Historical Society of Southwest Virginia
Dickenson County Virginia


Dickenson County, Virginia was formed in 1880 from Buchanan, Russell, and Wise Counties. It was named after W. J. Dickenson, a member of the Virginia Assembly. The Dickenson County seat is Clintwood, Virginia.

Dickenson County is located in the Southwestern corner of the Commonwealth of Virginia, cradled within the Appalachian mountains and forests

The region remained largely uncharted until the 1800s. Before this, the only people to move through the area were Native Americans and southwest Virginia long hunters, both of which used it as hunting grounds. The first European-American settlements were at Sand Lick ("Fighting Dick" Colley) and Holly Creek (John Mullins), which would later become Clintwood.

Before the 1900's, Dickenson County was a pioneer area, with most of the population sustaining themselves on small farms.

It wasn't until the 1880's that the timber and coal industries would begin to chop and mine their way into the county. The residents of Dickenson County were poor, and many jumped at the chance of selling mineral rights to industry prospectors.

It would be another 35 years before the Carolina Clinchfield & Ohio Railroad would arrive, and begin to fully exploit the rich forests and mountains. The resulting jobs ignited a growth which doubled the population in 15 years.

In the 1930's natural gas reserves were also found in the region. By the 1950's the lumber companies had exhausted the old growth trees; today the coal and natural gas industries are showing a very visible present in the county.

Area Attractions:

The Crooked Road
Breaks Park
Flannagan Dam
Birch Knob Tower
Cumberland Mountain View Drive
Pine Mountain Trail
Cranesnest Trail
Russell Fork

Ralph Stanley Museum
Mountain Art Work
Coal & RR Museum
Arts/Gallery Center
Jettie Baker Center
Coal Miners Memorial
Veterans Memorial
Battle of Kings Mtn.
Civil War Veterans
Cranesnest Btlfld.



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