox. That respect shines through at Wilkes’ Jewelers, said Scruggs. “This is a ‘take your time’ atmosphere and respect. I love them,” said Scruggs of the Simpson family and their shop. “We laugh a lot with our customers, and we also cry with our customers,” said Wayne Simpson. Scruggs heartily nodded in agreement. The Simpsons continued on with their exchange of stories, laughs and news with Scruggs. To the Simpson family, their customers are like family. Apparently, customers like Scruggs share a similar sentiment. ///
At left, Wayne Simpson, his wife Peggie Simpson pose for a picture with their son Chris Simpson in the newly renovated jewelry store and repair building. Above, Wayne Simpson is at work, sitting at the very same table at which his mother and grandfather worked. APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 35
Small Business Spotlight
Detrick excited to offer Edward Jones financial services By Michelle Payne Photo by Michelle Payne Pictured: Tom Detrick said he’s pleased to offer Edward Jones financial services to the community of Appomattox County.
om Detrick said he’s excited about bringing the financial services firm Edward Jones to Main Street in Appomattox. The new office opened Oct. 9.
Detrick has been a financial advisor since 2018 and has lived
in the area for 30 years. Opening up an Edward Jones office in Appomattox is one of his proudest moments. He believes a local fullservice financial services office could be helpful to the community. “This office offers a wide range of financial services in a onestop office,” said Detrick. Edward Jones offers services for retirement savings and college savings, wealth management, investments and more. Detrick understands what it’s like to stand in the shoes of those wondering what to do about a retirement plan — he’s been there before, asking the questions that many will ask about wanting to set one up but not knowing where to go. He hopes he can make their path a bit clearer with helpful and experienced financial guidance. When it comes to investing, long-term quality investments are at the heart of the Edward Jones philosophy. “It’s a goal-oriented investment planning setup,” said Detrick.
36 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
Small Business Spotlight
“You work backward — decide when you want to retire and what
“Some of my customers started out with nothing. They just knew
you want to do when you retire. What’s it gonna take to get there?”
it was time to get going,” said Detrick. “A year later, they’re saying,
Small steps are used to work toward established goals, said Detrick. There’s a benefit to having an office in Appomattox, said Detrick. Folks can walk in and interact with a real person who’s involved in their community. Detrick is not just another far off customer support person. He said he’s dedicated to serving and developing relationships with his customers in Appomattox. “I’m here. We can get a cup of coffee next door (at Baine’s). We can visit and meet. They can put a face with who’s helping them,” Detrick explained. “That’s really nice. A lot of people really enjoy that rather than just calling up a 1-800 number. My number is a local number. When it rings, I’m the one who picks up.” Part of Detrick’s job is to keep people on target with their goals.
‘Oh my gosh, I have some money saved up.” It’s rewarding to see his clients begin to note the snowball effect of their financial efforts. Edward Jones is a Fortune 500 company and provides financial services throughout the U.S. and through its affiliate in Canada. The firm boasts of more than 19,000 financial advisors who serve more than 7 million clients. Edward Jones cares for $1.2 trillion in client assets. Detrick’s Edward Jones’ office is located at 201 Main Street in Appomattox. The office phone number is 434-352-1688. Detrick may also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via his webpage, www.edwardjones.com/tom-detrick.
It’s all about what’s best for the client, Detrick shared.
His office is a Toys for Tots drop-off center.
Detrick explained that Edward Jones’ financial advisors are
“I’m happy to partner with the Marines and Toys for Tots to
all about using “an established process to build a personalized
collect toys for local kids. Those toys get redistributed back locally,”
strategy to help the client reach their goals.”
