Monday, May 9, 2016

Sights Along the Road – SW Virginia

Continuing with our 3 day anniversary trip up to southwest Virginia…
Moving on from our lunch in Galax Virginia, we continued east on US Hwy. 58 to the town of Hillsville.

This is the Carroll County Courthouse in Hillsville.  FYI, this town was appropriately named, that’s for sure.  The old downtown area sits high on a hill… As a matter of fact, 80% of the county lies within the Appalachian Mountain range.

The courthouse was built between 1870 and 1875.  It’s a 2-story brick building with a gable roof that features a 2-story Doric portico.  Finally, the building is topped by an octagonal cupola.  The building is the home for the Carroll County Historic Society and Museum.  To learn more go to:

In 1912, this courthouse was the scene of a sensational courthouse shootout that left a judge, prosecutor, sheriff, and two others dead, although the validity of the conviction has been source of debate within Carroll County for decades.
This courthouse was the scene of the infamous Hillsville massacre that took place on March 14, 1912.  A total of 5 persons, including the presiding judge, the Sheriff and the Commonwealth’s Attorney were killed in a courtroom battle as the judge attempted to sentence Floyd Allen, the patriarch of a prominent (and notorious) local family, to 1 year in prison.  This is one of the rare incidents in American history when a criminal defendant attempted to avoid justice by assassinating the trial judge.  It’s a wild story!  To learn more, just click on  

When we pulled up the street looking for the courthouse, we couldn’t see it at first.  The view was blocked by this very old, impressive and large structure.

The Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home was originally built as a 2-story, Flemish brick residence on a raised brick basement ca. 1857 for Captain Fielden L. Hale.  However it soon became a store and residence when Hale sold it to James Wilkinson in 1860.  Mr. Wilkinson operated the store out of the first floor facing Main Street adjacent to the courthouse.  Finally, this building is most associated with George L. Carter, a local businessman who was primarily responsible for the early economic prosperity of southwest Virginia and east Tennessee.

After the last of the Carter clan died in 1957, the building was used for a time as offices for county government.  The building is now under the protection of the Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home Foundation Inc.  As such the first 3 floors have been rehabilitated with additional refurbishment yet to come.  The building hosts meetings and celebrations and there is a gift shop.  For more information go to  

From Hillsville, it was into the mountains and foothills along the Blue Ridge of Virginia.  At the higher elevations, there wasn’t much greenery yet but there was the promise of spring in the air…

After crossing the Blue Ridge and its Parkway, we turned north on VA Hwy. 8 toward Woolwine Virginia.  Along the way we noted the Jack’s Creek Covered Bridge just a bit down a side road.  This 48-foot covered bridge was constructed with oak and was built in 1914.
Virginia's Covered Bridges…also known as "kissing bridges"…numbered more than 100 back in the early 1900s.  That number dwindled down to about 50 in the mid-1930s.  Today, only 7 authentic timber-covered bridges survive.  Only 4 of them are on public land and all of them have been preserved as landmarks.

Wouldn’t you love to have this creek running through your property?!  This is Jack’s Creek in Patrick County Virginia.

We took a photo of this simple yet beautiful stone house just because it’s old, handsome and built to last!   Virginia is loaded with great looking old homes that aren’t listed as historic places…but they’re great eye candy.

I thought that I’d conclude this posting with the “pause that refreshes”.  This former Coca-Cola Bottling Plant is part of Rocky Mount Virginia’s expansive historic district.  This building was built sometime before 1928, the first year that it showed up on a map.   We have a particular attachment with Coca-Cola as my mother’s sister was married to a key executive and my mother’s late in life living expenses and medical costs were covered by her sister…thereby relieving us of a family need and enabling us to retire.

Did you know that by the beginning of the 1920’s, over more than 1,000 Coca-Cola bottlers were operating in the U.S.A.!  That number continued to grow over the decades.  Older readers will remember those old iconic glass bottles.  Until the early 1960s, the name of the town where Coke was bottled was imprinted or embossed on the bottoms of these bottles.  Many collectors are intent on getting every variant of those bottles.  A veteran from Georgia has accumulated bottles from 1,200 of the 1,450 different towns he has identified that bottled Coca-Cola!

That’s about it for now… Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Such a pretty area and similar to driving around most of WV. I enjoy following along on your tours.

  2. Oh My Goodness, That is my stomping ground. Wish I had have known you were headed in that area 'cause I would have told you some places to visit. I grew up a little west of where you were, in Big Stone Gap. I also lived in Marion for awhile during my first marriage. I've been all over the Mt. Rogers area. Did you get to Hungry Mother State Park? How 'bout the Breaks of the Cumberland? That southwest VA area of our country is so pretty.... Big Stone Gap has the outdoor drama, "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" which is excellent... SORRY I didn't know you were going. Next time you head that way, let me know and I'll give you some thoughts...

    By the way, southern KY is a beautiful area also if you haven't been there. We love the Cumberland Gap/Middlesboro area --where 3 states merge... There's a neat state park there, Pine Mountain. Then if you go east a bit in KY, Kingdom Come State Park is pretty... To the west is Cumberland Falls State Park (beautiful waterfall).....

    AND--as Big Dude said, West VA is also a great state with lots of beauty. We love these areas because they are more natural and not 'touristy' areas like Gatlinburg.

    Hope you enjoyed my 'stomping grounds'...

  3. That Floyd Allen story is really interesting. Movie material there!

  4. Love this Coca Cola building, ha! I know, I know but always love Coca cola design and have many things with this. :)
    And my son the same :)