Patrick County Magazine - Spring 2023

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Edd Martin 276-952-5008

Margaret Blevins 276-692-5376

Stephen Henderson 276-229-9684

Vicki Porter 276-694-6563

Pam Joyce 276-694-732-0802

Cameron Kolinski 276-340-8181

Deana Clark 276-229-7937

You’ll be this happy when you let us find you that perfect house, land or cabin here in scenic Patrick County . 18376 Jeb Stuart Highway • Stuart, VA 24171 • 276-694-5002 •
Stay healthy so you can get back to what’s important. Be COVID-safe. Protect yourself, your family, and your community. Find a vaccine near you. Visit, call 1-877-829-4682 or text your zipcode to 438829.

Spring 2023


For advertising information:

Patrick County Chamber

410 Patrick Ave., Suite A Stuart, VA 24171 276-694-6012

For additional copies of the magazine, contact:

Patrick County Tourism

126 N. Main St. Stuart, VA 24171 276-693-2005

Chamber Director: Rebecca Adcock

Chamber Assistant: Sharon Williams

Tourism Director: James Houchins

Tourism Assistant: Grace Cooper

Creative Director: David Stanley

Photographer: Kim Rakes

Design: SilverLining Design

Contributors: Sue Kolljeski, Sarah


Note: Please know that changes occur with attractions and businesses before Tourism or the Chamber knows about it. We make every attempt to present accurate information, but contact businesses or attractions directly before making plans to visit.

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Tourism/Chamber Welcome

Updates from the Director of Tourism and Marketing and Chamber Director

Find Yourself Here

David Pleasants was drawn to Patrick County

From Resort to Rustic

Find your ideal stay in Patrick County

Moving Mountains

The US 58 expansion is happening and it’s changing everything

Master Gardeners

The Patrick County Master Gardeners are always beautifying the area

A Green Thumb Guide to Patrick County

Visit the farms, greenhouses, and stores to help you grow better

Mayo River Rail Trail

Visit the Rail Trail in the Town of Stuart and get back to nature, get some exercise, or walk through history

Patrick County Chamber Awards

Nominate your favorite Chamber of Commerce members

Built with Tobacco

The tobacco industry helped build Patrick County, even after it faded


3 / Spring 2023
The Patrick County Magazine is published in partnership by the Patrick County Tourism Office and the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce. Vol. 2, No. 1
62 56 12 24
Departments Attractions Map Events Calendar
The Cover: A beautiful spring day with the family on the Mayo River Rail Trail.
Table of Contents
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Updates from Tourism and the Chamber of Commerce

Patrick County Tourism is proud to present the 2023 Spring edition of the Patrick County Magazine. We couldn’t be happier with the magazine’s success, and we thank everyone who dropped in to grab a copy. This issue of the magazine is themed around breaking ground on new projects. Spring is a great time to start new projects, and we hope this issue of the magazine inspires you to break ground on something new. The magazine aims to highlight the people and businesses that make Patrick County a premier tourism destination and an amazing place to live. Small business owners, event organizers, and volunteer groups all play an important part in helping Patrick County grow and change. From community gardens to the widening of Highway 58, volunteer groups and businesses are breaking ground on new projects and ushering Patrick County into a new season of growth. We hope this issue of the magazine inspires readers to break ground on their projects, big or small.

We invite everyone, whether lifelong residents or tourists, to come by the Patrick County Visitors Center located at 126 North Main Street, Stuart, VA. The Visitors Center has information on local attractions, events, and lodging. The Patrick County Visitors Center can help with accommodations, directions, and trip planning, no matter the occasion or season.

Welcome to volume two of the Patrick County Magazine. We survived year one and are pressing forward with this year’s editions. Everyone has been complimentary of our magazine about “li’l ole Patrick County.” And we are excited to share even more hidden gems with you.

Spring is always a busy planning time as we pull out the calendar and start working on programming, projects, and events for the coming year. The process is very similar to how gardeners go about pouring over seed catalogs and planning the garden for the year. This issue, we are digging in more to our gardening ways with articles focusing on the Master Gardeners and their wonderful work, as well as our hidden gems of several greenhouses that are open to the public.

The featured article is the large digging that is taking place on the mountain along Hwy 58. This investment by VDOT to widen and make the highway safer is a massive undertaking. While this project is extremely visible and literally moving mountains, several other projects are sprouting up throughout the county. Economic announcements of investment for a small business development center are happening. The Town of Stuart’s downtown revitalization planning grant is coming to completion which will move into grant submissions for implementation. The long standing textile factory in Woolwine has changed ownership, continuing to produce fabric from that facility. Several buildings along Main Street have changed hands and are going through a metamorphosis into new businesses and services.

Due to all these moving parts, the Chamber of Commerce has branded 2023 as the reinvestment in Patrick County. By reinvesting in ourselves and our communities, we can recommit to moving forward, thus redefine who we are and help us all to rethink how we live and work in Patrick County. So if you visited us last year, or its been a few years, we invite you to come back, dig in and see what Patrick County is all about and what all we have to offer. You might decide to stay and put down roots.

We are so glad to hear so many great things said about our new magazine. Patrick County is full of beautiful scenery and wonderful people. We are honored to be able to share these stories with the world. We also hope that you will visit our advertisers and thank them for helping us publish this magazine. We couldn’t put this out without them. If you have story ideas, please reach out to any of us. You are an important part of this publication also.

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The Draw of Patrick County

My love of Patrick County started in the late 60’s when I was a boy scout in Greensboro, NC. My scoutmaster owned a large 1800’s house on the parkway, in Patrick County. It was in bad shape but he would take the troop up there several times a year. On the way up, we stopped at the Dan River Queen boat for a ride and at the Circle M Zoo. Both of which no longer exist.

As we traveled from Greensboro to my scoutmaster’s house, we would travel through Stuart, Virginia. I knew at that age I wanted to live in Patrick County. As a boy from the city, the beauty and serenity of the mountains inspired and overcame me. One Sunday, I was looking through the Greensboro paper and noticed a 5-acre tract of land with a one-room cabin for sale in Patrick County. I called the realtor, got directions, and drove up that day. It was a one room, unfinished cabin with no electricity or running water, but it did have a nice creek and a spring.

I fell in love immediately and called the realtor and told him to consider it sold. I got home and told my parents and they were mad at me saying “you will never be able to pay for it.” I was 18 years old and had a full time job that didn’t pay much, so I got an additional job and worked about 70 hours a week. In 5 years, it was paid for, and I have never regretted my decision.

Once I retired about 8 years ago, we bought a house 1/4 mile from that original cabin, and that is where we live. I added onto that cabin and put in electricity. We call it Lily Cove Cottage and we now rent it as a vacation home to those looking for a quiet mountain getaway. People enjoy the natural setting, relaxing on the porch, the soothing sounds of the creek, and the chance to recharge and reconnect. It’s no surprise to me that the winding

roads of Patrick County leading to this little cottage off the beaten path seem to call people back year after year.

I love the people of Patrick County. They are extremely friendly and a lot of fun. There is always something going on here, and we can hardly keep up with all of the social events. My wife and I are extremely proud and happy to be living in such a warm and beautiful community.

“Find Yourself Here” is a guest column from someone who is either from the county or has moved to the county, and why they love it here. If you are interested in writing a column in a subsequent issue or know someone we should highlight, please contact us at

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Find yourself here
7 / Spring 2023 Monthly Concerts 420 Woodland Dr. • Stuart, VA presented at the Stuart Rotary Memorial Building featuring Bluegrass and Gospel music. See our Facebook page for dates, times, and performance lineups, or pick up one of our brochures at the Patrick County Visitors Center or the Chamber of Commerce office. ROLL! THIS IS HOW WE You can leisurely bowl, join a league, or have your birthday party with us. And we have good food too! 511 W Blue Ridge St • Stuart, VA • 276-694-3294 Tin Pen Alley Bring in this ad for a FREE Game BUYING, SELLING, OR REFINANCING REAL ESTATE? We can help with all your real estate needs: Title Searches • Title Insurance Real Estate Settlements • Loan Closings 104 W. Blue Ridge St. • Stuart, VA • 276-694-2311

County & Attractions Map


Patrick County Visitors Center 126 N. Main Street, Stuart, VA 276-693-2005

Blue Ridge Visitors Center - MP 177.7 2577 J.E.B. Stuart Highway Meadows of Dan, VA 276-694-6012

PATRICK COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 410 Patrick Ave., Suite A, Stuart, VA 276-694-6012

ARARAT INFORMATION KIOSK Laurel Hill JEB Stuart’s Birthplace 1091 Ararat Highway, Ararat, VA 276-694-6012

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LOVE SIGNS L1 Stuart, near Library & DeHart Park L2 Blue Ridge Visitors Center L3 I.C. DeHart Park L4 Nancy’s Candy L5 Stanburn Winery L6 Uptown Suites of Stuart L7 Willis Gap Community Center L8 Wayside Park (during events) L9 Front Porch Fest site (during events) COUNTY PARKS P1 Dan River Park P2 DeHart Park P3 Fred Clifton Park P4 I.C. DeHart Park P5 Mountain Top Park P6 Patrick Springs Park ATTRACTIONS 1 Angel Overlook 2 Ararat Thunder Raceway 3 Barnard’s Farm and Country Store 4 Bluemont Presbyterian Church 5 Buffalo Mountain Zip Lines 6 Chateau Morrisette Winery (Floyd) 7 Cockram‘s Mill Complex 8 Deer Run Campground 9 Doe Run Farm, Ararat 10 Dominion Valley Park 11 Fairy Stone State Park 12 Fred Clifton Park 13 Gordon Trent Golf Club 14 Groundhog Mountain Overlook 15 Hollow History Center 16 Jack’s Creek Covered Bridge 17 Kibler Valley River Run 18 Laurel Hill J.E.B. Stuart Birthplace 19 Lover’s Leap Scenic Overlook 20 Mabry Mill (Floyd) 21 Mayberry Presbyterian Church 22 Mayberry Trading Post 23 Meadows of Dan Visitor Center 24 Nancy’s Candy Company 25 Patrick County Chamber of Commerce and Creative Arts Center 26 Patrick County Historical Museum/ Library 27 Patrick County Tourism Visitors Center 28 Philpott Lake 29 Primland Resort 30 Reynolds Homestead 31 Rocky Knob Recreation Area 32 Slate Mountain Presbyterian Church (Floyd) 33 Spirithaven Farm 34 Stanburn Winery 35 Tin Pen Alley 36 Villa Appalaccia Winery 37 Virginia Motorsports Museum 38 Wayside Park 39 Willis Gap Community Center 40 Wood Brothers Racing Museum
9 / Spring 2023 626 631 643 644 631 631 661 680 680 680 682 610 648 653 653 631 626 622 708 618 346 822 8 8 8 8 8 40 40 8 57 57 103 103 614 614 614 671 675 631 672 677 677 771 773 773 Stuart Claudville Critz Woolwine Ararat Blue RidgePar k w a y B lueRidgeParkway Blue Ridge Parkwa y T2 T4 T6 T1 T5 T8 T7 T3 T9 T10 T11 38 40 37 27 35 33 25 26 10 13 16 19 12 7 23 29 17 3 1 14 15 2 9 39 4 18 20 21 22 31 36 32 6 5 8 11 28 24 34 P5 P3 30 P6 P1 P4 P2 L3 L2 L4 L9 L8 L7 L6 L1 L5 TRAILS T1 Dan River Park Trail T2 Fairy Stone State Park T3 Hidden Roads Trail T4 I.C. DeHart Trails T5 Laurel Hills Trails T6 Mayo River Rail Trail T7 Mountain Top Park Trail T8 Reynolds Homestead T9 Rock Castle Gorge T10 Rotary Field Trails T11 Round Meadow Creek Trail

