2019 Halifax County Heritage & Antique Machinery Festival

On October 24, 2018, Heritage Festival volunteers hosted the grandsons of the original mill owner.  Shown in the photo are Charlie Cole of Monroe, VA (right) and Vincent Cole of South Hill, VA (left).  The Grist Mill will be operational at this year’s Heritage Festival.

Charlie and Vincent Cole are the grandsons of Charlie Sizemore who owned and operated the original mill on Aarons Creek just off Hwy. 58 East.  Mr. Sizemore later moved the mill to his farm off Phillips Trail where he rant it until 1957/58.

The mill was donated to the Heritage Festival group by the grandchildren of Mr. Sizemore so it could be preserved as part of the history of Halifax County.

While the original building was not salvageable, as much of the original machinery and other components were salvaged and placed in storage until a day when it would be possible to build a suitable structure to showcase the machinery. Over the past 2 years volunteers have constructed a post & beam structure with a Vintage “Fitz” overshot water wheel to power the original stones and machinery from the original mill.

In October the Heritage Festival volunteers hosted Charlie and Vincent Cole at a private showing so they could see their grandfather’s mill in operation for the first time since it was shut down. They each received a bag of fresh ground meal from the day’s exhibition. They were pleased to see their grandfather’s mill back in operation!

Volunteers have worked since the last show to install the stones and the other machinery that is required to operate the stones from the water wheel. Much of this machinery is not readily visible but each piece must be properly connected and aligned so it will function as intended.

Mr. Billy Johnson of Mt Airy Roller Mill at Mt Airy, VA and Mr. Ned Lunsford of Cedar Forest Mill at Long Island, VA each provided much needed technical assistance on how to properly set up the stones to get the mill operating properly. 

The Heritage Festival Committee invites everyone to come out and witness a part of Halifax County’s history back in operation!      

The 16th Annual Halifax County Heritage and Antique Machinery Festival begins Friday, May3rdat 9:00 am and concludes Saturday, May 4th at 9:00 pm.   Plan to bring the family to see tractors, engines, and vehicles along with many antique working farm exhibits, including a sawmill and a grist mill, that all helped shape the heritage of Halifax County. 

Festival times are Friday from 9 am until 9 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm at Halifax County Fairgrounds on Hwy. 360 East, South Boston.

Food prepared by Halifax County Ruritan Club members, Halifax County Fire Department members and South Boston Lions Club members will be available for purchase all weekend.  Live bluegrass and gospel music groups are set to perform and there will be lots of old-fashioned fun for children.

An impressive display of Model A Fords will be on display as well as antique tractor displays, hit and miss engine demonstrations, vintage stock cars, meticulously restored antique cars and trucks, a Classic Car Cruise In, presented by the Tinkers Car Club, tractor parades and tractor games, and lots more. 

Admission is $7.00 per day for adults and children 12 years old and older.  Children under 12 will be admitted free.  A special two-day ticket for $10.00 each will be available Friday, May 3rd.  Anyone purchasing a two-day ticket Friday will be admitted free of charge on Saturday.    

Race fans who present a Heritage Festival wristband will receive a $5.00 discount on general admission tickets to the K&N Touring Series race Saturday evening, May 4th at the South Boston Speedway.   Fans will be required to surrender their Heritage Festival wristband at the ticket booth to receive the discount.  This promotion does not apply to advance race ticket sales. 

For more information and schedules as available, visit www.halifaxcountyheritagefestival.org

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