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House Power Washing – Martinsville, VA

House Power Washing – Martinsville, VA

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About Martinsville, VA

Martinsville is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 13,485. A community of both Southside and Southwest Virginia, it is the county seat of Henry County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Martinsville with Henry County for statistical purposes.

Martinsville is the principal city of the Martinsville Micropolitan Statistical Area, with a population of 63,765 as of the 2020 census.

The paper clip-shaped Martinsville Speedway, the shortest track in the NASCAR Cup Series at 0.526 miles (847 m) and one of the first paved “speedways”, is located just outside the city near the town of Ridgeway.

Martinsville was founded by American Revolutionary War General, Native American agent and explorer Joseph Martin, born in Albemarle County. He developed his plantation Scuffle Hill on the banks of the Smith River near the present-day southern city limits. General Martin and revolutionary patriot Patrick Henry, who lived briefly in Henry County and for whom the county is named, were good friends.

DuPont in 1941 built a large manufacturing plant for producing textile nylon filament, a vital war material. During the Cold War, the city was identified as a target for strategic bombing by the Soviet Union. This nylon production jump-started the growth of the textiles industry in the area.

In 1947, the paperclip-shaped oval Martinsville Speedway opened. In use by NASCAR since their inaugural season in 1949, it is still in operation by the racing organization today. The speedway is the shortest oval in NASCAR.

For several years Martinsville was known as the “Sweatshirt Capital of the World”, and in the 1980s it boasted of having more millionaires per capita than any city in America.

Business leaders in the mid-20th century, like Whitney Shumate, worked to improve sub-standard housing in Martinsville. He helped clear out a portion of Martinsville called “Mill Town”, which had sub-standard rental housing originally provided for 19th century employees of a now defunct cotton mill. New homes were constructed in the neighborhood, built with sound materials and with all city services for the first time. What had originally been considered a depressed civic area rapidly became a center of progress as middle class Black residents finally began to prosper. As an editorial in the local newspaper noted, “One of the projects which won him considerable attention and praise was the instigation of the redevelopment of what was once known as Martinsville Cotton Mill Village. He and associates purchased about 50 houses in North Martinsville, and using private capital rather than federal aid, rebuilt them into comfortably inhabitable homes, making it possible for many persons to purchase homes within their financial range.”

In the early 1990s, changing global economic conditions and new trade treaties made Martinsville textiles and furniture manufacturing economically unsustainable. Many firms closed shop and laid off thousands of workers; the production moved offshore to other countries. The city is repositioning itself long-term as a center for technology development and manufacturing.

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Virginia - Danville, Martinsville