(Franklin, W-Va.)-Warm Springs-Hot Springs-Covington-Clifton Forge-Roanoke-Rocky Mount-Martinsville-(Winston-Salem, N.C.). US 220.
West Virginia Line to North Carolina Line, 187.4 m.
Paved throughout, chiefly with asphalt.
Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. parallels route between Hot Springs and Eagle Rock; Norfolk & Western Ry. roughly between Roanoke and North Carolina Line.
Accommodations, resort hotels, tourist homes in villages, and commercial hotels in towns.
This route takes a north-south course across Virginia and affords a diversified view of the 'back country,' settled in the middle of the eighteenth century during the desperate last stand of the Indians against encroachment by the whites. It is now punctuated by textile mills.
Section a. WEST VIRGINIA LINE to ROANOKE; 119.4 m. US 220. This section of the highway follows the Jackson River between lofty peaks of the Alleghenies, passes through an area of thermal and mineral springs, and enters the Roanoke Valley.
US 220 crosses the West Virginia Line, 0 m., at a point 15 miles south of
Franklin, W.Va. (see West Virginia Guide) and runs to a junction with State 284 at 1.1 m.
Right on this road, which affords beautiful views along the South Fork of the Potomac River, to CRABBOTTOM, 2.7 m. (3,000 alt., 100 pop.), in the fertile limestone soil of Crabbottom Valley. East of the village is a curious limestone formation that arches up from the river like the vertebrae of some monstrous prehistoric animal and gives the place the name of Devil's Backbone.
Left from Crabbottom 1.3 m. on County 640 to NEW HAMPDEN (50 pop.), a mountain hamlet between two long ridges. An old water-powered mill in the settlement grinds the grain of the neighborhood.
Right from New Hampden 0.5 m. on a foot trail crossing a ridge to INDIAN FLINT QUARRIES, where unfinished and broken implements mark the site of extensive primitive manufacturing operations. A local legend is that through treaty the quarries were considered neutral ground by the Indians, even during wars.
At 3.7 m. on US 220 is a junction with County 629.
Left here to SEYBERT HILLS (L), 2 m., a two-story clapboarded structure built in 1872 on the site of former Seybert homes. Stones in the present double end chimneys are relics, having been used in the chimney of the first house, a log cabin, built before the Revolution probably by Henry Seybert. He had been captured by Indians in 1758 during the raid on Fort Seybert, in what is now West Virginia. At the stockaded frontier post, Shawnee, led by Chief Killbuck, killed about 4o settlers, after having agreed to spare their lives in return for money and guns. The whites were lined up against a wall and tomahawked, the fort was burned, and four children--the oldest, Henry, 16--were taken captive; Henry later escaped and settled in this area.
MONTEREY, 7.4 m. (3,100 alt., 290 POP.), seat of Highland County, rests on an elevation between the valley and the mountains. Though as early as 1774 Samuel Black had a cabin here, in 1848 the site was still only a small clearing on the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike across the Allegheny Range.
The HIGHLAND COUNTY COURTHOUSE, a red brick structure with a large white columned portico, was built in 1848. It was the first courthouse of Highland County, which was formed the year before from parts of Bath County and Pendleton County (W.Va.).
The CONFEDERATE MONUMENT, on the court square, differs from its comrades in other Virginia counties in that the soldier shades his eyes with one hand and grips his gun with the other.
In Monterey is a junction with US 250 (see Tour 17b).
Below the highway is MACKEY SPRING (L), 11.8 m., which swirls up in tremendous volume.
At 27.8 m. the highway begins the climb up the southern tip of Jack Mountain, which separates Jackson and Warm Springs valleys.
The brick BARNER HOUSE (L), 36.7 m., of two-and-a-half stories, dates from the early nineteenth century. Its thick walls, laid in Flemish bond, rise to an ornate cornice of brick set flush with the roof line.
WARM SPRINGS, 38.7 m. (2,350 alt., 300 POP.), seat of Bath County is a pleasant little town cupped in a valley. Besides county administration,the business of the town is chiefly catering to tourists.
