Industrial Survey of Carroll County, Virginia

Carroll Agriculture and Industry

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R. L. HUMBERT, A.M., Director of Surveys
R. B. H. BEGG, C.E., Professor of Civil Engineering
T. W. KNOTS, M.R.S., Professor of Business Administration
R. J. HOLDEN, PH.D., Professor of Geology
P. H. MCGAUHEY, B.S., Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering
M. L. JEFFRIES, B.S., Editorial Assistant
JUNE, 1929



Those people of a community who desire to achieve the greatest utilization of their resources and opportunities must have a clear-cut conception of how they best can bring this utilization about. To realize full usefulness from resources, the citizens must attract industry. To do this it is evidently necessary that industry must be offered such advantages as will best meet its needs and make for its prosperity.

Wishing to assist the counties and communities of the state in gaining a better understanding of their advantages, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, through its Engineering Extension Division, is making a series of industrial surveys. These surveys aim particularly to list natural resources, show to what extent they have been utilized and to suggest what further development might be wisely and profitably undertaken. Factors directly and indirectly affecting industrial activity are studied.

Modern transportation facilities have opened up the rural sections to industrial development. It no longer is necessary to think of urban centers as the only suitable location for industry. This survey of Carroll County thus seeks to bring to the attention of interested parties the following facts: (1) the present status of industry in the county; (2) the natural resources and the extent to which they may be further exploited; (3) suggestions which, if studied, will show the proper trend of the future industrial development. The survey staff submits this study to the people of Carroll County trusting that it is to prove valuable in enabling the county to keep abreast of the development in the other richly endowed counties of Southwest Virginia. In Carroll, as in other sections of the "Mountain Empire," visitor, as well as native, senses an industrial awakening destined to mount in importance and influence as time passes. The people of the Southwest are bestirring themselves to meet the demands and share in the opportunities of Virginia's new industrial era.

In compiling the data for this, the fourth of a series of nineteen industrial surveys now being made for Southwestern Virginia, Inc., the regional chamber of commerce, by the Engineering Extension Division of the V. P. I., the field staff wishes to acknowledge the commendable cooperation of the people of Carroll County. Particularly does the survey staff wish to acknowledge the interest and assistance rendered by a number of business and professional men. A number of county officers, including the board of supervisors, the commonwealth's attorney, county engineer, county superintendent of schools, and the commissioner of the revenue, were liberal with their time and effort. The Chamber of Commerce of Galax furnished extensive information and assisted in securing additional data. Glenn Edwards, of Hillsville, and Dan B. Waugh, Harlan S. Noyes, and S. F. Landreth, all of Galax, deserve special mention for their numerous courtesies. The staff is grateful to many business men throughout the county for their courtesies and willingness to supply information.

This study was prepared by R. L. Humbert, director of surveys, in collaboration with R. B. H. Begg and P. H. McGauhey, civil engineers; T. W. Knote, head of the department of business administration, assisted by R. G. Silence, E. P. Noel!, and W. D. Ligon, students; R. J. Holden, geologist: F. H. Fish and J. A. Addlestone, chemists; and J. W. Whittemore, ceramic engineer. M. L. Jeffries assisted in writing and editing the publication.

Inquiries regarding Carroll County should be addressed to Mr. H. K. Bowen, executive secretary of Southwestern Virginia, Inc., Wytheville, Virginia, or to the Chamber of Commerce, Galax, Virginia.


  1. General Information
    1. Settlement and Formation of County
    2. Historical Statement
    3. Incorporated Towns
    4. Unincorporated Towns
    5. Population
    6. Highways
  2. Present Industrial Development
    1. Character of Industry
    2. Classification of Industries
    3. Industrial Statistics
    4. Industrial Sites
    5. Industry Desired
  3. Primary Economic Factors in Plant Location
    1. Natural Resources
    2. Agriculture
    3. Labor
    4. Power
    5. Transportation
    6. Markets
    7. Water Supplies
    8. Coal
    9. Climate
  4. Secondary Factors for Industrial Development
    1. County Government
    2. County Taxes
    3. County Receipts and Disbursements
    4. County Indebtedness
    5. Health Protection
    6. Banking Facilities
  5. Civic Refinements
    1. Educational Facilities
    2. County Churches
  6. General Business Data
    1. Retail and Wholesale Business
      1. Hillsville
      2. Galax
    2. Postal Receipts-Galax


Settlement and Formation of County.-Adventurous pioneers from the Virginia colonies to the east first settled in Carroll County territory in the eighteenth century. With bravery and with love for this mountainous region which they recognized as richly endowed in beauty and resources, these settlers built their rude cabins and began a century of struggle against Indian attacks and the privations of the wilderness. Other pioneers came-some from Carolina on the south, some from other than Virginia colonies along the Atlantic seaboard. It is logical, even inevitable, that such environment should produce men of such courage and love of liberty as brought forth the first Declaration of Independence.

On January 20, 1775, a band of patriots from Carroll and Grayson territory and other sections along the New River valley met at the old Lead Mines, located about 13 miles northeast of Galax on the edge of Wythe County, and prepared a document now authoritatively recognized as the first step toward an open declaration of independence. The men who drew up this document were known as the Freemen of Fincastle County, which at that time composed the area from which the counties of Washington, Montgomery, and Wythe were later formed.

This document was directed to the Delegates of this (Fincastle) Colony, then in attendance upon the Continental Congress at Philadelphia. It is addressed "To the Honorable Peyton Randolph, Esq., Richard Henry Lee, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Jr., Richard Bland, Benjamin Harri son, and Edmund Pendleton, Esquires, the Delegates from this Colony who attended the Continental Congress held at Philadelphia," and said, in part:

"...We are ready and willing to contribute all in our power for the support of His Majesty's government if applied to constitutionally and when the grants are made by our own representatives, but we cannot think of surrendering our liberty and property to the power of a venal British Parliament, or to the will of a corrupt Ministry.

"We by no means desire to shake off our duty, or allegiance to our lawful sovereign, but . . . if no pacific measures shall be proposed or adopted by Great Britain, and our enemies attempt to dragoon us out of those inestimable privileges which we are entitled to as subjects, and to reduce us to a state of slavery, we declare that we are deliberately and resolutely determined never to surrender them to any power upon earth but at the, expense of our lives."

Operation of these old Lead Mines has contributed richly to the county's history. Their products were used mainly in making ammunition for General Washington's army in the Revolutionary War and for General Lee's army in the War Between the States. It was also on this spot that Colonel William Preston ordered the militia of Montgomery to assemble. On the day appointed, February 10, 1781, 350 men responded and on the 18th day of the month these men took part in the attack upon the British at Guilford Courthouse.

In 1842, fifty-two years after the counties of Washington, Montgomery, and Wythe were formed from territory belonging to Fincastle, Carroll County was cut of from Grayson, which in turn had belonged to Wythe until 1793. The county was named in honor of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the Maryland patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Colonel Carroll was at that time the only survivor among those whose signature declared the Colonists a free people. He was also one of the chief promoters of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. In 1845 a portion of Patrick County was annexed to Carroll by an act of the state legislature. This area is now known as Fancy Gap District.

Historical Statement. Unlike many counties, Carroll has never found it necessary or desirable to change her county seat. Hillsville continues an unbroken era as the seat of justice. Here the first court was held in the dwelling house of James Stafford, in May, 1842. This old building still stands and is to this day used as a residence. Records show that A. W. C. Nowlin was the first judge of the county court, and William B. Lindsay the first clerk. William (Billy) Hill is believed to have been the first prosecuting attorney of the county, and Benjamin F . Cooley, elected 1842, was the first sheriff.

Incorporated Towns

Hillsville.-Situated near the center of the county in the basin of the Blue Ridge on Little Reed Island creek, is Hillsville, the county seat, with a population of approximately 1,000. The town is not located on a railroad, being about ten miles from the nearest point on the Norfolk and Western. Considerable business activity prevails, however, the volume of trade showing a slow but steady increase each year. This upward trend reflects the steady development of Carroll County along industrial and agricultural lines.

Galax.-This community, for a short time known as Bonaparte, the principal town in Gray son and Carroll Counties, is situated about ten miles from the North Carolina state line and on the dividing line between the two counties. This division almost equally separates the town, making it half in Grayson and half in Carroll. The town has an altitude of 2,500 feet and a well deserved reputation for healthfulness. The Pulaski and Galax branch of the Norfolk and Western Railway has its terminus here. The town has worthy social and civic advantages, considerable manufacturing activity and other industrial enterprise.

