The Great Road in Old Augusta



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Old Augusta

Early Settlers
Beverley Manor
Borden's Grant

The Tapestry
Families Old Chester OldAugusta Germanna
New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
The Smokies Old Kentucky



Source:Morton, 1920


Nearly coinciding with the line of the present Valley Turnpike was an Indian warpath, which, like all the more conspicuous trails of its class, could be used by a wagon as well as by a pack-horse. This "Pennsylvania Road" was the one thoroughfare by which a stream of immigration poured into Augusta. The court of Orange adopted it as a county road. The latter portion of its order reads as follows:

And that the said road continue from Beverly Manor line to Gilbert Campbell's ford [1]on the North Branch of James River, and that Capn Benjamin Borden, Capn William Evins, and Capn Joseph Culton be overseers of the same, and that the gang to clear the same be all the inhabitants above Beverly Manor line to the said Gilbt Campbell's ford.

And that the road continue from Gilbt Campbell's ford to a ford at the Cherrytree Bottom on James River, and that Richard Wood, Gilbt Campbell, Joseph Lapsley, and Joseph Long be overseers, and that all the inhabitants betwixt the said rivers clear the same.

And that the said road continue from the said Cherrytree Bottom to Adam Harmon's on the New, or Wood's, River, and that Capn George Robinson and James Campbell, and Mark Evins, and James Davison be overseers of the same, and that all the inhabitants betwixt James River and Wood's River clear the same.

And that a distinct order be given to every gang to clear the same, and that it be cleared; as it is already blazed and laid off with two notches and a cross. Given under our hands this 8th day of April, 1745.

Gilbert Campbells Ford

Gilbert Campbell secured property on the North fork of the James River (yellow shading) at what soon came to be called "Gilbert Campbells Ford". Eventually the town of Lexington arose on this property. The actual ford site was probably where US 11 now crosses the river. Hildebrand's depiction of the property boundaries in this area suggests that the ford was actually on land that came to be owned by Gilberts kinsman, James Campbell (aqua blue shading). The later Campbell had previously secured land slightly to the north, about the same time Gilbert settled at the ford. Gilbert died about 1750 and James did not secure the parcel adjacent to Gilberts land until 1768. Until that time, the land the ford was on was apparently vacant. Though it was called "Gilbert Campbell's Ford" Gilbert probably did not actually own the land where the crossing was located. He was, however, the nearest land owner on the south side of the river. In anycase, in 1745, when the route of the Great Wagon Road to Philadelphia was established in the Lexington area, it was routed through "Gilbert Campbell's Ford".