Tazewell County, Virginia
Seal of Tazewell County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Tazewell County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded December 20, 1799
Seat Tazewell
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

520 sq mi (1,347 km²)
520 sq mi (1,347 km²)
0 sq mi (0 km²), 0.03%
 -  Density

39/sq mi (15/km²)

Tazewell County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Virginia. As of 2010, the population was 45,078. It is part of the Bluefield, WV-VA micropolitan area which has a population of 107,578. Its county seat is the town of Tazewell[1].


Before the arrival of pioneers Tazewell County was a hunting ground for Native Americans. Although rare in the eastern United States, there are petroglyphs near the summit of Paintlick Mountain.[2]

In the spring of 1771 Thomas and John Witten established the first permanent settlement in Tazewell County at Crab Orchard.[3]

Tazewell County was created on December 20, 1799. The land for the county was taken from portions of Wythe and Russell Counties. It was named after Henry Tazewell, a United States Senator from Virginia as well as a state legislator and judge. Delegate Littleton Waller Tazewell originally opposed the formation of the new county but when Simon Cotterel, who drew up the bill to form the county, changed the originally proposed name of the county to Tazewell's namesake, in honor of his father Henry who had died months earlier, the bill passed.[4]

Later, the town of Jeffersonville was renamed Tazewell and became the county seat.

Paramount's 1994 film Lassie was filmed here.


Since it contains portions of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians and the Cumberland Plateau, Tazewell County has very distinct geologic areas within the county. Of the most unique areas is Burke's Garden, a bowl shaped valley that formed from the collapse of limestone caverns. There are four watersheds which are the Upper Clinch, Middle New, North Fork Holston, and Tug.[5]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 520 square miles (1,347 km²), of which 520 square miles (1,346 km²) is land and 0 square miles (0 km²) (0.03%) is water.

Adjacent counties[]

West Virginia


National protected area[]

  • Jefferson National Forest (part)


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 2,127
1810 3,007 41.4%
1820 3,916 30.2%
1830 5,749 46.8%
1840 6,290 9.4%
1850 9,942 58.1%
1860 9,920 −0.2%
1870 10,791 8.8%
1880 12,861 19.2%
1890 19,899 54.7%
1900 23,384 17.5%
1910 24,946 6.7%
1920 27,840 11.6%
1930 32,477 16.7%
1940 41,607 28.1%
1950 47,512 14.2%
1960 44,791 −5.7%
1970 39,816 −11.1%
1980 50,511 26.9%
1990 45,960 −9.0%
2000 44,598 −3.0%
2010 45,078 1.1%

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 44,598 people, 18,277 households and 13,232 families residing in the county. The population density was 86 people per square mile (33/km²). There were 20,390 housing units at an average density of 39 per square mile (15/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.16% White, 2.29% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.16% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. 0.51% of the population Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 18,277 households out of which 28.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% were married couples living together, 10.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.40% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 27.50% from 45 to 64, and 15.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 92.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,304, and the median income for a family was $33,732. Males had a median income of $28,780 versus $19,648 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,282. About 11.70% of families and 15.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.30% of those under age 18 and 13.90% of those age 65 or over.

Incorporated towns[]

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Abbs Valley
  • Baptist Valley
  • Bishop
  • Boissevain
  • Burkes Garden
  • Claypool Hill
  • Falls Mills
  • Frog Level
  • Hidden Valley
  • Jewell Ridge
  • Liberty
  • North Tazewell
  • Paintlick
  • Pisgah
  • Pounding Mill
  • Raven
  • Springville
  • Tannersville
  • Tiptop
  • Thompson Valley
  • Wardell



  • Bluefield College, Bluefield
  • Southwest Virginia Community College, borders Russell County, near Richlands

Public high schools[]

All public schools in Tazewell County are operated by Tazewell County Public Schools system.

  • Graham High School, Bluefield
  • Richlands High School, Richlands
  • Tazewell High School, Tazewell

Professional sports teams[]

  • Bluefield Blue Jays, minor league baseball team based in Bluefield

See also[]

  • Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Tazewell County, Virginia
  • Pocahontas coalfield
  • Tazewell County Sheriff's Office


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ GMallery, Garrick (2007). Picture-Writing of the American Indians V1. Kessinger Publishing. p. 121. ISBN 0548100438. 
  3. ^ Pendleton, William (1920). History of Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia. W. C. Hill Printing Company. p. 232. 
  4. ^ Pendleton, William (1920). History of Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia. W. C. Hill Printing Company. p. 396. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Further reading[]

  • Englund, K.J. and R.E. Thomas. (1991). Coal resources of Tazewell County, Virginia [U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1913]. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.

External links[]

Coordinates: 37°08′N 81°34′W / 37.13, -81.56

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Tazewell County, Virginia. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.