Southwest Virginia Early Routes

Watchers
Article Covers
Places
Virginia, United States
Welcome to the SWVP Tapestry!
……………………..The Tapestry
Families Old Chester OldAugusta Germanna
New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
The Smokies Old Kentucky

SWVP
Tapestry
Families
Maps
Library
History
Culture

__________________________


Index to Articles
An Overview
Summers Summary
Early Exploration Routes
Abraham Wood, 1654
Batts and Fallam 1671
Knights of the Golden Horseshoe, 1716
William Byrd 1736
Dr. Thomas Walker 1749-1750
Gist's Journal, 1750-1751

__________________________

It is likely that European's traveled through southwest Virginia before 1750, with long hunters and traders passing through using buffalo and Indian trails. One of their routes eventually came to be called "The Hunter's Trail", leading from the Castle's Wood area on the Clinch to Powell Valley and the Cumberland Gap. The earlist formal exploration of the area was undertaken by Dr. Thomas Walker in 1749/1750 who passed through on the way to the Cumberland Gap and Kentucky. Summers, 1929, shows his route passing through Moccassin Gap (Gate City), though he probably entered the Powell Valley by a southernly route through Handcock County, TN, as shown here. Walker was followed shortly thereafter by Christopher Gist on his return to Virginia after exploring the Ohio and Kentucky areas for the Ohio Company in 1750-1751. Gist's Route route took him through Pound Gap into Southwest Virginia. By 1774 a road from Roanoke to the north passed soutwesterly into the area. Known as "The Road to the Clinch" it served as the major settlement route for the area for pioneers coming from the Shenandoah Valley. After the establishment of Boone's Road in 1776, the Road to the Clinch became known as "The Kentucky Road" or the "Kentucky Trace", or sometimes as "Boone's Road". Routes shown here are based on a depiction in Summers, 1929, as well as the 1774 map of Daniel Smith. Portions of some of the routes shown differ somewhat from Summers, 1929. Additional work on these routes is needed. Bill 16:20, 1 November 2007 (EDT) ___________________________________________________________
Early routes of exploration and settlement c1750-c1776.  Based on routes given by Source:Summers, 1929.  Click on the map to view at larger scale.
Enlarge
Early routes of exploration and settlement c1750-c1776. Based on routes given by Source:Summers, 1929. Click on the map to view at larger scale.
Fundraiser
Help fund new features!