Sherwood Anderson Festival tour sites include:

Smyth-Bland Regional Library--with Sherwood Anderson Archive, Southwest Virginia Heritage Room and Miller Law Office in Marion 

Walking Tour of Downtown Marion--Marion Publishing Company Print Shop, City Drug Store, Smyth County Museum and Staley Collins House, The Lincoln Theatre, Appalachian Spirit Art Gallery.


The walks start at the Appalachian Spirit Gallery where you will be greeted by one of our guides who will lead you on an informative walk that includes stories,  "historical gossip," and the opportunity to go inside of some of Marion's stately homes and places that Sherwood Anderson included on his daily strolls through town. 


 Guided group walks are available by reservation only and must be booked two weeks in advance.  Reservations will be accepted beginning August 21, 2007. 

                                                                                                      School Tours                                Group Tours

Sherwood Anderson Archives - SBRL


Sherwood Anderson Archive
The Sherwood Anderson Archive in the Smyth-Bland Regional Library offers what other libraries cannot, immediate access to Sherwood Anderson’s world in Southwestern Virginia.  The Archive contains many of Anderson’s first editions, a complete set of photographic reproductions of first editions published in Japan (courtesy of Dr. Kichinosuke Ohashi, Editor), and many books about Anderson by other authors.  Of special interest are Anderson’s typewriter, remarkable matted and framed photos taken in 1941 and original artwork.  Anderson published 26 books and stories in many magazines from 1915 until his death March 8, 1941. 

Sherwood Anderson Typwriter

SBRL Sherwood Anderson Exhibit
In conjunction with the Sherwood Anderson Festival, the Smyth-Bland Regional Library will house a unique and very special Sherwood Anderson exhibit from September through November, 2005.  The exhibition will include
Anderson’s first edition books, manuscript pages, letters to Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson, original Anderson art, periodicals, newspapers, oral history collections, photos, the typewriter that Anderson used and which he took on the S.S. Santa Lucia to Chile where he died in 1941, and many other artifacts.
SBRL Southwest Virginia Heritage Library
The Southwest Virginia Heritage Room is established as a resource center for those interested in genealogy and local history.  The collection is centered around materials dealing with the history of the area, its families, and its geographical resources as well as basic genealogical reference sources.  Dedicated in 1990, this memorial to Frederick and Eve Phillipi Copenhaver is sponsored by the Copenhaver family of
Smyth County.


Marion's Round Hill Cemetery, entered from South Park Street, dates from late 1800s.  Sherwood Anderson and Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson are buried near the top of the cemetery and the gravesite is marked by a monument designed by Andersons' friend and sculptor Wharton Esherick. 




Building that housed Marion Publishing Company


Located diagonal to the left corner of the Smyth County Court House, the original Marion Publishing Company Print Shop now houses the Law Offices of Patton Graham and John Graham. Late in 1927, Sherwood Anderson purchased two weekly newspapers, The Marion Democrat and The Smyth County News and he occupied an apartment on second floor of the Marion Publishing Company Print Shop.  Behind the Print Shop was an unsightly lot fill with Town of Marion machinery, tools, supplies, lumber, etc.  Anderson called the lot "Henry Mencken Park", prodded the Town to clean it up, and when that didn't happen he planted grass, flowers, etc. and in appreciation of his effort the citizenry renamed it Sherwood Forest.


Senate Members - Anderson, Thompson, Lincoln, &


The "Senate Chambers", located at the back of Doc Thompson's Drug Store, was the meeting place for Anderson and his Marion cronies to debate and solve local and world problems of the late 1920's.  The building currently houses Slemp-Brant-Saunders Insurance Agency and is located on Main Street directly across from the Smyth County Court House.



Staley-Collins House


The Smyth County Museum occupies a building constructed in 1908 as a school and is still owned by Smyth County.  Open Fridays and Saturdays from 10a.m. to 4p.m., the Museum houses a large quantity of local, regional and national artifacts and is operated by volunteers from the Smyth County Historical & Museum Society, Inc.

Staley-Collins House, 109 W. Strother Street.
Owned and operated by the Smyth County Historical Society and used for special exhibits and events, The Staley-Collins House was the home of former Virginia Lt.-Gov. L. Preston Collins, Jr.  The Staley-Collins House and the Smyth County Museum are located side-by-side, separated by North Church Street.


Interior Lincoln Theatre

The Lincoln Theatre

117 East Main Street

Marion, Virginia


Built in 1929, The Lincoln Theatre is one of three existing Art Deco Mayan Revival theatres in America. Built by industrialist C.C. Lincoln as a vaudeville and talking pictures palace, the theatre is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designed a Virginia Historic Landmark. Completely restored with a $1.8 million renovation and installation of state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, the 500-seat theatre reopened in May 2004 as a presenting organization and a programming facility. Of particular interest are the six large murals that grace the auditorium. Painted in 1929 by local artist Lola Poston, the meticulously restored murals depict scenes in early American and local history. For more information, visit or call (276) 783-6093.




Housed in what was once the home Lola Poston Harriman, the artist who painted the murals in the Lincoln Theatre. Today is serves as the studio and gallery for Appalachian Spirit Artist Association, a non profit group with the mission to celebrate the arts, traditions, lore, and spirit of the Appalachian Mountains and showcase the work of local talent.  A special Festival exhibit of local landmarks done in the style of modernist artists who befriended Sherwood Anderson will be on display. The artists also provide guided walking tours of the historic district.



In 1925 Anderson purchased a farm in the mountains in Grayson County, VA.  In March 1926 Bill Spratling, a New Orleans friend, drew up plans for a house and construction started in May.  The house had 18 inch thick stone walls, two wings made out of logs, and “would stand until Gabriel blew his horn.â€�  Outside a lovely terrace and lawn provided an area for the Andersons to entertain the many friends who visited and played croquet.  Anderson called his house “Ripshinâ€� after the creek that ran through the property.  Ripshin Farm is a National and Virginia Historic Landmark.  Although Anderson only lived at Ripshin for short periods of time he is quoted as saying, “ It was a place for my books.  It was a place to come and bring my friends.â€� Anderson died in 1941 but his widow, Eleanor, maintained Ripshin much as it was.  It remained a place for family and friends to enjoy, a tradition continued today by her heirs.  



General Francis Marion Hotel – A beautifully restored Historic Landmark Hotel in the heart of downtown Marion. This grand old hotel has been reborn with all the comfort, convenience and amenities of a thoroughly modern hotel while retaining the spirited ambience of the 1920s.Full service restaurant. A special exhibit in the Sherwood Anderson Suite, The Black Rooster Art Gallery, and proximity to the Lincoln Theatre are added treats.