Mecklenburg County had townships?

La Crosse on Google Maps (accessed 8 Jun 2022)

My friend looked at the VDOT map of Mecklenburg and wondered what the difference was between the shaded town areas and the rectangles. We investigated and learned that the dotted rectangle areas are magisterial districts. Then my friend discovered townships listed on the Library of Virginia website! I went back to my last post, and deleted the sentence “Virginia does not have townships.” I believe Virginia first had townships as part of the reconstruction period. But it is also possible for a place in Virginia to be a township today, which I will explain in this post.

Reconstruction in Virginia would have included many expensive undertakings, such as rebuilding roads, railroads, and bridges that were destroyed during the war. Education for children cost money, with parents paying all expenses. This excluded education for those who could not afford it. The Freedmen’s Bureau included funding for education of all newly freed enslaved, and all people of color. Public schools for white children began during this same time period. Newspapers at this time reported very heated debates over who should pay for education: parents, or use tax money?

  1. Christiansville
  2. Buckhorn
  3. South Hill
  4. Bluestone
  5. Boydton
  6. Flat Creek
  7. Clarksville
  8. Palmers Springs

This map below was created in 1870, the same year as this 1870 Census image above. Note that the map shows this area as South Hill, which matches the heading on this Census page. Today this area is in the Bracey magisterial area.

My Ancestor John Gray, and his wife Sarah Jones lived in this circled area, which is Hall Rd, near the intersection of Nellie Jones Rd.

There are currently no townships in Mecklenburg. Townships only existed for four years in the county’s history, during the reconstruction time period. The townships that became magisterial districts in 1874 are not the same as today. The railroad had not yet crossed the county in 1870. The map below shows the projected rail road path. South Hill, La Crosse and Brodnax were not yet towns. Those townships in 1870 defined areas, and a map was created to show those defined areas. Today, towns and magisterial districts are the only defined areas in Mecklenburg County.

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