WARM SPRINGS INN, at the northern end of town, is composed of three red brick buildings on a spacious lawn close to the western base of Warm Springs Mountain. Two of the buildings, built about 1842, served the county until 1907 as courthouse and jail. The third, a small building, was built in 1820 for a law office.
Opposite the inn are two large bath houses and a pavilion. The springs supply sulphur water at a temperature of 96.5° and at a rate of 1,200 gallons per minute.
In 1750 Dr.Thomas Walker wrote of this valley: 'We visited the hot springs and found six invalids there. The spring is very clear and warmer than new milk . . . The settlers would be better able to support travelers was it not for the great number of Indian warriors that frequently take what they want from them, greatly to their prejudice.'
After the Indians had been driven back by the tide of settlement following the Revolution, the wealth and fashion of the Tidewater journeyed to the mountains to escape the miasma of lowland summers, and resorts flourished. According to Peregrine Prolix-pseudonym of a young Philadelphia lawyer who toured the country in the 1830's in a search for health-the costume suitable for resort use was 'a large cotton gown of a cashmere shawl pattern lined with crimson, a fancy Greek cap, Turkish slippers and a pair of loose pantaloons-a garb that will not consume much time in doffing and donning.' According to a writer of 1845, the springs were so popular that the bath house was run on schedule,' . . . two hours for ladies . . . and the same period for gentlemen' and 'a white flag hoisted as a signal that it is occupied by the former.'
The COURTHOUSE, a red brick structure built in 1908, serves Bath County which was created in 1790 from Augusta, Greenbrier (now in West Virginia), and Botetourt Counties, and so named because of the many springs within its boundaries.
In Warm Springs is a junction with State 501 (see Tour 11a).
Left 0.5 m. from Warm Springs to THREEE HILLS, which was the home of Mary Johnston, the novelist (see Literature; Tour 5b; and Richmond), from 1913 until her death in 1936. In these years she wrote Silver Cross, Croatan, The Slave Ship, The Great Valley, Michael Forth, and The Exile, books influenced by the philosophy of the mystics.
The HOMESTEAD HOTEL, at 43.1 m., an expansive four-story winged, red brick structure built around a 12-story tower, is surrounded by many acres of landscaped grounds, and many miles of territory used for amusement by its opulent clientele. Although its advertising pamphlets remind the public that Hot Springs 'is a place where hydrotherapy is administered,' emphasis is placed on golf, tennis (hard-surfaced courts are called 'EnTout-Cas' here), riding, driving, skeet, swimming, badminton, dancing, and honevmooning.
Thomas Bullitt, a frontier militiaman, about 1765 acquired 300 acres of land here and built a hotel. Overshadowed in the early days by the fashionable Warm Springs, to the extent of once having been called 'Little Warm Springs,' this hotel had little expansion until it was acquired in 1832 by Dr.Thomas Goode. Peregrine Prolix spoke of 'The old frame hotel' and of its proprietor, 'Dr.Goode, an intelligent physician, who is using great exertion and investing much money to render the establishment pleasant to travelers, and comfortable and useful to valetudinarians.' Prolix described the baths as 'the Spout and the Boiler; the former is said to be preferred by Orators, the latter by Poets and Warriors.' The Spout, Prolix explained, was made by the direction of the spring water through a 'perforated log . . . affording the bather an opportunity of receiving the stream upon any part of his body or limbs, into which rheumatism has thrust his uncomfortable claws.' The Boiler was a hot pool, into which the patient submerged his body. The water, 'a little scalding at first, becomes pleasant as soon as the bather is chin deep in the health-restoring fluid.' Adjoining both baths were rooms into which each bather retired, wrapped in blankets. 'Perspiration soon starts from every pore . . . Sometimes it penetrates the blankets, mattress and sackonbottom, and streams on the floor.'
During the War between the States, the hotel buildings were used as hospitals. In the 10 years that followed the war, Hot Springs forged ahead as a resort of fashion. In 1890, the property was purchased by the Southern Improvement Company, headed by M.E.Ingalls, president of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. A fire of 1901 destroyed most of the buildings, thereby furnishing an opportunity for the construction of the first part of the present hotel.