Detrick shared. /// APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 37
Small Business Spotlight
Friends turn passion into business By Charles Conrad Photos by C.E. Adams Shown is the F&W Heating and Cooling business on Church Street, Appomattox, under renovation in April 2020 and the renovated building in August 2020.
est friends and business partners Nate Foutz and Michael Walker have operated F&W Heating and Cooling in Appomattox since August 2019 and now
have a building of their own. The main office started at Walker’s home, but in 2020, the pair took over the commercial building at 1778 Church Street that was previously owned by Garriss Flower Shop when the florist relocated to the Triangle Plaza. The building needed some renovations, for which Foutz and Walker were willing to invest. Walker said that the original plat (map) from 1917 showed the building was home to Appomattox Hardware. “It was in pretty bad shape,” Walker said. “Tearing it down would’ve been cheaper, but we like saving the old buildings — you know, a 100-year-old building.” F&W offers residential and light commercial heating and cooling system services such as preventative maintenance (tuneups, servicing equipment), service on broken systems, installation, change-outs replacing existing equipment, and complete cut-ins construction — cutting holes in floors and ceilings to install duct work and electrical wiring, etc. Primary service areas include Appomattox County, Lynchburg and the surrounding counties. Foutz and Walker try to stay within a 30-minute radius of the central work area but have made several trips as far away as Roanoke, Salem and Wintergreen. For now, F&W’s commercial work is geared toward smaller businesses with split systems (heat pump outside and air handler inside) rather than larger industries with units that require cranes to lift onto rooftops. However, heavy industry work is not out of the question in the future, as the co-owners stated. Foutz and Walker met 14 years ago while working for another heating and air company before both left and, after taking different paths, eventually deciding to enter a joint business venture. Walker, who had 12 years of heating and air experience, was once self-employed in construction and picked up two days of work per week with the heating and air company. However, he left because of the busy demands of his construction schedule. Foutz stepped down from his position at the heating and air company when his son was struck by an automobile eight years ago at age 12 while riding a bicycle and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Foutz, who resided in Lynchburg at the time, became his son’s full-time caregiver as he was confined to a wheelchair.
38 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
Small Business Spotlight
Once his son’s health showed signs of improvement, Foutz called upon Walker to help out with heating and air conditioning job requests. Walker decided to exit construction and engage himself in heating and air work full-time.
work to go around for everyone. Fair pricing and business integrity are what they consider to be most important. “We do what we say we’re going to do at a very competitive price,” he said. “Usually we come in under most everyone else,
“What started happening is as my son started progressing and
so they get a very high quality of work for a very reasonable
got a little bit better, we started getting requests from friends and
price. That’s proved out to be true because we get so many repeat
family to help out with their heating and air, and doing some favors
customers. As soon as they buy a new house they call us to put a
and doing a little bit here and there to help people out,” Foutz said.
system in their new home. I would say half of our business is repeat
“Just by doing that, the word of mouth started spreading so much
customers that we’ve done work for.”
and people started having needs with light commercial work and
Punctuality is important to serving their customers, Foutz stated,
stuff where you started having to have a license and insurance and
as well as the accountability of selling a job and coming back to do
all that to be able to help people out. We said, ‘Hey let’s start a
the job themselves.
company; let’s do it.’” Foutz and Walker both now reside in Appomattox. Walker is originally from Bedford and lived in Lynchburg, but his wife Ashley is from Appomattox. The F&W co-owners fell in love with the Appomattox area, so setting up shop here was a logical choice.
“I think there’s a comfort level with having the same person sell the job as the one that’s doing the job and that they know the owners are gonna take pride in their work,” he said. Heating and air work requires getting into some less than ideal situations — dirty crawl spaces, hot attics and spiders, for starters.
“Appomattox is just too charming to stay away,” Foutz said. “We
But Foutz and Walker — who said they are not in the business solely
love Appomattox … It made sense because we both live out here
for the money aspect — love their work and desire to help others
and came across that building when it went up for sale last year.
enough to overcome these conditions.
We saw the potential in it and a great location and great price,
“We’re willing to work hard to help people out, and that’s always
and it’s got two storefronts, so we’ve already started the process of
been our principle even before we started the company was
finishing the other side right now.”
helping people out … We enjoy doing it, and we enjoy working
“We like Appomattox, just the size and it’s just a quiet place to live … a nice place to raise a family,” Walker added.
together,” Foutz said. In the near future, F&W will have additional office space
Although there are a large number of heating and air companies
available to rent at the Church Street location. They are also looking
in the Central Virginia area, Foutz and Walker said there is plenty of
to add an employee to the heating and air business, especially in APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 39
Small Business Spotlight time for the busy spring season — although finding skilled labor is
in trades, and it blew my mind — I wish I knew at the age of 18
sometimes a challenge, as Walker explained.
