“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Smyth County, Virginia

Clickable Map of Smyth County, Virginia and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Smyth County, VA (62) Bland County, VA (8) Grayson County, VA (30) Russell County, VA (13) Tazewell County, VA (29) Washington County, VA (106) Wythe County, VA (49)  SmythCounty(62) Smyth County (62)  BlandCounty(8) Bland County (8)  GraysonCounty(30) Grayson County (30)  RussellCounty(13) Russell County (13)  TazewellCounty(29) Tazewell County (29)  WashingtonCounty(106) Washington County (106)  WytheCounty(49) Wythe County (49)
Marion is the county seat for Smyth County
Adjacent to Smyth County, Virginia
      Bland County (8)  
      Grayson County (30)  
      Russell County (13)  
      Tazewell County (29)  
      Washington County (106)  
      Wythe County (49)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1 Virginia, Smyth County, Adwolfe — K-56 — Campbell's Home
Aspenvale, the home of General William Campbell, hero of King's Mountain battle, stood a few yards east of this spot. In the graveyard near by General Campbell and soldiers of five wars are buried.Map (db m209875) HM
2 Virginia, Smyth County, Adwolfe — Mountain View Plantation: Antebellum Home Of The Abijah Thomas Family
(side 1) The history of this storied house and the Thomas family entails much more than an eight-sided or octagon plantation house. According to family history, ancestors of the Abijah Thomas family were present during the initial European . . . Map (db m162857) HM
3 Virginia, Smyth County, Adwolfe — KD-18 — Village of Holston Mills
Industrialist Abijah Thomas bought a 344-acre tract in this area, including a sawmill and a grist mill, in 1844. Here ca. 1860 he and a partner opened Holston Woolen Factory, a major producer of textiles around which the village of Holston Mills . . . Map (db m209874) HM
4 Virginia, Smyth County, Chilhowie — ChilhowieStoneman at Greever’s Switch — Stoneman Raid —
Sidebar. On December 1, 1864, Union Gen. George Stoneman led 5,700 cavalrymen east from Knoxville, Tennessee, to destroy iron-, lead-, and saltworks in Virginia that were essential to the Confederate war effort. After actions at Kingsport . . . Map (db m45977) HM
5 Virginia, Smyth County, Chilhowie — K-22 — Chilhowie
About 1748, Colonel James Patton patented land here and reportedly hoped this site would one day become a town. The region became known as Town House for a house known by this name that stood nearby. By the Revolutionary War, a settlement of the . . . Map (db m45741) HM
6 Virginia, Smyth County, Chilhowie — Chilhowie Methodist Episcopal Church
This property has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the InteriorMap (db m209884) HM
7 Virginia, Smyth County, Chilhowie — K-21 — Farthest West, 1750
Near here, in 1750, Dr. Thomas Walker, on his first journey southwest, assisted Samuel Stalnaker in building his cabin. At that time his was the farthest west settlement.Map (db m45965) HM
8 Virginia, Smyth County, Chilhowie — Sulphur Springs Church and Campground1806–1893
Across the highway was a log meeting house and campground visited by Bishop Francis Asbury and early Methodist circuit riders. On this site Col. W. P. Thompson gathered his regiment in 1812. Here Elizabeth Henry Russell often worshipped and this was . . . Map (db m91062) HM
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9 Virginia, Smyth County, Chilhowie — Town House
As early as 1754 a house was built on this hill, and was used as a fort and meeting place by settlers. This is the site of the first settlement in this region.Map (db m45966) HM
10 Virginia, Smyth County, Chilhowie — Transportation Through the Ages1900–1930’s — The Carriage House —
Roads were only paths made by walking and from the passage of wagons and buggies. When the first cars came into the area, the roads were “pot-hole after pot-hole.” Sam Bonham told of riding his motorcycle around 1918 to Knoxville, . . . Map (db m46090) HM
11 Virginia, Smyth County, Groseclose — K-30 — Early Settlers
Stephen Holstein (Holston), coming here before 1748, gave his name to the river and valley. James Davis settled on this place, “Davis’ Fancy,” in 1748 and his home became a neighborhood fort.Map (db m44959) HM
12 Virginia, Smyth County, Konnarock — K 82 — Konnarock Training School (1924~1959)
Konnarock Training School, established in 1924 by the Women's Missionary Society of the United Lutheran Church in America, educated children from isolated mountain communities. Lutheran missionary Kenneth Killinger and lay leader Laura Lu Scherer . . . Map (db m159541) HM
