Blackstone began in the eighteenth century as White's and Black's, named for its two taverns—White's and Schwartz's (German word meaning “black”). When its rail line was consolidated into the Norfolk and Western Railway, Blackstone boomed as a transportation center for shipping agricultural products. The Blackstone Land and Improvement Company was formed and shortly after 1900 built many of the houses. The dark tobacco grown in the area spurred the local economy for many years. In the 1960s its last auction house burned. As the town began to decline, the Chamber of Commerce and the Town Council formed the Renaissance Committee, which, along with the Virginia Main Street Program, have succeeded in sprucing up Blackstone's remarkable inventory of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century buildings into one of Southside's finest towns.
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