St. Charles, Virginia 24282

Saint Charles is the second westernmost incorporated community in the commonwealth of Virginia, only beat out by Jonesville.
St Charles, Virginia The Saint Charles post office was established in 1908 and named for a local coal and land Baron, Charles Bondurant. St Charles, Virginia
Today the town is home to 116 residents.
St Charles, Virginia St Charles, Virginia

Bethany United Methodist Church — Austinville, Virginia

Austinville, Virginia
I dont really have an interesting history or story to share about this church. I just really think its a pretty building. This church is located a few miles west off of exit 24 of Interstate 77 on Lead Mine Road. The church has been in the community since at least the early 1900s. I cant find any more information about this church online.

Wytheville, Virginia 24382

Wytheville is the countyseat of Wythe County Virginia, the self proclaimed crossroads of Southwest Virginia.
US Post Office -- Wytheville, VIrginia
Wytheville is located near the intersection of Interstates 77 and 81. The town and county was named for George Wythe, a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and Mentor of Thomas Jefferson. The town is also home to Edith Bolling Wilson, the wife of President Woodrow Wilson.

Austinville, Virginia 24312

Austinville, Virginia Post Office
From 1772-1776 the site of Austinville was the home to the now extinct Virginia county known as Fincastle. Fincastle County was created in 1772 and strtched from Botetourt County, Virginia all the way to the Mississippi River, including all of present day Kentucky. Fincastle became extinct in 1776 when the county was split into Washington, Montgomery and Kentucky counties. Austinville is also home to the father of Texas, Stephen F. Austin.

Austinville School — Wythe County, Virginia

One of my favorite things to kill time doing is to get on google earth and “drive” around off the beaten path.  I lived in Greensboro, North Carolina for a little bit and grew attached to the area so I travel between Harlan and Greensboro several times a year.  A couple of months ago I was “driving” on google earth just south of Fort Chiswell, Virginia in Wythe County and discovered the long closed and abandoned Austinville School in Austinville.  Ill have more on the fascinating history of the community of Austinville and its connections to our ancsestors right here in Harlan County and all of Kentucky tomorrow.  For now, enjoy the pictures and as always feedback is welcome!
Former Austinville School -- Wythe Co, Virginia

The school was constructed in the early 1950s.  One source lists the correct date as 1952 and another lists and 1953.  The school sits near the intersection of state route 619 and 636 just south of the New River.
Former Austinville School -- Wythe Co, Virginia The school closed in 2001 when declining enrollment forced the Wythe County School Board to combine Austinville students with nearby Jackson Memorial Elementary students. Former Austinville School -- Wythe Co, Virginia
Former Austinville School -- Wythe Co, Virginia Former Austinville School -- Wythe Co, Virginia

Curtis Mathes Sign — Martinsville, Virginia

Several weeks ago a friend of mine and I took a drive over to the Martinsville, Virginia area.  It was a new experience for me.  Even though I had been all around Martinsville before, I had never actually been to Martinsville proper.

One of the most striking vintage relics we came across was this Curtis Mathes sign hanging on the side of a building, where it has obviously resided for many years.
Martinsville, VA
Now, Im about to show my age here, but I can remember when my parents first got a VCR and they would go to and take me to Curtis Mathes in downtown Harlan to rent video tapes.  In those does, Kentucky 38 went straight through downtown along Clover Street and there were buildings and the river right around where it runs today.  In one of those buildings was Curtis Mathes.  I always thought Curtis Mathes was the fancy place in town to rent video tapes because they came in those big brown and orange cases.  Kids are so weird sometimes.

Kmart — Martinsville, Virginia

Kmart -- Martinsville, VA This Kmart in Martinsville, Virginia was located at 2876 Greensboro Road. Kmart originally opened in Martinsville in the early 1970s across the street from this shopping center in a strip center with Winn Dixie and Revco. Kmart -- Martinsville, Virginia
Kmart moved and opened for business in this building on August 17, 1989.
Kmart -- Martinsville, Virginia On September 20, 2016 Sears Holdings announced the closings of 64 more Kmart stores. This particular region was hit hard in this round of closings with 4 closings within a radius of about 50 miles. This was on top of another closing, Thomasville, North Carolina that was already scheduled to occur. Kmart -- Martinsville, Virginia
The Kmart at Martinsville closed for good on Sunday December 11.
Kmart -- Martinsville, Virginia Kmart -- Martinsville, Virginia