164 acre farm with Potts Creek running through and adjoining Jefferson National Forest

Agent Contact:
Richard Grist, 304.645.7674

The 164 acre Old Smith Farm has nearly a mile of the famous Potts Creek (a trout stream) running through the farm and shares a common boundary with the Jefferson National Forest.


  • One of the area’s oldest farmsteads in continuous agricultural use since the 1800’s
  • 164.5 acres with a new boundary survey
  • Located in the sleepy hamlet of historic Paint Bank
  • ¼ mile boundary shared with the Jefferson National Forest
  • Nearly 1 mile of big running Potts Creek (a trout stream) flowing through the property
  • 9/10’s mile of dashed blue line stream with headwaters on the National Forest
  • 10 ephemeral streams flow during rain events and snow melt
  • Sheltered in the Potts Creek watershed valley between Potts Mountain and Peters Mtn.
  • One hour to Roanoke, Blacksburg, Lewisburg with easy access to airports and interstates
  • A proven heavy producing mountain spring provides crystal clear – cold water to the farm
  • Excellent hardtop access with frontage on Route 311 and Potts Creek Road
  • 100 acres of valuable mature forest of high quality Appalachian hardwoods and white pine
  • 65 acres of rich bottomland cropland and upland pasture
  • Forest trails for hiking, horseback riding and ATV adventure
  • Exceptional bird population including neo-tropicals, eagles, woodpeckers, owls and hawks
  • Resident wildlife population density is unrivaled with rabbit, squirrel, deer, bear and turkey
  • Hand-crafted Mortise and tendon barn, older farm house and several outbuildings
  • Vintage 1800’s hand-hewn log building


The sleepy little hamlet of Paint Bank is just a mile down the road. The Paint Bank General Store and Swinging Bridge Restaurant is a popular stop travelers on Route 311 and locals alike. New Castle, the Craig County seat is just a 20 minute drive.


The Old Smith Farm and has many structures, some dating back to the 1800’s.

  • The two story farm house is typical of the period with a cut stone foundation. The home is solidly built but is in need of renovation.
  • The very old large barn was built using mortise and tendon construction.
  • A Vintage log building dates to the 1800’s
  • Machine Shed and work shop
  • Storage Shed behind house
  • Metal Carport
  • Wood shed
  • Original Outhouse


There are approximately 65 acres of open land composed of 44 acres of excellent bottomland suitable for growing corn or grass for hay 21 acres are in pasture composed of native bluegrass, timothy and clover.

Present fencing is in need of attention.


The farm has a mixture of hayfields/pasture, mature forest and abandoned farm fields, coupled with the abundant water supply from the creeks and springs, which creates the perfect wildlife habitat. The miles of “edge effect” created between field and forest is the perfect habitat for all the resident wildlife. The edges create a miles long wildlife food plot. White tail deer, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, fox and many species of songbirds, owls and raptors make up the resident wildlife population.

The hardwood forest provides the essential nutrient source and produces tons of hard mast including acorns, hickory nuts, beech nuts and black walnuts. Soft mast includes stag horn sumac, black cherry, tulip poplar seeds, maple seeds, autumn olive berries and blackberries.


The farm is blessed with year-round water sources. Potts creek flows through the property for nearly one mile. Several large hollows, many ephemeral streams flow during rain events and snow melt in the spring create topographic relief throughout the property.

A huge natural mountain spring flows year round and provides water to the farm. The flow rate in gallons per minute is not readily known.


The owner has chosen not to lease out any mineral-oil and gas rights and all rights the owner has will convey with the property.


Water: Proven Mountain Spring
Sewer: Septic
Telephone: available
Cellphone Coverage: Poor


Craig County is subject to some zoning. All prospective purchasers are encouraged to contact the Craig County Health Department for answers regarding installation of septic systems and water wells. Further information on county zoning may be answered by contacting the Craig County Commission.


