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City of Martinsville, Virginia

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City of Martinsville, Virginia

Martinsville,Virginia
City

Martinsville's uptown district
Official seal of Martinsville,Virginia
Seal

Coordinates: 36°41′10″N 79°52′9″W / 36.68611°N 79.86917°W / 36.68611; -79.86917

Country United States
State Virginia
Government
 • Mayor Kim Adkins
Area
 • Total 11.0 sq mi (28.5 km2)
 • Land 11.0 sq mi (28.4 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 1,017 ft (310 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 13,821
 • Density 1,407/sq mi (543.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 24112-24115
Area code(s) 276
FIPS code 51-49784[1]
GNIS feature ID 1498514[2]
Website http://www.martinsville-va.gov


Martinsville is an independent city which is surrounded by Henry County, Virginia, United States.[3] The population was 13,821 in 2010.[4][5] The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Martinsville with Henry County for statistical purposes. The paper clip-shaped Martinsville Speedway, the shortest track in NASCAR stock car racing [0.526 miles (0.847 km)] and one of the first paved "speedways", being built in 1947, is located just outside the city in the town of Ridgeway.

Martinsville is the principal city of the Martinsville Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Henry County and the city of Martinsville.[6] The micropolitan area had a combined population of 73,346 as of the 2000 census.[1]

History

Martinsville was founded by American Revolutionary War General, Indian agent and explorer Joseph Martin, born in Albemarle County,[7] whose plantation Scuffle Hill was located on the banks of the Smith River near the present-day southern city limits. General Martin and revolutionary patriot Patrick Henry, who lived briefly in Henry County and for whom the county is named, were good friends.

The city's chief industry for many early years was the manufacture of plug chewing tobacco. The Henry County area became known as the 'plug tobacco capital of the world.' In the wake of the collapse of the plantation economy following the American Civil War, the local economy had been left reeling. Stepping into the breach were several thriving plug firms which sold their merchandise across the nation beginning in the nineteenth century.

Local families were heavily involved in these companies, bestowing their names on them and reaping sizeable profits until the early twentieth century, when the tobacco monopolies created by R.J. Reynolds and James Buchanan Duke bought out most firms. (In most cases, in bold anti-competitive moves, the two tobacco titans simply shut down their acquisitions overnight.[8] The moves later prompted a U.S. government lawsuit against American Tobacco Company.[9]) Among the earliest of these firms were D.H. Spencer & Sons and Spencer Bros. Other families soon joined in founding other early firms, including the Gravelys, the Comptons, the Ruckers, the Wittens, the Lesters and the Browns.

The city's main industry for a century was furniture construction, and today Virginia furniture makers still reside in the region. Martinsville declared itself an independent city in 1928, while still retaining its status as county seat. (Today, however, it is a county seat in name only, as all of Henry County's administrative and judicial functions are carried out from the administration building and courthouse in nearby Collinsville.)

DuPont in 1941 built a large manufacturing plant for producing textile nylon filament, a vital war material, which made the city a target for strategic bombing during the Cold War. This nylon production jump-started the growth of the textiles industry in the area. For several years Martinsville was known as the "Sweatshirt Capital of the World." In the early 1990s, changing global economic conditions and new trade treaties made Martinsville textiles and furniture manufacturing economically unsustainable. Many firms closed shop and laid off thousands of workers.[10] Currently, the city is repositioning itself long-term as a center for technology development and manufacturing. Due to the local government's inability to fund certain services, in the near future the city of Martinsville may decide to legally convert into the town of Martinsville.

MZM, Inc. opened a facility in Martinsville as part of the Cunningham scandal.

The lone high school within the Martinsville City School District is Martinsville High School which averages about 900 students. As of 2009, the high school had the second highest teen pregnancy rate in the state, along with the highest S.T.D. rate.[11] This caused the high school to make contraceptives available in school. The Martinsville City Public Schools system has 1 high school, 1 middle school, 2 elementary schools, and 1 preschool.

Additionally, there is a private P.S.-12 school near Martinsville in Henry County, Carlisle School. The school serves approximately 600 students, about 130 of them high school students.

Martinsville is also home to the Virginia Museum of Natural History, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and founded by Martinsville native Dr. Noel Boaz, and Piedmont Arts Association, a nonprofit art museum and affiliate of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Memorial Hospital of Martinsville serves the greater Martinsville and Henry County area. The earliest local hospital was the 50-bed Shackelford Hospital,[12] founded by Dr. Jesse Martin Shackelford,[13] who was later joined by surgeon son Dr. John Armstrong Shackelford, an early graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.[14] Founder of the Hospital Association of Virginia, Dr. Jesse Shackelford was an early advocate of comprehensive care for state citizens. Shackelford Hospital was sold in 1946, and Martinsville General Hospital subsequently opened with Dr. John Shackelford as its first chief surgeon.[15] In 1970 Memorial Hospital of Martinsville opened its doors, replacing Martinsville General.

The Beaver Creek Plantation, John Waddey Carter House, and Martinsville Fish Dam are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[16]

Liberty Fair Mall opened in 1989.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.0 square miles (28 km2), of which 11.0 square miles (28 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.45%) is water. The north side of the city has the highest average elevation. The east side slopes gradually down to the Smith River on the south side. The west side is hilly.

Demographics


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 15,416 people, 6,498 households, and 4,022 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,407.1 people per square mile (543.1/km²). There were 7,249 housing units at an average density of 661.7 per square mile (255.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 55.38% White, 42.55% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.69% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 2.32% of the population.

There were 6,498 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.0% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.1% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.89.

The age distribution was 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 82.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,441, and the median income for a family was $35,321. Males had a median income of $28,530 versus $21,367 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,251. About 14.0% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.6% of those under age 18 and 16.9% of those age 65 or over. As of August 2010, the city's unemployment rate stood at 20 percent.[17]

Culture

Sports

Martinsville is home to the Martinsville Mustangs of the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The Mustangs play at Hooker Field in Martinsville. The Mustangs began play for the league's 2005 season. Martinsville is also home to Martinsville Speedway. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hosts two races there every year.

Notable people


See also

References

External links

  • City of Martinsville
  • Martinsville Bulletin
  • Martinsville Speedway
  • Martinsville Tourism information
  • New College Institute
  • Piedmont Arts Association
  • Virginia Museum of Natural History
  • Old Photos
  • Martinsville City – The Carolina Road, Wilderness Road, virginia.org
  • Ghost Town, George Packer, The New Yorker, March 15, 2010

Coordinates: 36°41′10″N 79°52′09″W / 36.686143°N 79.869171°W / 36.686143; -79.869171

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