Franklin County

For history buffs seeking a true 18th century roadbed, Franklin County’s Waid Recreation Park is the only place to go. The multi-use park features one-fourth mile of the original Carolina Road. Local heritage also springs to life at the Franklin County Historical Society Museum and the Depot in Rocky Mount. East of town visitors can explore the nation’s African American history at the Booker T. Washington National Monument.


Blue Ridge Institute and Museum/Blue Ridge Farm Museum

Ferrum College, 20 Museum Drive, Ferrum, Virginia

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Ferrum College opened the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum in the early 1970s to document and interpret the folk heritage of the Blue Ridge area. The museum has an important collection of furniture, textiles, and decorative arts from the region. The institute presents the annual Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, the state’s largest celebration of regional folkways, and the Blue Ridge Farm Museum, a living history farmstead demonstrating early rural life, including cooking, farming, crafts, and historic animal breeds.

Carolina Road Trace/Waid Park

700 Waid Park Road, Rocky Mount, Virginia

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A one-quarter mile section of the roadbed of the Carolina Road can be walked in Franklin County’s Waid Recreation Park. Thousands of settlers passed this spot from the 1740s through the 1760s. The park serves recreational purposes, including hiking, bird-watching, floating and fishing in the Pigg River. It also includes a new sports complex with five soccer fields.

Maggoty Gap

Cahas Mountain Rural Historic District, Rt. 613, Boone’s Mill, Virginia

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The Cahas Mountain Rural Historic District comprises the bottomland along Maggodee Creek, the south side of Maggodee Gap, and the slopes of Cahas Mountain. The district includes the well-preserved trace of the Carolina Road where it crosses the Blue Ridge at Maggodee Gap. The volume of travel along the road spurred the construction of the district’s two impressive 1820s brick residences, the John and Susan Boon House and the Taylor-Price House, the former and probably also the latter provided accommodations to travelers on a commercial basis. The road trace passes in front of the Washington and Rinda Boon House.

Franklin County Historical Society Museum

508 Franklin Street, Rocky Mount, Virginia

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Rocky Mount was designated as the seat of Franklin County, Virginia, when the county was formed in 1786. The first court sessions were held in the home of James Callaway, the proprietor of the 1770 Washington Iron Furnace. A log courthouse was built at the intersection of Court and Main streets in the same year. The Franklin County Historical Society operates a history museum and research library for family history research. Franklin County court, probate, and land records, also available at the nearby Franklin County Courthouse, are an important source for family historians.

Booker T. Washington National Monument

12130 Booker T Washington Highway, Hardy, Virginia

Booker T. Washington National Monument
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Booker T. Washington National Monument commemorates the birthplace of America’s most prominent African American educator and orator of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The property evokes an 1850s middle class tobacco farm, representative of Booker T. Washington’s childhood at the farm owned by the prosperous Burroughs family. He was born in 1856 to their enslaved cook, Jane, and lived on the farm throughout the Civil War. After the Civil War, Washington became the first principal of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial School. As an adviser, author and orator, he became the most influential African-American of his era.