The community's dramatic colonial history contrasts with its current incarnation as a commercial crossroads where two interstate highways (I-77 and I-81) meet. Here Colonel William Byrd III made his campsite on an expedition in 1760 against Native Americans on the western frontier that ended in 1762 in a negotiated truce with the Cherokee. His campsite, part of Alexander Sayers's cabin and mill complex on the north side of the road, became a military out-post named Fort Chiswell, for Byrd's friend Colonel John Chiswell. The north side of I-81 has archaeological remains of the early Fort Chiswell and the south side has visible reminders of the McGavock family, early settlers here.
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