TAZEWELL, Va. — Love was in the air on Valentine’s Day at the Tazewell Train Station and Visitors Center Friday morning.
A LOVEwork sign dedication ceremony was held as part of a state and local partnership to promote travel and tourism as well as capitalize on the state’s “Virginia is for Lovers” program.
Tazewell’s sign is the 208th now displayed in towns and cities across the commonwealth.
“We wanted the Tazewell Train Station LOVEwork to reflect the uniqueness of the Tazewell and North Tazewell community,” said Robin R. Brewster, executive assistant for the Town of Tazewell. “Virginia is for Lovers is about loving what makes our state and our community unique.”
Tazewell Vice Mayor Terry Mullins, chair of the committee to restore the train station, explained what the letters in LOVE symbolize.
The “L” highlights the fact that Tazewell was at one time the smallest town in America with an electric street car, he said, and the trolly ran from the station to Main Street carrying visitors and commerce through town.
“The ‘O’ replicates the Town Seal reminding us of our Bulldogs, our peak, our farming and coal heritage, and the importance of education and recreation in our community,” he said.
Mullins said the “V” says the community has also served as the county seat since its formation in 1799 and the town’s founding in 1800, and the “E” points out that the Clinch Valley Line of the Norfolk Southern Railroad runs right through the town and the Tazewell Train Station was an important spot on that route.
Mullins also said the brick depot on which the LOVEwork is displayed is the only remaining brick station on the modern Clinch Valley Line and it now serves the Tazewell community as a meeting place and visitors center.
The train station was built in 1928, sat empty for 40 years after it was closed and the restoration project started in 2014 and was finished last year.
Amanda Hoops, executive director of Tazewell Today, a local non-profit revitalization organization, said they strive to complete projects like the restoration and the LOVEwork sign, both valuable in promoting tourism.
“We do have a great effort happening right now to revive our history and bring things back the way the were,” she said. “People should really take a tour of the train station and look at the old photos on the wall.”
Hoops said many of the residents’ ancestors “passed through this station.”
Brewster said visitors to the Tazewell Train Station & Visitor Center LOVEwork “are encouraged to take pictures with it and share them on Facebook at Facebook.com/VirginiaisforLovers and on Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #LOVEVA and #visitTtown.”
Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia, according to the Virginia Tourism Corp. In 2018, tourism generated $26 billion in revenue, supported 234,000 jobs and provided $1.8 billion in state and local taxes for the commonwealth.
A full list of LOVEworks can be found at Virginia.org/LOVE.
— Contact Charles Boothe at email@example.com