13978 Potts Creek Road, Paint Bank VA, 24131
Craig County, Virginia

  • Elevation Range: 1814’ to 2545’
  • Coordinates (NAD83): 37.574283N -80.255812W
  • Surveyed Acreage: 164.5 acres by J. Brad Smith Professional Land Surveyor in 2015
  • The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre

Potts Creek District, Tax Map 20A
Parcel 10: $346.36 per half
Parcel 11: $272.44 per half
Parcel 12: $251.44 per half
Total: $870.24 per half

TOTAL: $1,740.48 Full Year 2016


The Old Smith Farm’s timber resource is composed of some high quality Appalachian hardwoods and white pine. This well managed timber resource can provide a great deal of flexibility to the next ownership in terms of potential harvest revenue and can be managed to provide cash flow opportunities to offset holding cost and long-term asset appreciation.

Capital Timber Value of the timber and pulpwood has not been determined.

Species composition:
The forest’s predominately well-drained upland terrain has led to a resource dominated by hardwood species. Overall, the species composition is highly desirable and favors Appalachian hardwood types, consisting primarily of:

• Black Cherry
• Sugar Maple
• Poplar/Cucumber/Basswood
• Red Oak Group
• White Oak/Chestnut Oak
• Soft Maple
• Hickory
• Ash
• As well as a host of associate species ( black walnut, birch, beech)

Stocking, Stem Quality, and Forest Structure:

Forest-wide, most stands are fully stocked, providing the next ownership with a great deal of flexibility in shaping their own silvicultual legacy. Stem quality forest-wide can be considered excellent with the forest containing an abundant current and future veneer source.

The farm’s timber component has been well managed over the years and generally consists of two age classes that have been managed under even-aged silvicultural guidelines. The predominant timber stand contains 40-120 year old stems ranging in size of 10”-36” dbh. Portions of this stand have been thinned over the last several decades as prudent forest management called for. Many sections of this stand are ready for a selective thinning which will generate considerable income.

The second distinct stand was established over the past 50 years when some of the farm fields and pastures were abandoned and the forest began to naturally regenerate. These stands represent a quality hardwood resource and will be reaching economic maturity in the next 20-40 years.

Sawlog & Veneer Value: These species dominate the sawlog and veneer value, collectively representing nearly all the total sawlog value.

• The Red Oak group
• White Oak group
• Yellow Poplar/Basswood
• Maples
• Hickory
• Ash
• The remaining value is spread across a diverse range of species including, Beech, Black Walnut, Birch and other associates.

Diameters are well represented across the commercial spectrum with a notable mature size class, as well as abundant pole size timber and growing stock.

Several “Heritage Trees” are scattered throughout the forest and field edges. These ancient trees, some 200-300 years old, have withstood the test of time, weathering ice, wind, lightning strikes and fire.

The forest is healthy and presently there are no signs of pest infestations of Gypsy Moth. The Emerald Ash Borer and Hemlock Wooly adelgid are present and it is anticipated that the Ash component will come under attack by the borer in the next decade. There have been no forest fires in the recent memory.

The forest floor is home to several types of mushrooms, medicinal plants, wild ginseng, ferns and cool green mosses. One could spend a lifetime getting to know this inviting environ.



Paint Bank got its name from the iron ochre and red clay taken from the banks of Potts Creek that was used by Native Americans, notably the Cherokees, as war paint, and to make their pottery with a distinctive red color. Reportedly settled by permanent settlers in the 18th century, during the early days of the 19th century, the same red clay was later made into a commercial paint and red bricks for permanent buildings. A number of land grants were made by Lord Fairfax and the Commonwealth of Virginia, especially by the later around Paint Bank in the 1820s through the 1850s.

A few miles up the road between Sweet Springs, West Virginia and Paint Bank, is the location of the home of Ann Anne Royall. By some accounts, she was the first professional female journalist in America.

“During the Civil War, the off-the-beaten-path community became known as the “Union hole,” a place for deserters and resisters. It was close to this area that Union General David Hunter fought his most difficult battle, a confrontation involving two of Craig County’s highest mountains, on his trek from Lynchburg, Va., to Sweet Springs, West Virginia”

The Order of the Heroes of America, also known as the “Red Strings”, extended into southwestern Virginia as well. Paint Bank, Virginia was known as a Union-Hole because of the pro-Union membership in these societies. One of the members of the Order was a Christiansburg, Virginia wheelwright named Williams. It is not known if this is the same man named Williams that residents of Back Valley, Virginia spoke about as a member of the Loyal League. “Paint Bank, in Craig County, was the core of what local citizen George A. Linton called the “Union Hole”-an area with mixed loyalties that sometimes swayed heavily to the north, in this traditionally southern state.”


