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Blackstone, Virginia
Downtown Blackstone, April, 2015
Downtown Blackstone, April, 2015
Location of Blackstone, Virginia
Location of Blackstone, Virginia
Country United States
State Virginia
County Nottoway
 • Type Town Council
 • Total 4.51 sq mi (11.69 km2)
 • Land 4.50 sq mi (11.64 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
453 ft (138 m)
 • Total 3,621
 • Estimate 
 • Density 740.60/sq mi (285.96/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 434
FIPS code 51-07832
GNIS feature ID 1463528
Website Official website:

Blackstone, formerly named Blacks and Whites, and then Bellefonte, is a town in Nottoway County in the U.S. state of Virginia. The population was 3,621 at the 2010 census.


The Blackstone Historic District, Butterwood Methodist Church and Butterwood Cemetery, Little Mountain Pictograph Site, Oakridge, and Schwartz Tavern are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town's grid street pattern was laid out in 1874, and the town incorporated in 1888. Its economy thrived as a location for dark leaf tobacco sales and shipment through its railroad station.


Blackstone is located at 37°4′36″N 78°0′5″W / 37.07667°N 78.00139°W / 37.07667; -78.00139 (37.076661, -78.001302).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.6 square miles (11.8 km²), of which, 4.5 square miles (11.7 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.44%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 580
1900 585 0.9%
1910 1,486 154.0%
1920 1,497 0.7%
1930 1,772 18.4%
1940 2,699 52.3%
1950 3,536 31.0%
1960 3,659 3.5%
1970 3,412 −6.8%
1980 3,624 6.2%
1990 3,497 −3.5%
2000 3,675 5.1%
2010 3,621 −1.5%
2019 (est.) 3,329 −8.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

According to the census of 2000, there were 3,675 people, 1,430 households, and 886 families residing in the town. The population density was 811.8 people per square mile (313.2/km2). There were 1,581 housing units, at an average density of 349.2 per square mile (134.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 50.23% White, 46.39% African American, 0.03% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 1.88% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.39% of the population.

There were 1,430 households, out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.7% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.0% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.06.

The median age was 40 years, with 24.3% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 21.3% who were 65 years of age or older. For every 100 females, there were 81.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.5 males.

The median household income was $27,566, and the median family income was $41,520. Males had a median income of $26,419 versus $17,905 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,562. About 20.2% of families and 26.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.5% of those under age 18 and 31.7% of those age 65 or over.

Infrastructure and attractions

Nearby Fort Pickett (then Camp Pickett) was established by the U.S. Army in 1941 and was a very large training center during World War II. It was closed by the BRAC Commission in the 1990s, and the facility is now the headquarters for the Virginia National Guard. In May 2014 the U.S. Department of State selected Fort Pickett as the site of their Foreign Affairs Security Training Center, which will train 8,000 to 10,000 students a year, many of them diplomats. Details of the Center's construction are still being worked out. After the fall of Kabul during September 2021, the federal government temporarily housed 5,900 Afghan refugees at the facility.

The 2-year Blackstone Female Institute / Blackstone College for Girls also operated in Blackstone for many years. The buildings and grounds were later used as the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC), drawing 19,000 visitors a year before closing in 2016. The Blackstone shopping district (including a Wal-Mart, an outpatient medical center, and a livestock market) attracts customers from a large three-county rural area. The town recently received a Main Street designation from the state, and a $1 million downtown revitalization project started in 2008. In 2009 the town opened the $4 million James Harris medical center. The Town of Blackstone also has a regional bus terminal that serves 11 counties. The oldest building in town is Schwartz Tavern, built in stages from 1790 to 1840, now used as a museum. Bevell's Hardware, a local business, displays a giant 58' by 20' (17.7 by 6.1 meter) model railroad layout that attracts thousands of visitors each year from Thanksgiving weekend through mid-January. The Robert Thomas Carriage Museum, containing 28 restored antique carriages, sleighs, and buggies, was also opened in 2007.

Notable people

  • Actress Bea Arthur attended Blackstone School for Girls and was active in their Drama program in 1933.
  • Bishop James Cannon, Jr., first President of Blackstone College, achieved fame as the leading prohibition advocate in the nation.
  • John A. Tyree, U.S. Navy Vice Admiral and double Navy Cross recipient
  • Representative and lawyer James F. Epes
  • American football player Robert Jones

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Blackstone (Virginia) para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
Famous African-American Inventors:
Lonnie Johnson
Granville Woods
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