Skip to main content

A run into Southside Virginia

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, Joe and I took a brief six hour trip into Southside Virginia.

The Route: US 64, I-95, NC/VA 46, US 1, VA 40, US 301, NC 48, I-95, US 64.

Photo set on flickr - right here.

You know it's going to be a good trip when the first photo of the day is of an increasingly rare Interstate 95 North Carolina shield.

I-95 North Carolina

Funny thing is, this was the only photo I took in North Carolina on this trip.

About an hour later, we found ourselves in Lawrenceville, Virginia and decided to take a walk around.

Sledge & Barkley Company - Lawrenceville, VA

Lawrenceville is the Brunswick County Seat, and the courthouse - named after Albertis S. Harrison, Jr. - is rather impressive.

Albertis S. Harrison, Jr. Courthouse

Like many small rural towns, there were more abandoned storefronts than open.  An old Star Value Grocery Store only sees use as a Haunted House in the fall, with the exception of the two newspaper boxes in front of the store.

IMG_2878

The open grocery store in town is something you don't see every day, Red & White.

Red & White in Black & White

We stayed north on VA 46 to Alberta, where we turned onto US 1 North.

In March of 2010, Virginia designated all of US 1 as "Historic Route 1".  This was done to promote travel tourism - similar to Route 66 or some of the designated scenic or historical byways in other states.  New stand alone US 1 trailblazers have recently been erected throughout the state like the one we found in rural Brunswick County.

US 1 through Rural Virginia

Personally, I like this idea.  Though I don't think it will lead to the economic development that legislators desire, there are certainly people, like myself, who do enjoy driving - and plan day trips around - designated historic or scenic byways.

Unfortunately, the idea of US 1 travel tourism wasn't done in time to save the old Wimurt's Motel and Restaurant near McKenney.

Abandoned Wilmurt's Motel and Restaurant

IMG_2915

If you have a chance, stop by this old motel and restaurant.  It's a true roadside museum with relics such as old merchant stickers with names long gone like "Master Charge".

Master Charge - (Black and white)

Other stickers date as recent as 2004-05.  So it wasn't that long ago, that this old place was open.  The motel lobby doesn't appear that dilapidated.  Nor do the old motel rooms that you can pretty much walk right in.

IMG_2909

IMG_2920

IMG_2919

From McKenney, we took VA 40 east to Stony Point where we hit US 301 and headed south.  It was along US 301 where we came across two great finds.

The first - the long abandoned Jarratt Restaurant.  Which I believe also had a motor lodge.

IMG_2927

IMG_2946

The interior of the building is pretty much beyond repair - and has been home to numerous squatters seeking some sort of refuge.

IMG_2939

The old exit or entrance door is still operating and its creaking back and the forth broke an uneasy silence.

IMG_2940

The neon tubing for the motor court office sign is pretty much all gone - with the exception of a still intact 'O' - which I found pretty interesting.

IMG_2951

Further south on US 301 near Emporia, there was a triple abandoned treat.  A closed motel (Dixie Motel), restaurant (Carol's Diner), and gas station (Emporia Travel Plaza).

IMG_2958

IMG_2963

The Dixie Motel has been recently been condemned.  Or at least the most recent (January 2011) posting says so.

IMG_2962

Over at the Emporia Travel Plaza.  There were old analog gas pumps.

IMG_2966

Including one that seemed to register its last sale.  $26.02 for 18.9 gallons of Super Unleaded.

IMG_2969

Inside the old travel plaza, there may have been one hint to when it closed.  An old "We Card" sticker for cigarettes was on the checkout counter.  It read, "1978".

IMG_2971

Which could mean this old gas station has been closed since 1996.

Finally, I came across this interesting blog entry on the old Dixie Motel - it's worth the read, and the photos are great too.

IMG_2977

Well that's it until the next trip.

Comments

Anonymous said…
You've done some nice archaeology here!

Popular posts from this blog

Paper Highways; California State Route 1 through the Lost Coast

For all the accolades and praise that California State Route 1 gets for being a top notch coastal highway one fact tends to get overlooked; the highway was never finished!  In this edition of Paper Highways we look at the failed path of California State Route 1 through the Lost Coast.



Part 1; the history of Legislative Route 56 and California Route 1 through the Lost Coast

The Lost Coast region consists of the undeveloped coastal areas of Humboldt County, Mendocino County, and the King Range.  The Lost Coast region roughly spans from near Rockport in Mendocino County north to Ferndale of Humboldt County.  The Lost Coast region is known for having rugged terrain which rivals what is seen in Big Sur.  The Lost Coast has several small communities such as; Shelter Cove, Whitehorn, and Petrolia.

In 1933 Legislative Route 56 was extended south to LRN 2 (US 101) near Las Cruces and north to Ferndale to LRN 1 (also US 101).  Prior to 1933 the legislative description of LRN 56 had it's nort…

Where the hell is Hill Valley? (US Route 8 south/US Route 395 east)

Recently I made a visit to Universal Studios near Los Angeles.  While on the back lot tour I came across a piece of infamous movie-borne fictional highway infamy; the location of town square of Hill Valley, California on US Route 8/US Route 395.


The above photo is part of the intro scene to the first Back-to-the-Future movie which was set in 1985. To anyone who follows roadways the signage error of US 8 meeting US 395 in California is an immediately notable error.  For one; US 8 doesn't even exist anywhere near California with present alignment being signed as an east/west highway between Norway, Michigan and Forest Lake, Minnesota.  To make matters worse US 8 is signed as a southbound route and US 395 (a north/south highway) is signed as an eastbound route.  At minimum the cut-out US 8 and US 395 shields somewhat resemble what Caltrans used in the 1980s.

Assuming Hill Valley is located on what would have been US 395 by 1985 what locales would be a viable real world analog?  US 39…

US Route 99 to Visalia?...

Something that I noticed awhile back while doing map research regarding US Route 99 in Fresno was that the highway intended to be originally routed through the City of Visalia.



The early originally planned alignment of US Route 99 in Visalia

To be clear US 99 was never actually routed through Visalia and ended up bypassing the City in favor of a direct route from Goshen southeast to Tulare.  US 99 within San Joaquin Valley was aligned over Legislative Route 4 which in turn was added to the State Highway System as part of the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act.  LRN 4 for a time was aligned through Visalia via; Mineral King Avenue, Main Street, and Mooney Boulevard.  This early alignment of LRN 4 through Visalia can be seen on the 1924 Division of Highways State Map.


The initial draft of the US Route System was approved by the Secretary of Agriculture during November of 1925.  The US Route System with in California was approved by California Highway Commission with no changes recommended…