Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

067-5058 WSVS Radio Station and Transmitter

WSVS Radio Station and Transmitter
Photo credit: Elizabeth Lipford/DHR, 2021

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 12/09/2021

Located near the quiet town of Crewe in Nottoway County, the WSVS Radio Station and Transmitter complex is home to the oldest radio station in continuous use in Southside Virginia. The approximately 11-acre property originally served as the transmission center of three off-site broadcast stations of the WSVS radio program, which first hit the airwaves on April 6, 1947. The present WSVS radio station building, constructed in 1953 of parged concrete block in the minimal Moderne style, is attached to the original 1947 AM transmitter building, and includes three offices, four studios for entertainment and news production, and a sales/conference room. Also located on the property are the 1949 tower and FM transmitter building with an attached ca.-1965 fallout shelter, as well as a small ca.-1960 generator building with a historic generator. Deejay and musician Jody Rainwater, who had played with Earl Scruggs’ and Lester Flatt’s Foggy Mountain Boys, worked at WSVS for nearly 20 years starting in 1952. He contributed to the station’s success through his promotion of bluegrass music and popular musicians who performed in the studio. A hub for entertainment and news as well as a participant in local Civil Defense efforts of the 1960s, the WSVS radio station complex represents the history of communications in a rural community in the post-World War II era.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark


Updated: December 9, 2021