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Grayson County was formed in 1793, from part of Wythe County. It was named for William Grayson, one of Virginia's first two senators. William and Rosamond Bourne came to the Knob Fork area on the New River in 1765. They found eight other families already living here. William Bourne was elected as first Clerk of the County, at the first court session that was held in a log barn located on the Bourne farm, near the present town of Fries.

In 1850, the county seat was moved from Old Town in the eastern part of the county to Independence, a more centrally located site. The first courthouse was built in Independence and served until 1904, when it was condemned.  A new courthouse was completed by builder E.L.Robbins in 1908. Today, the Historic 1908 Courthouse functions as the art and cultural center of Grayson County.

Grayson County Historical Society External Link

The Grayson County Historical Society, located in the Historical 1908 Courthouse, has a vast amount of historical information about Grayson County, the state of Virginia, and surrounding areas. Genealogies, photographs, maps, newspaper articles, Civil War history, marriage certificates, original letters and journals are an example of the varied types of reference materials that the Society has available to the public. Come by the 1908 Courthouse Museum to see a highlight of the Society‚Äôs collection; a dress worn by Eleanor Roosevelt to the 1939 Whitetop Music Festival!

Grayson County Virginia Heritage Foundation External Link

The Grayson County Virginia Heritage Foundation, located in the Guynn Shopping Center in Independence, has an extensive collection of research support materials including funeral home cards, obituaries, previously researched family histories, marriage records, cemetery records and published family histories. They have a special collection of group sheets for black families in the county, which have been abstracted from census, marriage; death and cemetery data. Please visit their website for more information.


Wilderness Road External Link

The Wilderness Road highlights the frontier story; a collection of roads and paths used throughout Southwest Virginia to reach the western portion of the United States.  Many settlers decided to locate in Grayson County because they were traveling on the wilderness road. Please visit their website to learn more about this exciting part of American History and the crucial role that our mountain communities played in westward expansion.

Virginia Historical Marker Guide External Link

The Virginia Historical Marker Guide provides Grayson County residents and visitors with a backdrop of local history as memorialized in the fifteen Virginia historical markers located in the county. Please visit the website for more information.

Historical 1908 Courthouse External Link

The Historic 1908 Courthouse is the Art & Cultural Center of Grayson County, Virginia. The building served as the county courthouse from 1908 until 1979, when the county govenment moved into the new courthouse. The ornately designed building is maintained by the Historic 1908 Courthouse Foundation, comprised of a board of directors. The fully-restored, Victorian structure  houses the Crossroads Museum, the Baldwin Auditorium,  the Treasury Gift Shop, the Grayson County Visitors Center, as well as other businesses and organizations.


New River Notes External Link

Grayson County, established in 1793is rich in history!  New River Notes contains a wide range of information about the history and families of the Upper New River Valley. New River Notes is owned and managed by the Grayson County, Virginia Heritage Foundation, for the benefit of all who are researching in southwestern Virginia and northwestern North Carolina.