VAHALIFA-L ArchivesArchiver > VAHALIFA > 2006-09 > 1157663424
From: Alpha Hiatt <>
Subject: PCGS To Present a Program on The Moravians and Wagon Roads
Date: Thu, 7 Sep 2006 14:10:24 -0700 (PDT)
PCGS TO PRESENT A PROGRAM ON
THE MORAVIANS AND WAGON ROADS
The Patrick County Genealogy Society will present a
program on the Moravians and Wagon Roads on
Tuesday,September 19th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Stuart
Baptist Church Fellowship Hall on Blue Ridge Street
(across from the historic Patrick County Courthouse).
Richard Starbuck of the Moravian Archives will be the
guest speaker. This is the program that was
rescheduled from February 21st, 2006.
The Great Wagon Road was the main North-South
artery, and was the main route of transportation from
North to South into the Blue Ridge area of the
Piedmont. This Road is thought to have touched far
southeast Patrick County where Patrick and Henry
Counties come together along the North Mayo River
(near Fort Mayo). The Great Wagon Road came out of
the Shenandoah Valley and crossed into Franklin County
near Raven Gap where it came out of the Roanoke
Valley, then passed through Callaway, Ferrum, the
Philpott area, forded the Smith River in the Bassett
area, then came through Rangeley, Preston, and Spencer
and crossed the North Mayo River into North Carolina.
From there it went into Stokes County, North
Carolina, forded the Dan River at Upper Sauratown at
Walnut Cove, and then continued to Wachovia in what
then Forsyth County which later became Bethabara.
The Great Wagon Road is shown on The
Fry-Jefferson Map of the colonies of Virginia and the
Carolinas which was produced in 1751 showing most of
the streams and locations of the settlements. Peter
Jefferson,Thomas Jefferson's father, and Joshua Fry, a
neighbor who had taught mathematics at the College of
William and Mary, made the first good map of the state
since John Smith's of more than 100 years earlier.
This map included The Irvine River (now the Smith
River), Buffalo Creek, Peters Creek, and the Dan River
all located in Patrick County. During the 19th
Century, The Great Wagon Road was used for Stagecoach
travel from Salem, NC to Salem, VA and was known as
Stage Road. One of the stage stops was at the Colonel
Archelaus Hughes home which was an ordinary at that
time. The Moravians have a mileage list of this
The settlement of Bethabara was founded on November
17, 1753 when twelve settlers came from Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania down the Great Wagon Road up the
Shenandoah Valley until they got to Big Lick
(Roanoke) and crossed over the Blue Ridge then they
meandered. Several days into the meandering one of
them climbed a hill (which is recorded in a travel
guide) and said he saw the Pilot. Several days later
they came into NC. The Moravian brethren arrived after
walking from Pennsylvania along the Great Wagon Road
and had with them their Conestoga Wagon. The
Conestoga Wagon was a sturdy, colorful wagon used by
American pioneers. It was named for the Pennsylvania
town where it was first built in the middle 1700's.
Conestogas carried most of the freight and people
until about 1850. The Conestoga Wagon was pulled by
six horses or oxen and later used to haul tobacco and
other heavy loads. It could carry five tons of cargo.
The Moravians were very important to the economy
of the area as they had merchants, and potters who
could make stoneware of which food was served from
their stone crocks, and they traded with their English
speaking neighbors. They also had doctors which
Moravians have had dealings with people here in
Patrick and Carroll Counties during the French
Indian War 1755-1756 through 1772. Van Neman Zeverly,
a Moravian missionary, in the 1820's & 1830's began
travels into Carroll & Patrick Co. to bring the
gospel unto the settlers. From that missionary work,
there are now four Moravian Churches which are located
in the counties of Patrick and Carroll in VA, and
Surry County in NC including Mount Bethel, Willow
Crooked Oak, and Grace Moravian. Willow Hill is the
only one in Patrick County.
This meeting is FREE and open to everyone. We
encourage you to bring pictures that you may have in
your family showing your ancestors raveling in the
covered wagons and of Patrick County wagon makers.
For more information, please call 276-692-5920.
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|PCGS To Present a Program on The Moravians and Wagon Roads by Alpha Hiatt <>|