Our Physical Location is:
The Carter Family Memorial Music Center, Inc.
3449 A. P. Carter Highway
Hiltons, VA 24258
The Surrounding Area
Virginia (and northeast Tennessee) is rural, mountainous, and ruggedly
beautiful. It's also the legendary home of the Carter Family. Fabled
Clinch Mountain, celebrated in countless country, folk, and bluegrass
songs, rises directly behind The Carter Family Fold and all the homes
and places that are part of the history of this remarkable musical
For those fans familiar with the history of the Carter
Family, the community known as Maces Springs is the hometown and
legendary base of operations for A.P., Sara, and Maybelle, the original
trio. Maces Springs no longer has a post office, and the town of
Hiltons now applies to the area previously known as Maces Springs or
Poor Valley. The original family homes and historic sites related to
the Carter Family and previously having addresses in Maces Springs now
have addresses in Hiltons.
Where To Stay
approximately 20 miles from the largest nearby cities of Bristol,
Virginia/Tennessee, and Kingsport, Tennessee. These towns have most of
the major hotel chains and are recommended to those planning overnight
stays. Other nearby towns are Abingdon and Duffield (Virginia) and
Johnson City (Tennessee).
There are many campgrounds throughout the area.
additional information on available accommodations in Scott County,
check out the Scott County Lodging Association web site at:
Carter Family Sites
Five historic landmarks are connected to the Carters and lie within a few miles of each other. They are:
· A.P. Carter's Birthplace
· The House of A.P. and Sara Carter
· The House of Ezra and Maybelle Carter (and June, Helen, and Anita)
· Mount Vernon United Methodist Church and Cemetery
· A.P. Carter Store—now The Carter Family Museum
Of these five landmarks, only the store/museum and the church are open to the public.
birthplace, an old log cabin and an officially designated National
Historic Site, has been moved from an inaccessible, remote area
unavailable to automobiles and visitors. It is now permanently situated
next door to the Carter Family Museum. The cabin is open
Saturdays from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and during the festival each year.
The two houses - A.P. and Sara's house, Maybelle
and Ezra's home - are still owned and occupied by family members but may
be seen from the A.P. Carter Highway.
The A.P. Carter Store, a
general store owned and operated by A.P. Carter in the later years of
his life, is now The Carter Family Museum. Located right next door to
the Fold, it is open Saturdays from 6:00 p. m. to 7:30 p.m. and during the
festival each year.
A.P. and Sara are buried in the cemetery behind the Mt. Vernon Church
as are their children Janette and Joe. Their graves can be
visited at any time. Mt. Vernon Church has services at 11:00 a.m.
each Sunday; Sunday school is at 9:45 a.m. (Maybelle and Ezra and
Helen, Anita, and June are buried at Hendersonville, Tennessee.) Click
on the link above to visit the Church's web site.
What To See and Do
There's lots to do and see all around Hiltons, Maces Springs, and Poor Valley.
the site of the historic 1927 recording sessions that are credited with
being the beginnings of the country music industry and which included
Carter Family recordings, is a must-see for anyone interested in the evolution and history of country music.
building in which those sessions occurred is no longer standing, but a
monument marks the spot (on State Street). Not to be missed is the
inspiring commemoration mural covering the entire side of a downtown
building (again on State Street). Depending on the
day you visit, there may be live music and street dancing in the small
park next to the mural. The outstanding Mountain Music
Museum, is another essential place to visit.
Abingdon is home to
the historic Martha Washington Inn and Barter Theater. Bristol,
Kingsport, and Johnson City (known as the Tri Cities) have active arts
councils that sponsor various programs throughout the year. Antique
shops are scattered throughout the region and offer something for
almost everyone's price range. The Appalachian Trail runs through the
area and is one of many local hiking trails.
A stroll through
Jonesborough, Tennessee (the state's oldest town) reminds you of a
country town from an earlier time. Each year, Jonesborough hosts
a story-telling festival which brings people from all over the world to
the area. The area's mountainous terrain is beautiful year round but is
especially breathtaking in the autumn.
The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, winds through the
mountains of Southwest Virginia. Here, the Bluegrass, Old Time, and
Traditional Country music is as beautiful and rugged as the landscape
itself. Our mission: Supporting economic development by promoting
Heritage Tourism and Blue Ridge and Appalachian culture.
How To Get Here
traveling northbound on I-81 would take the Kingsport exit onto
I-26; follow I-26 until it ends. Then take highway
23 north toward Gate City. You will soon begin to see green highway
markers directing you to the Carter Fold. Follow
the signs, turn right at the fourth traffic light onto highway
224. Take the first left onto highway 58 east (toward Bristol). Follow Highway 58 to Highway 709 and turn left
in Hiltons. Follow Highway 709 to Highway 614, then turn right on
Highway 614 to Mendota. This part of the road has been designated the
A.P. Carter Highway. Follow this road for about three miles, when
you'll see the Fold on your left.
Coming from I-81 south, take
Exit 1 (Bristol, Gate City exit). This will put you on Highway
58. Stay in the right lane to Gate City, then follow 58 to
Hiltons (about 25 miles).
Turn right on Highway 709 at the
store; follow Highway 709 to Highway 614, then turn right on Highway
614, the A.P. Carter Highway. Follow Highway 614 for three miles.
You'll see the Carter Fold on your left.
The nearest airport to
Hiltons (approximately 40 miles away) is Tri-Cities Airport located at
Blountville, Tennessee. Blountville is centrally located between
Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City. Other airports nearby are
Asheville (North Carolina) and Knoxville, Tennessee.
area has a wide variety of overnight accommodations from campgrounds to
hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfast establishments.