Martinsville, Virginia


Explore the Rich History of Martinsville-Henry County

Have you ever been curious about the past events and history of the Martinsville-Henry County area? History is all around us and easily accessible if we are ready to learn. What types of historical things and places can you find in MHC? Tons of them are waiting to be discovered such as: historic cemeteries, historical monuments and markers and eight different museums.


Oakwood Cemetery

The Historic Oakwood Cemetery was established in 1883 and is Martinsville's oldest public cemetery. When you take a drive through Oakwood you will be taken back by all the beautiful architecture and symbolism that will fill you with curiosity and admiration. Some interesting facts about Oakwood Cemetery: the cemetery is home to an unknown soldier who was killed in a skirmish in the Jones Creek area in 1865, one Union soldier and several Confederate soldiers.

The Richard P. Gravley, Jr. Nature Preserve in Ridgeway, offers a scenic interpretive hiking trail with many points of interests along the way, including the historic Burgess Cemetery. The plantation cemetery contains graves dating back to 1835. An interpretive sign on-site and companion brochure provide insight to the history of this plantation and those buried there. Near the Gravely Nature Preserve is the cemetery of John & Jane Burgess. John was a former slave of the Burgess Plantation. The cemetery is located on private property but a historic marker can be seen from Old Mill Road.

In addition to these, Martinsville-Henry County is also home to the beautiful Roselawn Cemetery as well as many private family cemeteries scattered throughout the area. 


Historic Markers and Monuments

There are many historic areas, lands and markers scattered throughout Martinsville-Henry County. Discover something new (or "old" should we say) while you enjoy the great outdoors.

Henry County was temporarily home to the Colonial Patriot, Patrick Henry, and thus Henry County was named. In 1922, the Daughters of the American Revolution had a 10 foot tall granite monument erected in his honor off of, present day, Old Liberty Drive in Axton, VA. This spot is where Patrick Henry's home was located during his stay from 1779-1784.

There are numerous roadside historical markers throughout Martinsville-Henry County that recognize important places, people and happenings that shaped the history of MHC. Have you ever stopped and read the ones that you see? Next time you see one of the markers, take the time to pull over and read about what makes that area important. You just may learn something new. For a complete list of historical markers throughout Martinsville-Henry County, click here.

MHC Heritage Center & Museum

Discover Martinsville's Museums

Martinsville-Henry County is proud to boast being home to eight museums of various types for you to explore local history and culture. Stop by one of the museums to learn a thing or two from the past.

Be sure to check out our board on Pinterest for more historical information. The Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society or the Bassett Historical Center will be happy to assist you with questions you may have after researching the cemeteries, historical markers and monuments.