13 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — KD-14 — “The Crying Tree”
Sarah Elizabeth “Sallie” Adams (1841-1913) was about five years old when she and her family were sold at a slave auction outside the Smyth County Courthouse. Thomas Thurman, whose house stood near here, bought Sallie to be a body servant for his . . . Map (db m209792) HM
14 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — KD-17 — Abijah Thomas (1814-1876) and His Octagonal House
Just east of here is one of the most refined examples of an octagonal house in Virginia. Built for Abijah Thomas in 1856-1857, during a surge of interest in octagonal domestic architecture, this two-story brick structure contains 17 rooms and . . . Map (db m209873) HM
15 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Annabel Morris Buchanan1888- 1983 — Marion History Walk —
Composer, musician, teacher, folklorist, and co-founder of the White Top Folk Festival 1932-1938. She was instrumental in having First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt attend the festival in 1933. Buchanan organized the Marion Monday Afternoon Music Club in . . . Map (db m209811) HM
16 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — K-26 — Battle of Marion
Here, on December 17-18, 1864, General Stoneman, raiding to Saltville, fought an engagement with John C. Breckinridge, Confederate commander in southwest Virginia.Map (db m163322) HM
17 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — KD-16 — Carnegie High School
The Rev. Amos Carnegie came to Marion by 1927 as pastor of Mount Pleasant Methodist Church. Finding the town's school for African Americans “hardly fit for a stable,” he organized a campaign for a new building. When the school board delayed, . . . Map (db m209772) HM
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18 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — K-328 — Col. Arthur Campbell
Arthur Campbell, a military and political leader, was born in Augusta County in 1743. In 1758 during the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), Campbell was captured by the Wyandot Indians aligned with the French and held captive for two years before . . . Map (db m36077) HM
19 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Col. William Elisha PetersConfederate Veteran and College Professor Reported permanently removed
Col. William Elisha Peters, 21st Virginia Cavalry, C.S.A., is buried in the cemetery to your left. He was born on August 28, 1829, in Bedford County, Virginia, attending New London Academy there, then entered Emory and Henry College in 1846, . . . Map (db m211804) HM
20 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Confederate Memorial
South side 1861 CSA 1865 [Image of a version of the great seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia] Confederate Dead West side Glory sits beside our grief. Lest We Forget North side [Image of battle flag of the Army of Northern . . . Map (db m43691) HM
21 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — D.C. Miller Law Office220 West Town Street — Marion History Walk —
The small brick building located just outside Smyth-Bland Regional Library once sat one block off Main Street at the corner of Park and Cherry streets. It was here that Marion attorney D.C. Miller, who was instrumental in securing our town as the . . . Map (db m209798) HM
22 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Engagement at MarionA Small Town Survives Reported permanently removed
Throughout 1864, Federal raids against the Confederate infrastructure in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia attempted to destroy iron and lead mines, salt works and railroads. The Virginia & Tennessee Railroad, the Confederate lifeline to the . . . Map (db m196007) HM
23 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — General Francis Marion1732-1795 — Marion History Walk —
A hero of the American Revolution, Marion would lead his band of men in sudden attacks on the British and then vanish into the swamps of Snow's Island, S.C., earning him the nickname “Old Swamp Fox”. Our town was named in his honor when it was . . . Map (db m209776) HM
24 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Governor David Campbell1779-1859 — Marion History Walk —
Native son David Campbell served as Governor of Virginia from 1837- 1841. Born August 2, 1779, Campbell was the son of John Campbell and Elizabeth McDonald Campbell. His brother, John, served as Treasurer of the United States under President Andrew . . . Map (db m209810) HM