Unincorporated Towns

There are 18 unincorporated towns in the county, many of them being very small with few if any civic or industrial enterprise, and thus are of lesser importance. Laurel Fork has one bank. Byllesby and Buck, on New River and less than a mile apart, are sites for the huge power developments of the Appalachian Electric Power Company but are without other enterprise. The unincorporated towns are:

Unincorporated Towns
Towns Towns
Fancy Gap Byllesby-Buck
Cana Poplar Camp
Lambsburg Star
Pipers Gap Sylvatus
Drenn Snake Creek
Woodlawn Laurel Fork
Cap Dug Spur
Monarat Ocala
Early Long Shoals

Population: The population of Carroll County showed a sizeable increase in the decennial period from 1900 to 1910 but a much smaller increase during the next decade, according to United States census reports. The figures for the last three decennial periods are:

District 1920 1910 1900
Carroll County 21,283 21,116 19,303
Fancy Gap district 3,017 2,983 2,810
Laurel Fork district 5,047 4,967 5,061
Pine Creek district 3,577 3,759 3,454
Piper's Gap district 4,344 4,323 3,654
Sulphur Springs district 5.298 5,084 4,324

Galax, the principal community, which is divided by the Carroll and Grayson County line, showed exceptional increase in population between the last two census dates (1910 and 1920). The population was 755 in 1910 and 1,250 in 1920 - an increase of 40 per cent. in a decade. The increase has continued steadily since 1920. In the 1920 report, 363 of Galax's total of 1,250 inhabitants were in Carroll County. There are approximately 4,000 people in the community at the present (1929).

The composition and characteristics of the population as given in 1920 census reports are shown below:

Composition and Characteristics
Category Value
Total population 21,283
Male 10,674
Female 10,609
Native white 21,073
Male 10,569
Female 10,504
Native white-native parentage 21,053
Native white-foreign parentage 3
Native white-mixed parentage 17
Foreign-born white 3
Male 2
Female 1
Negro 207
Male 103
Female 104
Per cent. native white 98.7
Per cent. foreign-born white .3
Per cent. negro 1.0

The above figures show that less than one-half of one per cent. of Carroll County inhabitants are foreign born.

Highways. Carroll County has 894.80 miles of public roads, 78.66 miles of which are in the state highway system. A total of 42.26 miles of the state roads are hard surfaced, 17.56 miles are soil surfaced, and 19.84 miles are conditioned. A large portion of the public road mileage of 894.80 is non-hard surface but most of the more important county connecting roads are semi-improved. There are approximately 24 miles of hard surfaced county roads.

Federal highway No. 121, which runs from WinstonSalem, N. C., to Fort Chiswell, Wythe County, where it joins the Lee Highway, traverses Carroll County in a north-south direction. Hillsville, the county seat, is at the intersection of this Federal road and state routes No. 12 and No. 205. Route 12 is fully hard surfaced from Hillsville to Galax, which lies to the southwest about 13 miles. It enters the lower eastern section of the county from Floyd and is unimproved a distance of about 15 miles until it reaches Hillsville.


Character of Industry

Diversified or Concentrated. The greater portion of the industry of Carroll County is located in the town of Galax. Galax has been known as one of the furniture towns of Virginia, this industry leading all other local groups by a large margin. It may be said that the industry is concentrated in the "lumber and allied products" group rather than diversified among several census groups. The "food and kindred products" group is usually the leader in the smaller Virginia towns and this group usually predominates also in the counties. The situation in Carroll County is quite different, for here we find the "food and kindred products" with a volume of business of only $254,700, while the "lumber and allied products" exceeds $3,500,000. There are practically as many concerns in the former group, but their volume of business is far below the leader as indicated by the figures above. There are six census groups represented in the county with a possibility of including the miscellaneous industries, under which two operations have been placed which are not strictly industries. Steam laundries were at one time considered as an industry, but the Census Bureau no longer considers them as such. For our purposes we shall consider the operations of the General Chemical Company and the Galax Laundry as unclassified in the "miscellaneous" group.

It is very evident that the greater portion of the manufactured product is not derived from raw materials secured from within the county. The flour mills are the most conspicuous example of industry utilizing raw materials found nearby, while the furniture plants are illustrative of manufacturing enterprises using raw materials shipped into the county from a distance. The furniture plants secure the bulk of their raw materials from the far southern states. The Galax Knitting Company and the Galax Mirror Company import their raw materials. This indicates that the town of Galax, in which these industries are situated, has experienced an industrial development which is not based upon the natural resources of Carroll and Grayson Counties. There is an unusual concentration of industry in one group which may seriously affect the future development of the town and surrounding community should there be a decrease in demand for furniture products, all of which indicates that there should be a development of complementary industry.

Classification of Industries
Group I—Food and Kindred Products Class No.*
Cocoa Cola Bottling Works (Galax) 101
Galax Bottling Company (Galax) 101
Sylvatus Bottling Works (Sylvatus) 101
Carroll County Cheese Manufacturing Company (Hillsville) 108
Bryant Flour Mill (Galax) 117
**Cranberry Milling Company, Inc.(Woodlawn) 117
Gardner Milling Company (Carroll County) 117
Sylvatus Milling Company (Sylvatus) 117
Blue Ridge Ice Company (Galax)
Group II—Textiles and Their Products Class No.
Galax Knitting Company (Galax) 235
Group IV—Lumber and Allied Products Class No.
Troy Goodson & Company (Galax) 406
Edwards Chair Factory (Galax) 409
Galax Furniture Company (Galax) 409
The Vaughan Furniture Company, Inc. (Galax) 409
Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company (Galax) 409
Webb Furniture Company, Inc. (Galax) 409
Builder's Exchange (Galax) 411
C. A. Reavis (Galax) 412
W. K. Early & Sons, Inc. (Galax) 412
Group VII—Paper and Printing Class No.
Excelsior Printing Company (Galax) 716
Blue Ridge Printing Company (Galax) 718
Grayson-Carroll Gazette (Galax) 718
Hillsville Publishing Company (Hillsville) 718
Group VIII—Chemicals and Allied Products Class No.
The National Carbide Corporation (Carroll County) 807
Group IX—Stone, Clay, and Glass Products Class No.
Lineberry Brick Company (Galax) 905
Ward Brick Company (Galax) 905
Galax Mirror Company (Galax) 916
Group XVI—Miscellaneous Industries Class No.
Gossan Mines (near Galax) Unclassified
Galax Laundry (Galax) Unclassified
Industrial Statistics
Group Number
Volume of
Food and kindred products 20 $22,400 $166,300 $254,700
Textiles and their products;
Lumber and allied products
847 612,500 1,546,200 3,675,000
Paper and printing;
Chemicals and allied products
82 91,394 132,362 535,500
Stone, clay and glass products;
Miscellaneous industries;
Pulic utilities
175 159,500 5,047,000 1,806,160
Total 1,124 $885,794 $6,891,862 $6,271,360
Group Volume of
Value of Raw
Added Value
Food and kindred products $254,700 $139,350 $115,350
Textiles and their products;
Lumber and allied products
3,675,000 1,705,600 1,969,400
Paper and printing;
Chemicals and allied products
535,500 289,800 245,700
Stone, clay and glass products;
Miscelaneous industries;
Public utilities
1,806,160 255,000 1,551,160
Total $6,271,360 $2,389,750 $3,881,610

Value Added by Manufacture. It is noted from the table above that $3,881,610 was added in the manufacturing process during the year 1928. The additional value over raw materials is about 120 per cent. This figure is in contrast with 87 per cent. for the entire state based upon the 1925 Census of Manufactures. The percentage of increase is high because the furniture industry produces a large increase in value as compared with other types of manufacturing throughout the state.

Grist Mills and Saw Mills.-There are a large number of small grist mills located in every section of Carroll County. It has been estimated by as accurate count as possible that there are approximately 100 water power mills valued at approximately $200,000. There are also about 150 mills operated by gasoline engines valued at approximately $80,000. These mills have developed as community necessities and are used by small groups of farmers for preparing the whole grain into a food product.

There are about 45 small portable saw mills situated in the county. None of these mills operate on a large scale, but serve to furnish fire wood and a limited portion of the building material for farm structures.

Industrial Sites

Galax.-On account of its rail facilities, Galax presents the best location for industrial development to be found in Carroll County. The town is situated at the terminus of the Pulaski-Galax branch of the Norfolk and Western Railroad and is the trading center for a large territory. There are quite a number of industrial sites along the railroad, some within the corporate limits of the town and some immediately outside. These sites are found in the present industrial district which lies principally in Carroll County. The industrial district of Galax occupies the low lands adjacent to Chestnut Creek. Although the town extends to the neighboring hill sides, the principal business and industrial district is situated on relatively level ground. This level area is occupied by present industrial establishments to approximately one-third of its extent, so that the opportunity for further industrial expansion in this locality is unquestioned.

Other Industrial Sites.-The railroad follows the New River throughout its entire course through Carroll County. This combination furnishes opportunity for the location of industry in close proximity to power and rail in the northwest corner of the county. There is also a spur of the Pulaski-Galax railroad which branches off at Allisonia and extends into the northern part of the county to the town of Sylvatus. The northwest and the north central part of the county thus are the only portions with rail service. Federal highway route No. 121 traverses the entire length of the county from north to south and is paved the entire distance. Industry not dependent upon rail transportation but which receives and delivers its products by truck may conveniently and profitably locate upon this highway. Hillsville is situated at the junction of federal highway No. 121 and state highway No. 12 and may be the location for industry of the type which .could locate along highways. Hillsville and the southern part of Carroll County are not served by rail facilities.

Industry Desired.-It would be well, as already indicated by the activity of the local people, to have a development of industry which would utilize raw materials produced in the county. There is a definite effort directed toward the organization and development of a cheese plant in Galax. Carroll County, as well as its neighbor, could develop the dairy industry to much greater extent by having a good market in Galax. The milk products produced at the present time must be transported a considerable distance across mountainous territory, which very materially reduces the profits to dairymen. It is believed that an industry utilizing milk products would do more to improve the condition of the farmers of Carroll County than any other single enterprise.

