Registered Historic Landmarks in Tazewell County


The following are the Tazewell County entries in the book, published by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, which describes every state- and federally-recognized historic landmark in Virginia. Since the last edition was published, three new landmark properties have been approved: Tazewell Historic District, Town of Tazewell, 12/5/01, Walter McDonald Sanders House, Bluefield, 9/11/02; and the Captain James Moore Homestead and Archaeological Site, Abbs Valley, 9/11/02.

Big Crab Orchard Historical and Archaeological Complex:
Pisgah Vicinity Patented in 1750, the Crab Orchard site was one of the first European settlements in Southwest Virginia. Parts of the tract were later owned by Morris Griffith and William Ingles an then acquired by Thomas Witten Sr., who settled here ca. 1768 (92-13)

Bull Thistle Cave Archaeological Site:
Tazewell vicinity The Bull Thistle Cave holds an undisturbed archaeological deposit containing human remains and artifacts relating to its use as place of burial during the latter half of the Late Woodland period(ca. AD 1300-1700). It is likely that the cave also contains intact deposits useful for determining the prehistoric environment of the period. (92-22)

Burke’s Garden Central Church and Cemetery:
Burke’s Garden Settlers of German origin migrated from Pennsylvania to Southwestern Virginia in the late 18th century, settling in Burke’s Garden, a bowl-shaped valley atop Garden Mountain, now the Burke’s Garden Rural Historic District. Here the Central Church and is cemetery were established in the late 1820s. The cemetery is studded with German-style grave markers dating from the 1830s. The present wood-frame church was built in 1875 to replace the original 1820s. building. (92-14)

Burke’s Garden Rural Historic District:
Encompassing nearly forty square miles, Burke’s Garden is a topographically unique elongated basin rimmed entirely by Garden Mountain, a continuous mountain system which protects the area from modern intrusion. Originally surveyed by James Burke in the mid-18th century, the first permanent settlement took place here in the late 18th century by German Lutherans. (92-20)

Chimney Rock Farm:
Witten Valley Chimney Rock Farm, also known as the Willows, is a strikingly sophisticated example of the three-part Palladian-type house in Southwest Virginia. On the west fork of Plum Creek, in the shadow of a wooded mountain range, the house was built ca. 1843 for Maj. Harvey George, a lawyer and farmer who served as a delegate to the General Assembly during the Civil War. (92-03)

Clinch Valley Roller Mills:
Cedar Bluff The Clinch Valley Roller Mills is one of the oldest and most significant structures in Tazewell County. The mill was originally built in the late 1850s and was probably rebuilt after an 1884 fire. Expanded several times over subsequent decades, the complex at first operated as one of a group of grain, lumber, and woolen mills clustered along the Clinch River. As altered in 1896, it became one of the region’s largest producers of patent, high-grade flour. (92-17)

Indian Paintings Prehistoric Site:
Cove vicinity These pictographs are on a rock face high on Paint Lick Mountain. Stretched in a horizontal line along the irregular exposure is a series of simple images representing thunderbirds, human figures, deer, arrows, trees, and the sun, all painted in a red medium using iron oxide. (92-07)

Maiden Spring:
Ward’s Cove Maiden Spring is among Southwest Virginia’s most intact antebellum homesteads. The house is set off by its intricately detailed trim, two-level porticos, and well-preserved interiors. Clustered about is a group of outbuildings and farm buildings dating from the mid-19th century into the 1920s. The Bowen family home for seven generations, the main portion of the house was built in 1838 for Rees Tate Bowen. (92-02)

Old Kentucky Turnpike Historic District:
Cedar Bluff Cedar Bluff thrived commercially in the 19th and early 20th centuries as a milling center, benefiting from its location at the falls of the Clinch River on the mid-19th-century Tazewell Courthouse and Richlands Turnpike, now known as the Old Kentucky Turnpike. (184-01)

Pocahontas Historic District:
Nestled in the Laurel Creek Valley, this mountain community’s mining structures, ornate commercial buildings, and rows of wooden workers’ houses preserve the image of a late 19th century coalmining company town. Pocahontas was founded in 1881. The Victorian combination town hall and opera house is an architectural contrast to the prosaic company store, the miners’ bathhouse, and the tiny brick coal sheds in front of many dwellings. (92-11)

Pocahontas Mine No. 1:
Route 659, Pocahontas Vicinity The coal industry has had a profound impact on Virginia’s economy, especially that of Southwest Virginia. A leading symbol of this enterprise is the Pocahontas Mine No. 1, the first mine to top the great Pocahontas-Flat Top Coal Field of 1882. The high quality of the coal in this huge seam created a demand for Pocahontas coal and ushered in a long period of regional prosperity. (92-11)

Alexander St. Clair House:
St. Clair Vicinity Built in 1879-80 for Alexander St. Clair, a county banker and farmer, this robust, finely appointed dwelling is a documented work of local builder Thomas M. Hawkins, who was responsible for the construction of approximately twenty-five houses in the area. (92-16)

George Oscar Thompson House:
Thompson Valley vicinity Thomas M. Hawkins, Tazewell County’s talented master builder, erected this solidly crafted house in 1886-87 for George Oscar Thompson. With unusual sophistication of detail and composition, the dwelling blends traditional forms with more stylish late 19th century features. (92-18)

Williams House:
102 Suffolk Avenue, Richlands The Williams house of 1890 was one of the first buildings constructed in the town of Richlands and originally served as the main office of the investment group that planned and founded the community. The building was later purchased by Dr. W. R. Williams and used as Richlands’s first hospital as well as the Williams family residence. In 1994 the Williams family donated the house to the town, whereupon it was restored to house the local public library. (92-15)

James Wynn House:
408 South Elk Street, Tazewell Built around 1828, this brick I-house is a document of the architectural requirements of the one of the area’s most outstanding citizens. While seemingly plain, it was, compared to ordinary housing here, a substantial dwelling for its time and place, having a Flemish bond façade and federal woodwork within. (158-07)