Community Profile for Galax, VA
Community Profile Description
Galax is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia on the county line of Grayson and Carroll Counties. It is an independent city with a population of 6,837 and occupies a land area of eight square miles. Galax is located nine miles west of I-77 and served by US highways 58 and 52, along with Virginia 89. Galax is located 82 miles southwest of Roanoke, Virginia, 68 miles northwest of Winston-Salem, NC, and about 100 miles north of Charlotte, NC.

This region of Southwest Virginia was settled mainly by people from the British Isles (Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland), and they brought with them a love for music. Their fiddles, folk songs, ballads, and an individualism that was suited to carrying out a life in the mountains, set the stage for Old Time and Bluegrass music.

In the early 1900's, a farming community grew up along the banks of Chestnut Creek. Known by several different names, the village was located on the boundary line of Grayson and Carroll Counties.

Later, when the railroad came into town, the name became Galax, which revolved around the harvesting and shipping of the glossy Galax leaves that grow in the area and continue to be used in floral arrangements. Furniture and mirror industries were also born about this same time.

Many folklorists believe that the counties surrounding Galax are richer in traditional music than any in the United States. Annual festivals and weekly gatherings celebrate traditional music. Whether it is the fiddler's convention, square dance, or at one of the many shows that feature Old Time and Bluegrass, the tradition continues in Galax, Virginia.