Very little female labor is now employed in Galax and the county in proportion to male labor. The Galax Knitting Company is the only industry of considerable size in the county which may be said primarily to employ female labor. There should be a more balanced division of labor, and this balance could be realized by the development of other textile plants. Carroll County, Virginia, is situated only a short distance north of the textile centers of North Carolina and all the factors governing successful operation of textile mills are present in this county, or could be developed as they are in certain parts of North Carolina.

It seems to be an historic fact that furniture plants seek the company of one another. The furniture industry, which is now developing rapidly in the south, is concentrating in certain towns to the exclusion of other places which may be, from many viewpoints, just as advantageous. There are reasons for a concentration of furniture industry which are primarily economic. Trained labor for furniture manufacturing concentrates itself where there is the greatest amount of such manufacturing. This concentration has been responsible for the rapid growth and development of Galax and the community is to be congratulated upon its enterprise and its success in this direction. There will undoubtedly be a further expansion of the furniture business in this progressive town. There should be, however, a proper development of complementary industry to protect the town against possible reverses.

There are certain allied industries, such as mirror factories, mattress factories, etc., which should profitably develop in close proximity to the furniture industry. Local enterprise should carefully consider the establishment of such concerns.

It has been demonstrated that there are certain clays in the county which are capable of producing good common and face brick. There are only two brick plants operating in the county at present. As construction activities increase and better means of transportation are available it seems only logical to expect some expansion in this direction.


* The class number locates the industrial concern in the group and designates the product manufactured. "The Classification by Industries of the Census of Manufactures,"published by the Department of Commerce, gives a complete key to the classification.

** Generates power for public consumption.


This chapter is intended to present a brief resume of those considerations which determine, in a large measure, the successful operation of industry. There are certain factors which are of primary importance to the greater portion of industry. These essentials are natural resources, produced resources, labor, power, transportation, markets, public utilities, and climate. Any one of these controlling factors may react to the success or failure of an industrial enterprise.

Natural Resources

Iron.-The so-called "Great Gossan Lead" is a valuable natural resource of this county. It extends northeastsouthwest along the northwestern part of the county more or less continuously through a distance of some 16 miles, with occasional swellings, which have been mined for one or more materials.

The ore of this lead, popularly known as the mundic, consists essentially of pyrrhotite (a sulphide of iron) with some chalcopyrite (a copper-iron sulphide) and there may be smaller quantities of other sulphides. Associated with these are various silicates, chiefly tremolite with its alteration product, talc, and some garnet, with occasional calcite.

The Ore Body.-The country rock is chiefly mica schist of various types, and more or less of this material is included in the mundic bodies. The ore bodies follow in general the strike and dip of the cleavage of the enclosing schists, dipping some 45 degrees or more to the southeast. The lineal distribution of the outcrops and the fact of the somewhat different character of the rock on the two sides of the ore bodies has led to the belief that the vein follows a .fault lire and is therefore a fissure vein. However, the presence of some calcite in the ore and the abundance of lime silicates - tremolite and lime garnet indicate that the ore body may be a limestone replacement. The sulphide shows no cleavage and little or no jointing, indicating that the ore body is of relatively recent origin.

The Great Outburst. In 1906 when the writer first visited this lead at the "Great Outburst" the ore body in the open cut, measured horizontally, was 175 feet across from foot wall to hanging wall. At other points at which this ore has been worked thicknesses are reported as varying from 20 to 100 feet. Drilling has demonstrated ore at a depth of over 700 feet below the outcrop. In Tennessee similar deposits are reported to b2 worked to a depth of 1,825 feet. The character and probable origin of this ore are such as to lead to the expectation that the ore will extend to considerable depth. Indeed, this seems to be one of the great veins of the eastern United States.

The chemical composition of the mundic as furnished the writer by the New River Mineral Company is as follows:

Chemical Composition
Material Per Cent
Metallic Iron 57.26
Insoluble 3.68
Sulphur 38.61
Copper 0.82
Manganese 0.19

If such material is roasted to the removal of the sulphur, the product is a ferric oxide which carries over 60 per cent. metallic iron. Where the mundic is oxidized in position to a gossan the product carries some 36 per cent. metallic iron.

Near the surface the mundic has been altered to a gossan which is composed chiefly of the mineral limonite. This alteration extends to depths of 20 to 60 feet. Underneath the gossan and on top of the mundic there is more or less concentration of secondary copper "smut copper" -probably chiefly chalcocite.

These three materials - the gossan, the smut-copper, and the mundic - have been mined at different times and for different purposes. During the early fifties the lead was mined for the smutcopper and about one and a half million dollars' worth of copper is reported to have been mined during a period of six months. About 1900 the gossan was mined and used as an iron ore. The composition of the gossan mined at the Betty Baker mine, as furnished the writer by the Virginia Iron, Coal, and Coke Company, is as follows:

Chemical Composition
Material Per Cent
Metallic Iron 36.15
Silica 16.36
Phosphorus 0.12
Manganese 1.40

Utilization of Mundic. At the time of the gossan mining some mundic was shipped for use in manufacture of sulphuric acid. About 1904 the mundic from the "Great Outburst" near Chestnut Yard began to be used by an acid plant built for this purpose at Pulaski by the Pulaski Mining Company. Subsequently a large plant was built and the mundic was used on a larger scale. Since 1904 there has been almost continuous production of mundic from Chestnut Yard for the Pulaski acid plant. The "blue billy" resulting from the roasting of the mundic is nodulized and used as an iron ore. The mundic is, therefore, utilized as a source for sulphuric acid and for pig iron. A similar mundic in Tennessee carrying somewhat more copper is roasted for its sulphur and smelted for its copper. Formerly the iron was wasted, but is now roasted to "blue billy" and used as an iron ore. This Tennessee mundic is, therefore, now a source for copper, iron, and sulphur. While in the Virginia mundic the copper has gone into the pig iron and has not been saved as copper, there are possibilities for the future. If portions of the lead not yet opened should prove to carry a little more copper, the copper may be saved by leaching the "blue billy" with acid. With modern, efficient methods of ore concentration it may be possible to separate the copper from the mundic before roasting and the mundic will then become an ore of copper, of sulphur, and of iron, with other minor possibilities.

Individual Mines. The individual mines on the "Great Gossan Lead" from southwest to northeast are the Great Outburst, Copperas Hill, Vaughn, Kirkbride, Wolf Pit, Cranberry, Gallup, and Betty Baker. The Great Outburst is located between Chestnut Creek and New River, adjacent to the Grayson County line and one or two miles east of Blair's Ferry. Copperas Hill is located about a half mile east of Crooked Creek and about four miles above the mouth of the creek. The Kirkbride Mine, Wolf Pit, and Cranberry Mines are located to the southwest of Reed Creek and about three to four miles southeast of Dry Pound Mountain and occupy a lineal distance of about two and a half miles. The Cranberry Mine is located between Reed Creek and the HillsvilleJackson Ferry highway. The Betty Baker, Walnut, and Gallup mines are located on South Fork and on the road which runs north from Hillsville, about two miles south of the southern corner of Pulaski County. Of these the Betty Baker mines and the Great Outburst are adjacent to railway and have been mined for their gossan, but the Great Outburst only has been mined for mundic. The mines most worked for copper are the Great Outburst, Copperas Hill, Vaughn, Cranberry, and Betty Baker. In addition to the above mentioned there are a number of openings which mark small scale operations. The southwestern end of the lead including the Great Outburst is owned by the General Chemical Company, while the northeastern end including the Betty Baker mines is owned by Virginia Iron, Coal, and Coke Company. The acid plant at Pulaski which utilizes the mundic is owned by the General Chemical Company and derives its raw materials from the Great Outburst. The lead at this point has its greatest surface development and has had its gossan removed over a long distance, and the underlying smut-copper and the mundic have been worked as open cut and the mundic is now being mined underground. The mines which are not on railway have been worked chiefly for the copper and have received little attention since the early operations for that metal. The Vaughn mine was worked for copper through continuous drifts for a distance of about four miles. The Cranberry mine was developed for copper through tunnels and drifts along the vein and through a shaft which was more than 100 feet in depth. The Betty Baker mine is reported to have been operated for copper through many shafts and drifts and subsequently has had its gossan removed by open cut work.

Soapstone. A thin seam of soapstone is reported near Hillsville extending northeast-southwest well across the county, outcropping freely with soft, easily worked material.

Topographic Relations. Carroll County occupies a striking topographic position in the state of Virginia. Northeastward from Roanoke the Blue Ridge consists of one or more ridges with no material width. Southwestward from Roanoke the Blue Ridge bifurcates, forming a broad plateau which is occupied by the counties of Floyd, Carroll, and Grayson. In Carroll County the plateau occupies all of the county with the exception of an area four to eight miles wide in the southeastern corner of the county. This plateau slopes northwestward from the 3,000 foot elevation on its southeastern border to a 2,500 foot elevation on its northwestern border. The southeastern border of the plateau is faintly rimmed with a ridge which rises only a little above the plateau level. The northwestern border of the county and of the plateau is rimmed with a more conspicuous and definite ridge which rises 500 feet or more above the plateau. The surface of the plateau is rolling but not rugged, and the streams flow in valleys which are surprisingly broad for such an elevation. On the southeast side of the plateau the surface descends steeply through a distance of several miles from the 3,000 foot elevation of the plateau to the 1,200 foot elevation of the western edge of the Piedmont. To the observer on the edge of the plateau the Piedmont lies spread out like a map - one of the spectacular sights in the state of Virginia. This county is wholly underlain by metamorphic rocks which with few exceptions are remarkably uniform throughout the county.

