Grayson County has long been a crossroads in the region. The first settlers in the area came down the Great Wagon Road and some stopped here on their way west. Some moved on but some stayed to farm the land. It was not an easy existence and the area remained isolated for generations. The Grayson Crossroads Museum display artifacts spanning the history of the region and specifically Grayson County.
The Vault (a portion of our museum that was literally the vital records vault) shows many of the household items you would have found in a homestead in the region. The settlers were very self-sufficient – they had to be. Getting to a city was no small trek and the mountains surrounding them made it difficult for outsiders to get in. Most homesteaders grew much of their own food and also had a small cash crop, such as tobacco, to bring in what they needed to buy staples, like as coffee that could not be grown in the region.
As industrialization took place throughout the US, it brought factories to Grayson county due to the New River. The river was dammed in several places and mills were built to turn raw fibers (cotton and wool) into fabric. Railroads were built to bring in the raw materials and take out the finished goods and to haul out the timber harvested from the mountains.