Karen's Hallmark Shop
Karen's Hallmark Shop

325 Piedmont Drive
Danville Mall: Upper Level - Near Belk
Danville, VA 24540


Local Authors

Seeing something of himself in a struggling teenage boy, an old man faces one final challenge—and an opportunity to bring closure to a secret past. Spanning nearly nine decades, from the mountains of western Virginia, to a riverside mill town, to a farm in the Piedmont, this is a story of lives marked by tragedy, resilience, and, ultimately, the discovery of purpose and belonging.Inspired by a true story.

In 1917, two young workers at a Virginia cotton mill fall in love, share their secrets, and struggle to overcome troubled pasts.

Tobacco Barns, Preserving History in the Old Belt

The book is about a 5-year project that has repaired over 60 historic tobacco barns in Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties in Virginia and Caswell County, North Carolina. The book illustrates all of the barns that have been repaired, or are scheduled for repairs, and includes descriptions of the barns and the repairs that were completed.


Located in South Central Virginia on the North Carolina border, Danville remains one of the most dynamic destinations in the state. The geographic region that is now Danville was home to the Morotock Indians in the 1600s and frequented by traders as early as 1673. It was not until the late 1700s that the Virginia General Assembly was petitioned to establish a Tobacco Inspection Site along the Dan River. On November 23, 1793, the Assembly approved the request and decreed that 25 acres south of the river be founded as the Town of Danville. The city's first cotton mill was constructed in 1828, and five years later the town became the City of Danville. The town served as the last capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War and was also the site of the infamous "Wreck of the Old 97"—inspiration for the popular ballad. In the more than 200 years since its founding, Danville's rich history has been driven by tobacco and textile markets.

The construction of a dam in the gap of Smith Mountain in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, had been considered as early as the 1920s. However, the dam's construction did not begin until 1960. Smith Mountain Dam closed the gap completely in 1963, and Smith Mountain Lake began to fill and form behind it.

The hydroelectric dam consists of 175,000 cubic yards of concrete and has the capacity to generate 605 megawatts of electricity for up to 11 hours. Smith Mountain Dam is part of a two-dam system on the Roanoke River, and its companion dam, the Leesville Dam, is a smaller structure designed to pump water back to Smith Mountain Lake and to also generate hydroelectric power for American Electric Power (AEP) customers. Smith Mountain Lake covers 20,000 acres and has a 500-mile shoreline, which borders Franklin, Pittsylvania, and Bedford Counties.

From the August 1957 VIR race program: "The rolling Virginia hills have been painstakingly clad with an ultra-smooth skin of macadam to provide a course of great natural beauty. The superb spectator visibility is nicely equated to a road layout that will test the best in racing machines and men." In the late 1950s, a group of sports car enthusiasts dreamed of creating a first-class racing facility. The result was Virginia International Raceway, a challenging 3.2-mile course with 12 turns, 2 straightaways, and over 100 feet of elevation change. Located in southern Virginia, east of Danville and just across the North Carolina border, the track opened in 1957. During VIR's first 18 years of existence, races featured some of the top names in American motorsports including Carroll Shelby, Roger Penske, Walt Hansgen, and Richard Petty. The track also hosted numerous important events including SCCA Nationals, the President's Cup, a Trans-Am race in the first season of that circuit, as well as IMSA races in the early 1970s. Facing financial difficulties, the track shut down in 1974, and for the next 25 years VIR was a cow pasture. It was reopened in 2000 and the outstanding new facility is again one of the top racing venues in the country.

Formed in January 1777, Henry County was named for the Commonwealth of Virginia's first governor, Patrick Henry, who lived in the county from 1779 until 1784. Located along the border of North Carolina, the county was once home to the famous antebellum Hairston family. In the 20th century, textiles, furniture, and the chemical manufacturer DuPont made up the large industrial base of the county. With the recent outsourcing of jobs, the county has turned to other economic sources such as the Martinsville Speedway, Virginia Museum of Natural History, and the Bassett Historical Center, which provided most of the photographs in this book.

Patrick County

Formed in 1790, Patrick County is named for the Commonwealth of Virginia's first governor, Patrick Henry, who lived in neighboring Henry County. Located along the border of North Carolina where the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachian Range cross the state line, the "Free State of Patrick" is half piedmont and half mountain plateau. This dividing geographic feature is reflected in the mountain people of Scots-Irish and German descent along with English living below the mountain heights. This divergent population produced tobacco magnate R. J. Reynolds; Civil War general J. E. B. Stuart; Virginia governor Gerald Baliles; Virginia's highest-elected female, former attorney general Mary Sue Terry; and World Series pitcher Brad Clontz.

Around South Hill (Images of America) by [John Caknipe Jr.]

South Hill was formerly located on the old Buckhorn Road near the Meherrin River. It was the site of the first chartered school in Mecklenburg County in 1814. When the founder/teacher/minister/postmaster died in 1857, many from the community relocated 3 miles east to the Boydton-Petersburg Plank Toll Road. In 1888, W. W. "Buck" Harris, a local wheelwright and landowner at Piney Pond and Plank Road, died. At auction, 55 acres of his property were purchased, platted, and parceled for sale by A. E. Batemen and Charles Peck to establish a new South Hill community, which surrounded the Atlantic-Danville Railroad depot. Following this, South Hill became known as the town of highways. With each new highway came significant changes for the town and county.

