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The Village of Prospect

Prospect is a small village on  the western side of Prince  Edward County.  Once it had several general  stores, a farmers’ supply  store, a high school and  elementary school, a  cannery, two doctors, an  attorney, two hotels, a tavern,  and a railroad depot that  served the surrounding  agricultural area.  This  community is rich in the history of agriculture, religion, education, and mercantilism.  As early as 1802, there is mention of a store operated by Robert Venable near the  community of Prospect.  Mail routes traveled through Prospect as early as 1826 with a route running from Prince  Edward Court House (Worsham) via Prospect to Concord once a week.  In 1838 bids  were accepted for a four-and-one-half year mail route from 1839 to 1843 to run from  Farmville via Prospect, Walkers Church, Spout Spring, and Concord to Lynchburg, three  times a week.  In 1840, there were ten post offices listed in Prince Edward:  Marble Hill, Sandy River  Church, Midway Inn, Farmville, Walkers Church, Prospect, Prince Edward Court House,  Burkeville, Jamestown, and Clover Hill.  Trains carried the mail after the Richmond and  Danville Rail Road and South Side Rail Road were built through Prince Edward.  In the 1850’s, South Side Rail Road had water tanks at Marrowbone Creek between Rice  and Moran, at Farmville, at Tuggle, and at Prospect.  Also since the fuel tenders were  small, at the same water-tank stations, the railroad had contracts with local people to  furnish wood, cut to the correct lengths.  In 1897, Norfolk & Western maintained telegraph  offices at Moran, Rice, High Bridge, Farmville, Tuggle, Prospect, and Elam to stop trains  when there were others on the same tracks.  In the mid-1800’s, there are records referring to the extensive orchards with new varieties  of apples, pears, peaches, and grapes being developed in the Prospect area.  Among the  farms mentioned were the following: George Gillespie of Falling Creek, Nancy Woodson  at Brooklyn, Stephen Harvey, James Venable at Forest Green, Mercer Blackwell, Henry J.  Venable, and Spring Hill Nursery of Venable and Garden.  Physicians who worked out of Prospect were Dr. Merrit B. Allen in the 1840’s and Dr.  Kearney, and Dr. Joseph F. Alsop in the early 1900’s.  In the post-Civil War era, Charles E. Glenn of Prospect operated a singing school for both  instruction and social affairs.  In 1883, records show that Prospect had a graded school  with two teachers adn 42 students with M. R. Crawley as principal.  In 1887-1888, J. P.  Glenn is listed as principal of a school near the community.  County records show that in  1906-1907 Buffalo District planned to add a third room to the two-room school building in  Prospect and open a high school there.  Citizens wanted to support the idea of district  high schools and formed the School Improvement League of Prospect with R. J. Carter as  president.  Beginning with 1922 and for the next five years, all white one-two-three room  schools were consolidated into six district high schools - Farmville, Prospect, Darlington  Heights, Worsham, Green Bay, and Rice.  In 1923, the Virginia General Assembly  authorized the Prince Edward School Board to borrow to build a school at Prospect.  In  1924 that building was erected.  In the fall of 1941, the county further consolidated its high  schools.  Rice and Prospect went together with Farmville High School and Darlington  Heights consolidated with Worsham.  The Prospect school building burned in 1946 and  was rebuilt, serving as an elementary school until the closing of the county schools in  1959. The people of the Prospect area have had a strong religious community.  Revival  preachers, such as the Rev. Samuel Harris and the Rev. John Early, provided the earliest  inspirations in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s.  As early as 1773, the Appomattox Baptist  Church (Rocks) reconstituted in Prince Edward County at Peaks meetinghouse on land of  Richard Peaks,  The Rev. John McLeroy was the first minister.  In 1820, Prospect  Meetinghouse acquired land from Robert Venable.  The trustees were Charles Venable,  William Johnson, David Anderson, Jesse Bradley, and Samuel Venable.  The Methodist  Episcopal Church used this meetinghouse until it burned in 1860.  The site of the church  is in the Prospect Cemetery.  The present Methodist church was built in 1859.  In 1869, a  group of African Methodist Episcopalians acquired land from William M. Jenkins a mile  west of Prospect Depot for the construction of a house of worship.  Matthew Walthall was  the minister.  In 1889, trustees of the church purchased land from John R. Wilson and W.  M. Gilliam for a parsonage and a church next to the railroad track.  In 1909, E. S. Taylor,  W. R. Taylor, and Alma A. Taylor deeded land adjacent to the A. M. E. Church on which to  build the structure for St. James A. M. E. Church.  In 1911, Davis Memorial Presbyterian  Church was organized.  Land for the church was deeded from R. A. and Sudie H. Davis to  trustees A. C. Allen, W. S. Garden, and J. S. Moore.  Glenn Memorial Baptist Church was  first built on land donated by Lucy W. Glenn.  The was an outgrowth of the efforts of its  first pastor the Rev. C. Edward Burrell of Farmville.  Some of its members came from  Matthews Church in Hixburg.  --complied by Edwina Covington  --source Bradshaw, Herbert Clarence, History of Prince Edward County, Virginia from its  Earliest Settlements through its Establishment in 1754 to its Bicentennial Year, 1955.     
The Prospect Tavern was operating in the late 1700’s.  In the early  1900’s it became a private home.  In the mid 1980’s it was dismantled,  moved, and restored in the Historic Village of Noland in Halifax County, Virginia. Read more.

Prospect Volunteer

Fire Department

The Prospect Volunteer Fire Department was organized in 1953.  It has grown from 1 truck to 8 trucks and 54 members. Read more about the history of the department. Read more.
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