Exploring the Town of Tazewell, VA

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This article is sponsored by the sexual abuse attorneys in Tazewell. We hope you enjoy learning about the town and what it has to offer.

The Town of Tazewell

Tazewell is a town in the county of Tazewell, Virginia. As the county seat of Tazewell County, it is part of the Bluefield Micropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of one county in West Virginia and one in Virginia. According to the United States Census Bureau, Tazewell has a total area of 4.0 square miles. It was incorporated in 1800 as Jeffersonville. In 1892, the town's name was changed to Tazewell. Established near the headwaters of the Clinch River, it is one of the smallest towns in the U.S. to have operated a streetcar. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, the town has a marine west coast climate. There is adequate rainfall all year round as the climate fluctuates between highs and lows.

Notable people who have resided in the town include the director of the film Forbidden Planet Fred M. Wilcox, television and movie actress Kathryn Harrold, American jewelry designer Betony Vernon.

Historic Sites

The town of Tazewell is located near many historic landmarks and establishments of Virginia. These include:

  • Big Crab Orchard Site
  • Bull Thistle Cave Archeological Site
  • Chimney Rock Farm
  • Tazewell Historic District
  • George Oscar Thompson House
  • James Wynn House

These historic sites have all been listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and designated on the Virginia Landmark Register.

Big Crab Orchard Site

Big Crab Orchard Site was added to the NRHP on August 11, 1980. A historic archaeological site near Tazewell, it was patented in 1750. The 115-acre site was one of the first European settlements in Southwest Virginia. Around 1768, Thomas Witten Sr. settled in the area and acquired it from Morris Griffith and William Ingles. Buildings at the site were built by John Witten, et al. around that time.

Bull Thistle Cave Archeological Site

Another archaeological site near Tazewell, Bull Thistle Cave Archeological Site is a vertical shaft pit burial cave. Based on artifacts recovered at the site, the cave is said to have been used for burials between 1300 and 1600 A.D. Researchers believe the bodies were either thrown or lowered into the cave. The remains of over 11 bodies have been found within the site. In 1987, it was listed on the NRHP.

Chimney Rock Farm

Chimney Rock Farm is a historic home near Tazewell. Also known as The Willows, it was built around 1843 in the Palladian style. The home was constructed of bricks and featured a pedimented two-story, three-bay, center section that's flanked by one-story wings. On July 8, 1982, it was added to the NRHP.

Tazewell Historic District

Tazewell Historic District was listed on the NRHP in 2002. The national historic district encompasses 112 buildings in the central business district and surrounding residential area of the town of Tazewell. Notable buildings in the district include the Old Jail, Clinch Valley News Building, Clinch Valley Bank, Tazewell Christian Church, Tazewell Presbyterian Church, Stras Memorial Episcopal Church, J. A. Greever Building, Greever and Gillespie Law Office Building, Tazewell High School, Tazewell Post Office, Tazewell Masonic Lodge #62, and Tazewell County Courthouse (the most notable building). In 2016, boundaries for the district were increased.

George Oscar Thompson House

Although demolished in 2017, George Oscar Thompson House was a historic home near the town of Tazewell. Also known as the Sam Ward Bishop House. it was built between 1886 and 1887. Built by Thomas Mastin Hawkins, the two-story, three-bay, T-shaped frame house had a rubble limestone foundation. The property also featured a limestone spring house, a 1 and 1/2-story frame structure, and a one-room log structure. In 1982, the home was added to the NRHP. As of 2017, a new house has been constructed on the site.

James Wynn House

Also known as the Peery House, James Wynn House is a historic home near Tazewell. Built around 1828, it is a large two-story, three-bay, brick home with a two-story rear ell. On October 28, 1992, the house was listed on the NRHP.

Back of the Dragon

The Back of the Dragon is a tourist attraction for car and motorcyclists enthusiasts. A section of Virginia State Highway 16, it runs from Hungry Mother State Park north of Marion to Tazewell, crossing over Big Walker, Brushy and Clinch Mountains. Reminded of the humps on a dragon's back, Larry Brent Davidson spearheaded the naming of this part of the road. The Back of the Dragon is noted for its numerous turns and mountain scenery. An estimate of 260 to 438 turns have been counted on this 32-mile section.

You can also read more about an Introduction to Christiansburg, VA.

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