Soils.While the soils of Carroll County are not particularly fertile, the comparatively level surface of the plateau as contrasted with a more rugged topography of Grayson and Floyd Counties and the uniform character of the underlying rock and possibly, also, on account of the high elevation provide conditions which seem rather favorable for agriculture. While no reliable figures are available on the percentage of cleared lands on the plateau a rough estimate would place the woodlands at only 10 to 25 per cent. of the total, leaving the greater part of this upland either actively cultivated or in pasture lands. On the western corner of the county and near Betty Baker there are small areas of granitic rocks and there are narrow strips of hornblendic rocks scattered through the plateau. These two types of rocks yield soils which are somewhat in contrast with those of the rest of the plateau. The greater portion of the plateau affords such uniform conditions of soil and topography that there are similar practices in agriculture throughout the district. These conditions stand in sharp contrast to all of the Alleghany portions of the state, the other plateau counties, and the Piedmont. The northwestern border mountains of this county are composed of quartzite and slate and the territory is too rugged and its soils are too poor to be of much agricultural value. In agricultural conditions the Piedmont portion of the county to the southeast of Fancy Gap stands in a sharp contrast with those which hold for the plateau region. This portion of the county stands largely in brush and woodland and has a relatively small part of its soil in cultivation.

The reasons for this are not entirely clear. While rock distribution in the county has not been mapped in detail, the present information is to the effect that the rocks in the Piedmont portion of the county are similar to those of the plateau region and that the soils can be expected to be of similar quality. It is possible, however, that there are material differences in the rocks in the two sections and corresponding differences in the soils, but it is more probable the differences lie in the different elevations. In recent years this Piedmont section has been devoted to some extent to peaches and it is not improbable that the region offers agricultural possibilities which have not yet been developed. Building Locations. The western border of the plateau offers striking locations for country homes, particularly on account of the view to the southeast overlooking the Piedmont. With the present and prospective hard-surfaced roads this region offers building locations which cannot be duplicated in the state of Virginia.

Clays. The clays of this county are chiefly residual from PreCambrian rocks and are highly micaceous. There are few places where the clays may be found in deposits large enough to ha workable.

A deposit east of Galax in a cut on the road to Hillsville is typical of the residual clays of this section. This cut shows red, yellow, and brown clay. This clay has good plasticity when wet and dries with a shrinkage of 5.4 per cent. It fires with following results:

Cone Temperature Shrinkage
Per Cent
Absorption Color
010 1742 ° 0.0 21.0 red
05 1922 ° 2.0 17.1 red
03 1994 ° 3.7 12.4 red

It is suitable for the manufacture of a very good common brick and face brick.

In a few places there are flood plain deposits of transported clays. All of these are micaceous and are undoubtedly derived from the Pre-Cambrian clays. The two brick yards located near Galax are using this type of material. The clay makes a very good brick and is suitable for the manufacture of the smaller sizes of hollow building block and drain tile.


Carroll County Farms. There were 3,572 farms in Carroll County according to the United States Census of Agriculture (1925)

Farms of Carroll County According to Size***
Size 1925 1920 1910
Under 3 acres 0 2 1
3 to 9 acres 218 177 268
10 to 19 acres 343 337 318
20 to 49 acres 1,042 1,021 932
50 to 99 acres 1,113 1,122 973
100 to 174 acres 587 613 620
175 to 259 acres 175 187 181
260 to 499 acres 77 95 111
500 to 999 acres 14 14 23
1,000 acres and over 3 1 4

This number represents an increase of only three farms over the 1920 census and an increase of 141 over the 3,431 farms credited to the county in 1910. It is evident from the figures that there has been little change in the size of farms during the fifteen-year period. The table shows the situation during the above period.

Farm Statistics
Category Number
Number of farms, 1925 3,572
Number acres of crop land, 1925 64,300
Number acres of pasture land, 1925 120,264
Number acres of woodland and wasteland, 1925 71,730
Average number of acres, per farm, 1925 75.4
Value of all farm property, per farm, 1925 $3,651
Value of land and buildings, per farm, 1925 $3,264
Value of machinery and implements, per farm, 1925 $137.80
Value of livestock, per farm, 1925 $248.50
Percentage of owner-operated farms mortgaged, 1920 20.5
Percentage of owner-operated farms mortgaged, 1925 17.7

Tenantry. The farm tenantry in Carroll County has shown a consistent decrease since 1910. The percentage of tenantry is already low, it being only about one-half of the average for the entire state. The rural people have resided on their own farms for generations and there is apparently little influx of such people from other sections. The county should find the condition of farms better than if a larger percentage were in the hands of tenants. The tenantry figures for 1925 are:

Tenantry Figures for 1925
Category Number
Total farms, white 3,555
Total farms, colored 17
Full owners, white 2,785
Full owners, colored 11
Part owners, white 400
Part owners, colored 5
Managers, white 8
Tenants, white 362
Tenants, colored 1
Cash tenants, white 21
Croppers, white 135
Croppers colored 1
Other tenants, white 206
Percentage of tenantry, 1925 10.2
Percentage of tenantry, 1920 12.6
Percentage of tenantry, 1910 13.3
Percentage of tenantry, State, 1925 25.2

Farm Crops. The farm crops of the county are shown in the table below:

Farm Crops
Crop Year Number
Number acres of hay harvested 1922 19,300
Number acres of hay harvested 1927 14,600
Number acres of corn harvested 1922 25,500
Number acres of corn harvested 1927 24,600
Number acres of wheat harvested. 1922 7,900
Number acres of wheat harvested 1927 4,120
Number of chickens 1920 114,911
Number of chickens 1925 119,644
Number sheep and lambs 1923 6,000
Number sheep and lambs 1927 6,900
Number swine 1923 5,800
Number swine 1927 5,270
Number dairy cows 1920 7,143
Number dairy cows 1925 6,900
Average production, per cow (gals.) 1920 329
Average production, per cow (gals.) 1925 342
Number of all cattle 1923 16,400
Number of all cattle 1927 15,900
Number of mules and colts 1923 1,060
Number of mules and colts 1927 990
Number of horses and colts 1923 3,100
Number of horses and colts 1927 2,400
Number of apple trees 1925 263,668

Farm Population and Wealth. The total farm population of Carroll County in 1925 was 17,546. More than 80 per cent. of the entire population of the county reside on farms. The analysis of farm population is shown by color, age, and sex below:

Farm Population
Group Category Value
All Farm Population Total 17,546
All Farm Population Under 10 years of age 4,885
All Farm Population 10 years of age and over 12,661
All Farm Population Male 6,244
All Farm Population Female 6,417
White Farm Population Total 17,430
White Farm Population Under 10 years of age 4,850
White Farm Population 10 years of age and over 12,580
White Farm Population Male 6,208
White Farm Population Female 6,372
Colored Farm Population Total 116
Colored Farm Population Under 10 years of age 35
Colored Farm Population 10 years of age and over 81
Colored Farm Population Male 36
Colored Farm Population Female 45

The gross farm income for 1927 was $1,547,200. Carroll County ranks forty-second among the counties of Virginia in this respect. The income was realized from an investment in land and buildings in 1925 of $11,659,841.

Dairy Production. Until recently the principal enterprise of the farmers of Carroll and Grayson Counties was the raising of beef cattle. Since economic conditions have rendered this branch of agriculture unprofitable, the stockmen have been turning to dairying as a means of increasing their income. Although the Spring Valley cheese plant handled over 350,000 pounds of milk and the Hillsville cheese plant, which started operation about August 1, 1928, handled 138,000 pounds of milk during the past year, the cheese plants of these counties were inadequate, and, as a result, 250,000 pounds of butter fat were shipped out of the counties.

Prospective Increase. During the past year, the Galax Chamber of Commerce, aided by other civic organizations, has been carrying on by mail, news articles, and personal visits, a campaign for dairying. The results of this campaign have been compiled, and information can be obtained from the Chamber of Commerce. The wholesome sentiment of the farmers and producers in these counties is shown by their active cooperation. The support of the farmers and of the two cheese plants have been pledged to a plant in Galax, should one locate there. The Grayson-Carroll Bankers' Association recognizes the value of dairying and has prepared a sound plan for financing the dairy industry. Many agencies stand ready to work with the farmers for greater production per cow. At present, these agencies are advocating improvement in feeding methods, introduction of pure bred dairy bulls, and the purchase of additional cows of the dairy breeds. When these changes are effected, the milk supply of this section will be greatly increased. This is evidenced by the increase in average production of milk per cow from 329 gallons in 1920, to 342 gallons in 1925, due to the initial steps taken by these agencies.


