Come to Big Stone Gap and discover a Little Town with a Big Story. The lush green mountains provide the perfect backdrop to enjoy our history, culture and nature.
Visit the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park to experience
the story first-hand. Participate in the Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor
Drama and see the early days of the boom and bust come to life! Delve deeper
into coal mining history at the Meador Coal Museum. Don’t forget to visit the
historic home of John Fox Jr., the June Tolliver House, the 101 historic
traincar, or the Lonesome Pine School and Heritage Museum.
bikes and ride our Greenbelt on the scenic Powell River. Go hiking and nearby
Roaring Branch in the Jefferson National Forest, or enjoy the other national
forest sites that surround Big Stone Gap! Take short trip to Natural Tunnel
State Park and view the Eighth Wonder of the World. Hear Old-Time and Bluegrass
music at various venues in the area along the Crooked Road! Big Stone Gap is
the perfect place for your mountain vacation!
About The Story………..
The story begins with the Cherokee, Iroquois, Wyandotte, and Shawnee who
found the present-day area of Southwest Virginia a hunter’s paradise. Game such
as elk, turkey, deer, bear, and buffalo were abundant. The 18th century saw the
arrival of early hunters and explorer’s such as Dr. Thomas Walker, Ambrose
Powell, Elisha Walden, and Daniel Boone. Three Forks, the earliest recorded
name for Big Stone Gap, soon became a thoroughfare for early pioneer trails.
During the 1870s, much was published about the mineral and timber
resources of the Appalachian Mountains. General John Imboden focused on Three
Forks as the location for industrial development, touting it as the new
Pittsburgh of the south. The town, which was then being called Mineral City,
was incorporated as Big Stone Gap in 1882.
Many developer’s flocked to
Big Stone Gap. These included Rufus Ayers, the Goodloe and Wood brothers, the
Slemp and the Fox family.
John Fox Jr. wrote about his experiences in
“The Gap” and the surrounding region in his 12 novels and 45 short stories. He
became the most popular American novelist of his time and immortalized Big
Stone Gap in his novel The Trail of the Lonesome Pine. In modern
times, Big Stone Gap is best known for a series of novels by hometown author
Adriana Trigiani. Big Stone Gap – The Movie is set for release October 9, 2015. It was filmed in Big Stone Gap.
In addition to the two
best-selling authors, the town has produced the private secretary to President
Calvin Coolidge, a governor of Virginia, numerous artisans and musicians, a
Grammy-winning recording studio, two NFL running backs, and many others who
have contributed to our state, nation, and world!