HOT SPRINGS (2,250 alt., 1,004 pop.), adjoining the hotel grounds, owes its existence to the trade and employment the resort provides.
I. Right from the hotel entrance on an unmarked road to the HOMESTEAD SKEET
FIELD, 1m., which affords an excellent view of Warm Springs Valley.
2. Left through the hotel grounds on a roadway that rises 1,200 feet to a road,2.7 m., running along the ridge; R. here to a fork at 5.8 m. and straight ahead to the Airport Road, 6.1 m.; L. on this road 0.5 m. to the HOT SPRINGS AIRPORT, a private landing field on top of Warm Springs Mountain (3,850 alt.).
South of the junction with the Airport Road, the fork road continues to BALD KNOB FIRE TOWER (4,200 alt.), 9 m., from which several hundred miles of mountain
country are visible.
HEALING SPRINGS, 46 m. (700 POP), a well-kept village, contains year-round homes. Water from its mineral springs is bottled and sold.
The CASCADE INN, at the southern end of town, is a sprawling two-story building, operated as an annex to the Homestead Hotel. The inn, built before 1850, was named for cascades that tumble westward into the Jackson River. Wounded Confederate soldiers were treated here during the War between the States. The hotel golf ground is rated a championship course.
The MEMORIAL TO 'MAD ANN' BAILEY, a boulder at 54.7 m., commemorates a frontier woman whose shooting, riding, and profanity out-masculined the fiercest masculine proficiency of her day (see Staunton). The boulder marks the site of Mad Ann's hut, on what is now known as Mad Ann Ridge.
By the boulder is a parking space that overlooks small FALLING SPRINGS (R). Thomas Jefferson in his Notes on the State of Virginia said, 'The only remarkable cascade in this country, is that of Falling Spring in Augusta . . . it falls over a rock 200 feet into the valley. This cataract will bear no comparison with that of Niagara, as to the quantity of water . . . but it is half as high again.'
COVINGTON, 62.1 m. (1,245 alt., 6,550 POP.) (see Tour 8c), is at a junction with US 60, which unites eastward with US 220 to CLIFTON FORGE, 74 m. (1,047 alt., 6,850 POP.)
Just south of Clifton Forge the highway parallels Jackson River through a gap in RAINBOW RIDGE, passing under a towering arc of stratified rock cut by the river.
The confluence of the Jackson and Cow Pasture Rivers is at 78.7 m.
The hills surrounding EAGLE ROCK, 89 m. (600 pop.), which is on bottom lands of the James, are scarred by quarries that feed raw stone to the lime-making plants of the town. Lime is produced from limestone by the application of heat. Lime-burning, for domestic purposes, has been carried on since the first homesteads were established in this area. For local consumption, portable and make-shift stone-grinding and -burning contraptions still work small outcroppings throughout the valleys.
FINCASTLE, 100.6 m. (1,250, alt., 517 POP.), seat of Botetourt County, overlooks valley lands from the top of a small rounded hill. Fincastle was established in 1772 on land donated by Israel Christian for a county seat in 1770, one year after the original Botetourt County was formed and two years before much of its territory was separated to form Fincastle County. In 1828 it was incorporated. Botetourt County was named for Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt, then governor of Virginia, when it was formed during the first of a series of divisions of Augusta County, necessitated by the rapid increase in the number of western Virginia settlements. Botetourt first covered an area now included in 19 Virginia counties, 32 West Virginia counties, and the State of Kentucky.
The BOTETOURT COUNTY COURTHOUSE (L), a brick building with a portico, was erected about 1850.
The FINCASTLE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, built about 1832 and remodeled in 1850, is a charming structure-red brick with white columns in a recessed entrance porch, and a slender spire rising from a square, white pilastered belfry. When Israel Christian gave the land for the townsite, an 'eligible lot' was set aside for a church. The building, erected soon thereafter and abandoned when the Revolution separated church and state, was taken over by the Presbyterians, then in majority. A remembered occasion in the old church was the sermon preached for six Negro slaves, convicted of murdering their master, an itinerant slave trader. Afterwards they were hanged from a walnut tree in the presence of most of the inhabitants of the county.