Supply. A study of Carroll County industry shows that 1,114 workers are employed in the 29 industrial concerns now operating in the county and in Galax. This total includes a large proportion of male workers as compared with the female employes. There are 996 males, 118 females, 558 workers being classed as skilled and 556 as unskilled. None of the census groups, as shown above, show a preponderance of one class of labor over the other, the skilled and unskilled employes being almost evenly divided in all groups, except the "paper and printing" and "chemical and allied products" group.

Analysis of Carroll County Labor
Group Number
Male Female Skilled Unskilled
Food and kindred products 20 20 0 11 9
Textiles and their products;
Lumber and allied products
847 737 110 446 401
Paper and printing;
Chemical and allied products
82 79 3 24 58
Stone, clay and glass products;
Miscellaneous industries
165 160 5 77 88
Total 1,114 996 118 558 556

The "textile and lumber" group is by far the largest in the number employed, drawing upon the labor supply of both Carroll and Grayson Counties for more than 800 workers among the 1,114 employed in all groups. This group predominates in Galax where most of the industry of the county is located, and offers opportunities for both skilled and unskilled workers.

Galax has taken the lead in a rapid industrial development during the past quarter century and Carroll County labor has utilized the opportunities there. But there is much room far industrial development within all sections of the county. Industry will find here a large supply of unskilled labor, including many workers of both sexes eager for employment.

Character.-The people of the county are almost wholly of Anglo-Saxon blood. Statistics show that less than onehalf of one per cent. of the population is foreign born, while the negro ratio is very low. The workers are intelligent and readily capable of adapting themselves to industrial pursuits. The rapid growth of Galax has brought to the people an excellent example of the many advantages of industry and has aroused their interest in manufacturing. Industrial concerns can now utilize this interest and the favorable attitude toward industry to the advantage of both the employers and employees.

Wage Scale.-The wages in the county are comparatively low as compared with those in the larger industrial centers but the cost of living here is not so great. The wage scale given below is favorable to industry yet high enough to permit a good standard of living:

Wage Scale
Group Period Wage Range
Skilled Male Weekly $25.00 - $50.00
Skilled Male Hourly .50 - .85
Unskilled Male Weekly $12.00 - $22.00
Unskilled Male Hourly .20 - .45
Female Weekly $8.00 - $20.00

Labor Laws. The state does not limit the hours of employment for males over 16 years of age. Females over 16 are restricted to 10 hours in 24. Males and females alike, between the ages of 14 and 16 are limited to 8 hours per day, 44 hours per week, and night employment prohibited. Children under 14 years cannot be employed and those between 14 and 16 years must obtain a certificate from the school attendance officer before they can be employed.

The compulsory workmen's compensation law operates when a manufacturer has 11 or more employed.


The Appalachian Electric Power Company furnishes power for all purposes throughout the greater portion of Southwest Virginia and in West Virginia. Two main power generating units of this company are located on New River in Carroll County. Large hydro-electric plants utilizing the power in the river were completed in 1912, one at Byllesby, the other at Buck, less than a mile downstream.

These two plants have a total generating capacity of 29,000 kilowatts. Two dams, one transformer house, and two power plants represent a large investment within the county. In addition to these plants the Appalachian Electric Power Company operates at Glen Lyn, Virginia, 75 miles from Byllesby, the largest steam electric generating plant in Virginia or West Virginia and now contemplates a new $11,000,000 development on New River, near Radford.

Hydro-Electric Plant at Byllesby
The Hydro-Electric Plant at Byllesby

This ideally located hydro-electric unit, together with that at Buck, has a capacity of 40,000 horsepower. Water supply is ample throughout the year.

Excellent power facilities for all purposes are readily accessible in the northern portion of Carroll County. This factor should continue to prove attractive to industry.

Galax. The excellent electric-power facilities prevailing in Galax has been and will continue to be a strong factor in its rapid and steady industrial progress. The rate schedule of the Appalachian Electric Power Company, now in force in Galax and throughout Carroll County is:

General Lighting
Usage Costs
First 25 K.W.H. used in any month 9.0 cents per K.W.H.
Next 75 K.W.H. used in same month. 8.1 cents per K.W.H.
Next 100 K.W.H. used in same month 7.2 cents per K.W.H.
Next 200 K.W.H. used in same month 6.3 cents per K.W.H.
Next 400 K.W.H. used in same month 5.4 cents per K.W.H.
Over 800 K.W.H. used in same month 4.0 cents per K.W.H.

Minimum charge, $1.00 per month per meter.

Usage Costs
When 1,500 K.W.H. per month 3 cents per K.W.H.

Minimum charge, $1.50 per month.

Small Power Rate
Usage Costs
First 50 K.W.H. used in any month 5.0 cents per K.W.H.
Next 150 K.W.H. used in same month 4.0 cents per K.W.H.
Next 300 K.W.H. used in same month 3.0 cents per K.W.H.
Over 500 K.W.H. used in same month 2.5 cents per K.W.H.

Minimum charge, $1.00 per H.P. for first 10 H.P. and $0.50 for each additional H.P., but in no case a charge of less than $1.00.

Large Power Rate
Usage Costs
First 1,000 K.W.H. used in any month 3.0 cents per K.W.H.
Next 2,000 K.W.H. used in same month 2.4 cents per K.W.H.
Next 5,000 K.W.H. used in same month 1.6 cents per K.W.H.
Next 12,000 K.W.H. used in same month 1.5 cents per K.W.H.
Next 30,000 K.W.H. used in same month 1.2 cents per K.W.H.
Over 50,000 K.W.H. used in same month 1.1 cents per K.W.H.

$1.90 per K.W. of demand subject to discount of $0.10 per K.W. of demand if paid within 20 days of date of bill.

Wholesale Power Rate

Primary Charge.-$2.10 per month per K.W. of maximum demand subject to a discount of 10c per K.W. of demand if paid within 20 days of date of bill.

Secondary Charge
Usage Costs
First 500 K.W.H. used in any month 6.0 cents per K.W.H.
Next 1,000 K.W.H. used in same month 4.0 cents per K.W.H.
Next 2,500 K.W.H. used in same month 2.4 cents per K.W.H.
Next 6,000 K.W.H. used in same month 1.7 cents per K.W.H.
Next 30,000 K.W.H. used in same month 1.4 cents per K.W.H.
Next 60,000 K.W.H. used in same month 1.2 cents per K.W.H.
Over 100,000 K.W.H. used in same month 0.8 cents per K.W.H.

Capacity Power Rate

Hydro-Electric Plant at Buck
The Hydro-Electric Plant at Buck

One of the hydro-electric units of the Appalachian Power System. Power generated is at 13,200 volts, and stepped up to 88,000 volt transmission lines to sub-stations throughout the territory.

A capacity power rate which is optional with the large power and the wholesale power rates above 50 K.v.a. of capacity is also available to power users in Carroll County and will be explained by a power company representative upon request from the prospective consumer.

Hillsville. Hillsville receives its electric current from the Cranberry Milling Company, Inc. This plant is situated only a short distance from the power lines of the Appalachian Electric Power Company and connection can easily be made therewith if desired.

Rates.-The rates effective in Hillsville are:

Domestic Lighting
Usage Costs
First 10 K.W.H. $ .15 per K.W.H.
Next 90 K.W.H $ .10 per K.W.H.
All over 100 K.W.H. $ .05 per K.W.H.
Usage Costs
Any amount $ .05 per K.W.H.
Minimum charge $7.50
Usage Costs
Any amount $ .04 per K.W.H.

Potential Water Power. The principal streams of the county are New River, Big Reed Island Creek, and Little Reed Island Creek.

New River. This is the largest stream in the county and has a fall of about 10 feet per mile. Figures given by the United States Geological Survey for the years 1908-12 show the following flow at Grayson:

New River Flow Rates
Flow Rate
Maximum 29,000 second feet
Minimum 180 second feet
Mean. 1,600 second feet

This mean quantity gives 1820 horsepower per mile as the full theoretical flow of the stream.

Big Reed Island Creek. Big Reed Island Creek is one of the most important streams in Carroll County. It has a fall of about 10 feet per mile. Figures are not available on this creek in Carroll County, but gaugings taken by the United States Geological 'Survey in Pulaski County a few miles down stream give the following flows for the years 1908-16:

Big Reed Island Creek Flow Rates
Flow Rate
Maximum 6,060 second feet
Minimum 123 second feet
Mean 410 second feet

This mean quantity gives 466 horsepower per mile as the theoretical power of the stream.

Little Reed Island Creek No gaugings of the flow of Little Reed Island Creek have been made but the available power may be estimated by a comparison of drainage areas. This creek has a drainage area of 170 square miles and a fall of approximately 20 feet per mile. Taking the mean run off of Big Reed Island Creek per square mile times the drainage area of Little Reed Island Creek would give a mean flow of 233 second feet or 530 horsepower per mile as the theoretical power.

In addition to the aforementioned streams there are a number of smaller streams which could furnish from 5 to 50 horsepower at any point.


Railroads. The Cripple Creek branch of the Norfolk and Western railway leaves the main line at Pulaski and extends in a southwesterly direction through Wythe County. The line divides at Ivanhoe and follows the New River valley into Fries, Grayson County. The road branches again at the intersection of New River and Chestnut Creek and the one line follows the valley of the latter stream into Galax. Thus the railroad serves the two principal industrial communities of both Carroll and Grayson Counties. There is another spur of the Cripple Creek branch leaving at Allisonia and terminating near Sylvatus in the northern end of Carroll County. Thus only the north and northwestern part of the county is served by railroads.

