Come experience how welcoming Appomattox County is.
Appomattox County was formed in 1845 from Buckingham, Prince Edward, Campbell and Charlotte Counties and was named for the Appomattox River, whose head waters are located within the county. The river was named for the native tribe, the Appamatuck, who lived near the mouth of the river.
Appomattox is best known as the place where the American Civil War essentially ended. On Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in the McLean House located at Appomattox Court House. The site, now the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, attracts more than 200,000 visitors from around the world each year.
The original County seat was set in that preserved site, what is now one of America’s historic treasures. The county at the time of the Civil War was a rural agricultural area with about 9,000 citizens and no towns except for the county seat with fewer than 150 habitants. In 1894 the court house burned and the County seat was relocated two miles away to be closer to the economic activity that the railroad provided to what today is the Town of Appomattox.
Following World War Two agriculture was still the way County citizens made their living and the population was still around 9,000, but textile manufacturing was becoming a major industry.
Courtland Manufacturing was founded as Appomattox Garment Company in the 1940s, making children and women’s clothing. In 1977, long time employee Fred Lawson bought the firm changing the name to Courtland Manufacturing. In the 1980s employment reached 1,500 workers in multiple facilities. The population grew and continued that growth into the late 20th century.
Thomasville Furniture began construction of its Appomattox Facility in late 1972. By 1974 they had manufacturing lines up and running. At its peak the plant employed close to 1,200 workers. But as North American Free Trade Act took hold and manufacturing moved overseas, things changed in the textile and furniture industries.
In 1999 Courtland Manufacturing closed after struggling to compete in the apparel industry. And Thomasville Furniture employment dwindled to fewer than 200 by the time the plant closed in March 2011. Today, agriculture and forestry are still major industries. Add to that, smaller high tech entrepreneurial businesses in metal fabrication, women’s accessories, healthcare and construction trades, and you see population and economic growth.
The Economic Development Authority of Appomattox County has a 485 acre park, the Appomattox Center for Business & Commerce. Three companies are located there with two more scheduled to open in 2016. Appomattox County is part of the Lynchburg Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2014 Census estimate, the county’s population was 15,279. That includes the Town of Appomattox at 1,745 and the Town of Pamplin City at 220. Appomattox County is located near the geographic center of Virginia. The county consists of 333 square miles. Appomattox County is “Your Place to Make History!”