Area Information


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Once called Wynne's Falls in honor of the first settler in 1792, Danville was renamed by an act of the Virginia Legislature in 1793‚ and its charter was enacted in 1833. The town was originally founded as a tobacco market, but industrial growth began to flourish in 1881 with the opening of a yarn mill.

Danville served as the last capital of the Confederacy. Confederate President Jefferson Davis made his final proclamation at the Sutherlin Mansion‚ prior to the Confederacy's fall in April 1865.

Pittsylvania County was formed in 1767. In 1777, the county seat was moved from Callands to the county center, the town now called Chatham. In 1806, the controversy over where to build a new courthouse resulted in the General Assembly confirming a new location and establishing the town of Competition. Competition's name was changed to Chatham by an act of the General Assembly on May 1, 1852, and the town was incorporated on April 24, 1874.


The town of Chatham and the Sutherlin Mansion are both on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historical Places.

The average high temperature in the area is 89.2 degrees Fahrenheit in July and the average low of 23.2 degrees in January. The annual rainfall is 34.7 inches and the annual snowfall average is 3.3 inches.

Chatham and Danville have public elementary, middle and high schools plus Chatham Hall, Abundant Life Academy, Hargrave Military Academy, Carlisle School, Faith Christian Academy, Woodlawn Academy and several more private schools.


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Higher education opportunities in the area include Averett University, Danville Community College, DRMC School of Nursing, Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, National College, Old Dominion University plus the Pittsylvania Career and Technical Center.

The Amtrak train station in Danville provides service to New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans.

Local health care is provided by Danville Regional, Thompson Family medical centers as well as South Virginia Mental Health Institute.


Fishing the Dan River is very popular. Danville officials hosted the first Kids Fishing Derby in 2006 at Angler's Park with more than 120 attendees. Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes are major recreation destinations for outdoor lovers throughout the region. Smith Mountain Lake boasts 500 miles of shoreline. Leesville Lake is a southern reservoir of Smith Mountain Lake.

There are plenty of places to practice your swing with Ringgold Golf Club, Caswell Pines Golf Club and Cedars Country Club local to the area.

"A Festival in the Park" takes place in late May. The original intention of Festival in the Park in 1974 was to celebrate spring's arrival with a community picnic. Today a huge crafts and artists' show highlights the weekend. "Pigs in the Park" barbecue competition takes place the same weekend at Ballou Park each year.

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research develops and attracts technology and talent critical to Southside Virginia’s economic prosperity. IALR was created to be a catalyst for regional transformation to an innovative, high-tech economy that creates new opportunities for the citizens and businesses of Southside Virginia. Since its inception in 2000, IALR has worked to establish capacity in the form of cutting edge research, academic, outreach, conference and technology facilities and highly qualified and talented people.




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