GALAX, Virginia…home to 1979 Miss America Kylene Barker. Galax is a mountain city located in a high valley-like plateau at 2500 feet. The plateau runs south all the way from the Potomac River then deep into North Carolina. The land is marked by rolling swells of grassy hills and by well-kept farmlands. It also has a ruggedly beautiful eastern portion where the country tilts upward to form a great ridge and then plunges steeply downward to the floor of the Piedmont.
Located only seven miles south of Galax is the Parkway where the Blue Ridge Parkway threads down the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This marks the dividing line between the rocky wooded mountain and the softer grasslands of the mountain valley.
Galax wasn’t always called Galax. Few people know that it was originally called “Bonaparte.” The name lasted only a few months and was changed to Galax to reflect the major export from the area in the early 1900’s, Galax leaves. The Galax leaf is a native plant indigenous to the mountain and around Galax. The leaves were exported by box car load to supply the florist business. It is known in every florist shop in the nation as the very finest for floral decorations.
On December 17, 1905, Galax began when the first lot sale was held. The extension of the railroad from nearby Blair and the influx of people from Carroll and Grayson Counties increased the population of Galax to over 600 by 1908. Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company was the first industry to be located in Galax and continues to thrive today. Mirror fabricators, textiles and apparel joined the other businesses in Galax.
The mountain music heritage is very important to the people of Galax. The strains of authentic old-time and bluegrass music can be heard throughout the city. The Virginia legislation officially declared Galax the “World Capital of Old-Time Mountain Music.” Galax hosts the world-famous Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention the second weekend each August. The events sponsored by Moose Lodge #733, draws over 30,000 visitors to the area.
The area supports an abundance of recreational activities. The New River Trail State Park begins in Galax and runs 57 miles along the scenic New River. Grayson Highlands State Park and the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area offer unparalleled scenic views along the Appalachian Trail.
Whether you are looking for recreational activities or a place to call home, Galax has a lot to offer!
Adapted from info obtained from the Carroll-Grayson Chamber of Commerce and staff at County Line Cafe for COUNTRY COOKIN – “We Aim To Please”.
This website was conceived and funded by Roy Lee Wright.
It is now time in the evolution of GHS 1959 graduating class to establish a permit Internet accessible digital library and archive for graduated students some of whom invested 12 years of their life’s journey at Galax Elementary School and Galax High School; others transferred from local community schools located within Grayson and Carroll Counties of Commonwealth of Virginia.
The City of Galax Main Street is the border line between the two counties of Grayson and Carroll. Additionally, until recently, it is was illegal to drive a motorized vehicle on Main Street, only pedestrian and horse drawn transports were allowed because car backfiring frightened the horse drawn wagons and carriages..
At the forty-fifth (2004) GHS Reunion, Bobby Bryant was appointed by acclamation as Chairman of a planning committee to organize the Fiftieth Galax High School Class Reunion in 2009 within the City of Galax.