September 15, 2003
The Clarkton Bridge Alliance
Halifax, Virginia 24558
Attention: Carl Espy, P.K. Petus, Dan Shaw
The Halifax County Department of Tourism supports the efforts of the Clarkton Bridge Alliance to preserve and restore this historic site. It is the belief of this office that the restoration of this bridge will serve the interests of both Halifax and Charlotte counties in their efforts to promote and develop tourism opportunities.
Tourism is becoming increasingly an economic strength and one that Southside Virginia must uphold to sustain the efforts to develop broad based economic growth. What will define Southside Virginia are our unique resources and the ability to offer activities unavailable in other areas of the state. Travel industry studies have shown that heritage and ‘nature’ tourism are the fastest growing segments of the travel industry. Halifax County is positioned beautifully to take advantage of this interest and growth and we must be proactive in our efforts to develop our assets.
As concerned citizens we must be conscientious in our efforts to save, preserve and utilize structures such as the Clarkton Bridge. Our historical, cultural and natural resources offer tremendous opportunities for the citizens of Halifax and Charlotte Counties and the Clarkton Bridge is an outstanding example of the passion and enthusiasm of its citizens and their efforts to preserve this site for future generations.
The Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Governors office are increasingly becoming focused and vocal on tourism growth in Southside Virginia. They have seen the potential for tourism and the valve economically to this area and we must be prepared and positioned to take advantage of this interest. In 2004 the last phase of the Birding and Wildlife Trial will be completed through our region and the Clarkton Bridge is positioned to be an integral part of that trail.
The Clarkton Bridge represents the best of rural Southside Virginia. It is historical; it offers natural resources and it offers recreational opportunities. It is in our best interests to see that all avenues are explored and efforts made to restore the bridge. Its potential to this region can not be diminished and it is an asset we can not ignore.
Linda H. Shepperd
Halifax County Director of Tourism