25 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Home of Mountain Dew — Marion History Walk —
The soft drink was invented here by Bill Jones in the late 1950s. He took the original recipe, which was developed as a “chaser” for hard liquor, and added “secret” ingredients to make it into one of the top-selling soft drinks worldwide. The . . . Map (db m209774) HM
26 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Hungry Mother State Park — Marion History Walk —
One of the original six CCC parks, Hungry Mother State Park opened June 15, 1936 on land donated by local landowners. The 2,200-acre park features a 108-acre lake and swimming beach, and is home of the park system's first conference center, Hemlock . . . Map (db m209806) HM
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27 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — K-33 — Hungry Mother State Park
In 1933 local residents assisted in the creation and donated 2,000 acres of land to Virginia for the establishment of a state park in Smyth County along Hungry Mother Creek. The unusual name comes from the legend of a nearby Indian settler . . . Map (db m44985) HM
28 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — J. C. Campbell House205 West Main Street — Marion History Walk —
Campbell, founder of Marion's Spruce Pine Lumber Company (1905-1923), built this Colonial Revival styled house in 1906. The distinctive yellow brick was transported from Pennsylvania by rail, and Anton Fisher, a local mason, hand-cut the limestone . . . Map (db m209790) HM
29 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Laura Lu Copenhaver1868-1940 — Marion History Walk —
Playwright, author, lecturer and composer of hymns, Copenhaver is best remembered as the founder of the business which bore her name: a cottage industry where accomplished local weavers used handmade looms and cotton to weave quilts, drapes, . . . Map (db m209799) HM
30 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Look & Lincoln Wagon Factory1860 - 1901 — Marion History Walk —
Nathan Look and Charles Lincoln began the business in 1860 as a plow factory on the present-day site of the Calhoun-Gwyn Civitan Park located at the intersection of North Church and River Streets. They began making wagons in 1880 and in 1914 . . . Map (db m209803) HM
31 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Lt. Col. Garland York1923-1996 “The Omaha Kid” — Marion History Walk —
A native son of Marion, and the youngest pilot with the 34th Photo Recon Squadron during WWII, York flew the Lockheed P-38 on heroic low-level missions throughout the European theatre. It was York's photograph of the Normandy beaches, detailing . . . Map (db m209801) HM
32 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Mack Howard Sturgill1927 – 1998 “Historical gossip” — Marion History Walk —
World traveler, student, author, professor, avid stamp collector, Korean War veteran and genealogist. Sturgill returned to his native Marion in 1980 where his love for local history led him to author a number of books and to serve as the official . . . Map (db m209800) HM
33 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — K-34 — Marion
The community center here was known as Royal Oak, home of Arthur Campbell, frontiersman. The place became the county seat when Smyth County was formed and was named for Francis Marion, revolutionary hero. It was incorporated in 1832; the courthouse . . . Map (db m43683) HM
34 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Marion & Rye Valley Railroad1891 - 1932 — Marion History Walk —
The rail lines moved logs from the forest to the sawmill, providing a vital lick to one of our first industries. In 1928 a tourism effort labeled the line as the “Switchback Scenic Route” and tourists paid 25 cents to ride to the top of Pine . . . Map (db m209809) HM
35 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Marion 9/11 Memorial
RememberMap (db m209793) WM
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36 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Marion College1873 – 1967 — Marion History Walk —
Founded in 1873 as the Marion Female College by the Rev. J.J. Scherer. It was chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia as a liberal arts college the following year and renamed Marion Junior College in 1912. The first missionary society of the . . . Map (db m208593) HM
37 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Marion Municipal Building — Marion History Walk —
