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Downtown Wytheville is undergoing revitalization and that means that there is a blending old and new to start anew! Some of the oldest structures in Wytheville can be found in the Downtown area and many have an interesting story still in the making.
One of the most eye-catching sights, the “Big Pencil” has been a landmark for over 50 years at the Wytheville Office Supply. Constructed in the 1950s, it is made of metal and is approximately 30 feet long. Another unique business with local flavor is Skeeters. Visitors come from far and wide to take a bite out of a “Skeeter dog” and the sign on the side of the building indicates that over nine million have been sold.
Within the same building is the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum. The only First Lady museum in Virginia, this facility honors the life and legacy of a very distinguished daughter of Wytheville. While in later life she would be a United States First Lady, the Museum shows how her childhood in Wytheville helped shape her future.
Coming to Downtown Wytheville in late 2014 is Southwest Virginia’s newest boutique hotel, the Bolling Wilson Hotel. The property will include 30 guest rooms, a restaurant, outdoor dining and rooftop bar.
Nearby, you will find a variety of interesting shops including Petals of Wytheville, which features a selection of gifts, gourmet food, wine and craft beer, and Hannah’s Attic, which includes a variety of antiques and unique gift items.
For those who wish to delve deeper into the history of Wytheville and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the downtown, pick up a copy of Wytheville’s Historic Walking Tour, the brochure or the audio version. This tour highlights the many historical events that happened in this area including the Battle of Wytheville during the Civil War and the birth of a very significant First Lady.
The tour can begin at Wytheville’s Heritage Center with an orientation to the Haller-Gibboney Rock House and Thomas J. Boyd Museums. Medicine, war battles, and a “Summer Without Children” are just a few of the topics covered in the exhibits.
A couple of blocks from the downtown area, you will find two beautiful local parks. Elizabeth Brown Memorial Park offers shelters and picnic tables and is the home of the annual Chautauqua Festival in June. Withers Park was once a baseball field and now includes a walking track, playground and the Wall of Honor which includes the War Memorial, Civic, and Sports Monuments.
Just a few blocks from this area are seven structures believed to be the oldest original buildings in Wytheville. Although changes have been made, all or part of the houses existed prior to or during the 1830’s. Several served as boarding houses to accommodate visitors who chose to “summer” in Wytheville in those days. Restoration work began in 1976 and continues today. You can find several interesting shops including The Farmer’s Daughter, K.Sutherland’s Art Gallery, Batiks Etctera & Sew What Fabrics, Wilderness Road World Trading Co. and the historic restaurant, Log House 1776. The Farmer’s Daughter features a creative variety of gifts, jewelry, apparel, and home décor. Renowned local artist K.Sutherland’s Art Gallery will feature original art. Batiks Etctera & Sew What Fabrics is a colorful shop with a wide selection of fabrics, patterns, and sewing/quilting accessories. Wilderness Road World Trading Co Wilderness Road World Trading Co, located adjacent to the Log House 1776, includes an eclectic assortment of unique gift items and art.
On the opposite end of Main Street, you will find the Trinkle Mansion Bed & Breakfast. This historic structure was once a grand home and is now a luxurious bed & breakfast.