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The Pamplin Pipe Factory site in Appomattox County contains the archaeological remains of several consecutive periods of clay pipe manufacture.
   Tradition holds that pipemaking there began as early as the 1740s when the first European settlers arrived in the area. As a home based industry, pipe production continued through the years, with pipemakers using local clays to make pipes of various styles.
   Between 1878 and 1880, E.H. Merrill Co., of Akron, Ohio, founded
the Pamplin Pipe Factory, which operated well into the 20th century.
   The factory was equipped with foot-powered pipe-making machines that used interchangeable metal molds to produce a variety of pipe styles. Although the factory and home producers used some of the same styles of molds, they also had their own unique ones as well.
   Pipes produced at Pamplin were shipped to outlets and customers across the U.S. In 1935 the factory purported to produce one million pipes per month. By 1952, however, Pamplin Smoking Pipe and Manufacturing Co. was dissolved.
   Today the site is a permanent archaeological preserve owned and maintained by The Archaeological Conservancy. It is closed to the public unless a visitor is accompanied by a conservancy staff member.


Map by Dominic Bascone, DHR