Settlers of German origin migrated from Pennsylvania to Southwest Virginia in the late 18th century, settling in Burke’s Garden, a bowl-shaped valley atop Garden Mountain, now the Burke’s Garden Rural Historic District. Here the Central Church and its cemetery were established in the 1820s. The cemetery is studded with German-style grave markers dating from the 1830s. The stars, pinwheels, sunflowers, and hearts decorating the stones are similar to those created by an unidentified carver for gravestones at Sharon Lutheran Church in Bland County and the Zion and Kimberling churches in Wythe County. Also here are some uninscribed, uncarved fieldstone markers and a rare wooden marker. The Burke’s Garden Central Church and Cemetery were long shared by several denominations, but the property is exclusively Lutheran. The present wood-frame church was built in 1875 to replace the original 1820s building.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark