A generally moderate climate prevails. Average temperatures: January, high of 46F and low 27F; July high of 88F low 67F. Average annual rainfall is 39 inches.
* Nottoway County's public school system includes two primary, one elementary, one intermediate, one middle, one high school, and two vocational schools which combined employ 200 classroom teachers for an overall student:teacher ratio of 15:1. During the 1996-97 school year, there were 1587 students enrolled on the elementary level and 902 on the secondary level.
* Kenston Forest School is a private school located in Blackstone. It has a student:teacher ratio of 1:12 and serves grades PreK-12. Students must perform a minimum of 10 hours of community service for each school year (grades 9-12) prior to graduation. Over 95% of graduates continue their education.
Blackstone has a seven-member Town Council headed by a mayor. A town manager oversees the daily operations of the town.
Blackstone and surrounding counties have an available work force of 32,022. The area's unemployment rate is 7.7% (May '97)
Blackstone is home to the Louis Spencer Epes Memorial Library. Located between the Blackstone Baptist Church and scenic Seay Park on Main Street. It is open about 30 hours per week, even offering a fun Friday morning reading time for pre-schoolers. The shelves are full, including an extensive "new" book shelf, an extensive research section, and even some of the latest books on tape.
The town has a medical outpatient clinic (by appointment only) run by Bon Secours. There are a number of dentists, optometrists, physical therapists, a home health care agency and several nursing/respite care facilities in the town.
Volunteer rescue squads provide around the clock emergency service which is supplemented by Southside Community Hospital (25 miles.) and St. Francis Bon Secours Hospital, Midlothian (37miles). There are two nursing homes in Blackstone, Clay's Rest Home and Heritage Hall Nursing Home.
Virginia National Guard
Adjacent to the town of Blackstone, and located in Nottoway County, is Ft. Pickett. Once an active U.S. Army base, it is now home to the Virginia Army National Guard. Many units from all branches of the military services train there throughout the year. http://vko.va.ngb.army.mil/VirginiaGuard/
Infrastructure and attractions
Nearby Fort Pickett was established by the U.S. Army in 1941 and was a very large training center during World War II. It was closed by the BRAC Commission in the 1990s and is now the headquarters for the Virginia National Guard.
The 2-year Blackstone Female Institute / Blackstone College for Girls also operated in Blackstone for many years. The late actress, Bea Arthur, of the “Golden Girls was an alumnus of this college. The buildings and grounds are now owned by the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, which uses it as the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC), drawing 19,000 visitors a year, with $9 million in renovations planned.
The Blackstone shopping district (including a Wal-Mart, medical center, and livestock market) attract customers from a large 3-county rural area. The town recently received a Main Street designation from the state, and a $1 million downtown revitalization project started in 2008.
The oldest building in town is Schwartz Tavern, built in stages from 1790 to 1840, now used as a museum.
From November to January, a local hardware store displays a giant 52 by 16 foot (17 by 5 meter) model railroad layout with hundreds of figurines. The Robert Thomas Carriage Museum, containing 24 restored, antique carriages, sleighs, and buggies, was also opened in 2007.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,687 people in Blackstone, 1,430 households, and 886 families residing in the town. The population density was 811.8 people per square mile . There were 1,581 housing units at an average density of 349.2/sq mi (134.8/km²). There were 1,430 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.06. In the town the population was spread out with 24.3% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 21.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years.
The 308 square mile Nottoway County lies in the Piedmont physiographic province. Elevations range from 200 feet above sea level to 600 feet above sea level. Drainage is provided by the Nottoway and Little Nottoway Rivers, and the Deep, Flat and Namozine Creeks.