At 105.5 m. is a junction with County 665.
After the Indian menace was past, the house was remodeled and added to; there has been little change since the Revolution. Without gardens and on an elevation where the view of hills and distant mountain peaks is unobstructed, Greenfield is typical of the later frontier home.
Colonel William Preston, born in north Ireland, was brought to the colonies in 1740 by his father, John Preston. When he died in 1783, his holdings approximated 15,000 acres. James Patton Preston, Colonel Preston's son, born at Greenfield, was governor of Virginia from 1816 to 1819.
AMSTERDAM, 106.9 m., a small collection of houses, was once center of a Dunkard community. The town, laid out in 1796, became a stage stop on the road to Old Sweet Springs, a popular resort now in West Virginia. In the late nineteenth century carriages and chairs were manufactured here; and until the establishment of Roanoke, the village had hopes of industrial development. The split-bottom chairs manufactured here by the Keeling factory are now prized by collectors.
DALEVILLE, 107.6 m. (100 pop.), several stores and a scattered group of houses, is now the shopping center of the Dunkards.
This was the seat of Daleville College, founded in 1891 as the Botetourt Normal School, established by the Dunkards or Church of the Brethren. The school was operated as the Daleville Junior College from 1914 until 1924, when its college department was transferred to Bridgewater College (see Tour 5a). The secondary school here was discontinued in 1932.
At 109.6 m. is a junction with US 11 (see Tour 5) with which US 220 unites for 10 miles.
ROANOKE, 119.4 m. (950 alt., 69,206 pop.) (see Roanoke).
In Roanoke is the western junction with US 11 (see Tour 5).
US 220 runs south from Salem Ave. 0 m. on Jefferson St. in ROANOKE.
BOONE MILL, 14.1 m, (1,128 alt., 388 pop.), at the head of a beautiful valley, has a wood working plant, a barrel factory, a vegetable cannery, a grist mill, and general stores. In 1782 Jacob Boone, cousin of Daniel Boone, arrived here from North Carolina and built his little mill and cabin on the banks of Maggodee Creek. Because the Carolina Road was near by, a community soon grew around the mill. A house built in 1820 by John Boone, son of Jacob, stands on the mill site at the northern end of the hamlet.
ROCKY MOUNT, 26.2 m. (1100 alt., 2,000 POP.), with its pretentious section of new buildings on top of a hill, is the seat of Franklin County. The once quiet village now has an overlay of industrial activity, producing furniture, mirrors, and overalls, in addition to selling tobacco. For nearly 100 years the community was two rival villages, Rocky Mount and Mount Pleasant. Though in 1873 Rocky Mount swallowed its smaller rival, the town buildings of the two villages still glare at each other across a narrow street.
Sharing honors with the CONFEDERATE MONUMENT in the courthouse square is a rough granite GENERAL JUBAL A. EARLY MEMORIAL, a boulder commemorating the Confederate leader who was born in the county on November 3, 1816. After being graduated from West Point, Early resigned from the army to practice law, was elected to the general assembly, and was a member of the Virginia Secession Convention of 1861.
The FRANKLIN COUNTY COURTHOUSE, dignified in red brick with white-columned portico, was built in 1909. Franklin County was organized and named in 1785 when Benjamin Franklin was a popular hero because of the aid he had gained for the Revolutionists in France.
