How Downtown Farmville came to be
Founded in 1798, Farmville has been the agricultural market, manufacturing center and transportation hub for the surrounding rural counties of Southside Virginia for over two centuries. Farmville’s downtown was also the traditional retail and entertainment heart of the region, until, like many other small towns nation-wide, its fortunes began to decline in the 1980s due to a convergence of economic, social, and real estate trends. Empty storefronts and diminishing foot traffic began to characterize the once-vibrant Main Street.
Spurred by the unrealized potential of Farmville’s historic downtown, local businessman Jimmy Johnson and Longwood University administrator Chuck Ross called for volunteers in the fall of 2010 to help return downtown to its previous commercial vigor and cultural vitality. Downtown Farmville was thus born and has since spearheaded the revitalization of Southside Virginia’s historic destination for shopping and entertainment.
In fact, just a year later, Downtown Farmville led the effort that resulted in Farmville being named a Virginia Main Street Community by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Now, with the expertise and additional resources of this nationally recognized program, we are poised to accomplish even more in making downtown Farmville an enjoyable place to work, live and visit.