The New River, part of the Ohio River Watershed is one of the five oldest rivers in the world. The river starts its northern course from North Carolina entering Virginia in Grayson County.
The earliest documented European exploration of the New River and its valley was a 1671 expedition sponsored by Abraham Wood, Commander of Fort Henry at the falls of the Appomattox River of Virginia. In 1750, the New River Valley was the "West". Thousands of land and fortune seekers would follow the creeks and springs from the east, ford the river and follow the sun. With the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, warrants for military service and the adventuresome nature of the first pioneers, the movement West started its push over the Blue Ridge barrier. The headwaters, creeks, and flatlands of the New River Valley would become the sites of settlements, recorded boundaries in land grants and deeds of these settlers and pioneers of Grayson County.
Washington, Smyth, Wythe, Carroll and the independent city of Galax as well as Ashe and Alleghany Counties in North Carolina and Johnson County, Tennessee.