what I know now about this business because I would have started
“There’s a big shortage of skilled labor right now,” he said. “Kids
fresh out of high school. It’s a great business, and it’s borderline
need to look into trades. There’s a big need for it right now. Kids
recession-proof — everybody needs their heat and they want their
now aren’t looking at trades like they used to … It’s a great industry
air. I think one of the biggest signs that told me that was when one of
and you can make way more (income) than most college degree
our customers said she was gonna do without getting her hair done
jobs would ever hope to make.
for the month so she could get her A/C fixed — that says something
“If you’ve got a little bit of intelligence and a good work ethic,
to me right there.”
you can create a great service tech out of that. We’ve seen that
Colleges such as CVCC offer two-year heating and air
model — the first company I ever worked for hired me even though
programs. Other workers may enter the business from the ground
outside of operating a thermostat I couldn’t tell you the first thing
floor and work their way up in the industry.
about heating and air. And I was 26 years old, but I was looking
F&W is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and
to get into a trade because I wanted to do something, I wanted
is available for serious emergency calls. For additional information,
to learn something. I heard that you could do pretty well working
call 434-473-9344. ///
Lodging~ Food ~ Drink Babcock House Visit babcockhouse.com/menus & follow us on Facebook. #notfancyjustfresh
The Babcock House in historic downtown Appomattox
40 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
Town of Appomattox Emergencies, Holidays & Nights
Fire Department Linden Street
Manager’s Office Linden Street
Sheriff’s Department Morton Street
School Board Office
Director of Public Works
Waste Water Treatment Plant
10th District Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court
County of Appomattox Animal Warden
Chamber of Commerce
Virginia Cooperative Extension Service
Clerk’s Office Circuit Court
Commissioner of Revenue
DMV Select Office
General District Court
Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court
42 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
Emergency Numbers Fire, Police, State Police & Rescue Squads Appomattox, Concord, Pamplin
Other Emergency Numbers National Response Center Oil & Toxic Chemical Spill 1-800-424-8802
Poison Centers Richmond (Voice/TDD)
National Runaway Switchboard
“Virginia Missing Children Information Clearing House”
or dial the operator (0) & say:
“I want to report a _____ in (Town Name)” or “I want a policeman in (Town Name)”, etc. *If you are unable to stay at the telephone, clearly state to the operator the exact location where help is needed.
Memorial United Methodist Church 403 Court Street, Appomattox
Appomattox Assembly of God Hwy. 460, Appomattox
Appomattox Baptist Temple Hwy. 727
Mineral Springs Baptist Church 915 Norwood Road, Gladstone
Mt. Airy Baptist Church Hwy. 26, Gladstone
Beautiful Zion Baptist Church 5868 Rolling Hill Road Red House
Mt. Comfort Methodist Church Hwy. 611, Gladstone
Bethany Pentecostal Holiness Church Parsonage Spout Springs
Mt. Lyle Baptist Church 470 Tower Loop Road, Pamplin
Bethlehem United Methodist Church Concord
Mt. Obed Baptist Church Concord
Bible Baptist Church 297 Bible Baptist Road, Appomattox
Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church 342 Mount Pleasant Road, Pamplin
Calvary Baptist Church Concord
Mt. Shiloh Baptist Church Hwy. 648, Appomattox
Canaan Baptist Church Hwy. 24, Appomattox
Mt. Zion Baptist Church Concord
Elon Baptist Church Pamplin
New Beginnings Ministry Hwy. 708, Appomattox
Evergreen Baptist Church Evergreen
New Concord Presbyterian Church 5588 New Chapel Road, Concord
Evergreen United Methodist 2466 Cedar Tree Road, Appomattox
New Hope Baptist Church Hwy. 24E, Appomattox