Rates Advantageous commodity rates are effective on the principal articles shipped in and out of Galax. These rates may be secured upon application to the proper division of the railroad.

Busses A bus line operates from Mount Airy, North Carolina, through Carroll County, making connection with the Eastern Public Service Corporation at Pulaski and Radford. There is also bus transportation between Galax and Hillsville, thereby linking up all tile principal sections of the county.


Retail Market. Galax is the principal market in the county. Its location on the railroad makes it a rather important wholesale as well as retail center. The town serves Grayson County as it does Carroll County. Although the people of the county patronize the many stores situated in all sections of the county, a large portion of the population within a radius of 15 miles consider Galax their shopping center.

The excellent state highway between Hillsville and Galax gives the town an outlet into the interior of the county. The state highway which traverses the county from north to south opens up the territory to the valley section of the southwest and provides communication with North Carolina. Galax is favorably situated to hold its distinction as the trading center of the counties in which it is located.

Industrial Market.-The market for furniture, the principal manufactured commodity, is found in the southern and eastern states. The Gossan Mines, owned and operated by the General Chemical Company, ships its mined ore to Pulaski, Virginia, where it is processed. Aside from the industries mentioned, the National Carbide Corporation and The Galax Knitting Company, the local market consumes the greater portion of the product. The points in Carroll County touched by railroads may well look to the market of the eastern and southern cities for a more fully developed distant market.

Water Supply

General Carroll County has many possible sources of water supply. New River crosses the eastern end of the county and there are many creeks and springs from which water may be pumped or, in some cases, taken by gravity.

Quality The rock formations of the county are of siliceous rocks, which give a soft water. Chemical analyses of water from New River and from the water supplies of Galax and Hillsville made in the laboratories of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute are given below:

(F. H. Fish and J. A. Addlestone, Analysts)
Category New River
Galax, Va.
Hillsville, Va.
pH. 6.69 6.86 6.60
Color none none none
Turbidity slight none none
Suspended matter none none none
Total solids 42.4 27.6 45.0
Organic and volatile residue 16.4 8.0 9.2
Mineral residue 26.0 19.6 35.8
Free ammonia nitrogen .02 none none
Albuminoid ammonia nitrogen .255 .14 .10
Nitrite nitrogen none none .002
Nitrate nitrogen 68 .24 2.72
Chlorides 2.0 3.0 5.0
Sulphates, (SO4) 2.0 3.3 0.3
Bicarbonates (HCO3) 19.3 14.5 26.6
Dissolved silica (SiO2) 5.5 13.9 2.7
Iron and aluminum oxides, (Fe2O3 + Al2O3) 2.4 3.8 .7
Calcium (Ca) 2.0 2.2 3.0
Magnesium (Mg) 5 1.1 1.7
Sodium and potassium, calculated (Na) 6.44 4.37 7.59
Soap hardness 1.6 6.3 19.5
Calculated hardness 7.0 10.0 14.5


The town of Hillsville gets it water supply from a privately owned system, and from individual wells. Water is pumped from a spring to two reservoirs of 5,000 gallons capacity each from which it flows by gravity. The supply is about 50 per cent. metered. An average daily supply of 7,200 gallons is available to the houses now metered. The remainder of the population use privately-owned wells.


Source and Treatment The water supply of Galax is taken from Chestnut Creek at a point near the town and flows by gravity to the plant where it is treated. The treatment consists of coagulation, slow sand filtration, and chloride of lime treatment.

Distribution. After treatment the water is pumped to a reservoir of 400,000 gallons capacity, 240 feet above the main part of town, from which it flows by gravity. There are 12 miles of 8-inch and 6-inch street mains within the corporate limit. These are laid in all streets and cross connected; a fire hydrant is located in every block in the business district, and in every second block in the residential districts. The pressure in the street mains varies from 80 to 105 pounds.

The system is municipally owned. It is about 75 per cent. metered and charged for according to the following rate schedule:

Unmetered Flat Rate
Usage Costs
Unmetered flat rate $1.00 per month.
Metered Rates
Usage Costs
6,000 gallons and under $3.00 per quarter
6,000-400,000 gallons .25 per 1,000
Next 200,000 gallons .20 per 1,000
Next 300,000 gallons. 15 per 1,000
Over 900,000 gallons- .12 1/2 per 1,000

Quantity. The available quantity of water is approximately 40,000,000 gallons per day. The present capacity is 500,000 gallons per day while the present consumption is but 175,000 gallons per day.


Source. There is no coal in Carroll County but it may be readily secured from Virginia and West Virginia fields. Moat of the coal used in Galax and Carroll County comes in over the Norfolk and Western Railway. The various fields are indicated in the table of rates.

Rates The freight rates on coal from the several fields to Galax are given in cents per net ton:

Freight Rates
From To
Galax, Va. (See Notes)
1 2 3
Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Merrimac Mines, and Vicker, Va. 214 189 -
Pulaski, Clark, and Gunton Park, Va. 189 164 -
Belspring, Dry Branch, and Parrott, Va. 214 189 -
Pocahontas, W. Va. district - - 214
Tug River, W. Va. district - - 224
Thacker-Kenova, W. Va. district Clinch Valley, Va. - - 214

(1) Coal, prepared sizes, run-of-mine, color briquettes.
(2) Coal, other grades.
(3) Coal, all kinds.


Location.-Carroll County is situated on the western slope of the Blue Ridge. The highest point in the county, Rich Mountain, is at an elevation of 3,551 feet and the lowest, where New River leaves the county, is at an elevation of approximately 1,950 feet. The county seat, Hillsville, is at latitude 36° 45' north and longitude 80° 44' west. Climatological Data The following table is made up from United States Weather Bureau records for Wytheville, Virginia, the nearest Weather Bureau station:

Wytheville Climatological Data


*** Bureau of Census definition of farms: "A farm for census purposes is all the land which is directly farmed by one person managing and conducting operations by one person, either by his own labor alone, or with the assistance of members of his household or hired employees. Thus when a land owner has one or more tenants, renters, croppers, or managers, the land operated by each is considered a farm


County Government

Carroll County is divided into five magisterial districts. These are known as Pine Creek, Laurel Fork, Fancy Gap, Piper's Gap, and Sulphur Springs. Each district elects a supervisor for a term of four years, the supervisors then acting together to form the legislative body of the county. Members of this board individually administer the affairs in their respective districts and collectively discharge county affairs. One of the members of the group presides over the body as chairman and the county clerk serves as secretary.

Each district in the county elects three justices of the peace and one overseer of the poor and the county elects a commonwealth attorney, a treasurer, a sheriff, and a commissioner of the revenue for a term of four years. A county engineer also is selected. Like most other Virginia counties, Carroll elects the clerk of the court for a period of eight years. The division superintendent of schools is selected by the county school board from a list of eligibles approved by the State Board of Education.

County Taxes

Rate. The tax rate effective in the county averages $4.12 in the several districts. Some districts have a rate of $4.15 per $100 of assessed value while others have a rate of $4.10. These rates are effective outside the incorporated towns. In Hillsville and Galax, an additional town levy is imposed.

Licenses. The merchants pay the regular state license schedule, which is:

$20.00 for first $2,000 of purchases
.20 per $100 over $2,000 to $100,000.
.10 per $100 over $100,000.

County Receipts and Disbursements. The receipts and disbursements for the fiscal year ending July 1, 1928, were:

County Receipts and Disbursements
Category Expenditures Receipts
County fund $ 54,776.74 $ 51,173.22
County road 16,314.32 14,016.72
Courthouse fund 9,939.09 16,874.25
Robinson act fund 178,032.73 239,313.58
Bond issue fund. 27,085.00 30,677.57
Half cent gas tax fund. 8,420.04 9,343.90
Dog fund 3,926.60 7,477.47
Pine Creek District road 7,849.58 7,408.11
Laurel Fork District road 4,222.45 4,742.52
Fancy Gap District road 6,886.27 10,479.29
Piper's Gap District road 5,848.92 15,450.29
Sulphur Springs District road 40,597.74 27,704.41
County School fund 58,205.76 50,390.20
State school fund 54,419.62 54,419.62
Total $476,524.86 $539,471.15
Balance   $ 62,946.29

County Indebtedness. The indebtedness of the county is given below:

County Indebtedness
Date of Issue Description Amount Maturity
1922 County bonds $245,000.00 1952
1927 County school bonds 15,000.00 1942
1928 Piper's Gap road 50,000.00 1958
1928 Pine Creek road 22,500.00 1943
1928 Sulphur Springs road 60,000.00 1958
1928 Fancy Gap road 15,000.00 1958
- Total Indebtedness $407,500.00 -

Health Protection

Organization.-The county has a health board composed of three local physicians. There is no county nurse nor health officer at the present time. The board enforces quarantine regulations and recommends sanitary measures.

