The remains of a succession of settlements at this strategic location along Virginia’s former frontier constitute one of Southwest Virginia’s more significant archaeological complexes. Salvage excavations undertaken in 1976 under the direction of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in the path of interstate highway construction in this section of Wythe County revealed prehistoric remains dating from the Middle Archaic period along with remnants of three successive periods of 18th-century occupation. Of the latter were chimney bases from two log cabins erected ca. 1752 by Alexander Sayers, as well as evidence of the military outpost established by Col. William Byrd III in 1760. Also uncovered were remains of the settlement started here in the early 1770s by James McGavock, Sr. Although some of Fort Chiswell’s sites were destroyed by highway construction, other areas remain untouched and hold potential information important to the study of the region’s early history.
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