Town of Independence Wayside

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Town of Independence Wayside

Venue Information



About the Wayside Exhibits

Grayson County is noted for traditional music and altitude. Four of Virginia’s five highest mountains are to be found here. In 1850 Grayson County was in the midst of controversy concerning the location of the county seat. As a compromise between two rival camps, a third site was selected and named Independence, based on the fact that a group of “independents” had favored this option. One of the most famous and colorful fighting units of the Civil War was the Grayson Daredevils, 91 farmers from the Elk Creek community. They were part of the Stonewall Brigade.

Tiny places such as Rugby – too small for maps – have produced notable musicians for generations. Gold Hill is equally tiny, but has a beautiful waltz is named for it. Mill hands from historic Fries on the beautiful New River had a pivotal role in starting the commercial country music industry in the early 1920s. The museum inside the restored Historic 1908 Courthouse presents a cross section of Grayson County heritage and information on the County’s numerous communities. Independence itself is small in size, but has been the home of and setting for a wealth of musical activity. Wade Ward, perhaps the nation’s most renowned old-time clawhammer style banjoist, lived here and was visited by more than 1,000 aspiring banjoists. All were welcomed, inspired, and treated as a member of the Ward family. There are many musical families here who have made rich contributions to the heritage of their state and nation. These contributions continue with an array of jam sessions and local events. Collectors and scholars of the music from distant places, as well as ordinary fans, are welcomed as they have been for generations.

Other Nearby Wayside Exhibits

Fries Wayside – Grayson County

10.04 miles

City of Galax Wayside

11.76 miles

Woodlawn Wayside – Carroll County

18.56 miles