The lot where town hall now stands, 138 West Main, was once a miniature golf course! The town purchased the lot for $5,000 on November 24, 1934 and on July 5, 1935, Marion Town Council held its first meeting in the new building. Original cost to . . . Map (db m209795) HM
38 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Marion Musical Heritage Mural
1. Song of the Mountains Logo – public television concert series began in 2005 and taped at the Lincoln Theatre. Aired across America and viewed by millions of people each year. 2. Tim White – host of Song of the Mountains from the start . . . Map (db m209804) HM
39 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — KD-15 — Mount Pleasant Methodist Church
African Americans, exercising newfound autonomy after the Civil War, withdrew from white-led congregations and established new churches, including Mount Pleasant Methodist Church in Marion ca. 1871. After sharing a frame sanctuary with a local . . . Map (db m209794) HM
40 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Nolan Ryan and the Marion Mets — Marion History Walk —
Baseball's strikeout king and record-holder of seven no-hitters, Nolan Ryan pitched his very first professional baseball here with the Marion Mets in 1965. “I'll never forget that first pitch. It knocked the catcher's glove off. He had the opposing . . . Map (db m209812) HM
41 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — R.T. Greer & Company1904 – 1968 — Marion History Walk —
At one time, the company was the world's largest dealer in herbs and “natural crude medicines” and in providing jobs for mountain people. Located at 107 Pendleton Street in the heart of Marion's historic downtown district, the building is listed on . . . Map (db m209808) HM
42 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Royal Oak Presbyterian Church — Marion History Walk —
Originally worshipping in a log church erected in 1776 in the community known as Royal Oak, the congregation moved to this site on land donated by the Sheffey family in 1853. The church is the second one built on this site. Designed by C.B. . . . Map (db m209789) HM
43 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — K-24 — Royal Oak Presbyterian Church
According to tradition, the Upper Holston congregation of the Presbyterian Church was organized in 1776 on John Campbell's land at Royal Oak and built a log structure there. This was one of the first denominations to organize in present-day . . . Map (db m104671) HM
44 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Salt Kettle
Once used industrially in near-by Saltville, brine from wells was evaporated to solid salt in these kettles over wood fires. From 1790 to 1895, such salt was shipped throughout the Southeast and was the cause of important battles during the War . . . Map (db m209779) HM
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45 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Sherwood Anderson1876-1941 — Marion History Walk —
A prominent American writer, poet, playwright, political journalist and newspaper editor, Anderson authored 27 works including “Winesburg, Ohio”. In the 1920s, author and social critic H.L. Mencken called him “America's most distinctive novelist.” . . . Map (db m209796) HM
46 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — K-46 — Sherwood Anderson
Renowned author Sherwood Anderson's works influenced Faulkner, Hemingway, and other 20th century writers. Anderson was born in Camden, Ohio, on 13 Sept. 1876, moved to this area in 1926, and lived here until his death. He built his home, Ripshin, . . . Map (db m42331) HM
47 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — K-27 — Site of Colonial Home
Royal Oak, home of Arthur Campbell, Indian fighter and Revolutionary leader who settled here in 1769, stood three hundred yards south. The house was a neighborhood fort and in it, in 1832, the first court of Smyth County was held.Map (db m36073) HM
48 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Smyth County Courthouse — Marion History Walk —
The first courthouse was built in 1834 in the new town of Marion, the site of the county seat. The second courthouse, the one in use today, was completed in 1905 and first remodeled in 1974. Monuments on the lawn include a 1903 tribute to Smyth . . . Map (db m209780) HM
49 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Smyth County Museum — Marion History Walk —
Founded in 1961 by Clara Hill Carner, the museum started in an 1838 one-room schoolhouse located near MSHS Stadium. Home to countless artifacts of our rich heritage, the Smyth County Museum moved to the county's 1908 first public high school . . . Map (db m209777) HM