County records are rich in human interest stories. Here is the inventory of November 23, 1861, of the estate of James Burroughs, a planter, including 'One Negro boy, "Booker," value $400.00. 'This little Negro boy, listed with other slaves among household goods and farm implements, grew up to be Booker T. Washington, leader and educator of his race. His birthplace was on the Burroughs plantation in the Hale's Ford area. When slaves were freed, the boy went with his mother to Malden, West Virginia, and at night, after having worked long hours in the salt mines, studied Webster's Blue Back Speller. As a child in Virginia, he had acquired the name Booker because of his passion for books. He added the Washington on his first day in school when roll call caused him to realize that other children had two names. In 1872 he set out on foot from West Virginia for Hampton Institute. In Richmond, after spending a night beneath the planks of a sidewalk, he earned enough for transportation to Hampton. In his autobiography, Up from Slavery, Booker T. Washington told the story of the hard but pleasant work that followed--of his graduation in 1875; of his return to Malden as teacher in a Negro school; of his years at Hampton as a member of the faculty; and then of the big chance that came to develop Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
A marriage bond dated January 7, 1811, recalls a story still fondly remembered in the countryside. The bond gave notice that Joseph Hix, a plantation overseer, intended to marry his employer, Polly Early, a widow. Mrs. Early's relatives were outraged by her choice of a social inferior. When the couple entered the bridal chamber on the night of their marriage, they were confronted by the coffin of the first husband, dug up and placed there by the bride's brothers. Before the bridal pair had recovered from their shock the brothers appeared, carried the bridegroom off to a steep hilltop, thrust him into a spike-studded hogshead, and rolled him down the hill. The overseer lived to institute a damage suit against his assailants.
Another record dated February 19, 1830, shows that William B. Williams, the groom of a May-December romance, applied for divorce on the grounds that on his wedding night his young bride first drugged his liquor and, when he fell asleep, tried to murder him by pouring molten lead into his ear from a fire-shovel.
In 1888, on Snow Creek near by, a farmer's plow uncovered an eggshaped stone weighing nearly 100 pounds. Cut into the stone was: 'Here may be found my tools and E-15-P-A- God mine. Z.K. 1611. 'Iron pyrites -'fool's gold'-is found in the vicinity, and the word 'God mine' is interpreted as 'gold mine.' The modern phrasing of the message is in marked contrast with the date, and is generally considered a hoax.
Right from Rocky Mount on State 40 to County 640, 2.2 m.; L. here 0.6 m. to the old stone HILL HOUSE (R), built in the early eighteenth century by Robert Hill, an Irish immigrant, whose grant of several thousand acres extended along Pigg River from Chestnut Creek to Story Creek. The house was a stout refuge and is still called 'the Indian fort.' Two of Robert Hill's sons were killed by Indians and another by a panther.
On State 40, at 10.3 m., is a junction with State 120; R. here 0.1 m. to FERRUM TRAINING SCHOOL, a high school and junior college under the auspices of the Methodist Church. The pine-covered foothills of the Blue Ridge make an effective background for the early Federal-style red brick buildings.
The SITE OF WASHINGTON IRON WORKS (R), 26.7 m., is marked by crumbled stone walls and a chimney overgrown with vines and saplings. The furnace, then called 'the bloomery,' was operated between 1774 and 1779 by Colonel John Donelson (see Tour 4a) father of Rachel, afterwards the wife of Andrew Jackson. When Donelson left Virginia to settle in Tennessee, he sold the furnace to Colonel Jeremiah Early and the latter's son-in-law, Colonel James Callaway, who renamed it the Washington Iron Works. Its first business of making farm implements and 10-gallon'potts' and ovens was put aside during the Revolution for the job of manufacturing arms.
At 47.5 m. is a junction with State 57.
Right here to STANLEYTOWN, 1.5 m. (600 pop.), which has a furniture factory surrounded by rows of company houses and small stores.
BASSETT, 2.5 m. (3,000 POP.), sprawling along the bends of Smith River, was named for its leading family, whose chair factory was the nucleus of the village. The retail section of the town, close to the river's edge, thins out to a border of factories, where furniture, wood veneer, mirrors, and knit goods are produced by hundreds of workers, who live near by in frame bungalows. Streets of small dwellings reach to the outlying hills, where the more showy homes of the industrial executives stand.
At 12.5 m. is the entrance (R) to FAIRY STONE STATE PARK (open May 15 to Nov. 1; adm. 10¢, overnight camping, 25¢, children under 10, free; rowboats 25¢ an hr., maximum $1.25 a day; 2-person cabins, $15 a week, 4-Person cabins, $20 a week-each additional person $5; store and restaurant; reservations for cabins made at Virginia Conservation Commission, Richmond). This 5,000-acre park contains a lake and facilities for swimming and fishing. It was so named because of the small staurolite crystals, locally called fairystones, found in profusion in the area.
