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 northeast southwest 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 Hillsville Jackson 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 employees. 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 employees 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.

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

he 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:


*** 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