THE COPENHAVER FAMILY settled in Smyth County, Virginia around the year 1800 by Frederick and Eve Copenhaver Their union produced twelve (12) children and the following home sites are primarily that of Frederick and Eve, some of their children and their descendants.

We will begin the tour from the courthouse in downtown Marion:

FREDERICK COPENHAVER HOUSE (b.1770) - Travel west on Route 11 from Marion, VA approximately 2.3 miles passing the Virginia Monument Company on the right. Take the first right across the railroad crossing (known as Copenhaver's Crossing) onto Route 660. Take the next right onto Rt. 659 and travel approximately 1 mile to the Old Ebenezer Church located on the right, and an old store known as Bruce's on the left. The road divides at this point, continue to the left on Rt. 659 for .8 mile to the second road on the left. Turn left on Rt. 665. This is a state road which ends.5 mile at the home of Evelyn (Meek) and Zeck Atkins. This house was built by THOMAS A. (b. 1810) (Frederick and Eve's son) and has been inherited in direct line by Evelyn. The house looks modern and is well maintained, but its core is log. Frederick's house was just west of this house. Only a few logs of the ingeniously built estate remain, however the log barn built by Frederick still stands. The view from the entire site is magnificent. The land is level and appears to be high. The site was carefully selected so that a gentle ridge protects both houses and outbuildings from the wind.

CHRISLEY COPENHAVER HOUSE (b.1792) -  To the north of the Thomas A. house, one can view a house on a hill built by Chrisley (second son of Frederick and Eve). These houses can be seen from Rt. 659 near Mt. Zion. DO NOT TAKE THE ROAD AT THE CATTLE GUARD TO THE HOUSE, IT IS HAZARDOUS! Return to Rt. 659 and turn left, continue 1.4 miles to the Mt. Zion Methodist Church, where Frederick and Eve are buried. The first Mt. Zion Church was on the opposite side of the road from the present one and was known as Zions Lutheran Church at that time.

JOHN A. COPENHAVER HOUSE (b. 1820) (eldest son of Henry) - Continue on Rt. 659 approximately .3 mile to the Steve Meek house (where Robert Meek resides). Steve's wife was a granddaughter of Christopher "Chrisley" Copenhaver. Turn right onto Rt. 645 and travel .5 mile and take Rt. 658 for 1.5 miles to the site of the home of John A. There are no visible landmarks from his time, although his house is said to have been the most pretentious of the log homes. It burned perhaps around 1966. Now, there is a modern brick house and a mobile home where the original house stood.

WILLIAM "EDD" COPENHAVER HOUSE (b. 1843) - Return to Rt. 645, turn right and travel approximately 2 miles to a fork. Turn left onto Rt. 664 and travel 1 mile to Murray's store. Turn right on Rt. 617 for and drive approximately 1 mile to a mailbox with the name of Sid French. Go up the hollow and to the right is the site of Joseph Copenhaver (b, 1829 son of Henry) House, nothing remains of his home. Continue on RT 617 for a short distance to the intersection of RT 665. To the left is the home site of Edd. His great-grandson, Marvin Pennington lives in a brick house where the original home stood.

Turn right on Rt. 665 for .3 mile to the site of Henry's second residence, inherited by his son Tom. To the right on the hillside, is the barn built by Henry, his house was just below the barn. Tom's son, Price, inherited the site and lived in the old house until his son Willard was 16 years of age. At that time he moved into the well- maintained white frame house which is standing. The present owners added a large room with a stone chimney with the salvaged material from the original log house.

HENRY COPENHAVER HOUSE (b. 1791) - Continue on Rt. 665, to the Greenwood Methodist Church. On the hillside to the right is the location of the schoolhouse which was built by Henry (Frederick's eldest son) for the Copenhaver children and others who wished to attend. Susan Payne Flannagan came there to be the teacher and married Henry's son Peter (b.1827). This was the first free school and the first woman teacher in Smyth County. Continue on Rt. 665 for .3 mile beyond the church (in view of the church) to the first home of Henry and Barbara (Phillippi) Copenhaver. When Henry and Barbara moved to their second home, Peter and Susan continued to live in the house, which is still standing. This house is weather-boarded and has shutters at the windows and is well maintained by Vera (Copenhaver) and Everett Box and their son James who live on the premises. No one lives in the old house, which is built around the original log house. The log grandeur is standing. Vera inherited the property from Peter's son Oscar (b. 1864).

DANIEL (b. 1836) & FRANK COPENHAVER (b. 1857) Homes - Return to the Greenwood Church on Rt. 645. Turn left, down the hill a short distance to the first road on the right to Daniel's (Henry's son) house. The house is barely off the road, but is not visible until you are in front of it. The house is quite modern looking and is well maintained. Return to Rt. 665 at the church and turn left and retrace your route by Henry's second home. At the fork, stay on Rt. 665 along the creek to Rt. 617. Continue on Rt. 617 to Hungry Mother Park Store and turn left onto Rt. 16, to the large sign marking the entrance to Hungry Mother State Park. Between this sign and the road that turns into the park, there is a small clearing and a sign marked "boat launch"; this was the site of Frank's house (Henry's son). It was a well-built log house, which was demolished when Hungry Mother Lake was built. Most of the land in the park belonged to Henry and did not change from his day, until the park acquired it.

FRED (b. 1826) (son of Henry) COPENHAVER HOUSE - Turn into the entrance of Hungry Mother Park to the swimming beach and continue through the park. Beyond the park is private property that belongs to Charles Staley Copenhaver (b.1839), (Henry's son) whose daughter, Josephine inherited this land. She married EIcanah Ford in 1884 and the land has been in the Ford family to this present time; some of which has just recently changed hands. Return through the park and turn left back onto Rt. 16, return to the fork in the road at Hungry Mother Park Store and bear left (which is still Rt. 16). Approximately a half-mile, below the road on the right is Fred's home. The mailbox has the name of Blevins on it. There are some interesting walks around this house of dressed stone, but they are not visible from the road.

JAMES "JIM" HENRY (b. 1840) COPENHAVER HOUSE - There are no visible signs to show that a house once stood on the site. One way to reach this site would be to retrace the route to the right of the Hungry Mother Park store (Intersection of RT 617 and 16), go to the next intersection and bear left up the hill on Rt. 700. Approximately a half-mile, there is a brick house on the right that was probably built in the 1920s, immediately across the road are the remains of a horseshoe turn in the former roadbed. Jim's house was on this horseshoe. It is about a half mile from this place to the Marion Town limits at "Fairground Hill". Henry is said to have owned land from the top of Fairground Hill to the top of Walker's Mountain, and he left a farm to each of his sons. As these roads are charted, it is clear that they connected the original sites of all these Copenhavers.

***Our sincere appreciation is extended to Roberta Copenhaver for her extensive research, time and effort that enables the family to have this document.

Compiled by Miss Roberta M. Copenhaver (August 1991)

Revised by Mr. & Mrs. F.J. (Karen) Copenhaver, Jr. (May 2002)

 

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