Bedford, VA: The Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce announced on March 8, 2023 that it will be purchasing the land that its office is built upon from the Town of Bedford. In order to fund this purchase, the Chamber has launched a commemorative brick fundraising campaign, with current plans to install the engraved bricks around its office’s sidewalks at the conclusion of Phase Three.
Located in historic downtown Bedford and within walking distance of museums, restaurants, shopping, and other Centertown establishments, the Chamber office has been a permanent fixture in the Bedford community for almost 50 years. However, the Bedford Chamber’s history of influencing economic and community prosperity in the Bedford area stretches far before the construction of its main office.
In 1925, the Bedford Board of Trade voted to change its name to the Bedford Chamber of Commerce and received its incorporation on October 7, 1939, with the latter date being celebrated as the Bedford Chamber’s official anniversary.
Before the construction of its main office, the Bedford Chamber met at various locations around Bedford, including the basements of its various member businesses. Even without a permanent location, the Bedford Chamber served as an economic developer, tourism and information center, and membership organization for the Bedford area. The Bedford Chamber played a major part in attracting and developing Rubatex, Sam Moore Furniture, SML State Park, The Peaks of Otter Restaurant & Lodge, Bedford Memorial Hospital, and more.
Eventually, local leaders determined a need for a Bedford Chamber “headquarters.” The ground at the Chamber’s permanent office was broken on August 28, 1973, during a ceremony featuring representatives from the Bedford Chamber, Bedford County Board of Supervisors, and the Mayor of what was then the City of Bedford.
At the 1978 Annual Dinner, Otis Lindamood, J.J. Morgan, Jr., and Onyx Bolling burnt the note to pay off the final building loan of the beloved office at 305 E. Main Street, where the Chamber has based its operations ever since.
Special thanks to the following businesses and community members for generously helping the Bedford Chamber meet its goal of $10,000 for Phase One in early August 2023 by purchasing a commemorative brick:
- Wyatt Walton
- Patrick Gatti
- Patti Jurkus
- Bedford Area Welcome Center
- Wooldridge Heating, Air, & Electrical
- CMA's of Lynchburg Dealership
- Case Pieterman & Randy Patterson
- April Dodgen Stephenson
- Jane F. Morgan
- Pinnacle Financial Partners
- Sam Moore Furniture
- Watts Creative Studios
- Jeanette Richardson
- Roslyn Reynolds
- Foster Fuels
- Scott & Bond
- Tom Woodford
- Penny Carter
On September 14, 2023, the Past Chair, Mary Jo Boone, kicked off the Phase Two at the Annual Gala by purchasing the first brick of the night for the Bedford Area Family YMCA and immediately claiming a second for the Boone family. By the end of the night, the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce received $6,000 in verbal pledges from attendees!
Already over halfway toward the Phase Two goal of an additional $10,000, the Bedford Chamber could not be more grateful to its membership and the many partners, friends, and leaders who have helped further secure its future.
Community members and area businesses are encouraged to become a permanent part of Bedford’s history by supporting the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to purchase its office’s land. This is an opportunity to leave a permanent mark on our community or to recognize someone with a donation that will last a lifetime. Please consider purchasing an engraved brick for yourself, your family, the memory of a loved one, a community volunteer, or a business.
To purchase your commemorative brick, checks can be dropped off or mailed to 305 E. Main St. Please make all checks out to "Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation." In the memo line, please write, "Contribution to land purchase." Paper registration forms can be found in our office. You can also request a pdf of the registration form by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Your contribution to the land purchase campaign is tax deductible.