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Dehart Park Dehart Park 2 1 2 W o o d B r o S p r i n g i n t o S u m m e r a t Factory Outlet Store Monday thru Thursday Expires 12/31/2023 A Patrick County Tradition since 1987 HWY 58 at the junction of the Blue Ridge Parkway Meadows of Dan, VA Be a kid in our candy store Proudly serving Patrick County Find your Path. P&HCC is an EEO institution Family time or tax codes? You run your business and enjoy time with your family. It’s our job to know the tax codes. We’ve served Patrick County for over 25 years and also have a location in Martinsville. 125 N. Main St. Stuart, VA 24171 276/694-4999 60 W. Church St. Martinsville, VA 24112 276/632-7775

TO RUSTIC FROM RESORT Find your ideal stay

Patrick County has a wide variety of accommodations to suit every style and budget. The lodging owners of Patrick County go above and beyond with their rentals to provide travelers with unique, comfortable, private spaces from which to enjoy their time here. You may know about the big ones: the campgrounds, the motels, the cabin rentals, the mountain resort. We can’t possibly list them all here, but let’s take a closer look and discover just how wide a range of accommodations there are and how they play into the hidden gem that is a Patrick County destination.

Cabins & Other Private Rentals

The appeal of the cabin vacation has always been to get closer to nature, escape to a private retreat, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Patrick County offers all these things from the beginning. Once you add in a beautiful cabin as your setting, you’ve got the recipe for a perfect getaway. There are a large number of privately owned rentals throughout the county to choose from, each one unique from the other. From rustic log cabins, flowery country cottages, and funky yurts, to modern apartments and

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full modern guest houses, you can find the perfect private rental for you. There are well over a hundred private rentals in Patrick County. Let’s look at a few to show off the sheer variety of them.

The Cabin at Magic Tree Sanctuary is situated on 53 beautifully forested acres in Meadows of Dan right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. This classic log cabin offers cozy comfort with everything you could need and more (like heated floors!) while being steps away from streams, hiking trails, and all the peace their forests offer. Magic Tree Sanctuary offers retreats and workshop

events throughout the year which can be found on their Facebook page.

For a cabin with a great view of the mountains, try Bull Mountain Hideaway in Buffalo Ridge. Sit out on the quiet deck to enjoy the views of Bull Mountain and the nearby wildlife pond, then retire in the evening to blissful comfort indoors. Centrally located within the county to many attractions.

Situated above the Meadows of Dan Food Market is the Mountain Suite, a tasteful, modern apartment suite conveniently located steps away from all the amazing shopping of Meadows of Dan, great food and coffee, and an easy on and off from the Blue Ridge Parkway. This suite includes a full kitchen, satellite TV, stocked coffee bar, and all the other amenities you need during your travels.

The charming Pondview Guesthouse offers simple country living at its best. Overlooking a beautiful spring-fed pond with hiking trails on site, guests can view many wildflowers throughout the forest, fields, and mountain marshes of the property and pick the abundant wild blackberries in July. The home has no internet or TV, allowing guests to fully experience their surroundings and unplug. Relax and unwind here, and even make friends with the host’s friendly dog, Suzy-Q!


Want to get closer to nature? Or maybe you’re on a tighter budget? Either way, find great camping options in Patrick County! If you are traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway and looking for a simple stop, Rocky Knob Campground is a go-to. With easy on and off, and a great view of the night sky, you can’t go wrong here. Do you want to be a little closer to the action? Try Meadows of Dan Campground, located just off the parkway and down the street from the hub of the Meadows of Dan village with coffee, candy, great food & shopping.

Are you traveling the open road on your motorcycle and are looking for a campsite that suits not only you, but your bike? Head over to Willville Motorcycle Camp also located just past

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Primland Resort Bull Mountain Hideaway

the Meadows of Dan village and right off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Are you wanting outdoor activities just steps from your campsite? Maybe you even want to bring your horse along on your adventure! Choose a site at Fairy Stone State Park. They offer traditional tent and RV campsites, cabins, yurts, equestrian sites, and even a lodge for large groups. Enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails, a lake for guarded swimming, boating, and fishing, and plenty of interactive and guided activities for all ages.

If private group camping is what you’re after, try out Wolf Creek Haven in Ararat which hosts group camping in a private woodland setting with hiking trails on site. Try out a reiki session or use their sweat lodge while you’re there!

If you’re traveling with the kids, you’ll want to check out Deer Run Campground in Woolwine! With a large swimming pool, game room, playground, fish ponds, activities and events, and more, you can entertain your little ones easily during your

entire stay. Make sure to be there during Halloween for their annual haunted house and activities!

Event Camping

If you are in town for an event, most of our major event venues offer onsite camping options! Wayside Park offers electrical hookup RV spots for their events such as their famous Wayside Bluegrass Festival. Dominion Valley Park offers water and electric hookups for RV spots during their events like their Memorial Day Weekend or Labor Day Weekend gospel events. Spirithaven Farm offers unhooked RV and tent camping during their events such as the award winning Front Porch Fest.

Bed & Breakfasts

Do you take your travels with a side of bacon? Patrick County has a few bed and breakfasts at the ready, serving up a delicious meal for you to start your travels off right. Wolf Creek Farm Bed & Breakfast offers many different accommodations for their guests from rooms in the main house to private cottages to economic glamping. They offer a full country breakfast every morning as well as many activities on site such as fishing, campfires, and a swimming pool.

Old Oak Farm B&B sits nestled on a micro farm underneath an ancient oak tree. This restored 1920’s farm house provides the entire upper floor for guests. Enjoy your morning coffee by the pond. Befriend their wide variety of farm animals such as geese, ducks, goats, peacocks and more. Most importantly, enjoy a delicious breakfast prepared by your hosts each morning.

The Nests at Chapman Knoll offer two luxury guest houses complete with daily breakfast, all on their working farm. Wake up to the mooing of their beloved dairy cows Anne and Mae, or enjoy a lazy afternoon watching the chickens from your deck. You’re sure to feel at home with their tasteful decor and cozy atmosphere.

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Wolf Creek Haven Cabin at Fairy Stone State Park Deer Run Campground

Farm Stays

A quick drive around the county will tell you that Patrick County is rooted in agriculture, in both our past and our present. However, did you know that you can stay at some of these farms and be a fly on the wall to the daily happenings of the farmer and animals?

Stay at Old Oak Farm B&B, a beautiful 1920s farmhouse decorated to maintain the original style while offering all of today’s amenities such as Keurig coffee, WiFi, and ensuite bathrooms. Spread out on 2.5 acres of beautiful views with a pond that has a large deck, ideal for your morning coffee or lit at night to enjoy the sunset. Enjoy a continental breakfast of coffee, pastries, etc. On their small farm are chickens, ducks, geese, goats, turkeys, and even a peacock as well as their friendly dogs. They are free-range on the property but will never be in your personal space. They are very friendly and will assume you have treats for them every time you arrive.

Experience a true free-range black angus cattle operation at Wolf Creek Farm Bed & Breakfast. This beautiful 100-acre farm provides a range of accommodations. Enjoy a full country breakfast each morning, hayrides to feed the cows, a campfire with s’mores and hot cider, a 5-acre fish pond with poles & boats, an in-ground swimming pool, special motorcycle amenities, and friendly southern hospitality. Guests at Wolf Creek Farm will be able to see cattle from Spring through Fall and haymaking approximately in May.

The Meadows of Dan River Walk Cabins sit on a 135-acre working lavender farm named High Country Lavender. The cabins have one mile of river frontage along the Dan River. Without leaving the property guests can enjoy walking through the flower fields, hiking the 2.5-mile trails, picnicking or fishing beside the waterfalls, wildlife-watching, and beautiful views from the deck of the cabins. Cabins come in full size (2-bedroom) and

efficiency (studio-style) to meet your unique needs, all with full bathrooms & kitchens, queen beds, central heat & air, flat-screen TVs, WiFi, and linens provided.

Martin’s Blueberry Hill Cottage was established in 1984, with over 300 blueberry bushes in the orchard adding to the beautiful view of Bull Mountain just outside of your window. In July through September the berries are ripe for picking. Just walk out the front door, grab a bucket, and pick blueberries to your heart’s content. In the charming cottage, the smart TV & WIFI will keep you connected while you enjoy the quiet. The gas log fireplace will keep you warm and cozy in the winter. Everything you need to enjoy cooking a nice dinner in & fun local favorites if you prefer dining out. Enjoy the gazebo with a table for outdoor dining and the fire pit for colder nights.

Chapman Knoll is a 24-acre working farm on the outside and farm-fresh luxury on the inside. Expect a feeling of warmth and coziness when staying with them at their Bed & Breakfast, The Nests at Chapman Knoll. They offer two country-chic, private guesthouses and provide a farm-fresh breakfast to your door each morning to enjoy in the comfort of your guesthouse or balcony. Pajamas are encouraged. Whether you check everything off your itinerary or simply relax at the farm watching their beloved dairy cows roam the pastures you’re sure to have a getaway you won’t soon forget.

Spoon Mountain Farm is a WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) host farm and a “glamping” Airbnb destination. Spoon Mountain Farm is an alternative forest farm with a variety of permaculture and different types of gardens (raised, row, vertically terraced). Guests enjoy using the farm for personal retreats to relax, work on creatives, or be one with nature in the two different rustic cabins. When in season, guests at the farm can enjoy educational “weed walks” as well as purchase seasonal herbal blends grown at the farm.

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River Walk Cabins Chapman Knoll

Historic Lawson School Getaway is a charming Airbnb situated in Meadows of Dan and is a fully-renovated two-room vintage school building built in the early 1900s. Quaint accommodations, nostalgia, and scenic views.

The charming country property of Mayberry Mountain Meadows is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are three

main houses: a white farmhouse with 4 bedrooms, furnished with antiques and fireplaces (111 years old), a 2-bedroom lake cabin, and an older log cabin adjacent to the lake cabin (100+ years old). The grounds are suited to sports and activities, such as badminton, croquet, gathering round the picnic tables, grilling outdoors, evenings around the firepit, or enjoying lake activities.

Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers in the early 1900’s, the classic log cabins at Fairy Stone State Park are the perfect getaway to unplug and connect with nature. The park was first built entirely by the CCC workers including the roads, trails, picnic areas, and much more, but the cabins truly show the craftsmanship of the workers.


Cindy and Gary, the owners of Wolf Creek Farm Bed & Breakfast are pleased to provide special amenities for fellow motorcycle enthusiasts. The drive to their 1920’s farmhouse is completely paved. Park your special ride in a covered, secure building on the premises. A washing station and maintenance area for your bikes are available, as well as a washer and dryer for those who have to pack light.

