Music, other festivities on tap Saturday

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 6, 2008

BRANCHVILLE-The roads will be closed and the music will be playing as Branchville returns to its roots and celebrates its 100th anniversary Saturday.

Branchville was incorporated as a town in 1908, but its history stretches well before that, according to Mayor Arthur Harris.

The town started as a small community of people gathered around the Meherrin River, he said. Its beginning was closely tied to water transportation.

Increased use of railroads provided enough business to build a railroad station where wood from the town’s mill could be sold to the railroad. The railroad company named the stop Branch’s station, and Branch has been part of the town’s name ever since.

The railroad, the CSX line, is the same railroad that came through Franklin in the 1800s and snaked down all the way to the Roanoke River, Harris said. The community of people surrounding the railroad was finally recognized and incorporated as a town in the early 1900s, although many had lived there before the railroad arrived.

Now with 123 residents and 100 years behind it, the town will celebrate on the streets of Branchville by the post office, fire house and community building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The entertainment for the day includes an array of music and showcases. Local DJ Nathan and Chuck will kick things off at 10. The Homesteaders, a band that plays everything from pop rock to country, will take over in the afternoon. The RS Cloggers will perform at 11 and 1.

Different contests will also be held throughout the day including a watermelon eating contest and horse shoe throwing contest. People can visit eight vendors that will set up along the street including The Cat’s Meow Gifts and Accessories, the post office and Davis Lane Market.

Food can also be purchased on site — there will be a bake sale, a cake walk and hot dogs and hamburgers, as well as barbecue plates.

A slideshow of the town’s history will also be shown. The slideshow will include pictures of Branchville’s early days and will serve as a contrast to the starkly different landscape Branchville has today.