The Franklin County Historical Society
We are a 501(c3) organization operated five days a week
by volunteers.
Hours 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wednesday & Sunday

(540) 483-1890


If you are traveling, we
recommend calling to be
sure we can meet you!



The Franklin County Historical Society holds special events throughout the year in order to draw interest in our area's past.


Celebrate 50! Help us celebrate our 50th anniversary with live music, light refreshments, live and silent auctions at The Essig Center (YMCA campus) from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. We're having fun and raising funds! $10 per person. Music by Rodger Doss & Friends including Ernie Power, Jay  Shelton and Gene Parker! Live auction by Floyd Anderson featuring great pieces of history such as collectible liquor decanters from back in the day - a vintage White House vinegar jug - professionally framed history themed pictures like a "lost" photo of the F&P Railroad Depot in Rocky Mount, the original Brooks Mill Bridge and Doc VanName's numbered prints of the Jubal Early House, Washington Iron Works and Clements Mill - old fill-in certificates in chestnut frames  - signed, now rare books - a men's Speidel watch from Haywood's Jewelers - a wonderful necklace from Carter's Jewelers - large decorative mirror from Cooper Classics - a double pie basket from Wood Grains - a wood "candle stand" table - Coca-Cola collectibles gathered in a large basket by Flowers by Jones - collections of drinkable items including Law's Choice and Franklin County Distillers - package of greens fee passes from The Westlake - a night at Comfort Inn - 3 Westlake Cinema passes - goodies from Homestead Creamery  and The Growing Place - a theme basket from Blooming Deals (you've got to see this one!) - an original Black Draught box in excellent condition - cookbooks and 'goodies' to go with them....items added daily. A highlight of the live auction is a teacher's desk from the Endicott school used by a Mrs. Snead donated by a couple of the historical society's early presidents and "massaged" by the WoodDoctor of Roanoke.

          Plus a silent auction of more history-themed goodies and items just for fun: like a "cheer basket" complete with accessories - an outhouse night light - gift certificates - collectible plates - wooden children's blocks - a rare Bicentennial belt buckle made just for Franklin County's bicentennial - a "whining" book - a handpainted Cavaliers jug - and way more. Come and see!

           And a 50-50 drawing. Bring dollars, take home more!


Moonshine Memories...Old and New

Save the date - Saturday, Sept. 22! It's a memories cruise-in. We continue to celebrate our 50th anniversary and share memories from back in the day - and some modern ones, too. We'll award one-of-a-kind prizes to vintage vehicle owners & have fun. Visit a spacious property on Snow Creek Road which includes a garage full of cars, moonshine stills and such - enjoy the music of a steel drum band: the Pan Parrots from Smith Mountain Lake - play fun games like Motor Hole - Lug Wrench Throw - Washer Toss and Lawn Dice. Food vendor on the premises. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for personal comfort. Plenty of parking on grass! You'll need a $10 wristband - on sale now. Vintage vehicle owners free - but they're still eligible for awards! It all starts at 10 a.m. and continues to 3 p.m. Watch for venue directions and more details. Here's a sneak preview:

Holiday Remembrance

The annual ceremony to remember Confederate veterans buried in the historic High Street Municipal Cemetery, Rocky Mount, will be held Saturday, Dec. 8. We now include a Spanish-American War veteran resting here. Re-enactors, men and women in 1800s period clothing. A known 26 graves will be marked with holiday greenery gleaned from Franklin County and fashioned into grave sprays by members of Jubal Early Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy. Descendants and others interested in local patriotism are invited. Following the formal program, we invite everyone to visit the veterans' final resting places - and take a look at other graves which hold many other movers and shakers of our town and county.

Contact us for more information: 540.483.1890 or


Put it on your calendar!

Moonshine Express - Sunday, April 14, 2019

Moonshine ExpressA popular “character event”  in April, Moonshine Express features true tales about the local liquid industry. Actors and interpreters relate factual information about our heritage and events of the not so distant past.

Ride a vintage tour bus through Rocky Mount to see cars of the day, meet people from both sides of the law – and listen as a moonshiner (retired, of course) explains the workings of our full-size replica moonshine likker still. Revenuers (also retired) will talk about what could and did happen to the folks in the illegal likker trade. Visit with legal distillers and hear how they did it. Thanks to our tourism partners at Commonwealth Coach & Trolley Museum for providing transportation.

Visit Gawkers Row for a look at vehicles that either did (or could have) haul moonshine likker. Awards to vehicle owners. Custom dash plaques for all car owners plus awards.

We’ve got books about the likker trade all year long. Plus T-shirts, postcards, Cat's Meow Village renditions of our own still and other gifts for you or others.  NEW T-shirts for 2018!

Contact us to reserve your spot on the next tour: 540.483.1890 or use

Thanks to our gracious sponsors for the April 2018 tour: Flowers by Jones - Henry & Mary Fulcher - Franklin Dental Associates - Cliff & Marsha Fay - Bob Camicia - Shively Electric - Crooked Road Family Dentistry - 57th VA Infantry Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 2258 - Town of Rocky Mount - Carbo Inc. - Flora Funeral Service - Haywood's Jewelers - The Hub Restaurant - Capps Home Building Center - Michael Dillon Custom Docks -  Fidelity Bank - Johnny Bowman - Arrington Enterprises: Dairy Queen & Bojangles - Virginia Furniture Market - Buddy's BBQ - Matt Thurman: State Farm Insurance Agency - Franklin County Distilleries - Franklin Finance Co. - ReMax/Mountain to Lake Realty: Billy & Julie Kingery - Franklin County Office of Tourism.

    If you see them or know them, thank 'em again for us!


Veterans Memorial Day

Veterans Memorial DayFranklin County Historical Society honors Franklin County casualties of all wars and military conflicts each year. Special emphasis is  placed on veterans of the War Between the States as this war touched literally every household in the county. Watch for the 2019 date!

We are assisted by Franklin County High School Air Force JROTC, Jubal Early Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy, Virginia’s Old Carolina Road Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, area chapters of Sons of the American Revolution and Sons of Confederate Veterans – and representatives of other heritage organizations.

The event is free. Features include a guest speaker and firing of a military salute. We encourage the public to join us and show your patriotism. This year, former state and national legislator and presidential candidate Virgil H. Goode Jr. delivered rousing patriotic remarks, reminding of our heritage and how important it is to keep history at the forefront in today's challenging times.

      The 2018 Veterans Memorial Day observance featured a Living History Encampment featuring the 57th VA Co. B re-enactors from New York. We appreciate their annual commitment to this event.