Ridge Rider Cabins offer comfortable and affordable lodging for motorcyclists traveling through the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding areas. The cabins are cozy, inviting, and built for two. Each cabin offers amenities such as air conditioning, private bath, mini-fridge, a coffee pot with coffee, and a

Enjoy the peaceful relaxation only nature will bring. You are encouraged to enjoy swimming, fishing, horseshoes, playgrounds, and the game room during your stay. Feature events for our campers include movie nights, paint parties, and our popular Halloween weekends. Please call to reserve your site!

28 Fawn Road Ferrum, VA 24088

(276) 930-1235

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Old-Fashioned Family Fun. To Subscribe Call (276) 694-3834 or (304) 647-5724 News Tips, Classified & Display Advertising Call (276) 694-3101 VOICE OF THE PEOPLE SINCE 1876 Dedicated to serving the communities of Patrick County
Together is Better!
Lawson School Getaway

comfortable queen bed. Stroll down the property to a picturesque shaded place by the creek and dip your feet while you sip your favorite cool beverage. Charge your phone and your body for the next day’s adventure in the wind! Once you’re settled in, you can take advantage of the numerous twisty motorcycle routes in the area that will keep you in the wind for a day or a week!

Willville Motorcycle Camp, located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Meadows of Dan, has been a mecca for motorcyclists for over 30 years for overnight trips and extended stays. Willville combines motorcycles, touring, campfire conversations, and camping. Individual grassy campsites are available with a large well-kept bathhouse. Each site provides picnic tables and level surfaces for cyclists pulling trailers. This campground is designed for motorcycle traffic only with ample parking within the 26 acres for those who wish to trailer their bikes. Minutes away you can find the Meadows of Dan village with food, gas, and great shopping.

Resort Collections, is a five-star luxury resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Patrick County offering many types of accommodations from suites in their expansive lodge, to private chalets, to treehouses! Guests can enjoy multiple onsite dining options from casual to formal that utilize local ingredients or freshly sourced on site. Primland Resort was built around a world-class mountaintop golf course, and offers a wide range of other outdoor activities such as horseback riding, hiking, fly fishing, hunting, paddling, camping, and much more. Enjoy indoor activities as well such as the stellar observatory, full spa, indoor pool, wine cellar, game room, curated activities and events, and more.

Like many places throughout Patrick County, the views at Primland Resort alone are worth the trip. Primland’s founder, Didier Primat, and the rest of the Primat family have strived to create a place of immense beauty that offered guests a return to simple human pleasures in an environment of refined authenticity and sensuality. He developed Primland in an eco-conscious and thoughtful manner, as the ultimate retreat for world-class golf, refined dining, and outdoor activities.

Rental Companies

Sometimes you don’t want to search around. Sometimes you just want someone to find the perfect place for you so you can get on with your vacation already! In comes rental companies: Your vacation solution in a busy life. Blue Ridge Real Estate manages a number of classic cabins in beautiful locations throughout the county. Buffalo Mountain Getaway manages cabins, cottages, modern apartments and more throughout three different counties and can find the perfect space for you.

The Importance of Short-Term Rentals in Patrick County


Yurts are the perfect blend of camping and comfort, and Patrick County has plenty to offer! Try Mountain Waves Yurt in Meadows of Dan, where you will be treated to a private yurt experience with all the comforts of home. Fairy Stone State Park also has yurts available for rent alongside their cabins and campsites.

Perched in the trees overlooking the Pinnacles of Dan and Kibler Valley are three private, luxury treehouses perfect for a romantic getaway or solo retreat. The Treehouses at Primland Resort offer a king sized bed, expansive deck and breathtaking views offered in these special accommodations. The Lodge is just a short drive away for all your dining and entertainment needs.


We’ve looked at rustic cabins, fun campgrounds, homey B&Bs and more, but we would be remiss to leave out a truly unique lodging experience hiding right here in Patrick County. The award-winning Primland Resort, now part of the Auberge

Each traveler that stays a night in a Patrick County shortterm rental pays a transient occupancy tax. These funds go to the tourism department of Patrick County. With these traveler tax dollars, the tourism department can run the Patrick County Visitors Center as well as market Patrick County as a tourist destination through print and digital advertisements, promotional videos, local event sponsorships, a website, and much more. By promoting Patrick County and its businesses, the tourism department brings in outside commerce, helping to boost the local economy. None of this would be possible without the shortterm rental hosts of Patrick County and the amazing job they do representing our area as a destination. Thank you!

The next time you are traveling to Patrick County, or maybe perhaps you are looking for a place for a visiting friend or family member to stay, consider the wide range of options available to you in our area. Contact the Patrick County Visitors Center for more information on short-term rentals or for help choosing the perfect location for you or a loved one!

17 / Spring 2023
Yurts at Fairy Stone State Park
18 Patrick County Magazine / TIME SAWYER THE JUDY C STRIKING CO OH, CHRISTO THE BROWN MO LIGHTNING B Reynolds Homestead Critz, VA June 16 & 17 WWW.BUSHELSANDBAR Come see us at the Patrick County Visitors Center 126 N. Main St • Stuart, VA “The MOUNTAINS are calling and I MUST GO.” – John Muir Find yourself here
STUART | FLOYD | HILLSVILLE | PULASKI 1-800-950-3772 SALES • SERVICE • DELIVERY Propane – Heating Oil – Kerosene – Diesel – Water Heaters Heating & Hearth – Outdoor Rooms & More COMFORT YOU CAN COUNT ON
We’re family around here. Join our awardwinning team! Hiring all departments 2021 + 2022 BEST PLACES TO WORK Finalist 5-Star Hospital INCREASED PTO (PAID TIME OFF) RECENT WAGE INCREASES DAILY PAY OPTIONS GREAT HEALTH INSURANCE EDUCATION ASSISTANCE Choose Well. Choose Northern. Visit us at for current opportunities.
21 / Spring 2023 your parks your adventures FAIRY STONE STATE PARK Know Before You Go - Recreate Responsibly 800-933-PARK (7275) | C B Clark Brothers Company, Inc. General Contractors • Since 1885 Stuart, Virginia 138 South Main Street • PO Box 267 Stuart, Virginia 24171 (276)694-7158 Specializing in commercial and industrial construction throughout the Southwest Virginia region. Licensed in VA & NC. I’m the Current Interim Clerk of Court. At the time of the election, I will have almost seven years of experience working in the Clerk’s Office. I have internal experience in all five major components of the office (Criminal, Civil, Bookkeeping, Probate, and Land Records). PAID FOR BY MORGAN FOR CLERK VOTE BOOTHE at the BOOTH
22 Patrick County Magazine / It’s not just design for design’s sake. It’s balancing your message, audience, brand, and budget. We work with national corporations and small Mom-and-Pop shops. Your business’s goals are our goals and we want to play a role in helping you achieve them. Design with a Purpose • 276-692-2199 DEPENDABILITY YOU KNOW & TRUST We are a family owned and operated, full service mechanical and electrical contractor. We are located in Patrick County, VA and are licensed and insured in Virginia and North Carolina. 276-694-7308 • Be a LifeSaver in your community. Offering volunteer and paid staffing. Come give of yourself. It’s the best you have to offer. 1258 American Legion Rd Stuart VA 24171 276-694-6171
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25 / Spring 2023
Photos courtesy of Branch Civil

People in Patrick County have heard the promise for decades: U.S. 58 would one day be widened to four lanes, all the way from Stuart up the mountain and past Lover’s Leap.

The prospect seemed ludicrous: How do you four-lane a highway up a twisty road that wraps through hollers? As a photographer put it on a blog, “U.S. 58 is as crooked as a cat’s hind leg.”

Yet the long-promised widening of U.S. 58 is now underway. Dozens of workers for numerous companies and subcontractors are in the midst of a landscape-sized, $300 million plan that will see them move roughly 11 million cubic yards of dirt. The project began in 2021 and is expected to continue until 2026.

Local residents are dealing with the day to day of the project. There are downsides, ranging from traffic delays to the emotional response to seeing parts of the mountain cleared and graded in preparation for new lanes. The surge in construction activity and workers is boosting business at local restaurants and stores. Others anticipate the project’s long-term prospects to bring visitors and merchant traffic.

For several Patrick County-raised folks playing key roles on the job, the widening of U.S. 58 feels like a fantasy come to life as they take part in the long-foretold promise.

Trey Joyce knows the road’s turns all too well, having traveled up it many times on a school bus for school sports. Now he’s one of five project engineers for Branch Civil Inc., which holds the contract to oversee the work.

Joyce spent his childhood riding up and down the mountain west of Stuart.

“I’ve traveled this road my whole life,” Joyce remembered. “Riding this road going to Meadows of Dan as a kid, to go to a basketball game on a school bus. I recall kids getting car sick riding the bus up and down the mountain when not used to traveling it every day.”

After high school, Joyce attended community college before transferring in to attain his engineering degree at Virginia Tech. He completed three internships, including one with Branch Civil. Upon graduation, however, he went to work as a geotechnical engineer with Froehling & Robertson on its project to widen Interstate 81 near Roanoke.

Then Branch Civil won the contract to four-lane U.S. 58 outside Stuart and called Joyce.

26 Patrick County Magazine /
“ I don’t know if you’ll ever see it in your lifetime”
Strawberry Festival May 20 • Uptown Stuart • 10am - 4pm April 1 • Farmers’ Market • 12 - 4pm Wine & Food Festival Join us at our Spring events! The Patrick County Historical Museum features innumerable items from the past, and extensive genealogical records for people researching families with Patrick County roots. historical museum Patrick County (subject to change) Tues, Thurs, Sat. 10am - 2pm HISTORY COMES ALIVE Coffee, smoothies, sandwiches,& fresh baked goods Summer Hours: Tuesday through Friday 7:30am to 5:30pm Sat 8:00am to 3:30pm closed Sunday & Monday 23 Elamsville Rd., Stuart, VA 24171 (276) 930-1850 27 / Spring 2023

“They asked, ‘Are you interested?’ and I answered, ‘Well, heck yeah,’” Joyce said. “I’ve heard about this thing my entire life. I’m 28 years old. Ever since I was a kid, I remember people talking about, ‘Oh yeah, they’re gonna four-lane the mountain one day. I don’t know if you’ll ever see it in your lifetime or not.’ Here we are. I’m in the industry and get to be a part of it.”

Joyce is now one of Branch’s five project engineers on the U.S. 58 widening project, and one of three from Patrick County. The others are Parker Heath and Matt Hutchens.

A career in preparation

Joyce, Heath and Hutchins aren’t the only people from Patrick County involved in the project.

“It’s amazing I’m sitting where I get to do this,” said Tony Handy, area construction engineer for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Handy grew up between Critz and Patrick Springs. Like Joyce, he recalls the state of U.S. 58 when he was growing up.

“None of it was four-lane,” Handy remembered. “Nothing was built up this way. Going to Hillsville took what seemed like forever, Virginia Beach felt like forever. Progressively as I grew up, they four-laned more and more sections going to the beach. Now, you can get there in four to five hours. But to the west, if you get behind a tractor or a logging truck, what should take you 15 minutes takes you 45.”

Handy also attended Virginia Tech. Roughly twenty-five years ago, he surveyed U.S. 58 from Stuart west to Lover’s Leap,

literally walking from one end to the other for Anderson and Associates, which held the design contract on the project when he was in college.

