History & Culture

bluefield history

The Town dates back to the early 1860’s when a small post office, bearing the name ‘Pin Hook’ was built.  Although not a town at the time, this post office was the beginning of what is now Bluefield, Virginia.

This area became significantly important upon construction of the Norfolk and Western Railway.  It was during this period shortly before 1883 that the post office was renamed ‘Harman’ to honor a confederate war hero Colonel E. H. Harman.

In 1884, Thomas Graham arrived from Philadelphia to survey for the N&W Railway.  He purchased a tract of land and laid out the streets of an embryo town.  The post office was renamed ‘Graham’. It was also in the year 1884 that the fledgling town of ‘Graham’ elected its first mayor, one John T. Linkous.

In 1924, a general election was held to change the name to Bluefield due to its close proximity to Bluefield, West Virginia.  Five hundred-eighteen (518) votes were cast and it was decided by only sixty-four votes to change the name.

The name Bluefield, Virginia became official July 12, 1924.  It was a memorable event celebrated by a day-long spectrum of activities.  An actual wedding ceremony between Ms. Emma Smith and Mr. L. Wingo Yost, occurred to symbolize the “marriage” of the two towns.

The ceremony was attended by over 15,000 people including the governors of both Virginia and West Virginia. It received national news coverage and congratulatory messages were sent by then President Coolidge to the mayors of both Bluefields.

The name Bluefield is derived from a species of chicory that has a dark blue flower, and from the bluegrass that grows in abundance in this area.

In the last 10 years Bluefield, Virginia has seen an increase in commercial activity and establishment of numerous new businesses. The more favorable business and tax climate has made Bluefield, Virginia the commercial center for the region.