At 47.8 m. the highway passes near the SITE OF FORT TRIAL, one of the frontier forts ordered built by the assembly in 1756 and inspected in that year by George Washington, then colonel of State militia. A later visitor, who recorded lively impressions of the wilderness stockade, was the English traveler, J.F.D. Smythe; he stopped here in 1774 and 10 years later published A Tour of the United States of America. Though traveling alone on horseback and warned that 'the Indians had taken up the hatchet' against the whites, he determined to continue. On his way to Fort Trial he was lost in the dense thickets bordering Smith River, when he came upon an Indian war party so suddenly that his only chance was to appear friendly. The Indian leader, friendly as Indians usually were with courteous folk, was attracted at once by the gold braid on the white man's hat and pleased greatly when Smythe gave it to him as a headband. The Englishman spent the night in the woods with the natives-which proved no recommendation for him when he got to the fort the next day. The settlers, convinced that the stranger was conniving with the Indians, refused to let him enter the stockade. After a day of arguing, he was admitted, though only after he had threatened to fire the fort. In his book Smythe evens the score with very unflattering comments on the settlers and their living conditions.
At 49.9 m. is a junction with County 609.
MARTINSVILLE, 54.3 m. (1,128 alt., 7,705 pop.), seat of Henry County, rises to heights from the banks of the Smith River and is encircled by foothills of the Blue Ridge. Although its beginning was as a county seat village in 1793, the city now bears little suggestion of its age, having become a lively industrial town. The principal business is the manufacture of furniture and allied products-mirrors, paint, varnish, and wood veneer. Other factories produce textiles and knitted goods and various other articles, employing thousands of workers from neighboring farms and mountain settlements. The new retail business section, a long main street overhung with neon signs, has modern shops, banks, office buildings, 'modernistic' motion picture theaters, and chain stores. Martinsville was named for General Joseph Martin, and its site was given by George Hairston, who reputedly bought his 30,000-acre tract in 1770 for 10¢ an acre. Martin was a robust figure in the history of the early frontier. He was born in Albemarle County in 1740, ran away to fight Indians at 17, became an Indian agent, land agent, and officer of militia, fighting Indians all up and down the frontier. In 1774 he came to Henry County, established himself at Belle Monte on Leatherwood Creek, for nine years sat for his district in the general assembly, and in 1793 was made a brigadier general of State militia. He was a brawny, picturesque man, more than six feet tall and the father of 18 children; wore buckled knee breeches and a great beard, braided and thrust inside his shirt.
The HENRY COUNTY COURTHOUSE faces the old court square which is now eclipsed by the new business section, but a century ago was the center of county life, enlivened on court days by arguing politicians, lawyers, and planters and their muddy horses hitched to its rail. The building is a rectangle of red brick, its proportions marred at the white-pillared front entrance by a misbegotten outside stairway. Henry County, originally including the territory now in Franklin and Patrick Counties, was organized in 1776 and named for Patrick Henry.
In Martinsville is a junction with US 58 (see Tour 10), with which US 220 unites to a junction at 56.5 m.
At 59.4 m. is a junction with County 641 (slippery when wet).
Right here to BELLEVIEW (L), 3.7 m., the home of Major John Redd, Indian fighter, and officer in the Continental forces at Yorktown. The house commands a view of miles of rolling farrrdands. It is well-preserved, clapboarded, L-shaped, with two-storied front porch. Family tradition is that Major Redd, master of hundreds of slaves, kept a watchful eye on plantation work through a field glass from the front porch of his home.
For a brief period in the middle 1800's, RIDGEWAY (400 POP.), 63.8 m., was a busy little tobacco market. It is now the home of Danville workers. The highway passes near Matrimony Creek, at 67.8 m. The Virginia Commission to establish the Virginia-North Carolina line camped on its banks in 1728. William Byrd II, who headed the party of Virginians, wrote that the creek was 'called so by an unfortunate marry'd man because it was exceedingly noisy and impetuous. However, tho the stream was clamorous, like those women who make themselves plainest heard, it was perfectly clear and unsully'd.'
At 68 m. US 220 crosses the North Carolina Line, 45 miles north of Winston-Salem,N.C. (see North Carolina Guide).