Now, Handy oversees the U.S. 58 project for VDOT. His role wraps in a myriad of aspects: safety, travel times, economics, freight and efficiency. “My job is to protect the taxpayers,” Handy said. “Part of that is engineering safety, part of that is managing the contract. I’m making sure taxpayers get what they’re intended to get: a good road and ensure that it’s safe. Hopefully this will help save a lot of lives and accidents.”

Handy acknowledged the challenges of the project, and not just the technical difficulties of building a highway up the mountain to Lover’s Leap that can sustain 55 mph traffic. There’s also the inconvenience of road work for local motorists, along with dismay at seeing the massive landscape-scale changes required to make the widening of U.S. 58 a reality.

“The biggest misconception is we’re just out here doing whatever we want with no real thought behind it,” Handy said. “This is a huge project. We’re going to err on the side of safety. That’s going to take patience. For a few years it’s going to be an inconvenience, so we can have something really good at the end. It’s a little bit of inconvenience with big benefits for future generations.”

Construction workers bring business boost

Many Patrick County businesses already are seeing benefits from the project.

28 Patrick County Magazine /

Uptown Suites routinely gets inquiries about vacancies, says owner Leslie Marsh. She purchased the 95-year-old property in 2009. The building had originally been office space before it was converted to apartments.

Marsh saw a need for “a decent place for someone like myself or someone coming here to do business.” She and her husband renovated the building, which includes two stories with 5,000 square feet each, and reopened with five units in 2012.

Uptown Suites quickly became a destination for people traveling to Patrick County for work, family matters and to purchase property. Once the U.S. 58 widening project began, construction company Kokosing contacted her to secure housing for three supervisors for at least the next year and a half.

“Those guys were staying in Hillsville,” Marsh said. Stuart doesn’t offer many lodging options, so what’s available is in high demand.

“I turn down multiple people every week,” Marsh said. “There are probably 10 people a week that are somehow connected with that project.”

“It’s gonna be a game-changer”

“You see the trucks rolling through here,” said Rebecca Adcock, director of the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce. “Branch is renting an area right on the outskirts of the construction area for their office. One subcontractor has turned a vacant building into another office in Stuart. You go into town during lunch on a weekday and you’re going to see several of their trucks. It’s helping local restaurants and gas stations.”

29 / Spring 2023 The Economic Development Department of Patrick County proudly supports all new and existing businesses, industries, and manufacturers throughout the County of Patrick and Town of Stuart. Contact our new Director, Sean Adkins, at 276-692-4490, or We’re in the business of helping your business. Enterprise Zones. Incentives. Business Development Center. Expansion. Local Small Business. Have questions about some of these topics and how they may relate to your business or community?
Proven Community Leadership 12 plus years of Legal Experience Worthy of our citizens' trust Dedicated to Patrick County Your Clerk for this generation in ALL legal realms ELECTION 2023 Accountability Public Service Integrity Follow along on Facebook & Instagram email: ecwadeforclerk@gmail com phone: 276-692-6714 Authorized by Wade for Clerk NOVEMBER 2023 CLERK

Additionally, the town of Stuart’s utility is selling water that’s needed to spray graded areas after they’ve been reseeded. “We had to put a metered faucet on one of our fire hydrants so they can fill up their water trucks,” said Adcock, who also sits on the Stuart town council.

Dozens of workers on the project make for a significant short-term boost to Patrick County’s economy. But even this pales in comparison to what the widening of U.S. 58 could mean for its long-term future.

“It’s gonna be a game changer,” Adcock said.

First, there’s Rich Creek Industrial Park, just off U.S. 58. Opening up the road to the west will open freight routes from the county. Virginia lawmakers are considering building an “inland” port in western Virginia, likely at the intersection of interstates 81 and 77 near Wytheville. If so, the newly widened U.S. 58 will likely be a major freight route to the coastal Port of Virginia and overseas markets.

The widening may also open up more traffic to another key route — the Blue Ridge Parkway.

“People don’t really realize how much Stuart is a gateway to the Blue Ridge Parkway, especially for people coming out of Greensboro, Martinsville, and Winston-Salem,” Adcock said. “At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, I’d be home on a Saturday, and it sounded like a helicopter was hovering over my house. All these people on motorcycles just flowing up through

Stuart up onto the parkway. With a better four lane, that might entice people even more.”

The U.S. 58 widening is happening in conjunction with other Patrick County projects, Adcock said, in such a way that “right now we’re this tea pot about ready to blow the top off.”

In December, the county’s Economic Development Authority received $900,000 in state funding to renovate uptown Stuart’s former hardware store into a multi-use facility with child care services, a co-working space and a business development center. The state also awarded $850,000 to renovate the former Cockram Grist Mill in Vesta into a brewery.

“The other thing is there are five major businesses on the side of that mountain with a two-lane 58,” Adcock said. They include Poor Farmer’s Market, Nancy’s Candy Company, Kreager Woodworking, Woods Produce and Stuart Concrete. “I wonder what will happen when it’s a four-lane 58?” Adcock mused.

The big picture

Meanwhile, the widening continues.

The project has three sections. The eastern segment that begins outside Stuart will result in two lanes going in each direction, with a 4-foot paved median.

The center segment Joyce calls “the bifurcated section”: In this stretch, the westbound lanes will follow the existing road,

is our Business

30 Patrick County Magazine /
From ribbon cuttings to lunch-and-learns, we are here for your business. Whether you are a new business looking to network or an established business needing to learn about new tools, we offer many opportunities to make connections and grow. Join the chamber and let’s build together. 410 Patrick Ave. • Suite A • Stuart, VA • • 276-694-6012

while eastbound lanes will take a different route before tying back in.

The western-most segment includes two lanes in each direction, with a raised grass median that will be wide enough for turn lanes to secondary roads.

The project also involves wider shoulders, improved intersections with U.S. 8 and other roads and two truck escape ramps.

Lover’s Leap will look different as well. U.S. 58 will essentially bypass the overlook by cutting off the turn. Visitors will still be able to access the landmark with a turnoff that connects to a parking area and cul-de-sac at the overlook. Officials hope the change will result in a safer site that doesn’t interrupt traffic on U.S. 58.

The actual widening involves straightening U.S. 58 and filling to decrease the grade. Currently the section grades up to 9 percent; once the project is complete they’ll top out at 7.4 percent.

“The big idea here is to straighten it out as much as possible and get the percent grade decreased coming down the mountain so we’re not having such a steep grade, and just make a generally safer road,” Joyce said.

Roughly 60 percent of the 7.4 miles of project consist of solid rock. Widening the road’s twists and turns involves blasting, then hauling the fill to a permanent storage site. Section cuts run as high as 500 feet, with filled areas up to 300 feet deep. Ultimately the project area entails 400 acres.

Branch is also relocating power and telecommunication lines.

31 / Spring 2023
Matthew Hutchens

A few homes and a business will have to be relocated, Joyce said, “but for the most part they’ve tried to stay away from affecting too many homes with the project.”

The widening project also involves rerouting waterways, including one of the Mayo River’s headwaters.

“It’s a drainage project we slapped a road on top of,” said Handy.

He’s not too far off. Joyce gestured toward an area covered with lengths of multiplate-pipe. Four of the plates are fitted together to make one joint of pipe measuring 84 inches in diameter. Three pipelines will run through a 540-foot-long stream bottom west of Stuart, funneling the creek beneath the planned road and preventing flooding.

For his part, Joyce is grateful the project is keeping him home in Patrick County.

“I love it here,” Joyce said. “My wife and I both grew up here. We’ve both done some traveling and been out and seen other parts. And we both love it here. We have a baby on the way. There’s not a much better place to live. It’s a heck of a place to live, as long as we’ve got work in the area.”

He says Branch seems glad to keep him in his home county.

“I’m kind of centrally located,” Joyce said. “I can be in Greensboro or Winston-Salem or Roanoke or Wytheville — pretty much in the same amount of time.”

Locals know that central location is part of what makes Patrick County such an ideal location.

When the widening of U.S. 58 is complete, the rest of the world is primed to find out, too.

32 Patrick County Magazine /
Photo by David Stanley


The Willis Gap Community Center, (144 The Hollow Road, Ararat, Patrick County, VA 24053), Open Jam has been going since about 1997. It began at the home of Founders Otto and Nellie Hiatt. It got so large they moved it down to the Community Center. It is a few miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway (Maybry’s Mill), a few miles from Meadows Of Dan (Primland Auberge Resort), and a few miles from Mount Airy, NC (Mayberry) home of Andy Griffith. The doors open at 6:00 pm for snacks: hotdogs, chips, drinks, and more. Appalachian Acoustic Music and Dancing begin at 7:00 pm going until 10:00 pm. 50/50 drawing around 8:00 pm. Last Tuesday in the month we have the Golden Oldies, 50, 60, 70’s music. On these two occasions please come out and enjoy Food, Fellowship, Family Fun, Music, and Dancing. Southern Hospitality at its best. For other info email: Like us on Facebook.

Willis Gap Community Center • 144 The Hollow Road, Ararat, VA 24053
(Back row L to R) Jesse Young, Jake Brewer, Elvin McMillian, Don Rierson, Wade McMillian, Rick Sebastian, Bernie Edwards, Dan Shikenjanski, Ed Dalton, Tim Maready, Mike Pyburn Sr., L to R 2nd row Phil Lianer, Diane Dawson, Waymond Dawson, Elaine VanAuken, Judy Middleton, Ollie Puckett, Truman Puckett, Dot Shikenjanski, Jack Holt, Gene Anderson. (Front row L to R) Otto Hiatt, Les Edgell, Mary Dellenback Hill, seated Chester Shelton. (L to R) Truman and Ollie Puckett, Mike Pyburn Sr. (Banjo), Dot Shikenjanski (Bass)



We are excited to announce that the Mayberry Trading Post is under new ownership and is currently being remodeled for a grand reopening in the Spring of 2023. It is one of the oldest storefronts in Patrick County and is still run by three generations of descendants from the original owners. Please stop in and see us!

