Bland County is located in the Appalachian region of the Commonwealth. The area is defined by the Appalachian Mountains, and punctuated with small valleys. The County contains no incorporated towns or cities. In this, it is one of a very small number of counties in the United States. Its county seat is the unincorporated village of Bland. It is governed by an elected Board of Supervisors.
The area of Bland County is 359 square miles (358 square miles in land; one square mile in water). Bland County was the sixth least populated county in Virginia, according to the statistics reported in the 2010 census. The estimated population of the County in 2015 was 6,561 people. The population density was 18 people per square mile.
A portion of the County lies within the boundaries of the Jefferson National Forest. The headwaters of the North Fork of the Holston River arise in Bland County. The County is part of the Southwest Virginia area that is rapidly becoming a tourism hub. Scenic views, historical landmarks, and outdoor activities on the many local rivers, lakes, and streams are drawing an increasing number of tourists who seek a different type of vacation venue. The Appalachian Trail crosses the mountains and valleys of Bland County at many points.
Bland County’s location at the intersection of I-77 and I-81 makes it a popular stopping point for travelers between Myrtle Beach and the Midwest. The County also borders southern West Virginia, making the ski resorts of Winter Place and Snowshoe and the world-famous Greenbrier Resort, a mere short drive away.
The larger communities of Bland County are Bland, Rocky Gap, and Bastian. The major highways in the County are:
- Interstate Highway I-77
- Future Interstate Highway I-74
- S. Route 52
- State Route 42
- State Route 61
- State Route 598
Highway accidents happen every day. Residents and visitors to Bland County can call upon the Personal Injury Firm of Altizer Law, P.C., if a vehicle crash occurs and causes injury. The speed of travel on Interstate Highways, combined with weather can make these highways somewhat more dangerous in Bland County. Smaller mountain highways also present unique dangers for drivers and their passengers. If you, or a loved one, are injured in a vehicle collision call Bettina and Terri, the attorneys of Altizer Law, P.C. If you are injured due to the wrongdoing or negligence of another driver, we will fight for justice and the maximum allowable compensation for you or your loved one.
Bland County was formed in 1861 from portions of Wythe, Tazewell, and Giles counties. It was created in response to concerns and complaints from area residents. First, the distances and the difficult mountain trails created a hardship for those who needed to conduct legal business. Second, the growing number of residents in the area resented paying taxes for benefits in other areas. This pressure eventually led the Virginia General Assembly to form a new county. Bland County was named for Richard Bland, a Virginia statesman and historian who helped to lead the struggle for freedom from British rule.
The largest industries in Bland County (as calculated by number of employees) are:
- Government (State and Local)
- Health Care and Social Assistance
- Wholesale Trade
The largest employers in Bland County (according to the 2010 Virginia Employment Commission Report) are:
- ABB Service Company Division – Electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing.
- Bland Correctional Center
- Bland County School Board
- Henry Schein Inc. – Health and Personal Care Stores
- Melvin Enterprises – Support activities for Transportation
- County of Bland
- Kissito Healthcare — Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
- Bland County Clinic – Ambulatory Health Care
- Pascor Atlantic Corporation – Electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing
- Division of Institutions – Justice, public order, and safety
- First Quality Rehab – Ambulatory Health Care Facilities
- Venco Business Music — Specialty Trade Contractors
- Custom Manufacturing Services & East River Metals — ABB Service Company Division
- American Mine Research — ABB Service Company Division
- General Injectables and Vaccines – vaccines, injectables, diagnostics, medical disposables and equipment
- Bland County Volunteer Rescue Squad
- Acordia Employer Service – Insurance agents and brokers
- W & B Fabricators Inc. – Machinery Manufacturing
- Circle K – Convenience Stores
- D & S Management, Inc. – Insurance Agency
Medical professionals and staff members are usually dedicated to the health and well-being of the patients they care for. Sometimes, however, even the most dedicated can make mistakes. As we see again and again, sometimes nursing and rehabilitation facilities hire people in good faith, only to discover that the wrong hire can result in harm to their patients. When people are injured by medical malpractice or by nursing home abuse or neglect, they have the right to seek justice and appropriate financial compensation for their hurts and harms. Altizer Law, P.C., has a strong record in representing the victims of malpractice or abuse and neglect. If you, or a loved one, are harmed in this way, call Altizer Law, P.C. Our attorneys are experienced with cases of this kind. We have a strong record of caring for our clients and for aggressively and relentlessly pursuing justice and fair compensation for their injuries.
What to See and Do in Bland County
Bland County is something of a paradise for those who enjoy outdoor activities. The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests comprise nearly 1.8 million acres. The forests are primarily Appalachian hardwood and mixed pine-hardwood forest types. These are located in the Blue Ridge, the Central Ridge and Valley, Allegheny, and Cumberland Plateau. The forests are home to:
- 40 species of trees
- 2,000 species of shrubs and herbaceous plants
- 76 species of amphibians and reptiles
- 200 species of birds
- 60 species of mammals
- 2,340 miles of perennial streams
- 100 species of freshwater fishes and mussels
- 53 federally-listed Threatened or Endangered animal and plant species.
Recreation opportunities are offered at more than 200 sites in the forests, including campgrounds, picnic areas, and boat launches. In addition, the forests offer 2,200 miles of trails and 1,700 miles of open roads. 325 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail pass through the forests, including the 140,000 acre Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.
The Appalachian Trail includes 56 miles of trail that wind through Bland County. Trail access is widely available at points in the County. Local dining and lodging venues provide wonderful places to stop for rest when hiking the entire trail.
The Federico Morini Signature Road Cycling Trail will be the centerpiece of Bland County’s tourism initiative and is expected to play a significant role in the long-term economic development of the County. Morini was an outstanding competitive cyclist. After a terrible accident in 2001, he retired from competition. This cycling trail, named in his honor, offers the natural beauty of the area, the challenging terrain and elevations, and wonderful people. The trails will use State Primary and Secondary roads, following directional signs throughout Bland County. There will be a network of 4 trails, each graded for cyclists in four levels of difficulty. Bland County also offers motorcycle trails and a golf course.
Throughout Bland County are numerous lakes, rivers, and streams where residents and visitors can enjoy boating and fishing.
Also interesting to see is the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel, which is part of Interstate 77. It is a vehicular tunnel that travels through/under Big Walker Mountain. This 4,229 foot tunnel opened in 1972, after five years of construction and a cost of $50 million. It reduced travel time from Wytheville to Bland County by 30 minutes, and was at the time of construction the most expensive single project undertaken on Virginia’s interstate system.
For a slice of history, Bland County offers Wolf Creek Indian Village and Museum. During the construction of Interstate 77, the State Archaeologist reported that he believed the site of an Indian Village would be disturbed by construction. As a result, construction was halted briefly for excavation of the site. This was the first state excavation in the history of Bland County. The community determined to create a museum dedicated to the history of these first residents of the mountains of the County. Since then, the village is gradually being rebuilt.
Call Altizer Law, P.C.
An injury can occur anywhere. Often, those injured had no role in the event which caused their injuries. Sometimes these injuries are caused by dangerous or poorly maintained premises, sometimes by dangerous or defective products, sometimes due to medical malpractice or nursing home abuse or neglect, or due to an auto accident. If you, or a loved one, are injured through no fault of your own, call Altizer Law, P.C., for a free consultation to evaluate liability and decide if it makes sense to sue those responsible for your injuries.