Freedom Word Church Appomattox
New Jerusalem Baptist Church 14287 Richmond Hwy, Appomattox
Galilee Baptist 180 Galilee Road, Gladstone
Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church Hwy. 631 & Hwy. 627
Galilee Baptist Church Hwy. 24, Appomattox
Paradise Ministries Baptist Church Appomattox
Glory Baptist Church 195 Park Lane, Appomattox
Peaceful Grove Baptist Church Concord
Grace Hills Baptist Church 4320 Pumping Station Road, Appomattox
Piney Ridge United Methodist Pamplin
Hebron Baptist Church Route 4, Appomattox
Pilot Mountain Baptist Church Route 646, Concord
Promise Land Baptist Church Hwy. 604, Concord
The House of Prayer Hwy. 607, Gladstone
Red Oak Baptist Church Hwy. 26, Appomattox
Jordan Baptist Church Hwy. 608, Appomattox
Reedy Springs Church Hwy. 648, Appomattox
Liberty Baptist Church 1709 Church St., Appomattox
Reformed Bible Church Harrell St., Appomattox
Appomattox Presbyterian Church 9 Oakley Ave., Appomattox
APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 43
Seventh-Day Adventist Court Appomattox
Spout Spring Baptist Church Hwy. 647, Appomattox
Spring Field Baptist Church Hwy. 654, Gladstone
St. Anne’s Episcopal Church Oakleigh Ave., Appomattox
Town Shop 320 Linden St., Appomattox
Trinity United Methodist Route 2, Concord
Water Treatment Plant 216 Ethel St., Appomattox
Vera Church of God Parsonage, Vera
White Oak Grove Baptist Church Hwy. 665, Pamplin
Zion Baptist Church Hwy. 678, Pamplin
Government - City, Village & Township
Town Offices Route 40W, Charlotte CH
TOWN OF GLADSTONE Fire (To Report a Fire) Hwy 60E, Gladstone
Rescue Squad Hwy 60E, Gladstone
CITY OF PAMPLIN
TOWN OF APPOMATTOX Emergencies (Holidays & Nights)
Fire Department - Linden St., Appomattox
Manager’s Office - Linden St., Appomattox
Pamplin Community Center
Pamplin Depot Branch Library
Mayor’s Office Hwy 460, Pamplin
Government - County & Parish County of Appomattox 117 Court St., Appomattox
EMERGENCY 911 Animal Control 297 Court St.
Building Inspections 297 Court St.
Circuit Court 297 Court St.
Commissioner of Revenue
Agriculture Department 2020 Church St. 134 Evergreen Ave.
Bus Stop 1388 Confederate Blvd. Maintenance Shop 163 Price Lane STATE POLICE - DIVISION 3 HQ 240 3rd Division Loop, Appomattox
TOWN OF CHARLOTTE COURT HOUSE
Triumph Baptist Church Hwy. 665, Pamplin
Superintendent of Schools 2020 Church St., Appomattox
Morton St., Appomattox
44 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
General District Court
Juvenile Court Services Unit
Juvenile & Domestic Court
Appomattox Area Headquarters
Appomattox Residency Shop Hwy 24E, Appomattox
PARKS & RECREATION
DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION Appomattox Residency Office
Reporting Hazardous Road Conditions Snow/Flood Conditions Statewide Voice/TDD
220 Community Lane
Public Safety 117 Court St.
Sheriff’s Dept. Administrative Non-Emergency
VA Tech Extension Office
Victim Witness Program
National Park Service 239 George Peers Drive, Appomattox
Voter Registration 367 Virginia Ave.
Gladstone 2418 Piedmont Road
Public Safety 117 Court St.
Government - State State Police - For Emergencies Only Div 3 Headquarters - Appomattox
State Police Hwy 613, Appomattox
VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL DEPT. Stores - Triangle Plaza Shopping Center
Dept. of Conservation & Recreation State Parks Holliday Lake State Park Road, Appomattox
Cooperative Extension Appomattox
Motor Vehicles Dept of Linden St. Appomattox
Government - United States Department of Agriculture Consolidated Farm Service Agency Hwy 460 E, Appomattox
352-5283 352-5610 352-8987 933-8136 933-4433
Pamplin 111 Church St.
U.S. Postal Service
Fire Departments Appomattox
Darlington Heights Fire Department
Pamplin Vol. Fire Department
Concord Non-Emergency Fire Dept.
Red House Fire Department Annex 9467 Red House Road, Red House
Red House Volunteer Fire Station 6620 Rolling Hill Road, Red House
RESCUE SQUAD Appomattox & Pamplin
Concord Rescue Squad Inc.
APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 45
Gladstone Hwy 60E, Gladstone
Parks Eastern National Park & Monument Assoc.
Police Departments Police/County Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dept. Morton St., Appomattox State Hwy 460E, Appomattox
Holliday Lake State Park Office
Holliday Lake State Park Concession
James River State Park, Gladstone
Rescue Squads - Non Emergency Appomattox County Rescue Squad
Concord Rescue Squad Inc.
Private Schools Cornerstone Christian Academy 169 Police Tower Road, Appomattox
Secondary & Elementary Schools (Academic) Appomattox County Admin. Office Superintendent of Schools 124 Court St., Appomattox
Adult Learning Center - Appomattox
Supervisor of Transportation - Bus Stop
Nights, Sundays & Holidays Appomattox High School Principals Office Cafeteria
Appomattox County Elementary School Main Office Principals Office Assistant Principal Cafeteria Clinic
352-7463 352-7463 352-2742 352-5583 352-5411
Jamerson J Robert Memorial Library 157 Main St., Appomattox
Town of Pamplin Library 115 Main St., Pamplin
Appomattox County Middle School Principals Office Agriculture Department Guidance Department
352-8257 352-5390 352-2135
Appomattox County Primary School Principals Office Cafeteria Clinic
352-5766 352-7476 352-8937
Appomattox County Headstart 500 Ferguson St., Appomattox
CENTRA 1920 Atherholt Road, Lynchburg
Centra Gretna Medical Center 291 McBride Lane, Gretna
Lynchburg General Hospital 1901 Tate Springs Road, Lynchburg
Alan B Pearson Cancer Center 1701 Thomson Dr., Lynchburg
Southside Community Hospital 800 Oak Street, Farmville
Stroobants Cardiovascular Center 2410 Atherholt Road, Lynchburg
Virginia Baptist Hospital 330 Rivermont Ave., Richmond
Museums The American Civil War Museum 159 Horseshoe Road, Appomattox
46 | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | APPOMAT TOX
REAL ESTATE Century 21 All Service 2071 Confederate Blvd., Appomattox
APARTMENTS THERKO LLC Sunnydale Apartments & Lombardy Apartments, Appomattox
RENTAL SERVICE STORES & YARDS 434-660-2243
King Equipment Rentals 9024 Prince Edward Hwy., Prospect
BEAUTY SALONS Geneses Salon & Spa 185 Old Courthouse Rd., Appomattox
BRASSIERES Absolute Perfection 819 Lee Grant Ave., Appomattox
352-0233 TELEPHONE BOOKS
FRAMES AND FINE ART Wilkins Myrick Frames & Fine Art 7277 Richmond Hwy., Appomattox
Pino’s Italian Restaurant Lunch Buffet: 11-2 (Monday-Friday) Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11-10; Fri.-Sat. 11-11; Sun. 12-9:30 Shoppes of Appomattox, Rt. 460
Appomattox Phone Book
GROCERS - RETAIL Natour’s Grocery 403 Old Courthouse Rd., Appomattox
Rt. 26 Market Grocery & Grill 5216 Oakville Rd., Appomattox
HOTEL Appomattox Inn & Suites 447 Old Courthouse Rd., Appomattox
OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT Appomattox Outdoor Equipment 252 Old Courthouse Rd., Appomattox
Hackett’s Chain Saw Sales 195 Old Courthouse Rd., Next to Pizza Hut, Triangle Plaza, Appx
PHARMACY Hometown Pharmacy 199 Old Courthouse Rd., Appomattox
PIANOS Perry’s Piano’s Moving,Tuning & Restoration 3050 Paradise Hill Dr., Concord
APPOMAT TOX | DISCOVER MAGAZINE | 47
130 Commerce St., Appomattox
“Your Hometown Petroleum Provider”
Serving Main Street not Wall Street Fuel Products: Heating Oil Kerosene
Space Heaters Fire Places
Experienced, Friendly staff Budget Payment Plans Computerized Dispatching
On/Off Road Diesel
Gas Logs Patio Heaters Propane Installation Grill Tanks Filled On Site Grill Tanks For Sale
Tiger Fuel Company
434-352-5757 • www.tigerfuel.com