Standing Water-Powered Mills of Floyd County
The Historical Society’s new driving tour brochure is now available for sale at the Museum and the Floyd County Tourism Office downtown. The tour includes brief descriptions, addresses and driving directions for 13 of Floyd’s historic water-powered mills: Jack’s Mill Wheel, J.J. Poff Wheel, Simpson Mill, Flint Mill, Ezra Wimmer Mill, Nolen/Pine Mill, Roberson Mill, Webb/Dodd Creek Mill, Epperly Mill, George Shelor Mill, Greasy Creek Mill, Vaughn’s Mill, and Mabry Mill. The brochure was based heavily on the book by Ricky L. Cox, The Water-Powered Mills of Floyd County, Virginia: Illustrated Histories, also available for sale online or in the Society’s Museum.
The Floyd Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register, includes most of the town center as established in 1831, when traffic consisted mainly of horse and wagon. Routes 221 and 8 connect most of the county’s smaller rural roads and intersect at the crossroads of Main and Locust Streets in the center of Floyd. Our map covers 1.8 walking-miles and features 45 historic places. The town’s buildings, constructed without access to major roads, railroads, or factories, display the character of the community: creative use of local materials, endless ingenuity, skilled craft, hard work, and pride. The walking tour brochure is available for sale at the Museum and the Floyd County Tourism Office downtown.
TRACING OUR ROOTS: A Tour of Laurel Branch Road
These few miles of road pass through centuries of history. Christopher Slusher, Sr., was among Revolutionary War veterans receiving patents for land in the early 1800s. The Hylton and Weddle families settled here even earlier. As they cleared new ground and built barns and mills to support their families, they also worked together to strengthen the religious and social ties that created the Topeco and Laurel Branch communities. These ties were tested during the Civil War with men away fighting or deserting a cause not theirs; families left struggling to keep their farms going while facing shortages, raids, epidemics, and even General Stoneman’s Union army marching past their homes and camping in their meadows in April 1865.