Brookneal, Virginia

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Brookneal is an incorporated town in Campbell County, Virginia, United States. The population was 1,259 as of the 2000 census. It is part of the Lynchburg Metropolitan Statistical Area.



On January 14, 1802, "Brooke Neal" was established the Commonwealth of Virginia in Chapter 65 of the Acts of Assembly.[3] It was named after John Brooke and his wife, Sarah (née Neal) Brooke, who established a tobacco warehouse which became known as "Brooke's Warehouse" [4] which was located near the boat landing and ferry crossing on the Staunton River.[5]

The "Town of Brookneal" in Campbell County, Virginia was incorporated and a charter issued in 1908.[3] Later to become the smallest incorporated town in the Central Virginia Region [6], Brookneal was established as it served as the closest center of commerce for portions of Campbell, Charlotte, and Halifax counties.[6]. As transportation modes developed, Brookneal's location offered proximity to waterways, roads and railroads.

From the earliest days of settlement of the area by Europeans in the Colony of Virginia, the American Revolutionary War era, and extending through most of the first half of the 19th century in Virginia, roads were primitive and poorly maintained, and waterways were a major transportation resource for commerce. Upstream from the fall line marking the western reaches of the coastal plain of Virginia (and adjacent areas of North Carolina), canals and other improvements aided navigation by batteaux and other watercraft before railroads supplanted river transportation in the Piedmont region located east of the Mountains. Just south of Brookneal lies the Roanoke River (also known as the Staunton River), which flows east to its mouth at Plymouth, North Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean via the sounds in eastern North Carolina. Through the efforts of the Roanoke Navigation Company, established with the assistance of by both states in 1815 [7], passage was possible from as far west as Salem in Roanoke County.[7] By 1828, it was notes tha boats were traversing 124 miles of "tolerable good and safe navigation" of the Roanoke River between Brookneal and Salem.[8]

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