****Vital Statistics.-Figures showing births, deaths, and marriages with the rates are given below. The situation in the county is compared with the condition in the state as:

Vital Statistics
Year Carroll County State of Virginia
Births Birth Rate Births Birth Rate
1921 761 35.91 70,299 29.85
1922 710 33.29 64,992 27.39
1923 613 28.73 64,603 26.94
1924 735 33.94 64,692 26.70
1925 636 29.72 61,459 24.62
1926 607 28.36 58,085 23.06
1927 618 28.88 58,232 22.87

The deaths in the county for 1927 were 186, or a rate of 8.70 per 1,000 population. In the same year there were 28,730 deaths in the state at a rate of 11.28 per 1,000 population. The total population of Carroll County in 1927, as given by the Department of Health, was 21,400. There were 174 marriages, a rate of 8.13 as compared with the state rate of 8.81. The same year there were 5 divorces or a rate of .23 per 1,000 population in comparison with the state rate of 1.18 per 1,000 population.

Banking Facilities

There are six banking houses located in Carroll County including the two situated in the town of Galax. Two banks are located in Hillsville, one at Laurel Fork, and one at Sylvatus. Each section of the area is within reasonable distance of a banking institution. The banks range in resources from $100,000 to approximately $800,000. A consolidated statement of the banks of Carroll County and the town of Galax as of March 28, 1929, is:

Banking Facilities
Bank Capital Resources Deposits Surplus and
First National Bank (Galax) $ 50,000.00 $ 798,102.12 $ 655.193.27 $ 54,120.20
Citizens Bank of Carroll (Hillsville) 33,000.00 622,402.79 517.800.69 61,7666.27
Peoples State Bank (Galax) 50,000.00 580,323.87 418,097.73 36.000.00
Farmers Bank, Inc. (Hillsville) 19,300.00 283,291.13 244,791.63 13,741.78
Laurel Fork Bank (Laurel Fork) 20,000.00 145,857.22 81,682.92 15,335.15
Sylvatus Bank, Inc.(Sylvatus) 20,000.00 103,594.06 66.744.26 16,170.41
Total $192,300.00 $2,533,571.19 $1,984,310.50 $197,073.81


Local Government. Hillsville is governed according to the mayor-council plan. Five council members are elected for a term of two years. No special industrial legislation or designation of building zones is now in force.


Rate. The town imposes a tax of $1.00 per $100 on real estate and tangible personalty. This is in addition to the district taxes. Four magisterial districts meet in the town, the tax in these districts varying from $4.10 to $4.15 per $100 assessed valuation, or an average rate of $4.12.

Licenses.-The license on merchants' capital is:

Category Amount
For amounts not exceeding $1,000 $ 7.50
For amounts not exceeding $2,000 $10.00
For amounts not exceeding $5,000 $15.00

The license schedule outlined below applies to those doing business within the corporate limits:

License Schedule
Category Amount Category Amount
Opticians $5.00 Dentists $5.00
Hotels $7.50 Automobiles $3.50
Restaurants $5.00 Auctioneers $2.50
Lawyers $5.00 Poll tax $1.00
Doctors $5.00 - -

Bonded Debt.-Hillsville has no bonded debt at the present time. Total budgetary expenses each year amount to approximately $1,500.

Real Estate Values

The basis of real estate assessment is estimated to be about 10 per cent. of its fair market value. Real estate values in the town are practically at a standstill, with only slight increases in some cases.

Fire Protection

Equipment.-Fire-fighting equipment is meager. None is publicly owned, the only apparatus at hand being privately owned chemical extinguishers of small capacity. There is no fire-fighting organization or fire hydrants, thus necessitating fourth class insurance rates.

Police Protection

The local force consists of a town sergeant who is assisted by the county sheriff and his deputies. Records consist of a receipt book on fines. For traffic control, no automatic signals have been found necessary, street markings serving the purpose.

Health Protection

Matters affecting the health of the community are in charge of a health board composed of three local physicians who enforce quarantine regulations and recommend sanitary measures. Good sanitary conditions in the community and the excellent health record attest the worthy manner in which the health officials are discharging their duties. There is at present no town nurse and no county nurse or health officer.

Housing Conditions

Houses and Ownership. About 75 of the 100 houses in the town are owned and the other 25 rented.

Rents The best residence property brings a monthly rental of $20 to $40 and the less desirable brings $10 to $15 per month. The best business property rents for $100 per month and the less desirable for $35.


Local Government. The municipal government of Galax is modeled according to the council-manager plan. A mayor and six council members are elected for a term of two years and the town manager is appointed by the council. The affairs of the town are managed in an efficient manner as indicated by the well kept and orderly appearance of the community. No regulations in the nature of industrial legislation are now in force, other than provisions for a fire limit zone extending four blocks square in the main section of town. The law requires that construction in any of these 16 blocks must be of fire resisting material.

Birdseye View of Galax
Birdseye View of Galax


Rate The tax on real estate and tangible personal property is fixed at $8.50 per $100 of assessed valuation. The same rate is in force on machinery and tools, as no discrimination has been made to date.

Licenses. The merchants pay the following license schedule which is one-half of the rate charged by the state

$10.00 for the first $2,000 purchases
.10 for each additional $100 of purchases

Bonded Indebtedness. The outstanding bonded indebtedness of Galax is $315,000. There are eleven issues of bonds; four issues run for a period of 20 years and seven for a period of 30 years. The legal limit on the bonded indebtedness is represented by 18 per cent. of the assessed valuation of real estate. The town is still within its bonding limit and as the town continues to grow and real estate values increase, new issues can be floated for other public improvements. The bonded debt is itemized below:

Bonded Indebtedness
Description Rate Term Maturity Amount
Water Supply 6% 20 years Feb. 1, 1927 $ 30,000.00
Water Supply 6% 20 years June 15, 1948 15,000.00
Municipal Building Improvements 6% 20 years June 15, 1948 15,000.00
School Improvement 6% 20 years June 15, 1948 10,000.00
Permanent Street Improvement 6% 30 years Aug. 1,1952 75,000.00
Water Supply 6% 30 years Aug. 1,1952 25,000.00
Street Improvement 6% 30 years May 1, 1953 50,000.00
Water Supply 6% 30 years May 1, 1953 25.000.00
Street Improvement 6% 30 years Nov. 1, 1953 30,000.00
School Improvement 6% 30 years June 1,1955 25,000.00
General Improvement 6% 30 years June 1, 1955 15,000.00
Total $315,000.00

The total budget for the year ending December 31, 1928, was $69,150.65.

Real Estate Values

Real estate is assessed at seven to ten per cent. of its fair market value. This basis of valuation is considerably lower than that which obtains in most Virginia towns. Galax is growing steadily and real estate values are increasing. Its industrial development has been exceptional in the past fifteen years and this largely accounts for the upward trend in prices.

The more desirable residence property ranges in price from $10,000 to $15,000, the less desirable from $1,000 to $4,000, with an average price of approximately $5,000.

Fire Protection

Equipment Fire fighting equipment consists of one combination hose, hook and ladder truck, and one truck equipped with chemical extinguishers. This equipment is used by an adequately trained volunteer company of 45 men.

Hydrants. The town owns 75 hydrants and various factories own six, making a total of 81 hydrants with a pressure of 88 pounds at street level.

The town has fourth class insurance rates. These rates, it is presumed, were allotted before adequate protection was available. Now that improved conditions exist, Galax deserves a higher rating and should be able to meet requirements for such.

Police Protection

Law and order is maintained by three officers, including one police chief and two special officers. Their duties afford both night and day protection. No automatic traffic signals are in use, traffic control being by means of street markings.

Health Protection

Galax has its own board of health composed of three local physicians and the mayor, but employs no nurse at the present time. The local board enforces sanitary and quarantine regulations.

The town is located at an average elevation of 2,500 feet, and is by reason of such elevation and its location, a healthful community. The death rate in the town over the last ten year period is lower than the county rate of 8.64 and the state rate of 10.08 for 1927.

Housing Conditions

Houses A recent count places the number of homes in Galax at 600. Of these, approximately 60 per cent. are occupied by owners and 40 per cent. are rented.

The rapid industrial development has brought steady expansion of the residential districts. Aside from this cause for increase in the number of residences, Galax is becoming better known and more widely recognized as a health resort and ideal residential community.

Rents The best residence property rents for $45 per month and the less desirable for $15 to $20 per month. The best business property brings a monthly rental of $100, and the less desirable, of $25 to $50.

Banking Facilities

There are two banks and one loan corporation in the town. The First National Bank was established in 1907, and the Blair Banking Company, established 1904, was merged into the Peoples State Bank in 1912. Both institutions have a record of sound business and steady growth. A more recent financial concern is the Mountain Loan Corporation. The favorable attitude of all three toward industrial financing is reflected in the rapid but substantial industrial development of the town. Statements of the two banks are included in the consolidated statement for the county.


**** Statistics compiled from the annual report, State Department of Health, for the year ending June 30, 1928.


Educational Facilities

Public Schools.-Carroll County has made marked progress in developing a school system for the education of its youth. The steady increase in the number of buildings has kept pace with constant efforts to better the standards of instruction throughout the system. The county is, according to census classification, entirely rural, so that educational problems may be considered as rural problems. There is need for further consolidation of the system. This would raise instruction standards to yet higher levels and permit better facilities in a number of instances.

