History: In the early 1600's the land in southwest Virginia originally belonged to the Native American Indians. When the first white explorers reached the area, they found many recently abandoned settlements but few Native Americans. The Indians were forced west as huge tracts of their land were appropriated as homesteads for immigrant European families or to reward Revolutionary War soldiers for their service. In 1745 James Patton received a land grant that contained much of what is currently Smyth County. In the following years, his representatives began surveying, providing the first written records of the land that later became Smyth County, and Marion. Early frontiersmen, like Daniel Boone and Dr. Thomas Walker, were exploring Southwest Virginia about this time, making use of the famous Wilderness Road, which started as a buffalo trail. Today Highway 11, which passes through the middle of Marion, follows the path of the Wilderness Road.