Plant suffers hard times

Published 9:06 am Wednesday, February 23, 2011

H.P. Beale and Sons at Ivor and Trinity Church roads reportedly has been empty since the late 1980s. Presently, there has been no interest in buying the old meat-packing plant for another use. -- STEPHEN H. COWLES | TIDEWATER NEWS

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the fourth in a series of stories about what’s happening with some of the vacant commercial buildings in Western Tidewater.


BEALES—Impressive in size and disuse, the defunct H.P. Beale and Sons dominates the corner of Ivor and Trinity Church roads.

Gene Beale, who according to Southampton County Treasurer David K. Britt pays the $411 in property taxes on the facility’s four parcels, could not be reached.

The meat packing plant, which began operating in the mid-1930s, prospered for decades.

Amy Chapman, who lives with her husband nearby, said they moved to their house in autumn 1986, and the plant was still operating. She remembered that the place had closed in 1987 or 1988.

Chapman said Smithfield Packing looked into buying the place a few years ago, “but it didn’t happen.”

Being abandoned, the site became prey for break-ins “for copper and stuff,” she said.

County Administrator Michael W. Johnson said he was unaware of any interest in the property.

No one with Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. could be reached.