Gateway to Smyth County: H.L. Bonham Regional Development & Tourism Center, Chilhowie, Virginia. Start your exploration from the pioneer’s farthest point west in 1750. Discover local history from woolly mammoths to men on the moon and NASCAR to Mt. Dew. Get maps and information on attractions, lodging, restaurants and more.
Museum of the Middle Appalachians
123 Palmer Avenue, Saltville, Virginia
Gen. William Russell moved to the Salt Lick in 1788 and dug one of the first salt wells, marking the beginning of an important commercial mineral industry and company town. By the time of the Civil War, the salt works consisted of 38 furnaces boiling 2600 one-hundred-gallon kettles twenty-four hours a day. The Museum of the Middle Appalachians explores the long history of the region, in particular the attraction of prehistoric animals such as the woolly mammoth, as well as humans, to the rich deposits of minerals in Saltville.
Smyth County Historical Society and Museum
Main Street, Marion, Virginia
The Smyth County area was settled in the mid-eighteenth century and formed as a county in 1832. Thomas Hume’s land on the Middle Fork was selected as the site of a county seat, named in honor of Gen. Francis Marion of Revolutionary War fame. The museum offers a “tour through time” that interprets the economic and social development of rural Southwest Virginia with an impressive collection of artifacts from the prehistoric to the modern era.
Settlers Museum of Southwest Virginia
1322 Rocky Hollow Road, Atkins, Virginia
The Settler’s Museum, by means of a collection of historic buildings, presents the story of the different ethnic groups that migrated through and settled along the Great Road. The Visitor Center houses an exhibit entitled “The Migration Story” which explains the story of the Ulster-Scot and German migration up the Valley of Virginia.