General Store



Artisan Goods

Prepared Foods

Blacksmith Demos



Apple Butter Making

Craft Shows

Seasonal Family Events

34 Patrick County Magazine / Milemarker 181 5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway 883 Mayberry Church Road, Meadows of Dan, Virginia

Feed Your Soul


community, Music

Dominion Valley Park



friday May 26 | 5:30 pm

The Inspirations

Chuck Wagon Gang

Gospel Harmony Boys

Saturday may 27 | 5:30 pm

Ivan Parker

The Harvesters Quartet

The Churchmen

sunday may 28 | 10:30 am

Music by The Beachy Family

Message by Curt Ashley


Friday September 1 | 5:30 pm

Kelly Ratcliff

The Churchmen

The Perrys with Tony Wolf

Saturday September 2 | 5:30 pm

The Singing Cookes

The Harvesters Quartet

The Martins with Mickey Bell

sunday september 3 | 10:30 am

Music by The Singing Cookes

Message by Ricky Rogers

saturday may 6 | 7pm


Presented by Dominion Valley Events

contact information

phone: 276-694-4245


also Visit our CoffeE and Food Wagon in Patrick Springs
Mon. and Tue. - 7am to 1pm Wed., Thur., Fri. - 7am to 4pm Sat. and Sun. - 9am to 2pm We carry Jesse Jones Hot Dogs at the Wagon 21983 Jeb Stuart Hwy Stuart, VA • 276-694-4425 Mon. - Thur. - 6:30am to 5pm Fri. - 6:30am to 9pm Sat. - 8am to 9pm Sun. - 10am to 2pm Dinners Fri. & Sat. 5pm - 9pm 121 N. Main St., Stuart, VA • 276-694-7575

Fridays 8am to 12pm

Fridays 8am to 12pm

Fridays 8am to 12pm

May Through November Downtown Stuart

May Through November Downtown Stuart

May Through November Downtown Stuart

Where the Community comes to shop

Where the Community comes to shop

Where the Community comes to shop

Voted Runner Up for Best Farmers Market in the Best of the Blue Ridge contest from Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine

36 Patrick County Magazine /
N u r t u r i n g t h e e n d u r i n g b o n d t h a t c o n n e c t s p e o p l e & t h e i r p e t s S u r g e r y O r t h o p e d i c S e r v i c e s I n t e r n a l M e d i c i n e R e g e n e r a t i v e T h e r a p i e s A c u p u n c t u r e A l l e r g i e s & M o r e F O O T H I L L S P E T H E A L T H C A R E C L I N I C C o n t a c t U s 1 - 3 3 6 - 7 8 9 - 0 0 0 9 1 1 1 H e a l t h y T r a i l , M o u n t A i r y N C O u r p r a c t i c e i s d e v o t e d t o n u r t u r i n g t h e u n i q u e b o n d t h a t c o n n e c t s a p e t a n d c l i e n t t h r o u g h i n d i v i d u a l i z e d v e t e r i n a r y c a r e w w w f o o t h i l l s p e t h e a l t h c a r e c l i n i c c o m Take a look back...the museum is only 30 minutes from the Martinsville Speedway. 21 Performance Dr., Stuart, VA Mon - Fri: 9am to Noon and 1pm to 4pm CHRISTOPHER CORBETT ATTORNEY AT LAW Town of Stuart 276-694-7145 ALL ESTATE OR PROBATE MATTERS • WILLS • FORECLOSURES • Serving as Town Attorney; and serving as a Commissioner of Accounts. 108 N MAIN STREET STUART, VA 24171
37 / Spring 2023 Wade’s Orchards & Produce Apples, Peaches, Maters, Taters, Punkins, Cabbage, and so much more. 10690 Woolwine Hwy. • Woolwine, VA • 276-930-3515 Where Dreams Come To Life! For more info visit • 276-694-3834 Shop online at and have it shipped FREE to our store. 20541 Jeb Stuart Hwy • Stuart, VA (276) 694-4916 •

Where Fresh Meets Friendly

We have over 1,200 different items that range from your fruits and vegetables to an extensive collection of honey, jams, jar goods, and old-fashioned candy. The good thing about our size is that if we don’t have it, we can get it for you. We have cultivated relationships with top growers in the nation to buy direct so we can give you fresher, better quality products for a cheaper price. We source produce from across the United States, Mexico and Canada, but Meadows of Dan is home.

Wood’s Produce Company

131 Cherry Creek Road

Meadows of Dan, VA 24120

(800) 952-2978

Patrick CountyMaster Gardeners

During the spring, summer, and fall, small garden plots along Stuart’s North Main Street are filled with an array of beautiful blooms. These gardens are created by a group of local volunteers who work to beautify and educate the county. The Patrick County Master Gardeners are a group of trained volunteers certified by the Virginia Cooperative Extension. These volunteers are tasked with educating their community through gardening workshops and other educational events. As Master Gardener Norma Bozenmayer explains, “everything we do is to educate and make Patrick County a healthier, more beautiful place to live.” To become an Extension Master Gardener, volunteers must complete a minimum of fifty hours of horticulture training and a minimum of fifty volunteer hours. Volunteers are also required to complete at least twenty volunteer hours and eight hours of continuing education each year to maintain their active status. Once volunteers become official Master Gardeners, they can create community gardens, teach workshops, and host events for the public to attend.

The Virginia Master Gardener program is a part of the Virginia Cooperative Extension, an educational outreach program that works to make scientific information accessible to the general public. The program was formed in 1979 to provide communities with research-based gardening education. There are sixty-two Extension Master Gardener groups located throughout Virginia. Each group creates educational programs based on the identified needs in their area. Extension Master Gardeners have established programs like urban tree planting, community vegetable gardens, and pollinator-friendly gardening for their communities. Young or old, the Master Gardeners’ educational programs are perfect for anyone who wants to learn about dirt, bugs, and plants. Master Gardener Sherry Easterbrooks decided to join the program when she relocated to Patrick County. “I needed to upgrade my knowledge when faced with the challenges of a different climate, different soil conditions, longer growing seasons, hotter summers, different plant diseases, and pests. I became a Master Gardener Volunteer in 2010,” says Easterbrooks. Patrick County’s climate

39 / Spring 2023

and geography can make gardening and landscaping challenging. Factors like soil composition, elevation, and microclimates can greatly affect what plants will thrive. The Patrick County Master Gardeners are an amazing resource for anyone looking for help in their gardening and landscaping projects.

Extension Master Gardeners are tasked with educating their community on how to be better gardeners and how to protect the local environment. Master Gardeners are educated on a wide range of topics including botany, entomology, soil composition, and plant pathology. Educating the community about better gardening techniques can help protect the local ecosystem from pollutants and invasive plants. Their educational programs encourage gardeners to think about every part of the ecosystem. Factors like soil microbiology, water quality, surrounding plants, and local animals can affect local gardens. Master Gardener Norma Bozenmayer explains that “so many people don’t realize the importance of soil and the interacting biology and chemistry. I am particularly fascinated with the microbiology of the soil, so I like bringing a microscope to workshops, allowing attendees to view what is hidden in healthy soil.” Many of their workshops encourage gardeners to work with their environment and not against it. Overusing pesticides and herbicides can disrupt the soil microbiome, kill beneficial insects, kill native plants, and pollute local waterways.

The Patrick County Master Gardeners work with local organizations to create learning gardens. The learning gardens encourage an interest in pollinator friendly gardening. Gardeners can support native pollinators by leaving weeds and dead

branched in the landscape whenever possible. Many common weeds are an essential food source for native bugs and birds. Plants like milkweed, pokeweed, clover, and dandelions are key parts of the food web in the native ecosystem. Native plants can even be incorporated into existing flower gardens create a beautiful and beneficial landcape. The small gardens planted along Stuart’s North Main Street are one example of native-friendly garden design. Each plot was created with native pollinators in mind with a carefully selected mix of wildflowers and native plants. Master Gardener Judy Ferring has noted that “ever since the Master Gardeners turned several small garden plots on Main Street into native plant demonstrations, there’s been a marked increase in pocket gardens all around the county. It’s the little things that count.” Even the littlest change in the landscape can have big effects in the environment. Gardeners have the ability to help or hurt the native ecosystem when creating their gardens. Non-native, invasive plants can permanently damage the local environment.

Introducing invasive species can cause harm to the native ecosystem. Some of the most problematic invasive species were introduced by well-intentioned gardeners. Kudzu, bamboo, English ivy, and the tree of heaven are a few of the more common invasive species found in the United States. Invasive plants are problematic due to their ability to outcompete native species. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, invasive species have “contributed to the decline of 42% of U.S. endangered or threatened species. Invasive species can aid in the spread of pests and diseases, increase soil erosion, and degrade water

40 Patrick County Magazine /
41 / Spring 2023 SERVICE • HEATING • AIR • GENERATOR BACKUP We’ve got you covered! 276.957.2010 • 276.694.1000

quality. The USDA and the U.S. Forest Service have created detailed guidelines on preventing, detecting, and controlling invasive species throughout the United States. All gardeners should carefully research all plants before adding them to their landscapes. Gardening centers and online sites often include invasive species in wildflower seed mixes and in their decorative plants. The Patrick County Master Gardeners can help identify invasive species, suggest native alternatives, and help remove established invasive plants. Planting native plants whenever possible is one of the ways gardeners can improve the environment around their homes. For Patrick County residents, the annual native plant sale is the perfect place to buy natives.

Attending a workshop at one of the local learning gardens is a fun way for residents to learn new skills. Learning garden workshops are held throughout the year in multiple locations around the county. Some of the learning gardens include the Books, Blooms, and Bugs Garden at the Blue Ridge Regional Library, The Herb Garden at the Stuart Farmers Market, and the Neighbors Feeding Neighbors garden on Tudor Orchard Road. The workshops cover a wide range of topics and are a great place to connect with fellow gardeners. For Master Gardener Sherry Easterbrooks, her “favorite topics to teach are vermicomposting (composting with worms), how to create sustainable habitats for our native pollinators/wildlife, and propagation (especially woody propagation).” Some topics covered in 2022 were microclimates, irrigation, rainwater collecting, and herb growing. The last learning garden of the year discussed growing garlic and turmeric and how to turn garden waste into fertilizer. During the winter,

the Patrick County Master Gardeners host library workshops to help residents plan their spring gardens. In addition to in-person workshops, the Master Gardeners also publish educational content in The Enterprise and on WHEO Stuart’s Patrick County Profiles. Attending these events helps support the Patrick County Master Gardeners and their future programs. All programs are created to address specific needs in the community. Factors like attendance and community feedback influence what topics are covered in future workshops. Community members are welcome to suggest new topics that they would like to see covered in future workshops.

The largest educational event hosted by the Patrick County Master Gardeners is the Spring Garden Symposium. The symposium is held in March and features special guest speakers and a small selection of local vendors. It is a great opportunity to connect with gardeners from around the region and learn something new. Past speakers have discussed battling weeds, herb growing, wildflower growing, native landscaping, and more. The symposium is a great learning opportunity and a great way to kick off the growing season. The guest speaker for the 2023 symposium was Dr. Patrick McMillan. Dr. McMillan is the Emmy award-winning host of the PBS series Expeditions with Patrick McMillan and the Director of Horticulture at the Juniper Level Botanical Garden in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dr. McMillan gave two presentations at the symposium, “Gardening for the Senses” and “Underutilized Native Plants.” The Spring Garden Symposium can help beginners and experts alike master their garden and landscaping projects.

42 Patrick County Magazine /

The Patrick County Master Gardeners are a diverse group of volunteers who help educate, beautify, and protect the environment in their community by promoting sustainable landscaping habits and environmental awareness. Their educational programs help foster a love for gardening and respect for the local ecosystem. The learning gardens and other educational events are a great way for individuals - young or old - to learn new skills and meet other local gardeners. The Patrick County Master Gardeners are a small group that works hard to make an impact in the county. For Master Gardener Norma Bozenmayer, one reason she loves being a volunteer is “seeing the impact our small group has made in the community through our programs and our educational gardens.” From little pocket gardens to large landscaping jobs, the Patrick County Master Gardeners provide resources and education that can help any project succeed.

