Martinsville, founded by Native American Revolutionary War general Joseph Martin, began as a part of the larger Henry County. Martinsville, though recognized as a separate town, wasn't officially independent of Henry County until 1928. The most significant moment in establishing Martinsville in early history as a separate area was the renaming of the Henry County Courthouse, which was built after Henry County spilt from Patrick County. In 1928, a chemical manufacturing plant was built in Martinsville, leading it to declare itself as a separate city.
Martinsville has been a very prominent tobbacco farm town since the early days of settlement. Henry County and the Martinsville area were known as the "plug tobbacco capital of the world", until the Civil War ended and the local farming economy collapsed. In its place, bigger tobbacco companies stepped in, making Henry County and Martinsville still a large player in the tobbacco industry, but no longer was it family run.
For over a century, the furniture industry has also been a huge part of Henry County and Martinsville. Virginia furniture makers still reside in the area today, but the most prominent industry now in Martinsville is the manufacturing of chemicals.
Points of Interest:
--Preston Ridge Winery
--Virginia Museum of natural History