is a town in Buchanan County
, United States
. The population was 1,105 at the 2000 census
. It is the county seat
of Buchanan County
. The town is noted for its educational institutions and their role in the town's economic rebirth. In the past, the town served as a stopover for Union troops on their way to the Battle of Saltville. The town is also noteworthy for its flood control project, where the mountain across the river was blasted to make way for new development.
The town, founded in 1858 upon the formation of Buchanan County
, was named for Felix Grundy
(1777-1840), United States Attorney General
(1838-1839) and United States Senator
(1839-1840). It was incorporated in 1876. The present courthouse dates from 1905.
On the way to Saltville
In October 1864, Union raiders under Brigadier General Stephen G. Burbridge
passed through Grundy on their way to destroy the saltworks near Saltville
in Smyth County
, where they were met by Confederate troops commanded by Brigadier General Alfred E. Jackson
at the Battle of Saltville
. The Union troops were defeated in the battle, but returned later and succeeded in destroying the saltworks.
Grundy flood control project
Since 1929, Grundy has suffered nine major floods of the adjoining Levisa Fork River. After the inundation of April 4, 1977, many businesses did not reopen, and the buildings that housed them were abandoned. A project is underway to relocate most of the town to higher ground on the other side of the river. The project started in 2001 and consisted of blasting the mountain across the Levisa Fork to create 13 acres of land. After a few years of blasting, utilities were placed and new bridges across the river were built. A new downtown will be built that includes a multi-level Wal-Mart with a parking deck. Buildings with a backing on the river have been demolished and a new flood wall will protect the county courthouse. U.S. Route 460 will be routed to the top of the flood wall. Businesses formerly located downtown were relocated to an industrial building located just outside of town.State Route 83 will be rerouted to meet U.S. Route 460 down the street where U.S. Route 460 originally took a directional split to go through downtown Grundy. Additional work under study upstream reroutes U.S. Route 460 inland from its current path.
Start of a regional grocery store chain
Grundy was the home of the predecessor to the Food City Stores
when Jack Smith opened a Piggly Wiggly
franchise in 1955. The store was Smith's first and the chain grew to 95 stores in Virginia
, and Tennessee
. The chain is best known for sponsoring the Food City 500 NASCAR
race at Bristol Motor Speedway
. That store remained open until November 2005 and is now closed as a new store opened up just outside the town limits in Vansant
Education as a new sustaining industry
Grundy is home to the Appalachian School of Law
, which opened in 1997, and the University of Appalachia College of Pharmacy
, which opened in August of 2005. Buchanan County
chose Grundy as the site for the ASL to revitalize the town, which had been in a steady economic decline since the Flood of 1977. The presence of ASL has brought $12 million to the local economy, and is credited with construction of rental homes and the opening of additional businesses in the area. Additionally, ASL has successfully demonstrated the concept of creating institutions of higher education as an economic development tool. This success led to the creation of the University of Appalachia College of Pharmacy
, also located in Grundy, which, like the Appalachian School of Law, was created as part of a continuing economic redevelopment effort. The UAPC is forecast to add $20 million per year to the local economy.
Appalachian School of Law shooting
On January 16, 2002, tragedy hit the town when Appalachian School of Law
Dean Anthony Sutin, Professor Thomas Blackwell, and 1L student Angela Dales were shot and killed by disgruntled student Peter Odighizuwa, 43, of Nigeria on the law school's campus. At trial, Odighizuwa was found mentally competent, pled guilty to the murders to avoid the death penalty, and was sentenced to multiple life terms in prison.
Grundy is located at (37.276760, -82.095038). The town is located at intersection of U.S. Route 460 and State Route 83 directly on the banks of the Levisa Fork River. Grundy is located in the coalfields of the Appalachian Mountains.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.0 square miles (13.1 km²), all of it land.
Grundy is located in the Cumberland Plateau Region. The town is tightly tucked within the mountains in little valleys called hollows or 'hollers'.
Grundy is served by the Grundy Municipal Airport
located in Vansant
. The airport serves general aviation air traffic. Commercial air traffic can be found at airports in Bluefield
(1 hour driving away) and Beckley
(2 hours driving away) in West Virginia and at the Tri-Cities Regional Airport
in Tennessee (about 2 hours driving away).
Four County Transit maintains a local trolley system that services downtown locations. Stops include the Courthouse, Grundy Church of Christ, the former Food City parking lot, the Grundy Community Center, the Appalachian School of Law, and the former downtown parking lot.
Grundy is at the corner of the Levisa River and Slate Creek. Norfolk Southern Railroad maintains tracks and runs trains through the town but no trains stop in Grundy.
Grundy is served by U.S. Highway 460. The Coalfields Expressway will be built just to the north and east of town. State Route 83 is also a major highway in the area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,105 people, 405 households, and 249 families residing in the town. The population density was 219.3 people per square mile (84.7/km²). There were 519 housing units at an average density of 103.0/sq mi (39.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 79.19% White, 17.92% African American, 0.45% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 1.81% from other races, and 0.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.81% of the population.
There were 405 households out of which 22.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.3% were non-families. 36.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.72.
In the town the population was spread out with 32.2% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 21.4% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.5 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $37,411, and the median income for a family was $47,143. Males had a median income of $40,236 versus $24,821 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,531. About 10.5% of families and 17.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.8% of those under age 18 and 14.0% of those age 65 or over.
Grundy is the home of two public institutions where students living in the town proper attend if they choose to go to the public schools. The town also houses one private school that serves grades K-12. Additionally, the town is home to two graduate level colleges; one granting law degrees and the other granting pharmacy degrees.
Colleges and universities