Farming Communities

In eastern Virginia, farms were often self-sufficient plantations with large landholdings, houses, slave cabins, kitchens, storehouses, blacksmiths, and mills as well as a river landing for transporting tobacco, cotton, or other produce to market. Further west, farmers often had smaller acreage and a need to share services to make farming lucrative. In western Virginia, farmers often built a store, a mill, a school, a church, and perhaps other service structures close together, while their farms surrounded the community. Agriculture can be an isolated business, but by building a community together, the families could interact socially while helping each other to harvest and bring their produce to market. As farming costs increase due to mechanization, fewer and fewer family farms remain, and development threatens those that do. (From Lost Communities of Virginia, p. 14)

Farming Communities