Becoming an Extension Master Gardener is a great way to volunteer and give back to the community. Anyone interested in joining the Extension Master Gardener program is encouraged to contact their local Cooperative Extension Office to learn more. The program is open to anyone who loves to learn, teach, and help their community, no matter their skill level or experience. The Extension Master Gardener Program can help volunteers improve their gardening skills while helping their community. As Master Gardener Judy Ferring explains, “we’re not really masters of this art. Each one of us is learning something new nearly every day.” Constantly learning, growing, and helping one another is what makes the Patrick County Master Gardeners successful. Their work helps Patrick County become a greener, healthier, and happier place for everyone.

43 / Spring 2023 David Lawson & Son Builders Ararat, VA Licensed in Virginia & North Carolina David 276-692-4384 DJ 276-692-4386 JAMES RIVER DELIVERS AFFORDABLE QUALITY


The Fab Lab is a technical prototyping platform for innovation and invention, providing stimulus for local entrepreneurship The Fab Lab is for the community, students, and businesses

Whether you are prototyping new product ideas, improving existing ones or crafting for fun, the Fab Lab offers the tools and resources you need to dream, design, and create!

44 Patrick County Magazine / PATRICK COUNTY PATRICK COUNTY FAB LAB FAB LAB 212 Wood Brothers Drive, Stuart, VA
P&HCC is an EEO institution.
(276) 694-3208 Committed to the people. Committed to the community.

Great Wines Without the Pretentiousness

158 Conner Dr. • Stuart, VA Since 1999, our family has owned and operated a 20-acre vineyard in scenic, rural Patrick County, Va. Come to the winery and leave all of your worries behind.
47 / Spring 2023 We accept patients who live in Virginia and do not have any medical insurance. We can help with sick visits, testing, vaccines, chronic healthcare visits, specialty referrals, laboratory, and prescription services. We are open to see patients every Tuesday and every other Monday. 835 Woodland Drive • Suite 101 • Stuart, VA • 276-694-3410 We care about you and your health. Where life happens Stuart—It’s home. We’re here to protect your corner of the community and everything in it. Jonathan Large Insurance Center of Patrick 115 W Blue Ridge St Stuart, VA 24171-1577 276-694-4989 Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Co., Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Co., Flagship City Insurance Co. and Erie Family Life Insurance Co. (Erie, PA) or Erie Insurance Co. of New York (Rochester, NY). Go to for company licensure and product details. CMS149_comun2 2/18
48 Patrick County Magazine /

Green A Thumb Guide to Patrick County

Daffodils, budding trees, and longer days mean it’s time to break ground on a new garden bed or get the yard ready for summer. Young or old, gardening is a great pastime for anyone and the perfect excuse to spend time outside in the sunshine and fresh air. And whether you’re creating beautiful flower beds or a hardy vegetable garden, you can find everything you need here in Patrick County! The greenhouses, garden stores, and other growers can help you start any project no matter the size.

49 / Spring 2023

Ararat is a small community located on the southwest side of Patrick County, only a few minutes away from the Blue Ridge Parkway and Mount Airy, NC. Ararat is a beautiful community filled with scenic views, winding backroads, and fun things to do. Boyd’s Restaurant, Dan River Grocery, and Claudville Cafe are great places to eat while in Ararat. Local attractions include Doe Run Farms, Laurel Hill - The JEB Stuart Birthplace, and the Willis Gap Community Center Open Jam. There are four greenhouses located within ten minutes of each other.

Puckett Greenhouses is a wholesale and retail nursery supply, greenhouse manufacturing, and plant-growing operation. Puckett Greenhouses is a family-owned business established in 1980. It stocks a large variety of grow plugs, bedding plants, ferns, trees, shrubbery, hanging baskets, potted plants, and some rooted cuttings. Puckett’s also offers an extensive line of grower supplies for small or large growing operations including soils, pots, trays, inserts, and tags. Puckett’s can also help you start your own greenhouse as they offset packages for both hobby gardeners and large-scale operations. You can find Puckett Greenhouses at 1461 Green Spring Road, Ararat, VA. They are open Monday through Friday all year round.

Montgomery’s Greenhouse is a small, family-owned, and operated greenhouse that sells a variety of herbs, vegetables, flowers, and house plants. This greenhouse also creates beautiful hanging baskets, potted flower arrangements, and succulent arrangements that make great gifts for Mother’s Day and other special occasions. All arrangements are artfully created and come in a variety of sizes. Succulent arrangements from Montgomery’s Greenhouse can be found at the Concord Corner Store in Meadows of Dan. You can find Montgomery’s Greenhouse at 1661 Raven Rock Road, Ararat, VA. They are open Monday through Saturday year-round.

Hall’s Plants is a greenhouse that sells a large variety of plants, garden supplies, and garden decor. Hall’s has a great selection of garden flags, wind chimes, hanging baskets, and porch planters that are perfect for Mother’s Day and other special occasions. Hall’s Plants is located at 987 Doe Run Road, Ararat, VA. They are open Monday through Saturday.

Lee’s Greenery is a locally owned and operated greenhouse with friendly staff and a great selection of plants for all gardens. Gardeners will find a variety of vegetable, herb, and flower plants for sale. Lee’s sells a variety of hanging baskets that make

great Mother’s Day gifts. Lee’s is located at 49 Marigold Lane, Ararat, VA.

Doe Run Farm is a must-stop for all sunflower lovers!

Doe Run Farm has been creating mazes on their farm since 2006. Their Fall sunflower maze is perfect for all ages to explore. Doe Run Farm also offers hayrides, pumpkin bowling, and pick-your-own flower bouquets. You can find Doe Run Farm at 214 Marigold Lane, Ararat, VA.

Terre à Terre Farm is a small, family-owned flower farm located in Claudville. This farm sells a variety of seasonal cut flowers, woody ornamentals, and herbs. Terre à Terre offers bouquet subscriptions on its website. Check out their website at for more information.

The Town of Stuart is located in the center of Patrick County and is thirty minutes away from the cities of Martinsville and Mount Airy, NC. There is plenty to check out along Stuart’s historic Main Street like Mattie B’s boutique, Mt. Joy Naturals, and the Hatteras Pearl. For food, the Coffee Break Cafe, Leonardo’s Pizzeria & Bistro, Tony’s Pizza, and Uptown Stagecoach are perfect places to stop for a great meal. The Town of Stuart is also home to the annual Strawberry Festival, the First Friday’s Summer Jam concert series, and Front Porch Fest.

All Seasons - All Seasons is a locally owned and operated garden store that sells local produce, landscaping supplies, and flowers. All Seasons carries a large variety of hanging baskets and potted plants that make a beautiful addition to any landscape. All Seasons is a great place to shop for unique gifts for your garden, home, or someone special. You can find All Seasons at 21581 JEB Stuart Highway, Stuart, VA.

Round Hill Plants is a small greenhouse nursery that was founded in 2009. Round Hill sells a variety of hanging baskets, container plants, and vegetable plants at local farmers’ markets and their online store. Round Hill ships anywhere within the continental United States. Check out their website at www.

Mt. Joy Naturals specializes in high-quality CBD, Delta 8, and Delta 9 products. They carry a large selection of wellness supplements, bath products, edibles, and growing supplies. Growers can find specialty soils, fertilizers, lights, and grow tents along with friendly staff who are happy to answer any questions. Mt. Joy also carries a selection of heirloom vegetable seeds to help start your garden. You can find Mt. Joy Naturals at 135 N Main Street, Stuart, VA. They are open Tuesday through Saturday each week.

50 Patrick County Magazine / 126 N. Main St. • Stuart, VA


at Foresight Health is to provide high-quality health care services, to underserved rural and urban communities, while changing the landscape of health care service delivery and accessibility.

51 / Spring 2023

The Seed Library is managed by the Patrick County Master Gardeners and it is located in the Blue Ridge Regional Library. The seed library is stocked with a variety of vegetable and flower seeds that are free for the community to take. You can find the seed library at 116 W Blue Ridge Street, Stuart, VA. The library is open Monday through Saturday.

The Annual Native Plant Sale is hosted by the Patrick County Master Gardeners each Spring. This event is a great opportunity to buy native, pollinator-friendly plants for flower gardens and other landscaping projects. All proceeds from this event are used to fund educational workshops and events throughout the year. Follow the Patrick County Master Gardeners on Facebook for more information about this event.

Stuart Farmers’ Market is held each Friday morning from 8am-12pm, from May until November. The Stuart Farmers Market has a great selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables, baked goods, eggs, meats, arts & crafts, flowers, and live plants for sale. Each week has a new selection of goods available. You can find the Stuart Farmers’ Market at 320 Chestnut Street, Stuart, VA.

The Pick and Share Flower Field is a small wildflower garden located just down the street from the Patrick County Library. The garden is a great place to take pictures and create your own flower bouquet. The garden is free and open to the public. You can find the garden at the intersection of West Blue Ridge Street and Wood Brother’s Drive in Stuart.

Fairy Stone State Park’s Monday Market is held every Monday from May untill the end of October. The Monday Market hosts a wide variety of vendors during the Summer. Shoppers can find a wide variety of locally grown fruits, vegetables, and live plants. Shoppers can also find a variety of freshly baked loaves of bread and other baked goods. Parking is free for vendors and shoppers. You can find the Monday Market at 967 Fairystone Lake Drive, Stuart, VA.

Meadows of Dan is located just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Highway 58. Meadows of Dan is a charming mountain town with plenty of places to explore. The Mabry Mill historic site, Chateau Morrisette Winery, and Villa Appalaccia Winery are all located just north along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Meadows of Dan is home to Nancy’s Candy Co., Concord Corner Store, High Country Lavender, and many other unique stores. For the outdoor enthusiast, the trails at Rock Castle Gorge offer a challenging hike and a unique chance to see some of Virginia’s rarer native plants. Meadows of Dan is a beautiful place to visit no matter the season.

The Meadows of Dan Farmers Market is held periodically throughout the year in front of Primitive Coffee - Antique Market & Bakery. This farmers market features a variety of vendors from both Patrick and Floyd Counties. Shoppers can find baked goods, fresh produce, live plants, and more. The market is usually held on Saturday mornings. You can find the Meadows of Dan Farmers Market at 2577 JEB Stuart Highway, Meadows of Dan, VA.

High Country Lavendar is located near the Cockram Mill complex outside of Meadows of Dan. The lavendar shop offers a variety of lavendar products like culinary lavendar, sachets, and beautiful fragrant dried bouquets. In season, they sell live lavendar plants and host special workshops to answer questions and offer growing tips.

Poor Farmer’s Market is a country store with a little bit of everything packed inside. Poor Farmer’s Market carries locally grown produce, honey, flower, cornmeal, and more. Visitors will also find fresh baked goods, made-to-order sandwiches, and hand-scooped ice cream. You can find Poor Farmer’s Market at 2616 JEB Stuart Highway, Meadows of Dan, VA. They’re open seven days a week year-round.

Mayberry Blooms is a small flower farm that specializes in growing and selling dahlias. They supply local stores and florists with seasonally grown flowers. Mayberry Blooms also offers seasonal flower bouquet subscriptions. Each bouquet features a variety of flowers grown on their farm. Mayberry Blooms periodically sells a selection of their dahlia tubers on their website. Follow Mayberry Blooms on Facebook and Instagram for more information about bouquet subscriptions and dahlia tuber sales. Check out their website at

Poor Farmers Farm is a family-owned country store located along Highway 58 near Lovers’ Leap and Fred Clifton Park. Poor Farmers Farm has a great selection of outdoor decorations that add a fun touch to any garden. They carry a variety of locally grown produce along with homemade fudge, souvenirs, and local honey. You can find Poor Farmers Farm at 7958 JEB Stuart Highway, Vesta, VA.