Valuation.-In the county, including the incorporated town of Hillsville, the facilities have materially increased during the past decade. The elementary or graded schools are valued at $138,300 ; the two standard high schools-one at Hillsville, the other at Woodlawn-are valued at $60,000 and two colored schools at $4,000. The fixtures, playgrounds, and equipment for the elementary schools are valued at $25,246, and similar high school property is valued at $8,000.

Carroll County School Statistics
Group Schools Number
Number of Schools High Schools 2*
Number of Schools Elementary Schools 96
Number of Schools Colored Schools
Teachers High Schools 13
Teachers Elementary Schools 145
Teachers Colored Schools 3
Enrollment High Schools 323
Enrollment Elementary Schools 5,637
Enrollment Colored Schools 80

Of the 100 schools included in the system, 46 white and 1 colored school are of one room, 43 white and 1 colored are of two rooms, 6 white are of three rooms, and 3 schools are classed as "large." The large schools are located at Hillsville, Woodlawn, and Gossan Mines.

Woodlawn. Since this school is one of the two in the county offering full high school credit, it will be taken up separately at this time in connection with the county system. The high school and elementary departments occupy one building valued at $41,000. Special instruction is offered in agriculture and home economics under provisions of the Smith-Hughes Act. This school provides an area of 17 acres for playground and for agricultural work.

Woodlawn School Statistics
Group Schools Number
Teachers High School 5
Teachers Elementary School 4
Enrollment High School 130
Enrollment Elementary School 120


White Churches.-There were 69 churches for white communicants in Carroll County with a total membership of 3,989 in 1920. The annual expenditures of these churches, according to the 1920 census, were $14,906. The church property was valued at $84,750 with no indebtedness. There were 3,091 enrolled in the Sunday schools. Only 18.8 per cent. of the people were listed as church members.

Colored Churches.-There was one church for colored people with a membership of 39. Its annual expenditures were $286, and the valuation of church property was $2,500. Enrollment in the Sunday school was 32.


Educational Facilities

Public Schools.-The high and elementary- schools at Hillsville are housed in one building surrounded by a two-acre playground and valued at $50,000. This school has fulfilled all requirements for an accredited rating under standards set forth by the State Board of Education. It provides special training in home economics under provision of the Smith-Hughes Act.

Hillsville School Statistics
Group Schools Number
Teachers High School 5
Teachers Elementary School 5
Enrollment High School 148
Enrollment Elementary School 180

Recreational Facilities

Theatres.-Good theatres are available within a fifteen mile radius. There is prospect of a modern local theatre in the near future.

Country Club.-Hillsville residents have access to the club house and golf facilities of the Galax Country Club. This club now has a small club house and a nine-hole course.

Little Reed Island Creek, on which the town is located, offers facilities for swimming, boating, etc.


The town has two white churches, one Methodist and the other Presbyterian.


Hotel facilities include two small hostelries. The Childress has 15 rooms and the Hotel Carroll has 12 rooms. Rates in each are $2.00 per day. Board and room may be secured in one of several such houses for prices ranging from $20 to $40 per month.

Physical Plan and Streets

Hillsville's layout is on the general plan of parallel streets. A large portion of the area laid off and incorporated within the town limits is now undeveloped. There are 13,400 feet of improved street and 14,000 feet of unimproved. All improvements are of bituminous macadam.

Street Lighting

The streets are illuminated by 18 lights of 100 candle power each, installed either by means of iron brackets attached to wooden poles or by suspension over the center of the street. Lighting facilities will be extended as need develops.

Municipal Sanitation

The town owns and operates its sewerage system. At present 4,480 feet of 8-inch sanitary sewer mains are in use. Disposal is by means of septic tanks.

The town keeps garbage and trash cans on the street and removes their contents on an average of once every two weeks.


Nine busses pass through the town daily. The Blue Ridge Bus Line connects with East Radford and Pulaski, Virginia, and Mount Airy, North Carolina. In addition, jitney service with "Class C" rating may be secured for 25 cents.


The Carroll News is the only paper published in the town. This journal has a circulation of 1,000. Large dailies are widely circulated in the town and county, the leaders in this field being the Winston-Salem Journal, the Roanoke Times, and Lynchburg News.


Educational Facilities

Public Schools.-The public school system consists of one high school and one grade or elementary school for white pupils, housed in separate buildings, and one colored school located outside of the corporate limits. The white schools are situated on a five-acre playground. The new high school building is valued at $48,000, the grade school building at $20,000 and the school grounds at $20,000. The colored school has a valuation of $9,000.

Galax citizens are interested in their schools and for years have carried on constructive work along educational lines. The Parent Teachers Association, with a large membership, has been most active in this work. The school budget for 1928 was $20,836.68.

Galax School Statistics
Group Schools Number
Teachers Elementary School 11
Teachers High School 6
Teachers Colored School 3
Enrollment Elementary School 504
Enrollment High School 128
Enrollment Colored School 60

Recreational Facilities

Theatres.-Two moving picture theatres have a combined seating capacity of 650. The Colonial has seats for 350 and the Galax Theatre provides accommodations for 300.

Country Club.-One mile east of town is a nine-hole golf course which has proved popular with the professional men and with the youth of the community. Small club house facilities are now provided in connection with the course.

Tennis courts also provide diversion for many. The fair grounds, comprising about 20 acres, are used for athletic contests.


Six Protestant white churches are actively organized in the town and have their own church edifices. The denominations are Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Christian, Friends, and Primitive Baptist.


The Galax Hospital, valued at $75,000, serves the people of Galax and of both Carroll and Grayson counties. This institution has 20 beds and maintains a staff of two full time physicians, three consulting physicians, and ten nurses. It conducts a training school for nurses, six of the above ten nurses being in the training school.


The hotel facilities of Galax are adequate. The Bluemont Hotel was constructed in 1923. This new and well appointed hostelry is of brick, three stories high, and has running water in 30 of its 50 rooms. Hotel Waugh, one of the landmarks of the town, has 18 rooms. Well established boarding houses, some with facilities for a limited transient trade, supplement the hotel accommodations. Board may be secured in these houses and in private homes for $30 per month.

Bluemont Hotel
Bluemont Hotel—Galax

Physical Plan and Streets

The physical layout of the town is according to the modified gridiron system. As a result of a recent program for extensive public improvements, the town has nine miles of improved street. Extensive sidewalk improvements total two and one-half miles. For the improved streets, concrete was used for two and one-half miles, bituminous macadam for two and one-half miles, and Warrenite bitulithic asphalt for four miles. Four miles of thoroughfare are unimproved. Improvements in the business section are from curb to curb. The town has shown a most progressive attitude toward improving and maintaining its public streets.

Street Lighting

Seventy street lights, of 80 candle power each, furnish the lighting. Most of these lights are installed on wooden poles by means of iron brackets but some are center swung.

Municipal Sanitation

The municipally-owned sewerage system of Galax is entirely within corporate limits. This system serves almost the entire community. Ten miles of sanitary sewers and close to one mile of storm sewers have been laid. These lines empty into Chestnut Creek. Garbage is removed weekly in the residential section, twice weekly in the business district, and is dumped three miles from town. The town is clean and well kept.


Regular bus service is in operation to Mount Airy, North Carolina, Pulaski, Radford, Fries, and Independence. Jitney service to any point in town is available for 25 cents.


The town has two weekly newspapers, The Galax Post-Herald and the Carroll-Grayson Gazette. Both papers print news gathered mainly in Carroll and Grayson counties. The estimated circulation of the Post-Herald is 2,500 copies, while that of the Gazette is 3,000 copies.

A number of Virginia and North Carolina daily papers are widely circulated in the town. The Roanoke Times and the Winston-Salem Journal lead in the number of daily subscribers.


Retail and Wholesale Business Hillsville
Type of Business Number of Concerns Number of Employees Capital Invested Annual Payroll Volume of Business
Automobiles, accessories 3 10 $31,000 $9,000 $108,000
Drugs and miscellaneous 3 7 20,000 7,400 55,000
Furniture and hardware 2 6 35,000 3,400 90,000
General Merchandise 2 7 25,000 2,780 70,000
Groceries 5 14 13,900 4,600 106,800
Total 15 44 $124,000 $27,180 $429,800
Retail and Wholesale Business Galax
Type of Business Number of Concerns Number of Employees Capital Invested Annual Payroll Volume of Business
Automobiles, accessories 4 41 $164,500 $51,500 $593,000
Department stores 2 7 105,000 5,900 220,000
Drug Stores 2 8 35,000 5,100 65,000
Dry goods, notions, etc 4 16 67,000 16,700 145,000
General Merchandise 7 16 93,200 11,900 213,000
Groceries 11 31 340,000 33,080 1,136,000
Furniture 3 11 100,000 11,700 185,000
Hardware 3 9 133,200 12,600 170,000
Ladies' ready-to-ware 2 3 33,500 2,700 32,000
Miscellaneous 6 13 72,500 12,800 96,200
Produce Houses 2 7 18,000 6,580 170,000
Total 46 162 $1,161,900 $170,560 $3,025,200
Galax Postal Receipts
Year Amount
1918 $5,475.00
1919 6,384.20
1920 6,732.10
1921 8,409.63
1922 9,229.09
1923 11,262.61
1924 12,297.22
1925 13,682.61
1926 15,608.95
1927 16,802.69
1928 19,257.24