Monday, December 15, 2014

Where I’m from

This weekend, Larry and I drove to Rustburg, the county seat of Campbell County in Central Virginia.
I grew up in the country, so I don’t really have a “hometown.” But Rustburg was the closest thing to a town around our farm (six miles away), so I’ve always thought of it as the place I’m from.
To call Rustburg a town is a bit generous. It’s really a village. In fact, the road that runs through it is called Village Highway.
When I was growing up, if my parents or a neighbor said “We’re going to town,” they meant they were going to Lynchburg.

In my work for the newspaper, I visit Rustburg frequently to cover a court case or a Board of Supervisors meeting.
But our trip this weekend was for something fun: the Rustburg Christmas Parade.
After we parked the car, I got out my camera and snapped some photos of some of the “landmarks” in the village to share to give you a sense of where I’m from.
This first shot is actually from 2013. I took it before last year’s parade and liked it because it shows the main road through the village with Long Mountain (not very high) in the background.

From this year, here is the Citizen Services Building. It’s the newest county building, constructed to house the offices that closely serve the citizens. It includes the Treasurer’s Office, the Commissioner of Revenue’s Office, and the Community Development Office, which includes zoning, planning, and stormwater management.

I took this photo from too far off to get a clear shot, but I wanted to show you the building that the public library was housed in when I was a young girl. This is where I spent many happy hours.
Now the building houses the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office and the Farm Agency Office.

This is the current Rustburg Library. The School Administration Office is closer to the street, with the library at the end. It’s one of four branches in the county. One branch is in Altavista.

This is probably the most recognizable building to those knowledgeable about Campbell County history. It’s the Historic Courthouse, built in the 1840s. It was used by the courts until the new courthouse was built in the early 1980s.
The Historic Society of Campbell County is doing fundraising and working on renovating the building to enlarge its museum and preserve the county’s heritage.

This is the “new” courthouse. It’s not as impressive as the old one, but it’s nice. Some weeks I spend a lot of time within these walls.

Here’s another view of the courthouse. The adult detention center is connected to it.

This is a side view of Rustburg Presbyterian Church. It’s not a great shot, but it was what I was able to get with the parade crowds around me.
I don’t know how old the building is, but the way the brick is laid makes me think it has been around for a while. I’ve always thought it was a pretty church.
Members of the church give away free cookies and hot chocolate at the parade each year.

So there’s a little view of where I’m from. Altavista is part of Campbell County, and I’ve lived there for 11 years. But it still feels a bit like I’m visiting my old “home” when I go to Rustburg.

What do you consider your hometown to be?


  1. nice community feel. i like all the brick buildings - new and old. :)

    mine is a small town in central wisconsin. for the first 13 yrs of my life, it was 3+ miles away from the farm i lived on. then we moved 'to town' and lived on the edge of it within walking distance. i think they actually have one stop light now. :)

  2. I was born in and have lived in this town, the town I am in right now, for my entire life!! it has changed considerably but it's always been home. funny though, when I think of home, I think of the "structure I live in", that's home!!!!

    your spot is so Virginia and so beautiful!!!

  3. My home town was Esk, Sask. At it's peak it had about 50 people. It was designated as a hamlet. It has completely disappeared now.

  4. I should probably consider my hometown where I am now, since I've lived here longer than anywhere else. But I kind of think of Manassas as my hometown, because I went to high school there. Love the photos of all the buildings.

  5. How neat to see a little of where you are from. It looks like a very pleasant place. I liked both the old and the new courthouse buildings. - I was born in Walla Walla and pretty much raised here all my life so it's most certainly where I'm from.

  6. What fun! This sounds like a great little visit.

    I don't really have a hometown. My family moved a lot, so I never had real roots anywhere. My parents live in Peoria, Illinois, and so I visit them there and refer to it as "home," but I never actually lived there. I have often focused on what feels like a lack of belonging anywhere, but recently I decided to reframe it and see myself as a citizen of the world. That sounds like a lot more fun to me!

  7. Home is where the heart is. I'm home now :)

  8. I love the architecture - so pretty. And even the more modern buildings are pretty (unlike my town, we have ugly modern going on here).

    I can't stand my actual hometown - it is full of bad memories and just things I'd prefer to forget. I spent 18 years getting ready to bolt and 5 months after I turned 18 I left, and never went back beyond visits. I still consider it my hometown, but I have a deeper affection for my currenet town (ugly architecture and all).

  9. i "think" we have driven through rustburg before and i thought it was a cute little town...if it's what i'm thinking of! does 460 go through it? i consider my hometown to be san diego. i lived the first 34 years of my life there! at age 34 we moved to missouri, by choice, spent a few years there (that's where braden and dalton were born, ash and christian were born in san diego) then we moved to georgia with my husband's employer and that's how we ended up here in virginia. we got here in 2008 so so far this has been the longest stay for us! but since i was born and raised in san diego, my husband as well, i consider that to be my hometown. i doubt i'll ever move back though!

  10. That looks like a wonderful little town! That's a very nice library, which, in my humble opinion, is the most important building in any town. Looks like you had a great day weatherwise, too! I grew up in a town in southern Ohio, but have lived here in Sturbridge, Massachusetts for more than half of my life now. I consider this my home town even though most of my family still lives near where I grew up in Ohio. I love it here and want to spend the rest of my days here...with a few days off to travel the world, of course.

  11. That looks like a nice little town! I have moved a lot in my life, but spent the largest amount of time living in a suburb of Chicago. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I was miserable growing up there and never really felt "at home" in the community... but I do have a certain amount of nostalgia when I think about it.

  12. Altavista looks lovely. I would like to come watch the parade and meet people handing out cookies and hot chocolate . . . sound like a nice was to build community.
    I don't know where "home" is . . a few years ago I suddenly realized, those times i feel "homesick" - are unsettling for me because, when i get right down to it . . i have no place to go . . I mean, i asked myself sincerely, and i promised to take myself home . . . and could not find anywhere . . . a place like Altavista seems like a dram to me . . . Thanks for sharing!


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