|Tobacco at Westview Farm. Charlotte County is the Commonwealth’s leading producer of fire-cured tobacco.|
Southside virginia, the rural countryside south of the James River, is the least known part of Virginia. It stretches from the James River to the North Carolina border, and extends as far east as Isle of Wight and Southampton Counties, and as far west as the Blue Ridge Mountains.
In 1968, Parke Rouse, Jr provided an apt description of the region in his history Below the James Lies Dixie: “This is Southside Virginia, where the South really begins. This is the northern boundary of a rural world that time and machines have failed to destroy in 350 years.”
Over 40 years have elapsed since he wrote these words, yet his description still rings true, for it is still a quiet world of tobacco, small farms and pine forests, flavored by memories of the War Between the States and its aftermath.