50 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Smyth County Revolutionary War Memorial
South Side Dedicated to the eternal memory of the American Revolutionary War soldiers and patriots from the area which in 1832 became Smyth County, Virginia, who sacrificed their lives and fortunes that we might have our freedom and . . . Map (db m43684) HM
51 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Smyth County War Memorial
South Side Dedicated by the people of Smyth County in reverent and enduring memory of her loyal sons who made the supreme sacrifice and also those who served their country in World War I World War II and the Korean Conflict Vietnam Conflict . . . Map (db m43687) WM
52 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — Southwestern State Mental Hospital340 Bagley Circle — Marion History Walk —
Opening in 1887, it was the first mental health hospital in the region. The campus was self-sufficient with cattle, horses, sheep, vegetable gardens, crops, blacksmiths, cobblers, and weavers on site.Map (db m208591) HM
53 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — UC-5 — State Fish Hatchery
This fish cultural station was established in 1930 for hatching and rearing trout for the trout waters of Virginia.Map (db m44974) HM
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54 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — The Battle of MarionDecember 17 & 18, 1864 — Marion History Walk —
During Stoneman's raid, he encountered 1,000 Confederate troops under the command of General John Breckinridge at the east end of town. The rebels held off over 5,000 Northern troops until they ran out of ammunition, causing them to yield the field . . . Map (db m209778) HM
55 Virginia, Smyth County, Marion — The Lincoln Theatre — Marion History Walk —
Built in 1929 by Marion industrialist C.C. Lincoln and his sons John D. and C.C. Jr., this moving picture palace became known as "the finest showplace in southwest Virginia.” The interior, designed to suggest a Mayan temple, is the only surviving . . . Map (db m209775) HM
56 Virginia, Smyth County, Saltville — Battle at Cedar BranchSalt Works Defended
You are standing on the Confederate battle line that stretched for more than two miles along the bluffs on this side of the North Fork of the Holston River. The Cedar Branch Creek flows into the Holston River near the ford on the North Road to . . . Map (db m61984) HM
57 Virginia, Smyth County, Saltville — History of Saltville Valley
The Saltville Valley contains fossils of large mammals that lived in North America about 13,000 years ago (during Pleistocene times). Fossils discovered here show that this valley has provided a rich environment for thousands of years. Many life . . . Map (db m91112) HM
58 Virginia, Smyth County, Saltville — KB-6 — Saltville
Saltville is named for the vast salt deposits that exist under this valley. The commercial salt industry began developing here in the 1780s. During the Civil War, Saltville played a vital role in providing salt for the Confederacy, On 2 Oct. . . . Map (db m91056) HM
59 Virginia, Smyth County, Saltville — Saltville DefensesSaltville and Salt Manufacturing
As the Confederacy's leading producer of salt, Saltville was a major Federal target. Confederate Gen. Sam Jones proposed defenses at Saltville in June 1863, and construction began that year. The defenses consisted of a half dozen earthen forts, . . . Map (db m193332) HM
60 Virginia, Smyth County, Saltville — U.S. General Stoneman's RaidThe Salt Works Partially Destroyed
During the Civil War, most Confederate states operated furnaces or contracted with operators in Saltville to supply salt for the people of their states. Salt was vital as a preservative for food. The Federal army's first attempt to destroy the . . . Map (db m193331) HM
61 Virginia, Smyth County, Seven Mile Ford — K-19 — Seven Mile Ford
The place takes its name from the highway ford on the Holston, seven miles west of Royal Oak. The land here belonged to General William Campbell, hero of Kings Mountain, 1780. It descended to the wife of John M. Preston. The town originated as a . . . Map (db m45726) HM
62 Virginia, Smyth County, Seven Mile Ford — K-20 — William Campbell’s Grave
The nearby Aspenvale Cemetery contains the grave of Brig. Gen. William Campbell, Revolutionary War soldier, militia commander, and regional political leader. Campbell was born in Augusta County, Virginia. in 1745, and by 1768 he had moved to . . . Map (db m130440) HM
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May. 30, 2023