52 Patrick County Magazine /
53 / Spring 2023 Make the Agency on Aging your first call for information and services that support older adults and their caregivers. 204 Cleveland Avenue Martinsville, VA 24112 (276) 632-6442 Toll Free: (800) 468-4571 Serving the Cities of Martinsville and Danville, and the Counties of Henry, Franklin, Patrick, and Pittsylvania WWW.PICKLEANDASH.COM 21559 JEB STUART HIGHWAY | STUART, VA SCAN HERE TO RESERVE A TABLE

Mayo River Rail Trail On a Trail Down by the River

From the view of a passerby, the small strip of asphalt that runs along the river in downtown Stuart doesn’t look like much. However, that strip has become woven into the fabric of the community. It is a place where friends and family meet to enjoy the outdoors, find respite from a busy day, improve their health, or have a picnic lunch at one of the provided tables or benches.

The Mayo River Rail Trail is in downtown Stuart, VA, just off Commerce Street following the path of the Danville and Western Railway along the Mayo River. This smooth asphalt level surface, 1.8 mile trail is good for walking and bicycling. The trail follows the Mayo River with an additional spur leading to the Landmark Assisted Living Center.

The trail is on the former Danville and Western Railbed (fondly called the “Dick and Willie,” less fondly the “Delay and Wait”). The Danville and Western Railway grew out of the Richmond and Danville Railroad. A narrow-gauge line was extended from Danville to Martinsville in 1882, then to Stuart in 1883, where there was a turntable to head the locomotive back to Danville. Initially built to carry wood and agricultural products, passenger service was included. Sadly, better roads and more cars caused the demise of passenger service. Later, the D&W freight business in Patrick dwindled, and the line from Martinsville was abandoned. The iron was removed in 1942 as part of the World War II metal scrap effort.

54 Patrick County Magazine /

The dream of transforming the former railroad bed into the paved path was started by the former county administrator, Jeanie Frisco. She was the one who began the talks with VDOT and applied for grant funding to plan and implement the first phase of the trail. Original plans would have the path traverse along the Mayo River and through the Stuart Rotary property to terminate at a shopping area. The first phase was a half mile section from downtown Stuart to the end of the diversion channel of the river. Funding was later secured for phase two and a spur trail that incorporated the local nursing and assisted living properties.

The walking trail has become a beloved asset to Stuart and the community as a whole. Every season on the trail features beautiful scenery from the spring buds and spring peeper frogs to lush green of summer and the array of fall colors.The Mayo River is stocked by state wildlife resources, so fishermen enjoy the easy access. During the hot summer months, kids splash and play in the small rapids, hunt for crayfish and just enjoy being outside. Several unique events take place all year along the Mayo River Rail Trail. The first Saturday in April, the trail is the host site for a free kids’ fishing day. In 2022, the dry but bitterly cold weather was not a deterrent to the approximately one hundred kids that showed up to fish with their family. Throughout the year, Bull Mountain Arts, a local art group, hosts plein air events along the trail. The event is a great afternoon to come watch artists paint or draw the landscapes. You are also encouraged to give it a try yourself with the supplies Bull Mountain Arts provides. The Town’s annual fall Apple Dumpling Festival occurs in downtown Stuart in October. The festival starts early with a 5K run utilizing the trail for runners and walkers to get a little exercise before enjoying the festival’s apple dumplings and other goodies. The 5K is a fundraiser for the local environmental organization, Dan River Basin Association. Monies raised are reinvested for trail development in Patrick County.

In 2012, to commemorate the historical role of the trail as a former railroad line, the Town of Stuart, in partnership with Patrick County Tourism Advisory Council, purchased a caboose. This has become a popular spot for family or prom pictures. During 2020 and 2021, Santa visited the caboose, providing a wonderful outdoor setting for holiday pictures.

The Mayo River Rail Trail is also home to Nancy Clark’s stained glass-adorned “The Family Feeling of Patrick County” Trail Hand. This hand sculpture is one of five hands that are found in different areas of Patrick County. Trail Hands was created to promote Patrick County’s natural resources in a way that increases tourism, boosts economic development, and celebrates art while encouraging healthier lifestyles. The Trail Hand sculptures function as a permanent, concrete art installation, with one in each county locality.

Local Eagle Scouts have also embraced the trail and have completed many projects that enhance the amenities. The wooded picnic area was created when the first half mile phase was complete. It’s a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade. Located at the easternmost terminus is an information kiosk with a view finder where you can take in the sight of the tallest peak in Patrick County, Bull Mountain. At one time there was an active fire tower with a watcher on Bull Mountain. The kiosk provides historical information regarding the tower and mountain. The most recent project is the creation of a train stop bench themed kiosk near the caboose. Information about the “Dick and Willie” will be displayed on the back board.

Come enjoy the Mayo River Rail Trail. It’s a great little spot to take a stroll or just enjoy the river. Once you visit, you will find yourself returning again and again. If you are interested in more information about the Danville and Western train, check out the Patrick County Historical Museum.

55 / Spring 2023
56 Patrick County Magazine / WHEO 92.7Fm / 1270am Playing the classics from the 70s, 80s, and 90s RADIO 716 Wood Brothers Dr. Stuart, VA 24171 276-694-4488 info@ Our purposeful, determined, and unwavering dedication to our clients builds skills today for successful tomorrows. We offer a full array of pediatric rehabilitation services, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, and applied behavioral analysis. Call for information about our services and to set up an appointment. Therapy Close to Home. Find yourself here The mountains and valleys are yours to explore here in Patrick County. Stroll through the vineyards or sunflower fields. Cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway or hike Rock Castle Gorge. From the rugged outdoors to 5-Star luxury, there is so much to discover here. Visit the Patrick County Visitors Center at 126 N. Main St, Stuart, VA GET OUTTA TOWN!

Patrick County CHamber of Commerce Awards

We are accepting nominations for the Best of 2023 Patrick County Awards

Small Business of the Year

Large Business of the Year

Nominations only accepted through our online form access the form either by scanning the QR code or

Community Champion Non-Profit of the Year Winners announced in Fall 2023

57 / Spring 2023
58 Patrick County Magazine / Big or small - We do it all Rodney Kendrick, President 276-629-3913 • 276-340-7786 We offer Paving, Asphalt Crack Repair, Asphalt Sealing, Line Stripping & Signage, Gravel, Dirt, Mulch all delivered Bus: 276-694-4236 Ragsdale Insurance Agency Inc State Farm Indemnity Company State Farm Fire and Casualty Company State Farm General Insurance Company Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas State Farm Lloyds Richardson, TX State Farm Florida Insurance Company Winter Haven, FL Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® I can save you time and money when you bundle your home and auto insurance. Call, click or stop by for a quote today. Home & auto. Bundle & save. Chase Ragsdale, Agent Stuart, VA 24171-8800 Bus: 276-694-4236 Ragsdale Insurance Agency Inc Availability and amount of discounts and savings vary by state. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Indemnity Company State Farm Fire and Casualty Company State Farm General Insurance Company Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas I can save you time and money when you bundle your home and auto insurance. Call, click or stop by for a quote today. Home & auto. Bundle & save. I can save you time and money when you bundle your home and auto insurance. Call, click or stop by for a quote today. Home & auto. Bundle & save. Chase Ragsdale, Agent 102 N Main Street Stuart, VA 24171-8800 Bus: 276-694-4236 Ragsdale Insurance Agency Inc Availability and amount of discounts and savings vary by state. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Indemnity Company State Farm Fire and Casualty Company State Farm General Insurance Company Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas State Farm Lloyds Richardson, TX State Farm Florida Insurance Company Winter Haven, FL Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® I can save you time and money when you bundle your home and auto insurance. Call, click or stop by for a quote today. Home & auto. Bundle & save. Chase Ragsdale, Agent 102 N Main Street Stuart, VA 24171-8800 Bus: 276-694-4236 Ragsdale Insurance Agency Inc Availability and amount of discounts and savings vary by state. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Indemnity Company State Farm Fire and Casualty Company State Farm General Insurance Company Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas State Farm Lloyds Richardson, TX State Farm Florida Insurance Company Winter Haven, FL Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® I can save you time and money when you bundle your home and auto insurance. Call, click or stop by for a quote today. Home & auto. Bundle & save. Chase Ragsdale, Agent 102 N Main Street Stuart, VA 24171-8800 Bus: 276-694-4236 Ragsdale Insurance Agency Inc Availability and amount of discounts and savings vary by state. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Indemnity Company State Farm Fire and Casualty Company State Farm General Insurance Company Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas State Farm Lloyds Richardson, TX State Farm Florida Insurance Company Winter Haven, FL Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® I can save you time and money when bundle your home and auto insurance. Call, click or stop by for a quote today. Home & auto. Bundle & save. Chase Ragsdale, Agent 102 N Main Street Stuart, VA 24171-8800 Bus: 276-694-4236 Ragsdale Insurance Agency Inc Availability and amount of discounts and savings vary by state. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Indemnity Company State Farm Fire and Casualty Company State Farm General Insurance Company Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas State Farm Lloyds Richardson, TX State Farm Florida Insurance Company Winter Haven, FL Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® I can save you time and money when you bundle your home and auto insurance. Call, click or stop by for a quote today. Home & auto. Bundle & save. Chase Ragsdale, Agent 102 N Main Street Stuart, VA 24171-8800 Bus: 276-694-4236 Ragsdale Insurance Agency Inc Availability and amount of discounts and savings vary by state. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company State Farm Indemnity Company State Farm Fire and Casualty Company State Farm General Insurance Company Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas State Farm Lloyds Richardson, TX State Farm Florida Insurance Company Winter Haven, FL Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® I can save you time and money when you bundle your home and auto insurance. Call, click or stop by for a quote today. Home & auto. Bundle & save. Chase Ragsdale, Agent 102 N Main Street Stuart, VA 24171-8800 Bus: 276-694-4236 Ragsdale Insurance Agency Inc Availability and amount of State Farm Mutual Automobile State Farm Indemnity Company State Farm Fire and Casualty State Farm General Insurance Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual State Farm Lloyds Richardson, TX State Farm Florida Insurance Winter Haven, FL Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.® I can save bundle your Call, click Home & auto. Bundle & save.
59 / Spring 2023 James (276) 229-7702 Tabatha (276) 692-8339 Locally Owned & Operated • We accept cash or card Solutions That Empower People STEP, Inc. is a community action agency serving the counties of Franklin, Patrick, Henry, Pittsylvania, & Bedford including the cities of Martinsville & Danville We provide exceptional services to people who want to improve their quality of life through community, economic, personal, and family development. Providing behavioral therapy services to children and adults since 2015. Accept all medicaid and BCBS plans. Crystal Peterson Barker, BCBA, LBA 540-840-9285 cpbbehavior@gmail com All families need help sometimes. For information and resources visit

Built with Tobacco

To understand the importance of tobacco in the settling and survival of the American colonies is to learn that tobacco was the principal medium of exchange in colonial days. In other words, folks got paid in tobacco - sheriffs, clerks, other county officials, and even ministers. Alexander Gordon, one of the early preachers who served the Critz area before it became Patrick County, received a salary of 1,600 pounds of tobacco for the year. Dues to the established church that he pastored were assessed in tobacco also, 33 pounds for each of 856 “tithables” in one parish. Although replaced for the most part by US currency by the time Patrick County was formed in 1791, tobacco remained a major cash crop.

