Tucked in a valley just north of the Clinch River, Tazewell's county seat—first called Jeffersonville or Tazewell Court House—was platted in 1800. The town's twenty half-acre lots were confined within its constricted valley until large residential sections to the south and to the north were opened in the post-Civil War years. With few remaining architectural traces of its earliest years, the downtown now has mostly one- and two-story turn-of-the-twentieth-century brick commercial buildings dotted with an occasional iron-fronted building.
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