Rives S. Brown, Inc. has been a major developer in the real estate business in Martinsville and Henry County for the past 95 years. It is the oldest real estate firm still in operation to provide the needs of housing and real estate service to the area's citizens. Leadership that provides a commitment to its community has been the cornerstone of success for the company. Its history is aligned with innovative and progressive leaders of the five generations of Rives S. Brown, Inc. RSB Enterprises is the current parent company that has always benefitted from leaders who believed in more than a new home or Lanier Farm property: they believed in community.
Rives S. Brown, Sr. inherited ownership of the land where Lanier Farms remained a working farm until 1922. He was the youngest manager of the largest agricultural layout in Virginia. Previously a farmland that produced wheat and corn and former home to sheep herds, has transformed into a suburban development where people inhabit the beautiful surroundings. Brown's vision for the land continues to be a beautiful landscape for two of Martinsville's most popular neighborhoods.
In 1928 Rives S. Brown, Sr. began the development of the Druid Hills and Forest Park subdivisions. As the neighborhoods developed, the need to form the firm of Rives S. Brown, Realtor was important for the sale of the properties and undeveloped land. In the 1930's these two residential areas were strategically planned to be fashionable and convenient for nearby residents. But the development did not stop there. Foremost in the minds of the RSB developers was a plan to offer a shopping center on the edge of the Forest Park and Druid Hills properties. Under the leadership of Rives Brown, Jr. underdeveloped land, expansion of the prestigious neighborhoods, and provisions for retail and professional businesses in the shopping center flourished. The Druid Hills Centre current landlord continues to be committed to serving the tenants with the same integrity marked by the commitment established by Rives S. Brown, Sr. and Rives S. Brown, Jr. The shopping center's Southern Colonial design offers ample parking, aesthetic surroundings, and professional services to meet the needs of its neighbors.
After the untimely death of Rives S. Brown, Jr. in March 1970, Jack Dodge took the reign of leadership. Dodge was a close friend of Brown who married his cousin (Mary Brown Stone), and he also served as an attorney for the companies. At the time, there were several companies that were affiliated, yet independent of each other. Martinsville Theatre Management owned 5 theaters: Rives, Martin, 220, Family Drive In, and the Town and Country. Lanier Farms managed land properties, including Druid Hills Shopping Centre and some surrounding property; Brown's, Inc. continues to offer rentals for local uptown businesses; Lester Livestock and Grain was an independent land holding company of Lanier Farms; and Rives S. Brown, Realtor flourished during a real estate boom in the area. Dodge managed the companies for twelve years.
James "Nubby" Coleman has led the way for Rives S. Brown, Inc. to be a well-known name in Martinsville and Henry County. His mission has always been to continue the vision that began in 1928. Coleman does not take the legacy of his predecessors lightly. Under his leadership, the fourth generation of the Brown family continues to be involved in the founder's dream to offer a community that extends beyond the brick and mortar.
Coleman has stated on numerous occasions, "Neighborhoods are like people; they have a past and a future. We are committed to making contributions to the future as well as preservation of the past." He lives by the philosophy of ""service...service...service...do more than is expected and do it better than anyone."
Even with years of economic downturns, Coleman is able to sustain and build from the vision of his predecessors to help create an environment where families can continue to live and prosper. He is well known for his revitalization interests in the Martinsville/Henry County area and has been instrumental in continuing to enhance the areas that surround Forest Park, Druid Hills, uptown Martinsville, and the forestry of the area near Lake Lanier.
James "Nubby" Coleman was presented the Chamber of Commerce's Small Businessperson of the Year recognition in 2004, awarded the distinction of Real Estate Emeritus, and most recently, in September 2022, he was inducted into the Virginia Real Estate Board's Hall of Fame.
In January 2021, the Rives S. Brown, Inc. Board of Directors appointed Rives B. Coleman managing broker and president of the real estate firm. With 27 years of real estate experience, he is the fifth generation to lead the company. Coleman, like his father, is committed to the legacy established by his grandfather and great-grandfather. His appointment is a seamless transition in leadership for the real estate firm.
As a real estate firm committed to ongoing investments in these communities, Rives S. Brown Realtor continues to be recognized for its professional services, its commitment to Martinsville and Henry County, and its investment and philanthropic services to many organizations in the community. Its parent company, RSB Enterprises, is well known for its efforts to be a partner to the growth of the Martinsville and Henry County community.
For additional information about the Martinsville-Henry County area, please visit https://www.movetomartinsvilleva.com. This website provides a comprehensive list of cost of living, attractions, resources, lifestyle, and a host of information that lists benefits to our citizens.