Giving Directions in Southwest Virginia



Regional Tapestries
Mail List
Tapestry Library
……………………..The Tapestry
Families Old Chester OldAugusta Germanna
New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
The Smokies Old Kentucky

Roads of the Tapestry
We're goin' west to Kaintuck
The Dug Road the old Reedy Creek Road
The Road down Troublesome
Road through Moccasin Gap
June Carter, 1965. "The Road to Kaintuck"
Ballads of the Old West, Select Track 2



From Source:Campbell, 1921


It is not to be understood that the pioneer always followed closely the bed of a river, though the use of water, as defined by a mountain pupil today, "to make a road," was well recognized in frontier times. On the contrary, the Indian and buffalo trails which he commonly used kept often to the high ground, even to the top of the ridges, their general course controlled by the direction of the ranges, location of gaps, and courses of streams. An inference, however, as to the early importance of rivers, creeks, and branches as routes of travel, may be gathered from a recital of directions actually given to the writer a year ago when he was about to take a ninety-mile ride from one mountain school to another and thence to a county-seat. These directions, it should be explained, were not furnished by one person, the morning informant generally closing his instructions with the advice to "stop by and ask .... at the mouth of..., and he will tell you how to go."

Go up the Trace Branch of the right fork of Troublesome;
down Betty's Troublesome to Carr;
down Carr to the mouth of Defeated;
up to the head of Defeated;
over a mountain;
down Bull's Creek to the North Fork of the River;
down the River for a mile to the mouth of Leatherwood;
up Leatherwood four miles to Stony Fork;
up Stony Fork to the head;
cross the mountain;
follow down the least branch on yon side of the mountain to Line Fork;
up Line Fork to the headwaters of Greasy;
down Greasy to the 'college.'
From the 'college' go down Greasy six miles to the mouth of Rockhouse;
go up Rockhouse and take the right fork over the mountain;
across Wolf and Coon to the headwaters of Cutshin;
down Cutshin, fording three times;
up Flacky, across a right rough little hill to the head of Owl's Nest;
down Owl's Nest to Middle Fork,
and up Middle Fork a piece to a deep ford;
ford the River, and you are at the place you are aiming at."