Bland County Virtual Wayside

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Bland County Virtual Wayside

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About the Virtual Waysides

Situated in one of the most unspoiled areas in Virginia, Bland County is known for its picturesque beauty and recreational amenities. About 74,000 acres of the county is located in the Jefferson National Forest and 56 miles of the Appalachian Trail creep through Bland’s scenic terrain.1 The mountains, rivers, and creeks provide leisure and tourism opportunities for families, adventurers, and nature lovers.

Created from parts of Giles, Tazewell, and Wythe Counties in 1861, Bland County is named for Richard Bland, a Virginia colonial leader and statesman.2 Rich in history, Bland County is also home to the Wolf Creek Indian Village & Museum, which serves to tell the story of Native American people who lived in the area near the community of Bastian.3 The excavation of this Native American village was recognized as the first official state archeology site (State #44BD1) in Bland County.4

Albeit a small and rural community, these mountains have birthed notable musicians. Amongst them, Wesley “Bane” Boyles, born in a house on the north side of Walker’s Mountain in 1905.5 Boyles grew up playing fiddle, learning reels, and calling square dances.6 He later joined a group called the West Virginia Coon Hunters out of Bluefield, West Virginia. The group were later etched into country music history by recording at the famous Bristol Sessions in 1927 by Ralph Peer. The group recorded two songs at the sessions, “Your Blue Eyes Run Me Crazy,” and “Greasy String.”

Another musician hailing from Bland County is Darnell Miller. Born in 1937 and a native of the Hollybrook Community, Miller and his cousin Roger Morehead grew up playing at homes and community gatherings in Bland County. Miller cut his teeth playing on WHIS Radio out of Bluefield, West Virginia and later performing on the Wheeling Jamboree from Wheeling, West Virginia.7 Miller often played with his cousin Roger Morehead in The Virginia Pals. Miller’s later solo career grew after performing on WHIS-TV live programs. He has released records on Gene Autry’s Challenge Records and performed on the Grand Ole Opry. Miller is also a recognized member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and Golden Circle of Country Music Honor Society of West Virginia.









Research by Rich Kirby

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