1-877-347-8307

Intersection of Interstates 77 and 81

in Southwest Virginia

cvb@wytheville.org

HISTORICAL ATTRACTIONS

Founded in 1790, Wythe County was named for the first signer of the Declaration of Independence for Virginia – George Wythe. Early settlement can be credited to the access to water (the New River and many creeks) and the abundance of natural resources, including lead. One hundred acres was selected as the county seat in 1792 and Evansham, now Wytheville, became the central town.

 

The history of the area patterns the history of the nation with many interesting events, legends, and characters along the way. Begin your historical tour at the Thomas J. Boyd Museum and then continue with the Haller-Gibboney Rock House Museum. Medicine, the Civil War, and polio’s unique impact are a few of the topics covered. The Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum depicts the mid-20th century era with its unique look at transportation. The region’s only African American Heritage Museum is located within the Wytheville Training School Cultural Center and has an emphasis on education through photographs and exhibits. Five locations on the Virginia Civil War Trails mark the route of Toland’s Raid and offer a beautiful scenic drive between locations.

 

Also located in the historic district, the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum shares the story of First Lady Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, From Wytheville to the White House. Exhibits chronicle her Virginia heritage as well as influential aspects of her years as First Lady.

 

Overlooking the New River, the Historic Shot Tower was built more than 150 years ago to make ammunition for the firearms of the early settlers. Lead from the nearby Austinville Mines was melted in a kettle atop the 75-foot tower and poured through a sieve, falling through the tower and an additional 75-foot shaft beneath the tower into a kettle of water. A nearby monument honors native son Stephen F. Austin who would later be known as the “Father of Texas”.

 

Steeped in history and legend, Major Graham Mansion and The Mansion at Fort Chiswell are located minutes from I-77 and 81 and are open seasonally for special events and tours.

 

In neighboring Bland County, Wolf Creek Indian Village & Museum has meticulously reconstructed wigwams to match the layout of an excavation dating to 1215 A.D. Guides demonstrate living skills through the use of handmade replicas of tools and containers, hides, and various crafts.

African American Heritage Museum Edith Bolling Wilson Museum
Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum Haller-Gibboney Rock House Museum
Thomas J. Boyd Museum Wytheville Wolf Creek Indian Village and Museum entrance sign

GENEALOGY

 

Wythe County Genealogical

& Historical Association

165 S. 11th Street

M/Tu, 12-5p; WThF 10a-4p

276-228-2445

www.wythecogha.org

 

Wythe/Grayson Public Library

300 East Monroe Street, Wytheville

Mon-Thurs, 9a-8p; Fri, 9a-6p; Sat, 9a-3p

276-228-4951

119 North Greever Street, Rural Retreat

Tu/F, 10a-6p; W/Th, 11a-7p; Sat, 10a-4p

276-686-8337

 

Wytheville Community College

Kegley Library

1000 East Main Street

M-F 8a-5p, call for appointment

276-223-4876

 

Wythe County Courthouse

345 South Fourth Street

M-F 8:30a-5p • 276-223-6050

 

Wythe County Historical Society Library

(within Wytheville’s Heritage Center)

115 West Spiller Street

M/W, 10a-4p; Th, 12-3p

Call for appointment

276-228-6061

HISTORICAL ATTRACTIONS

Founded in 1790, Wythe County was named for the first signer of the Declaration of Independence for Virginia – George Wythe. Early settlement can be credited to the access to water (the New River and many creeks) and the abundance of natural resources, including lead. One hundred acres was selected as the county seat in 1792 and Evansham, now Wytheville, became the central town.

 

The history of the area patterns the history of the nation with many interesting events, legends, and characters along the way. Begin your historical tour at the Thomas J. Boyd Museum and then continue with the Haller-Gibboney Rock House Museum. Medicine, the Civil War, and polio’s unique impact are a few of the topics covered. The Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum depicts the mid-20th century era with its unique look at transportation. The region’s only African American Heritage Museum is located within the Wytheville Training School Cultural Center and has an emphasis on education through photographs and exhibits. Five locations on the Virginia Civil War Trails mark the route of Toland’s Raid and offer a beautiful scenic drive between locations.

 

Also located in the historic district, the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum shares the story of First Lady Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, From Wytheville to the White House. Exhibits chronicle her Virginia heritage as well as influential aspects of her years as First Lady.

 

Overlooking the New River, the Historic Shot Tower was built more than 150 years ago to make ammunition for the firearms of the early settlers. Lead from the nearby Austinville Mines was melted in a kettle atop the 75-foot tower and poured through a sieve, falling through the tower and an additional 75-foot shaft beneath the tower into a kettle of water. A nearby monument honors native son Stephen F. Austin who would later be known as the “Father of Texas”.

 

Steeped in history and legend, Major Graham Mansion and The Mansion at Fort Chiswell are located minutes from I-77 and 81 and are open seasonally for special events and tours.

 

In neighboring Bland County, Wolf Creek Indian Village & Museum has meticulously reconstructed wigwams to match the layout of an excavation dating to 1215 A.D. Guides demonstrate living skills through the use of handmade replicas of tools and containers, hides, and various crafts.

African American Heritage Museum Edith Bolling Wilson Museum
Haller-Gibboney Rock House Museum
Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum
Thomas J. Boyd Museum Wytheville Wolf Creek Indian Village and Museum entrance sign