About FCHS


The name Fort Chiswell comes from a frontier fort built in 1758 as an outpost during the French and Indian War. It was one in a chain of forts built by Colonel William Byrd and was named in honor of colonel John Chiswell who discovered lead at Austinville in 1756. The fort was situated at the junction of the Great Trading Path and the Richmond Road, near the New River. Famous pioneers such as Daniel Boone passed over the Wilderness Road to settle the westward frontiers of the time. The fort fell into disrepair in the 18th century as both the county seat and courthouse were moved from Fort Chiswell to the county seat in Wytheville, 12 miles to the west. The remaining foundations of the Fort and its surrounding buildings were completely covered over during the construction of I-77 in Wythe County during the 1970s. There is a pyramid shaped historical marker of sandstone situated approximately 200 yards west-northwest of the fort's original location next to the old chicken house.

Fort Chiswell high school was constructed on a spacious sixty-six acre site in eastern Wythe County. The building opened August 28, 1960 with an enrollment of 584. In 1966, the Pioneers opened their football season in the new stadium which had been built by the combined efforts of the students and the school-spirited patrons in the community. In 1971 the stadium was dedicated to the memory of C. F. McKenney, a popular teacher and faithful worker in the Fort’s athletic programs.


Our Pioneer Spirit, long may it shine

Steadfast and glorious as our heritage commands.

Torches have kindled inspiration true;

A guiding light you’ll always be, so

Hail to the Fort!

Your hallowed hallways through which we pass,

Striving to realize ever-new frontiers to conquer

As we go forward, loyal we will be

To you our Alma Mater, we say

Hail to the Fort!

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