Tobacco grown in the eastern Piedmont section of the Blue Ridge and along the southern border of the state was considered the best in the early days, as well as when flue-cured tobacco became the norm. Flue-curing, as opposed to air-curing used with other types of tobacco products, involved heating the green leaves in log tobacco barns until it achieved a rich, golden color and that sweet – to any farmer, chewer, or smoker - aroma. Until the mid-20th century, farmers did this with wood fires. At the base of the barn were usually two flues, hence the name, extending the length of the dirt floor of the barn. Farmers took care to watch the temperature in their barns very closely so as not to overheat the leaves while making sure the fire didn’t get away and burn the barn down, possibly causing the loss of a whole year’s income.

As anyone who has ever worked in tobacco can attest, the lengthy process of getting it ready for market required more work

than most people would be willing to endure these days. From readying the soil in late winter, starting seedlings in “plant beds” in early spring, then planting, “suckering,” controlling pests, topping, priming, curing, and, finally, hauling it to be auctioned at tobacco warehouses in the fall, was a very labor-intensive enterprise. One observer called it “the 13-month crop,” not so far from the truth. Flue-curing involved picking tobacco leaves in several “primings” rather than cutting the whole stalk down late in the season. The first priming was hardest because it involved bending down to pick only the lowest few leaves, but all the harvesting was hot, grimy work. Smelly tobacco gum from the leaves would stick to skin and clothing alike. In the old days, workers picked as many green leaves as they could carry under one arm and then loaded these onto “tobacco slides” that were pulled by mules between rows. Though tractors arrived in the 20th century to ease some of the workload, a few farmers were still using mules to help with harvesting as late as the 1960s. And pity the poor mule that got rambunctious and tore through some rows of tobacco. This was real money lost for his owner, so anger and a few choice words for the offending animal were to be expected.

At the barn, the leaves were tied on thin, often hand- hewn, wooden sticks. Women were often the best and fastest at this process with young children “handing leaves” to them. Then, it was hung on horizontal poles running the length of the barns. This “housing” of tobacco was often left to young, lanky fellows who sometimes had to work 15-20 feet off the ground while straddling those long poles as it was handed up to them.

60 Patrick County Magazine /
Tobacco postcards with workers. Photos provided by

Interestingly, most of the tobacco used in the first one hundred years of Patrick County was chewed, not smoked. Chewing tobacco came in twists and plugs, often flavored with licorice, honey, molasses and spices, which also helped the leaves to bind together. The lack of good roads and other viable forms of transportation led to the establishment of even factories within Patrick County by 1860. These processed the local products into plug or twist tobacco. Before that, hogsheads – large barrels with a shaft in the center - were sometimes rolled by mules or oxen to markets as far away as Lynchburg, Virginia, without any certainty of a fair price.

Two of these manufacturers, Thomas Jefferson Penn, and R.J. Reynolds, eventually became well-known around the world, though both ended up moving to areas where railroads provided better transportation. The Penn family business was located in the Penn’s Store area in the easternmost section of the county. Their ancestral home that became known as the “Pink House” is yet standing near where US 58 crosses into Henry County. These “tobacco” Penns, who were descendants of Colonel Abram Penn of Revolutionary War fame, eventually moved to Danville and then to Reidsville, NC. There, they joined the huge American Tobacco Company whose most famous brand was “Lucky Strike” cigarettes. Thomas Jefferson Penn, Jr. built a large, lavishly decorated mansion known as “Chinqua-Penn” near Reidsville that became a popular tourist destination after both he and his wife had died. Many years later, a very ornate, three-seat carriage from Chinqua-Penn Plantation came up for auction at an estate sale. Fortunately, a life member of the Patrick County Historical Society purchased this “Cadillac” of carriages and donated it to the Historical Society’s museum, but only after having it completely restored.

The more well-known Richard Joshua Reynolds was born and raised at Rock Spring Plantation, near Critz, in 1850. He moved to the small town of Winston, North Carolina in 1874 where he started a small factory and began selling his own brands. (Only some decades later, did “Winston” combine with what was once the Moravian village of “Salem” to become “Winston-Salem.”) With the advent of new cigarette manufacturing techniques, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company grew into one of the largest corporations in the world. From “Browns’ Mule” and a hundred other brands of chewing tobacco, his business had branched out into smoking varieties. His popular “Prince Albert” pipe tobacco, developed in 1907, could be used for “roll your own” cigarettes as well. Then, the famous “Camel” cigarettes became a best seller, primarily due to R.J.’s adoption of modern advertising techniques. Described as the “Joy Smoke,” the Prince Albert product featured the very dignified looking husband of the popular Queen Victoria of England on its labels. Camel cigarette packages pictured a dromedary, or single-humped camel, to go along with its exotic Turkish blend of tobacco. In reality, the model for one of the most popular brands of all time was a circus camel named “Old Joe” that had caught R.J.’s eye when passing through Winston. Then followed such catchy phrases expressing loyalty to the brand as “I’d walk a mile for a Camel,” as opposed to smoking some lesser brand.

R.J. Reynolds made money, millions, in fact, but he kept his down-home humility, apparently, while helping his family and friends prosper with him. Reportedly, he paid and treated his workers, both white and black, better than most industrialists of the early 20th century. With some of that money, one of R. J.’s daughters, Nancy Susan, had the family home place restored in 1970 and, eventually, donated the house and some 700 acres of land to Virginia Tech. Most likely built by enslaved African Americans in the late 1840s, the restored home became a national historic landmark in the 1970s. Known now as the Reynolds Homestead, Virginia Tech operates the site as a modern educational-cultural center and an impressive forestry research station while tours of the historic home are available through the summer months into early fall– all funded in large part by “tobacco money” from Nancy Susan Reynolds’ endowment.

These days, fields of tobacco are somewhat rare, but those old log barns where famers camped out on late summer nights to watch over the curing fires still haunt many back roads of old Patrick. With health concerns and restrictions on advertising and tobacco use, it is no longer that reliable a cash crop that so many of those same farmers used to help their families make ends meet. Tobacco’s legacy abides, however - not all good, but not all bad either. Those big, green, sticky leaves turned” golden” upon being cured and turned into “gold” in another form when sold. Yes, tobacco provided many folks with a livelihood in Patrick County in years past while contributing to the growth and development of the area along with of much of the South.

61 / Spring 2023
The Pink House, ancestral home of the Penn family tobacco barons

It’s happening in Patrick County

15 Kibler Valley River Run


9:00 Blue Ridge Heritage Site

Fishing Day

26-28 Gospel Music at Dominion Valley Park

Friday-Sunday Memorial Day Weekend

30 Willis Gap Golden Oldies Willis Gap Community Center at 6pm


Mon. Market Mondays

5:00 - 7:00pm at Fairy Stone State Park

Fri. Stuart Farmers Market

8:00am - Noon every Friday

1 & 15 Jordan T. Morrison & The Foothill Boys Uptown Stagecoach 7pm-9pm

Fri Willis Gap Community Center Open Jam

6:00pm every Friday

Sat-Sun Reynolds Homestead Home Tours

Every Saturday and Sunday

2 First Fridays

Stuart Farmers Market at 6pm

8-10 Beach Music Festival

Thursday-Sunday at WaysidePark

16-17 Bushels & Barrels

Friday-Saturday at the Reynolds Homestead

17 Patrick County Music Association

6:00pm at the Stuart Rotary Building

27 Willis Gap Golden Oldies Willis Gap Community Center at 6pm


Mon. Market Mondays 5:00 - 7:00pm at Fairy Stone State Park

Fri. Stuart Farmers Market

8:00am - Noon every Friday

Fri Willis Gap Community Center Open Jam 6:00pm every Friday

Sat-Sun Reynolds Homestead Home Tours

Every Saturday and Sunday

4 Fourth of July Celebration

DeHart Park in Stuart

7 First Fridays

Stuart Farmers Market at 6pm

Dan River in Kibler Valley

25 Willis Gap Golden Oldies Willis Gap Community Center at 6pm

29 Uptown Cruise In Uptown Stuart


Mon. Market Mondays 5:00 - 7:00pm at Fairy Stone State Park

Fri. Stuart Farmers Market 8:00am - Noon every Friday

Fri Willis Gap Community Center Open Jam 6:00pm every Friday

Sat-Sun Reynolds Homestead Home Tours

Every Saturday and Sunday

4 First Fridays Stuart Farmers Market at 6pm

19 Meadows of Dan Folk Fair

10:00am-4:00pm in Meadows of Dan

29 Willis Gap Golden Oldies Willis Gap Community Center at 6pm


Mon. Market Mondays 5:00 - 7:00pm at Fairy Stone State Park

Fri. Stuart Farmers Market

8:00am - Noon every Friday

Fri Willis Gap Community Center Open Jam 6:00pm every Friday

Sat-Sun Reynolds Homestead Home Tours

Every Saturday and Sunday

1-3 Dominion Valley Gospel

Friday-Sunday Labor Day Weekend

1-3 Front Porch Fest

Thursday-Sunday at Spirithaven Farm

12-16 Patrick County Agricultural Fair

Tuesday-Saturday at Stuart Rotary

26 Willis Gap Golden Oldies

Willis Gap Community Center at 6pm

62 Patrick County Magazine /
Fri Willis Gap Community Center Open Jam 6:00pm every Friday Sat-Sun Reynolds Homestead Home Tours Every Saturday and Sunday 1 Stuart Food and Wine Festival
at the Farmers Market
1 Easter Egg Hunt 11am-1pm Landmark Center
1-2 Mayberry Trading Post Grand Reopening Meadows of Dan
8 Kid’s Fishing Day on Mayo River Rail Trail Stuart at the Mayo River Rail Trail
15 Patrick County Music Assoc. Fiddle Festival 6:00pm at the Stuart Rotary Building
25 Willis Gap Golden Oldies Willis Gap Community Center at 6pm 29 Farm Bureau Ag Expo
at Stuart Rotary 29 Spring Craft and Vendor Fair
Landmark Center 10am-1pm
Stuart Farmers Market 8am
Fri Willis Gap Community Center Open Jam 6:00pm
Sat-Sun Reynolds Homestead Home Tours Every Saturday
Sunday 5 First Fridays Stuart Farmers Market at 6pm 6 Hannah Kurr Concert 7:00pm at Dominion Valley Park 19-20 Third
Flying Horseman Fly-In Patrick Springs
Festival 10:00-4:00
Uptown Stuart
Bee Sweet 5k 8:00am
P&HCC Stuart Campus
MAY Fri.
- Noon every Friday
every Friday
20 Patrick County Music Association 6:00pm at the Stuart Rotar Building 20 Blue Ridge Heritage Veterans’
63 / Spring 2023
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• Laser Skin Resurfacing for Sun Damage

• Laser Removal of Age and Brown Spots

• Vaginal Rejuvenation for Dryness and Itching

• Laser Removal, Surgical & Acne Scars

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