The History of Boydton Virginia

Boydton was founded in 1812 by Alexander Boyd who owned the property and designed the town. Many of the town’s streets are named for the patriotic heroes of the War of 1812. The town was incorporated in 1834, and it became the center of Mecklenburg County government.

Original-Mecklenburg-County-Courthouse

Original Mecklenburg County Courthouse

The Greek-Revival style courthouse with its pedimented portico of six columns was influenced by the Jeffersonian period of construction.

The Boydton area was an early horse-breeding region in America, and the race course property was sold in 1830 to the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church that built Randolph-Macon College, the oldest chartered Methodist college in the United States. After the civil war, the school as well as the entire South fell on hard times and the school was moved to Ashland, VA. The west wing wall is all that remains.

Many of the historical buildings are being used today. The United Boydton Methodist Church, a Jacob Holt designed building, owns the Washington Tavern which was, originally, the office for the stagecoach line to Petersburg. The Boyd Tavern was a center for food and lodging for the faculty, students, and families of Randolph-Macon College as well as for the horse-racing crowd. The Williams and Goode Bank Building, built in 1908, is an excellent example of Neo-classical design, a style not prevalent in rural Virginia. The interior was destroyed by fire in 2000, leaving the exterior walls. After discussions to raze the remains, a cry went up from the residents of Boydton to save it because it is a major contributor to the town’s nationally listed historic district. It was decided that it would be in the best interest of the region to rebuild the interior, using the existing façade. Today, it stands as a shinning reminder of a spirited community effort.

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Sketch of Randolph Macon College

The Boydton and Petersburg Plank Road, used by horse-drawn wagons carrying tobacco in hogsheads to the market and by stagecoach traffic, was an early means of transportation. This road passed by the Presbyterian Meeting House, the oldest church in Boydton, which was built about 1820.

Boydton, today, is the county seat of Mecklenburg County government. The last Saturday in October is known as Boydton Day. The fall festival became known when U.S. News and World Report (Nov. 21, 1977) called it, “The Little Town that Refuses to Die.”

Boydton is located in the heart of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and is two miles from Kerr Lake and Dam which is locally known as Buggs Island Lake, a home to the world-famous bass fishermen tournaments and to the camping, swimming, skiing, hiking, and boating enthusiasts.

Boydton-History

Washington Street

Boydton-Train-Depot

Boydton Train Depot