Pamplin Pipe Factory, Appomattox Co., Slideshow

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Home Industry Dies Out.

Factory production of pipes ended many years before the factory closed in 1951, in part because of newly enacted minimum wage laws that made it too costly to support a factory labor force, thus giving the economic advantage to home producers.
   After the factory closed, the home industry in the area continued for a few more years. However, with the ever-billowing popularity of cigarettes, the demand for clay pipes declined through first half of the 20th century; as a result, only a handful of people in Pamplin produced the pipes at home to fill the dwindling demand.
   By 1953, the home industry effectively ended with the death of Betty Price (left), the last Pamplin pipemaker of her era.
   In 1976, the Pamplin Pipe Factory property was bought by Raymond and Nancy Dickerson, who produced a small number of "Robert E. Lee" pipe facsimilies, while also operating a museum at the site.
   In 1980, the site was listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
   In 2009, the Dickersons sold the property to the Archaeological Conservancy. It manages the property as an archaeological preserve open to professional archaeologists with approved research proposals. DHR also holds a preservation easement on the land and buildings.