The Arthur Wheatley Home

Location: In Grassy Gap; six miles northwest of Wise; half-mile south of Big Laurel.

Date: About 1830.

Owners: Arthur Wheatley; Frank Kilgore; Campbell Gardner.

Description: Story and half hewn log house. Lean-to kitchen at back. Faced southwest. Clapboard roof. Porch in front. Chimney at north end. Window in the south end.

History: Arthur (Arter) Wheatley was son of William Wheatley and a brother of John (Jackie) Wheatley who settled on Grassy Branch two miles east of Grassy Gap. He was born in Scott Co., VA and married a daughter
of Samuel Salyer. Came to Rocky Fork about 1830 and settled in Grassy Gap. His daughter, Clarinda, married Frank Kilgore and inherited the home place. After the marriage of his daughter, Clarinda, Arter Wheatley moved to near Rock Switch and settled on what is now known as Wheatley Branch. The Kilgores built a new house just south of the original settlement on Poor House Branch, in 1874, and have since resided there.

Source of Information: Frank Kilgore, Clarinda Kilgore

The Jackie Wheatley Mill

Location: Four miles northwest of Wise, one mile west of US 23; two hundred yards south of State Road 626; on Rocky Fork of Guest River.

Date: About 1830.

Owners: John (Jackie) Wheatley

Description: Small mill of the undershot wheel type; operated by water power and served surrounding settlers.

History: About 1830, John (Jackie) Wheatley came from Scott Co. and bought several hundred acres of land lying on the main Rocky Fork and Greasy Branch, a tributary. There was no mill in this section, the settlers depending on hand mills and mortars to prepare their meal for bread. Wheatley built the first mill in this section on Rocky Fork. Four miles northwest of Wise. A small stream entered the river near his mill, spreading over a bottom, which hindered the settlers in reaching the mill. Wheatley dug a deep ditch about five hundred yards through the bottom to form a channel for the stream and afford a dry road for his customers.
     About 1850 John Wheatley gave (or sold this tract) to his son-in-law, James Hamilton, who was killed at Prince's Flats during the Civil War. Hamilton continued to operate the mill until his death, and his widow,
Mary Hamilton, had it operated until she exchanged farms with Felix G. Creech, about 1880, when it was abandoned.
     Felix Creech sold this boundary to the Virginia Coal and Iron Company at the close of the 19th century and since that time the tract has been occupied by tenants.
     In 1912, James Taylor Adams had a post office established at this place, and Big Laurel office was first operated on the exact spot where the old John Wheatley mill was operated.
     There is no sign left of the old mill. Only the oldest people remember when it was in operation.

Source of Information: Patton Kilgore and public records.

The John Wheatley Home

Location: Four miles northwest of Wise, three hundred yards off US 23 on state road No. 626.

Date: About 1830

Owners: John Wheatley bought of Commonwealth. Sold to his son-in-law, James Hamilton. Hamilton's widow sold to Felix Creech and Creech sold to the Virginia Coal & Iron Company.

Description: The original house stood about a hundred yards west of the present structure, and was one- story, hewn log building. Two rooms. Facing the north. Clapboard roof. 

History: John Wheatley came from Scott Co., VA. He sold or gave this tract of about 1000 acres to his son-in-law, James Hamilton. Hamilton was killed by Samuel Tyree Salyers at Norton in 1863 during the
Civil War. A few years later, Mary Hamilton, the widow, sold or exchanged this land for property on Indian Creek, and Felix G. Creech became the owner. Creech built the present house about 1875. It faces the road, stream and north. Porch on front. Hewn logs, two stories. Only two windows, in main building,
one up stairs and one down. The kitchen is also of hewn logs and is only one story. It is separated from the main building by a hallway. Brick for chimneys at easy end of house, and south end of kitchen. Brick for
chimneys was burned right on the ground.

Source of Information: L. E. Carter, E. J. Bond


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