Martinsville and Henry County (and much of “Southside” Virginia) was once THE “economic engine” for the Commonwealth. Textiles, furniture, tobacco and more. Nearby towns with familiar names such as Fieldale, Stanleytown, and Bassett are/were home for factories that produce/produced some of the finest goods in America. Hooker, American of Martinsville, Tultex, Dupont Chemical and other large manufacturers also called/call this area “home”…some still do, but they are far fewer compared to the past. There is no question this area of Virginia has fallen on sad economic times over the past two decades. Some around here sit and wring their hands and complain. Others, more optimistic, look for new developmental opportunities…and there have been many recent successes in that regard. As for me, I like to focus on the history of this area, using my camera, and here’s one example. This hotel is not the same as it once was, but as you stand looking at it, it’s not hard to visualize folks, wearing business suits, hats and ties busily walking in and out the door of a much more vibrant structure…in a much more vibrant city. The City of Martinsville is probably not going to return to what it once was…but it seems to be well on its way toward a very promising future…all built on a wonderful past. Nikon D300, processed in Lightroom 3.