shouting distance

Hillsville, Virginia

Hillsville (locally ) is a town in Carroll County, Virginia, United States. The population was 2,607 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Carroll County.


Hillsville is located at (36.758814, -80.734510).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.7 square miles (14.8 km²), all of it land.

Carroll County is located within the Blue Ridge Mountain range of the Appalachian Mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs through Carroll County.


As of the census of 2000, there were 2,607 people, 1,207 households, and 731 families residing in the town. The population density was 457.6 people per square mile (176.6/km²). There were 1,352 housing units at an average density of 237.3/sq mi (91.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.39% White, 0.19% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 1.76% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.34% of the population.

There were 1,207 households out of which 23.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.71.

In the town the population was spread out with 18.8% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 23.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $27,148, and the median income for a family was $36,117. Males had a median income of $26,625 versus $18,194 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,633. About 12.9% of families and 16.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.3% of those under age 18 and 11.4% of those age 65 or over.

According to the Modern Language Association, there are (in descending order) 2,372 English speakers, 55 Spanish speakers, 18 Vietnamese speakers, 5 German speakers, 4 Italian speakers, 3 Portuguese speakers, and 3 Russian speakers. Thus, less than 4% of the town of Hillsville speaks a non-English language at home.

Hillsville Flea Market

The town's primary claim to fame is its Hillsville Flea Market (more properly known as the VFW Flea Market & Gun Show), which has been called the largest American flea market to the east of the Mississippi River. It is held twice a year; in 2004, the Labor Day show attracted 650,000 visitors, and the Memorial Day show attracted 250,000 visitors. Vendors and customers have arrived from as far away as Germany, Africa, and South Korea.

In 2004, there was a minor fracas when a booth selling Ku Klux Klan, White Power, and Neonazi memorabilia was within shouting distance of the Democratic Party booth.

Carroll County Courthouse Shooting

On March 14, 1912, local businessman Floyd Allen and his relatives exchanged somewhat over 50 shots with lawmen in a crowded courtroom; out of the 200 there that morning, five died and seven were wounded, including Allen. For his role in the shooting, he received the death penalty, and was electrocuted in 1913.


Every Saturday in April through September, the local VFW post sponsors a traditional mountain dance that draws an ample audience of up to 300 people a week .

Current (2004) Government Elected Officials

  • Mayor: Bill Tate
  • Vice-Mayor: Orba Alderman
  • Councilmen: Greg Yonce, Bill Tate, Ed Terry


  • In August 1930, the two year old Hillsville High School burned to the ground. Only a few months later, on January 28, 1931, the business district (with the exception of the courthouse) burned to the ground, decimating the town's economy
  • Late in the American Civil War, it is said that local militia skirmished with Union troops marching to Saltville. The local militia lost.
  • Virginia Tech Head Football Coach, Frank Beamer is an alumnus of Hillsville High
  • Kylene Barker, Miss America 1979, graduated from Carroll County High School, which is located in Hillsville.

Further reading

  • Fussell, Fred C. (2003). Blue Ridge Music Trails: Finding a Place in the Circle. North Carolina Folklife Institute. 080785459X.


External links

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