“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Whitetop in Grayson County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)


Mt. Rogers


—The Crooked Road — Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail —

Whitetop / Mt. Rogers Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 26, 2013
1. Whitetop / Mt. Rogers Marker
Inscription. Click to hear the inscription.  Whitetop, Mt. Rogers. Visible at great distances, Whitetop Mountain was known as the “Meadow Mountain” in colonial times. With a climate similar to southern Canada, this beloved mountain is Virginia’s second highest peak and immediately adjacent is Mount Rogers, the highest peak in the state. The Whitetop community hosts three annual festivals: the Mountain Maple Festival, the Sorghum Molasses Festival, and the Ramp Festival, devoted to consuming the odoriferous ramp, a form of wild garlic. This is also a favorite region for outdoor recreation. There are numerous trails for horseback riders, mountain bikers, and hikers, one of which is The Appalachian Trail. The summit of Whitetop is accessible by automobile and offers scenic views and picnic settings.

There’s a tradition of making musical instruments here, and Albert Hash made elaborately carved violins as well as other instruments using native woods. The red spruce, that grows at the peak of the mountains, is a prized tone wood for violins, guitars, and other fretted instruments. Hash was an inspiration to both musicians and craftspeople. He created a program in string band
Whitetop / Mt. Rogers Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 26, 2013
2. Whitetop / Mt. Rogers Marker
instruction at the Mount Rogers School, Virginia’s smallest high school. Other noted historic musicians from the Whitetop area include: Harold Hensley, Speedy Tolliver, and Jont Blevins. The historic Whitetop Folk Festival held in the 1930s attracted large audiences, national publicity, and a First Lady, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. They came to see singers of old ballads, flat foot dancers, and musicians, including fiddlers, banjo players, and lap dulcimer players.

The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Coalfields region, southwest Virginia is blessed with historic and contemporary music venues, musicians, and fretted instrument makers. Historically isolated, the region retained its strong musical legacy by passing traditions down through musical families to an appreciative community.

Old time mountain music, bluegrass, and gospel can be enjoyed all year long and several museums are devoted to showcasing the area’s rich musical heritage.

The Crooked Road winds through the ruggedly beautiful Appalachian Mountains and leads you to the major hotspots of old time mountain music, country music, and bluegrass. Alive and kickin’ for today’s fans, these venues preserve and celebrate musical traditions passed down through generations. Annual festivals, weekly concerts, radio shows, and jam sessions ring
Whitetop / Mt. Rogers Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 26, 2013
3. Whitetop / Mt. Rogers Marker
out to large audiences and intimate gatherings. Please visit the Crooked Road website to plan your trip to coincide with the current entertainment events.
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail marker series.
Location. 36° 36.937′ N, 81° 36.051′ W. Marker is near Whitetop, Virginia, in Grayson County. Marker is on HIghlands Parkway (U.S. 58) just from Old Park Road (County Route 754), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 16164 Highlands Pkwy, Whitetop VA 24292, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. White Top Folk Festival (approx. 1.2 miles away); Christmas Tree Farms (approx. 1.8 miles away); “Virginia Creeper” Railroad (approx. 1.8 miles away); Green Cove Station (approx. 2.4 miles away); “Maud Bows to The Virginia Creeper” (approx. 2.4 miles away); John Deere Mower Model 2 (approx. 6.1 miles away); Grayson County (approx. 6.1 miles away); North Carolina / Virginia (approx. 8.3 miles away in North Carolina). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Whitetop.
More about this marker. The Whitetop / Mr. Rogers panel has a photograph of Albert Hash
The Crooked Road image. Click for full size.
4. The Crooked Road
on the upper left. Center left has a photograph of “horseback riding on Mount Rogers” and lower left is a photograph with “First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Musicians.” The Crooked Road panel shows The Carter Family on the upper right, Dr. Ralph Stanley in the center right and a map of western Virginia showing stops on The Crooked Road and “You are Here.”
Also see . . .
1. Whitetop Mountain Wikipedia Entry. “ The mountain is also unique for the fact that it represents an ecological ‘island’ of flora and fauna commonly found much further north than Virginia, such as old growth red spruce and other northern softwoods.” (Submitted on February 2, 2014.) 

2. Mount Rogers Wikipedia Entry. “Mount Rogers ... with a summit elevation of 5,729 feet (1,746 m) above mean sea level ... is the northernmost habitat of the high-altitude Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forests, which are found in only five other locations in the United States.” (Submitted on February 2, 2014.) 

3. Albert Hash Memorial Festival. (Submitted on February 2, 2014.)
4. Video: Albert Hash, Emily Spencer, and Thornton Spencer play “Johnson Boys”.
Albert Hash and the Whitetop Mountain Band play Johnson Boys, recorded in the 1970s by Ronald Taylor. (Submitted on February 2, 2014.) 

5. Artist Biography: Albert Hash. by Eugene Chadbourne on “This veteran string band performer was a founding member of the Whitetop Mountain Band as well as a recording artist in his own right. He was also a skilled instrument maker whose work inspired generations of craftsmen in the Appalachians. His fiddling and repertoire of tunes in what is known as the Grayson County style was also a massive inspiration to other musicians in an area of Virginia that has become synonymous with old-time string music.” (Submitted on February 2, 2014.) 

6. 2007 Video: Speedy Tolliver & New Old-Time String Band. At the 2007 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. (Submitted on February 2, 2014.) 
Categories. Arts, Letters, Music
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 2, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 344 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 2, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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