Wythe County

Wythe County is approximately 460 square miles with a population of 29,235. There are more than 127 churches located throughout Wythe County, with a wide variety of doctrines and styles, to help the individual find an opportunity for worship that is closely suited to his or her personality and beliefs. The natural grandeur of Wythe County’s mountains, the scenic beauty of the New River that flows through it, and the diverse richness of its woodlands are unsurpassed and, for centuries, have charmed residents and tourists alike. For more information contact our Chamber of Commerce.



Fort Chiswell House and McGavock Cemetery

325 Factory Outlet Dr., Max Meadows, Virginia

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One of the most recognizable landmarks in Southwest Virginia, the house popularly known as Fort Chiswell Mansion was finished in 1840 for two brothers—Stephen McGavock (1807–1880) and Joseph Cloyd McGavock (1813–1886). The house has a fine Flemish bond facade, a two-story portico, unusual stepped gable parapets, and a fine staircase on the interior. Today, the Mansion at Fort Chiswell shares its rich history, promoting local and regional tourism, supporting educational programs, and contributing to the growth and success of local and regional artists. The walled McGavock Cemetery contains a rich collection of Germanic carved stones.

Matthews Living History Farm Museum

496 White Pine Road, Galax, Virginia

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Grayson County was settled in the mid-eighteenth century. The upper portions of the New River Valley were not easy to reach due to the difficult geography. The Grayson-Raleigh Turnpike, constructed in the 1850s, connected Grayson County with more distant markets. The Matthews Living History Museum was founded to preserve the cultural heritage of upper New River Valley farm life by presenting its artifacts, tools, equipment, methods and skills.

Carroll County Historical Society and Museum

515 North Main Street, Hillsville, Virginia

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Hillsville was laid out in 1842 to serve as the seat of newly-founded Carroll County. The historic Carroll County Courthouse, home of the Carroll County Historical Society and Museum, presents the rich history of the county and its communities. Early Native American artifacts recovered from a nearby archaeological site are on display. The historic courthouse was the site of a famous courtroom shooting in March 1912.

E. Lee Trinkle Visitor Center

975 Tazewell Street, Wytheville, Virginia

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The E. Lee Trinkle Visitor Center is a great place to obtain information about cultural and recreational opportunities in the area. The Willowbrook Jackson/Umberger Homestead Museum next door helps visitors understand rural life in the region. A historic gas station, built by Herbert R. Umberger in 1926, embodies a later period of cross-country migration. Originally called the “Lakes to Florida Service Station,” the building contains a small museum that interprets early twentieth-century transportation along Rt. 23, then known as the Great Lakes to Florida Highway.

Haller-Gibboney Rock House and Thomas J. Boyd Museum

205 and 295 E. Tazewell Street, Wytheville, Virginia

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The town of Evansham, later named Wytheville, was established in 1790 as the seat of Wythe County, located on the Great Road. The Haller-Gibboney Rock House has played a significant role in Wytheville’s history since its construction in 1823. Original owner Dr. John Haller served his community as a country doctor, county coroner, and delegate to the Virginia Legislature. The house, together with the nearby Thomas J. Boyd Museum, exhibits original artifacts and period furnishings to interpret the settlement and development of the historic town. The exhibit includes objects uncovered in excavations at the nearby site of Fort Chiswell.

Shot Tower State Historical Park

283 Pauley Flatwoods Road, Austinsville, VA 24312

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An important lead mine was developed near here as early as 1757 and served as a principal source of lead during the American Revolution. Stephen F. Austin, who moved west and became known as “the Father of Texas,” was born at the mines in 1793. The tall limestone Shot Tower, dating from before 1800, was built into the bluff along the New River above a seventy-five-foot deep shaft. Lead was hoisted to the top of the tower, melted, and then poured through a sieve. The lead droplets hardened into round shot during the 150-foot descent into a kettle of water near the river’s edge.