Colonel William Preston (Virginia) established a grist mill for corn and wheat in Paint Bank. “The grist mill sits on Potts Creek, on property originally owned by Revolutionary War hero Colonel William Preston. Colonel Preston was given the land grants in 1780 for his service in the war.” Through the years since the American Revolution, ownership of the mill changed several times, and eventually became known as “Tingler’s Mill”.

A sign advertising Jim Dandy High Energy Dog Ration at the Paint Bank General Store in Paint Bank, Virginia

Although the Tingler’s Mill building today only dates to 1873, the mill site has been in Botetourt County, where it was originally established in 1783. Then the land became part of Monroe County, Virginia in 1851. Then Craig County was formed in 1863 when West Virginia became a state, then was returned to Virginia. “Because of Civil War boundary changes, the mill has been in two different states and five different counties without ever having been moved.” The mill site is now undergoing renovation and conservation.


Iron ore and manganese were mined in the area during the 19th and early 20th centuries by the Virginia Iron, Coal & Coke Company.

During World War I, some further investigations were made in the region for strategic minerals needed for the war. Again during World War II, the Strategic Minerals Investigations team of the United States Geological Survey promoted the mining of manganese as a strategic mineral. Sandstones and cherty sandstones of the Helderberg group are impregnated with manganese oxides, and they are exposed by a cut in the road 2 miles southwest of Paint Bank on the floor of Potts Creek.


During the 19th century, timber cutting was prevalent in the area, especially for the hardwoods. Oak and hemlock bark was used in tanning leather during this period, and these products were highly prized. The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are located nearby, as are the Shawvers Run Wilderness and Barbours Creek Wilderness areas. On Peters Mountain are parts of the Old-growth forest. “The Shawvers Run Wilderness Area is located in northern Craig County. This is an area of rugged and remote mountain terrain on the northwestern slope of Potts Mountain, just over the hill from Barbours Creek Wilderness. Elevations range from 2,000 feet on Shawvers Run in the extreme north to 3,800 feet on the top of Hanging Rock in the south. Hanging Rock, Virginia is a 240-acre geologic attraction. Rough hiking will take you through a hardwood forest interspersed with yellow pine, hemlock, and white pine growing in some of the drainages. Within the Wilderness, the headwaters of Valley Branch contain native brook trout, as does Shawvers Run. There is plenty of wildlife.”


At the beginning of the 20th century, the local branch line of the Potts Valley Branch line of the Norfolk & Western Railway. The Train Depot dates from 1909, and the Section Foreman’s Cottage dates from 1910. During this period, daily trains carried out the ore and lumber, and brought in passengers and goods.[16] Paint Bank was the center of a mining and timber boom in the early 1900s, when over 2,000 people lived around Potts Creek. The trains had to turn around at the terminus of a dead end run at Paint Bank.

Originally, the Big Stony Railway was extended from the Norfolk and Western Railroad tracks at Ripplemead in 1896. The track followed the Big Stony Creek along an easy grade to reach the timber stands in the mountains. In 1909 the tracks were extended 27 miles to Paint Bank, and renamed “The Potts Valley Branch”, the “Virginia and Potts Creek Railroad” or the “Punkin Vine.” The tracks were removed during the 1930s and the Depression.


Potts Creek, originally called “Carpenter Creek”, runs through the village. The name was originally applied to a land grant of over 700 acres dating from 1750 to John Carpenter, which was located near present-day Covington, Virginia. The Paint Bank Virginia Fish Hatchery run by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is located in Paint Bank, and the trout that are raised there are released locally. Brown trout, Brook trout and Rainbow trout are raised there. The trout are released when they are about 18 months old, and are used to stock streams in nine counties. “This state fish hatchery, just south of Paint Bank, provides a unique look into the trout rearing and stocking process. Numerous concrete tanks hold up to 1.6 million trout in all stages of development, thus providing an easy viewing experience. Around the fish hatchery is a variety of wildlife. The creek that runs along the edge of the property should be checked for butterflies, birds and at dusk some white-tailed deer.”


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