Keep the faith

Published 9:57 am Friday, April 3, 2009

If ever there was a community that knew how to take a beating and stand tall again, it’s Franklin.

The city, which was built up by the Camp family around the sawmill that started in 1855, has been through devastation before — floods, war and hurricanes, to name a few.

Tuesday’s announcement that the lumber mill would cease operations and that International Paper Co. would lay off dozens of other workers at its paper plant was like a punch in the gut for the city, and for surrounding Southampton County and Isle of Wight County.

But one only need look back to feel even the slightest bit optimistic about what lies ahead.

A wise woman put it best in a story in our March 8 edition about job seekers and their efforts to find work, despite these trying economic times.

“In 1999, when we had the big flood, 182 businesses were under water. People thought recovery was near impossible,” said Teresa Beale, executive director of the Franklin/Southampton County Chamber of Commerce. “It seemed overwhelming at the time, but we bounced back, so we know we can do it. We need to just keep pushing ahead; that’s all we can do.”