Historical Highway Markers
Route 23 at county line
Route 23 at state line
Markers at the Wise County lines note the presence of novelist John Fox, Jr., among the area's significant facts. Fox composed many novels focusing on rural life in the region, including his two bestsellers, The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come (1903) and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1908).
TEXT OF HIGHWAY MARKER
"Wise County was formed in 1856 from Lee, Scott, and Russell Counties. It was named for Henry Alexander Wise who was governor of Virginia from 1856 to 1860. The county seat is the town of Wise. After the Civil War the town of Wise grew and the county's industry expanded because of the growth of the railroads and the increased mining of coal in the region. Noted novelist John Fox Jr. lived in the town of Big Stone Gap here for a portion of his life and wrote the best-selling novels The Trail of the Lonesome Pine and The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come."