Danville Revisited

Situated along the Dan River, Danville is known historically as a major tobacco market in the 19th century. In 1865, Danville was chosen as the last capital of the Confederacy. Prosperity returned after the war with water-powered textile mills, which ushered in a 125-year legacy of Dan River Mills. Recently discovered images take the reader back in time to see Danville as it once was--a thriving boomtown on a major railroad line. Danville features graceful houses of worship along Millionaires Row and other architecturally significant landmarks. For more than a century, local photographers captured the everyday life of Danville through images of early businesses, schools, public transportation, and local disasters such as the Wreck of the Old 97 and the 1911 cyclone. Danville Revisited showcases the rich industrial and manufacturing history of this southern Virginia city.

The Wreck of the Old 97 (Disaster) by [Larry G. Aaron]

The cause and aftermath of the horrific railway disaster, examined by an award-winning historian.

With Fast Mail train No. 97 an hour behind schedule, locomotive engineer Steve Broady, according to legend, swore to “put her in Spencer on time” or “put her in Hell.”

Through eyewitness reports and court testimonies, historian Larry Aaron expertly pieces together the events of September 27, 1903, at Danville, Virginia, when the Old 97 plummeted off a forty-five-foot trestle into the ravine below. With more twists and turns than the railroad tracks on which the Old 97 ran, this book chronicles the story of one of the most famous train wrecks in American history, as well as the controversy surrounding “The Wreck of the Old 97,” that most famous ballad, which secured the Old 97 a place within the annals of American folklore.

The much maligned and attacked tobacco industry has been beleaguered by government, health authorities, and anti-smoking advocates for years. This story does not intend to glorify tobacco but interwoven through the narrative which follows a young Carolinian's career in tobacco, it does attempt to show the industry was not "all" bad.

See the growth and economic impact of the tobacco business through the eyes of a Creedmoor, North Carolina boy who ventured all the way to Canada to grow one of the first "Virginia bright-leaf flue-cured" tobacco crops in Canada. Recognize the visionary efforts of the Universal Leaf Tobacco Company in Richmond, Virginia as they founded a successful subsidiary, the Canadian Leaf Tobacco and follow an adventuresome Tar Heel on his ascendancy to the president's office of the second largest purchaser/processor of tobacco in Canada

Sara Williams, a career nurse and single parent, tries to balance her life so that she can also care for her aging widowed father who lives fifty miles away. When he turns up missing, a drama unfolds as the local sheriff leads a search and rescue effort, knowing that every passing hour lessens the chance of survival in the rugged Blue Ridge Mountains of Floyd County. This is a love story of a father who stills mourns the loss of the love of his life, while a daughter struggles with the feeling of hopelessness for her dad's survival. A love kindled and an unexpected mystery from the mountain will take you on a weeklong journey, accompanied by an unrelenting friend, neighbors, search and rescue personnel, and the family dog. Can love, hope, and faith triumph over pain, sadness and disappointment?

In Danville, Virginia there’s a street sign on every corner. They keep drivers going in the right direction and make sure the mail gets to the right place. The street names themselves merely serve as guides along the way. But what if streets could talk? Lee Wayland, through his careful research brings Danville’s past to life in his book If Streets Could Talk. It’s as if you travel backwards in a time machine and meet people from previous generations. And as you walk with them through their lives, they are no longer distant figures. Most of all they escape the confines of the pages to live in real time, every time you turn a street corner. If Streets Could Talk gets to the heart of history because the past is not merely about events, but about people. It’s history as it should be told---the inside story that makes what went before interesting. Lee Wayland’s If Streets Could Talk not only changes the way we think about streets, but this creative look at the past is history at its best.

As American As Apple Pie by [Justin Dupont, Rita Dupont]

This is the true story of a young man, his America, and his journey from a small New England town to top secret clearance at one of the Army’s largest domestic facilities for production and storage of deadly chemical agents and munitions.
This, the author’s first work, is a retrospective of 50+ years of his life and career in the defense industry. He highlights major events which were kept from the American people and only recently available through the Freedom of Information Act. He shares conventional theories and his own personal involvement in the manufacturing of equipment that may have led to the mysterious sinking of the USS Scorpion (SSN-589) in 1968, killing its crew of 99 men. The work reveals critical events that could have brought us to the brink of domestic holocaust or all-out global nuclear war.
A must read for anyone interested in “behind the scenes” events of America’s involvement in warfare.

At fifty-three years old, Trudy Quinn finds herself trying to find reason to salvage her twenty-four year marriage gone stale. While planning for her estranged husband's return from a tour in Iraq, she's busy planning her daughter's engagement announcement while shuffling her second career as President of a non-profit organization. Everything seems to be coming together until a lost letter shows up thirty-five years late, mailed in 1975. After reading the letter, she realizes if she had received that letter on time it would have changed her life. Little does she realize, receiving that letter and her subsequent decisions would send her on an emotional collision course that is about to change her life again.