Fries is named for Colonel Francis H. Fries, of North Carolina, founder of the Washington Mills Company. By 1900, Fries and his associates had determined that the New River could power a textile mill. The town was incorporated in 1902, and by the following year a dam, a textile mill, and 300 houses had been built. The town of Fries is also known for its early influence on country music. Henry Whitter, a local employee at the textile mill, traveled to New York City in Dec. 1923 and recorded the "Wreck on the Southern Old 97" and "Lonesome Road Blues." Inspired by Whitter, local musicians Kelly Harrell and Ernest Stoneman also recorded songs.
Geographic Location: Grayson County
Physical Description of Location: Fries, VA 24330. Located on Scenic Road (Rt. 94), 0.75 miles southwest of the junction of Scenic Road (Rt. 94) and Ivanhoe Road. Marker is on the right when traveling southwest on Scenic Road (Rt. 94).
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