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History & Culture


Farmville is the perfect place to start your exploration of our area’s historic and cultural offerings. Whether you are a patron of the arts or a history buff, we have something for everyone!


Longwood Visual ArtLongwood Center for the Visual Arts, located at the corner of Third and Main Streets, was established in 1978 by the Longwood Board of Visitors because of their understanding of the relationship of the arts to a balanced education. The LCVA offers a wide variety of educational programs for all ages and showcases various exhibitions throughout the year. The Center is the only collecting institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia with work by Virginia artists and artisans as its primary focus.


The Waterworks Players have brought the magic of live theater to area audiences for over 25 years. The theater has offered an artistic outlet for local actors, singers, designers and technicians. The Players put on four to five shows per year at their theater located on Industrial Park Road in Farmville. For show times and ticket information, call (434) 392-3452.

The Commonwealth Chorale is a group of singers drawing from fourteen counties in Southside Virginia. The present group of over 130 members perform two major annual productions, which includes classical choral music from Bach to modern compositions.

Longwood University’s Department of Music presents a variety of musical groups, including the Camerata Singers, Wind Symphony, University Men’s Choir, Jazz Ensemble, and the University Women’s Choir. Performances are scheduled throughout the year.

Hampden Sydney Music FestivalThe Hampden-Sydney Music Festival is a nationally recognized chamber music event held on the last two weekends of May each year. Hampden-Sydney College plays host to music lovers from all walks of life. Come and watch world-class performances from some of the world’s greatest musicians. For further information on tickets or performance schedules, call (434) 223-6273.


Moton Museum
The R. R. Moton Museum is a center for the study of civil rights in education. The museum honors the efforts of local students and citizens who paved the way for integrated public education. It was the site of the 1951 student walk-out to protest the separate but unequal conditions of the public schools, and is the centerpiece of the Virginia’s Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail®. The museum is located at the intersection of Griffin Boulevard and South Main Street in Farmville.

Historic Downtown Farmville Walking Tour is a self-guided walking tour of the Farmville Historic District. Spend a leisurely afternoon experiencing Farmville’s history and unique architecture. Click here to download a copy of the map and narrative for the Farmville Historic Walking Tour, including the Jackson House where General Robert E. Lee came on the morning of April 7, for a meeting with the Confederate Secretary of War John Cabell Breckinridge, Quartermaster General A. R. Lawson, and Commissary General I. M. St. John.

The Confederate Cemetery is located on Jackson Street, off of N. Main Street in Farmville. Over 300 soldiers who died in Farmville hospitals were buried here during the Civil War. Although there were simple, wooden markers at the grave sites, these eventually deteriorated so identities were lost. As a final tribute, the United Daughters' of the Confederacy erected a large stone marker with the inscription: Faithful Unto Death, Confederate Heroes, 1861-1865.

Lee’s Retreat is a self-guided driving tour that follows the historic 100 mile trek General Robert E. Lee and his army took while being pursued by Union forces. The tour begins in Petersburg and ends in Appomattox, where the final surrender was signed. Historic markers, maps and interpretive radio broadcasts convey details of events leading to the surrender at Appomattox. Enjoy all of the tour or select certain sites of interest.

The Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail® is a self-guided driving tour that brings together 41 historically significant sites that tell the story of civil rights in education in our country. Each site includes detailed interpretation and photos. The R. R. Moton Museum, in Farmville, serves as the anchor to the trail.

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park marks the site of the original village of Appomattox Courthouse. Here, Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant negotiated the terms of surrender which led to the end of the war between the states. The majority of the buildings are original to the site and have been maintained just as they were on April 9, 1865.

Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park is the site of the last major engagement of the Civil War. On April 6, 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia lost 7,700 men, including eight generals, in the Battle of Sailor's Creek. This defeat was key to Lee's decision to surrender at Appomattox Court House 72 hours later, thus ending the war in Virginia. The Overton-Hillsman House, used as a field hospital during the battle, is open to visitors June through August and by request at other times. Contact the park at (434) 315-0349 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to arrange a special tour.

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