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Town of Haysi Receives Virginia Tourism Corporation Grant for Tourism Marketing

Town of Haysi Receives Virginia Tourism Corporation Grant for Tourism Marketing

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced earlier this year that the Town of Haysi has received $8,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Regional Marketing Program (RMP). In total, VTC awarded more than $3.2 million for 236 local and regional tourism marketing programs across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.

The Town of Haysi received an $8,000 grant for Haysi’s Russell Fork Autumn Fest. The Town of Haysi partnered with Dickenson County Board of Supervisors, Dickenson County Tourism, and Dickenson County Chamber of Commerce to supply $3,000 in matching funds. Haysi’s Russell Fork Autumn Fest has been a staple event in the Haysi Community for several decades with a focus on bluegrass music and craft vendors highlighted with a parade, good food, and fun!

Dickenson County Tourism Director Rita Surratt said "I am very pleased the Town of Haysi received grant funding from Virginia Tourism Corporation for their annual Haysi Russell Fork Autumn Festival. It is always a pleasure to offer support to the Town for this event and I appreciate VTC for the opportunity to apply for these grants.”

Using the hub and spoke tourism partnership model, Virginia entities partner to apply for funding. Partners may consist of Virginia cities, towns, counties, convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other tourism-related businesses. “VTC’s tourism marketing and sponsorship programs are designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships, and to extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand to drive visitation,” said Rita McClenny, VTC President and CEO. More information on VTC’s Marketing Leverage and Regional Marketing Programs can be found at

“VTC’s marketing and sponsorship programs are powerful incentives creating tourism partnerships across Virginia that are a robust part of Virginia’s economic ecosystem,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “From first-time applicants like Foxfield Races and Paradise Springs Winery to large music festivals in Hampton Roads and Southwest Virginia driving inbound overnight visitation, these programs show that tourism and tourism partnerships help Virginia’s vibrant communities grow and thrive.”

“Driving inbound out-of-state overnight visitation is a key economic strategy and the VTC grant and sponsorship programs help create unique partnerships that have tangible economic impacts across Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “Many of these programs also support regional marketing initiatives designed to encourage Virginians to explore their own state.”

For more information on the Town of Haysi, visit

About Town of Haysi

Before the construction of the Clinchfield Railroad, before the establishment of a post office and before the Yellow Poplar Lumber Co. erected a splash dam on the Russell Fork River, the Town of Haysi was a laurel bed referred to as “the Mouth of the McClure”. The area is surrounded by

majestic cliff formations of the Appalachian Mountains and a riverside formed by the confluence of three major waterways of Dickenson County: the McClure River, the Russell Prater Creek and the Russell Fork Rivers.

In the early 1800’s James Colley, son of Richard Colley, secured a title of 5000 acres in the vicinity of Haysi. His daughter, Josephine, married Jonathan Lender Scyphers and inherited the portions on which Haysi now stands. Josephine conveyed the land to her heirs, with two of her children, James C. Scyphers and Winnie W. Scyphers receiving the Haysi portion.

Winnie W. Scyphers married Otis L. Sifers who owned and operated a general store with Charles M. Hayter. The business was located near the mouth of the McClure River and the nearest post office was several miles away. To better serve the area they petitioned the U.S. Post Office Department for a new post office to be established in their general store. The sur names of Otis L. Sifers and Charles M .Hayter were used in the naming of the new post office. The United States Post Office accepted the name Haysi and Miss Winnie W. Scyphers was the first postmaster when it opened on July 25, 1900.

At the turn of the century the first store was constructed to provide for the workers of the Yellow Poplar Lumber Co. As the timber business began to grow so did the construction of the Clinchfield Railroad. The railroad was built to provide a means of export for coal and timber being extracted and logged from the surrounding Appalachian Mountains rich with these natural resources.

Haysi’s first public elementary school was established in 1911. A Junior High School was organized in 1926 and in 1928 a brick school house was constructed to accommodate the elementary and high school students.

Other businesses were opened to serve the local workers, residents and travelers on the Clinchfield Railroad. By 1930 notable businesses in Haysi included the Haysi Supply Co., McClure Bottling Co., Bank of Haysi, Haysi Hardware Co., and a large grocery store, The Fuller Store.

Miss Elizabeth Shoemaker came to Haysi in 1929 to offer Sunday School services to the public. In the same year, Rev. Mowbray, an evangelist of the Abingdon Presbytery, was conducting preaching services in the Haysi High School. The attendance to his preaching services continued to increase as he conducted his church work in the community. The construction of the Haysi

Chapel, one of three chapels representing the Dickenson First Presbyterian Church established in 1930, began in 1933 and was completed in 1934.

The town was incorporated on February 17, 1936. By this time the town’s main street was lined with businesses including movie theaters, several restaurants, car dealers and garages, a drug store, a department store and a doctor’s office.

In the following years, Clinchfield Coal Co. became the principle provider for employment for this small mountain town. The town’s economy continued to flourish while earlier established businesses provided services and commodities and new ones opened to fill the growing demands of the locality.

The Town of Haysi has suffered several major catastrophes. On December 5, 1934, a fire almost destroyed the town’s business section. The flood of January 29, 1957, devastated Haysi with flood waters eight feet high on Main Street. In 1977, the town experienced another flood that damaged every business and building on Main Street with nine feet high flood waters. Each time the town’s leaders, merchants and residents have survived the devastation to rebuild and improve the town.

The town administration has recently completed a major downtown revitalization project. Studies and plans are being conducted that will include upgrades to the town’s access to the river and downtown recreational amenities. The project will also include an economic development element to attract start-up businesses, tourism trade and growth in the agricultural sector.

With all the past events and what we envision for the future, our town of Haysi, Virginia could be coined as “THE TOWN THAT WOULD NOT DIE!”.

About Virginia Tourism Corporation

Virginia is for Lovers is one of the most iconic and recognizable travel brands in the world. Using that powerful brand equity, Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is charged with promoting the Commonwealth as a premier travel destination by showcasing all there is to love in a Virginia vacation. The dollars spent by travelers fuel the economy, provide jobs for Virginians, and improve communities across the state. Simply put, tourism helps make Virginia a great place to live, work, and vacation. Learn more at


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