The Town of Franklinville (Overview/Interview)
Michaela Bramwell (2020)
According to Franklinville’s mayor Perry Conner, “The portion of Highway 64 from Loflin Pond Road east to the Ramseur city limits represents the future for Franklinville.” The town is currently working to provide public water and sewer services to the area in the next few years, to create more commercial development and allow the town to truly thrive.
Franklinville’s main attraction is the Deep River, which allows for recreational canoeing and kayaking. Their development of a three-quarter-mile walking trail on an old railbed beside the river, called the Deep River Rail Trail, has also brought in more tourists looking to hike, bike, horseback ride, and fish while still being able to socially distance themselves from others. To access the trail from Highway 64, take Highway 22 North to Rising Sun Way and follow the sign that directs visitors down to the trail.
Gladly, the COVID pandemic hasn’t impacted the town to a large degree, with 80 confirmed cases and less than 5 deaths. According to Mayor Conner, “The town was impacted to a degree financially by the Governor’s executive order preventing us from charging late fees/cut-off fees to our utility customers for several months. We do not believe it has had much impact on local sales taxes due to the limited number of retail sales businesses in our town.”
Mayor Conner describes Franklinville as a “bedroom community,” a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of city life. Franklinville, NC is an old textile mill village that was built on the banks of the Deep River, located 10 miles east of Asheboro. In 1838, two mills were built beside the Deep River to take advantage of water power. The upper mill processed raw cotton and turned it into cotton thread, which was then shipped to the lower mill for fabric weaving. For 140 years, life and work in Franklinville centered around the two mills. The closing of the last mill in 1979, caused extreme economic hardship for the town and left a population of about 1150, with half living on the northside of the Deep River, and the other half living in two mobile homes on the Southside of the River, near Highway 64.