Drawing of the Bland County Jail Bland
Picture of the jail

The Bland County Historical Society is located in the "old jail building" on the courthouse square. Volunteers are at the jail each Friday for research and shopping, and on other days by appointment. Phone (276) 688-0088

A Brief History of Bland County


The County of Bland was formed from necessity and popular demand. The people became dissatisfied with the inconvenience of traveling over long mountain trails to other counties to transact legal affairs, and too, they were unhappy over taxes they paid for the upkeep of other counties. As a result of this dissatisfaction and the growing population in this area, there was a demand for local government supported by local revenue. Thus, an act to form a new county was passed on March 31, 1861, by the Virginia General Assembly. This county was formed from portions of Giles, Wythe and Tazewell Counties, and was named Bland in honor of Richard Bland of Revolutionary War fame.

Richard Bland was a Virginia statesman and champion of public rights. Son and grandson of successful planters, he was educated at The College of William and Mary. From 1742 until his death in 1776, he was a state legislator, first in the House of Burgesses, and later, with the adoption of a state constitution, in the House of Delegates. He also served as a delegate from Virginia in the First and Second Continental Congresses. Because of his careful study of the ancient records of the colony, he was respected not only as a political leader, but also as the leading authority on Virginia's history.

See more on Richard Bland.