Prospect, Virginia

    Prospect of old looks very much the same today, except the businesses of that day are now vacant.  Anyone who grew up in Prospect and attended Prospect school would recognize this scene.
   Standing at the Norfolk & Western crossing and looking east, one can see the village of Prospect.  In the center of the picture is the Depot.  Passenger trains stopped to let off and take on passengers.  Mail and express packages passed through the Depot along with many telegraph messages.  Stores in Five Forks and Darlington Heights would pick up merchandise shipped into the Prospect Depot.  W. B. Spain was station master.
    On the right or southside of the tracks (not in the picture) was the post office.  Residents of the village picked up their mail there but three rural mail carriers delivered mail to the countryside.
    To the south of the post office (in the picture) was Hubbard's.  Mr. Hubbard operated the local mortuary.  In the same building he used sawdust to cover ice that was manufactured in Farmville and sold in the summer.  To the rear of Hubbard's was a blacksmith's shop.
    The store with the awning was Allen's (later Hix-Carsons).  It had the only soda fountain in the village.  Further to the east of Allen's was Dr. Josoph Alsop's office.  Next was Chick's Store (later Doss's Grocery), which was operated by three brothers, Willie, Claude and "Babe" Chick.  Past Chick's Store was an auto repair garage (Bucknam's) followed by a residential area.
    On the left of the picture (not in the picture) was the main business area of the village and was owned by the Taylor family.  On the corner at the extreme left was Taylor Warehouse which sold feed, fertilizer, farm implements and other farm necessities.  The Warehouse burned and was replaced with the Prospect Equipment Company which was operated by Ed Johnson.  Just to the east of the Warehouse was the Taylor home, which burned in 1943.
    Next came the largest store of the community, Taylor's.  It was a thriving mercantile business which offered anything from drygoods to produce to groceries. The building had originally been the tobacco warehouse in Prospect and then was turned into a store by W. C. Crawley.  Taylor's was one of the largest stores of the county.  Farmers bartered with E. S. Taylor and then his son Bennett Taylor with their products in exchange for needed goods.  Taylor would buy grain, hay, livestock, poultry, eggs, vegetables, butter, preserves, sumac, pulpwood, etc.  Bennett Taylor said, "Taylor money is the secret.  That's what everybody calls it.  Years ago E. S. Taylor started issuing the money...These are the aluminum coins of various denominations and also bills.  If he [the farmer] takes U. S. money he gets 100 cents on the dollar.   If he takes 'Taylor money,' he gets 110 cents on the dollar."  This "money" was popular in the 1930's.

-- Thanks to Robert E. Taylor for the loan of his family scrapbook on Prospect

More on the Village of Prospect
Bradshaw's Account of the History of Prospect 
Pictures of Prospect
Prospect and the Closing Hours of the Civil War
Prospect in the Farmville Herald

 Website created and maintained by
Farmville - Prince Edward Historical Society
Bob Flippen, president
Edwina Covington, webmaster
created March, 2003
last modified August, 2003
hosted by NTelos