The History of Brookneal, Virginia

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The child abuse attorneys in Brookneal are the presenter of this article. We are happy to bring you along with us in our journey of getting to know the local towns in our region. Learn about the history of Brookneal below.

History of Brookneal

Brookneal is part of the Lynchburg Metropolitan Statistical Area. An unincorporated town of Campell County, Virginia, it was established on January 14, 1802, in Chapter 65 of the Acts of Assembly by the Commonwealth of Virginia. "Brooke Neal" was named after John and Sear (née Neal) Brooke, who were the owners of the tobacco warehouse Brooke's Warehouse. In 1908, a charter was issued and the Town of Brookneal was incorporated.

Located within the vicinity of the boat landing and ferry crossing on the Staunton River, it offered easy access to roads, railroads and waterways. The town became the site of water-powered textile mills in the late 1800s. For decades, these mills were an important contribution to the Piedmont economy. In 1912, Brookneal faced several disasters, which resulted in most of the town being burnt down in a fire. Brookneal was then reconstructed using substantial bricks instead of wood. The small town developed a diverse economy with agriculture, service firms, manufacturing and retail space. According to the United States Census Bureau, Brookneal has a total area of 3.6 square miles. The 2010 census reported that the town had a population of 1,112 people. Its climate is hot and humid during the summers and mild to cool during the winters.

Following along with Discovering Keysville, Virginia.

Historic Sites

Because of its early establishment, many properties and landmarks in Brookneal are historically significant. These sites include:

  • Red Hill Plantation
  • The Brookneal Historic District
  • Cat Rock Sluice of the Roanoke Navigation
  • Cat Rock Sluice of the Roanoke Navigation
  • Staunton Hill
  • Westview

They have all been added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) individually throughout the years.

Red Hill Plantation

The Red Hill Patrick Henry Memorial is the final home and burial place of the first Governor of Virginia – after its statehood – Patrick Henry. Now managed by the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, it is a house museum opened Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.

The Brookneal Historic District

The national historic district encompasses 105 buildings and two structures in the central business district and residential area of Brookneal. Some of the notable buildings in the district are Lewis Andrew Pick Birthplace, Callaway-Smith House, Henderson Funeral Home, Brookneal Drug Store, Myers Department Store, N.I. Walthall & Son Department Store, Hotel Brookneal, Staunton River Lodge #155 AF&AM, Bank of Brookneal, and Brookneal Community Building.

Cat Rock Sluice of the Roanoke Navigation

The historic Cat Rock Sluice can be found at Mile 9.85 of the Staunton Scenic River. The 11-mile network of sluices, wing dams and towing walls was constructed in 1827 by Samuel Pannill of Green Hill.

Staunton Hill

Although Staunton Hill is in Charlotte County, the nearest community to it is Brookneal. Built by Charles Bruce in 1848, it is a two-story, five-bay, brick home of the Gothic Revival architectural style.


Another historic plantation house in Charlotte County, the two-story Westview home was built in 1832 of the Federal architectural style. It is also known as the Elam Homestead and Terrell Place. The property feature three log slave cabins, a log schoolhouse, frame milk house, log sed, log smokehouse, two barms, a stable and hay barn, ice pit, and two cemeteries – one for the family and one for slaves.

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Did you recently remember a traumatic sexual event of the past? Contact our Brookneal child abuse lawyers to discuss the options you have available in taking legal action against your offender. Call our team of experienced attorneys today for a free consultation.

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