Monday, June 27, 2011

Gen. Robert E. Lee

Gen. Robert E. Lee marker in Greenbrier County, WVFayette County, WV

Marker Text:  Near here, at highest point on the Midland Trail, Gen. Robert E. Lee had headquarters during his campaign in West Virginia in 1861. His famous war horse, "Traveler," was brought to him here from the Andrew Johnston farm in Greenbrier County.

Location:  On U.S. Route 60 on the left while traveling eastbound, 2.25 miles west of border with Greenbrier County.

"Traveller is my only companion, I may say my only pleasure. He and I, whenever possible, wander in the mountains and enjoy sweet confidences." Quote from letter written by Robert E. Lee following the Civil War about his affection for his old horse.

Gen. Robert E. Lee marker along Route 60 looking eastPhoto taken looking east on U.S. Route 60. Difficult to stop and view the marker on this road.

  At the outbreak of war, Lee was appointed to command all of Virginia's forces, upon the formation of the Confederate States Army, he was named one of its first five full generals.

  Lee's first field assignment was commanding Confederate forces in western Virginia (now West Virginia), where he was defeated at the Battle of Cheat Mountain and was widely blamed for Confederate setbacks.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Old Stone Church at Greenspring

Old Stone Church At Greenspring, Marker No. A-67Frederick County, VA

Marker No. A-67

Marker Text:  One-half mile west at Greenspring stands the Old Stone Church, the second church building on the site, which was built in 1838 for a Lutheran congregation. The first church had been built as a subscription school and as a house of worship. Old Stone Church and its large cemetery both had been long abandoned when, in 1927, Cora Bell Crim led local residents in restoring them and forming the Old Stone Church Memorial Association. The earliest extant Lutheran church in Frederick County, Old Stone Church is a rare example of the simple stone churches once common in the northern Shenandoah Valley.

Old Stone Church At Greenspring on Green Spring Road

The church is located down the road which is across the road from the marker to the right of this photo.  Photo taken looking east on Route 671 (Green Spring Rd.)

Location:  Near Green Spring, Virginia northwest of Winchester at the intersection of County Route 671 (Green Spring Road) and County Route 676 (Warm Spring Road), on the north side of the road across from road to church.  Erected by the Department of Historic Resources in 1998.

  Located in the rolling farmland of northern Frederick County, the Old Stone Church has changed little since its beginning. To get the church you leave the main road and travel on a winding lane through farmland to the church through open fields of pasture in all directions.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

First Toll Gate House

First Toll Gate House marker in Maryland on National RoadAllegany County, MD

Marker Text:  First Toll Gate House on the Old National (Cumberland) Road. Erected about 1833 after this portion of the road was turned over to the state of Maryland by the United States Government. There was one other toll gate in Maryland on this road.

Location: National Highway (U.S. Route 40) about six miles west of Cumberland, MD on the left when traveling west in the village of LaVale.  Erected by the State Roads Commission.

First Toll Gate House in MD looking east toward CumberlandPhoto, to left, is the marker as it appears looking east on Route 40 toward Cumberland, MD. Click any photo to enlarge.

  The only remaining toll house in Maryland along the Historic National Road Scenic Byway is located in LaVale. The restored Toll House has an original sign listing the prices charged for heads of cattle, hogs, and the like, commonly driven to market along the Pike.

  Allegany County, Maryland has recently installed a park with covered pavilions and restrooms at the site and parking is available. The old toll gates can be viewed, as well as a remnant section of the National Road. The LaVale Toll House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bonnet Tavern

Bonnet Tavern marker in Bedford County, PA (Click any photo to Enlarge)Bedford County, PA

Marker Text: This inn at the junction of the Forbes and Burd Roads was operated, 1779-1815, by Jean Bonnet and his heirs. In mid-1794, during the Whiskey Rebellion, embattled farmers met here and raised a liberty pole to protest the federal excise tax on whiskey. That October, troops called by President Washington camped here on their march west to quell the insurrection.

Location: At the junction of U.S. Route 30 and PA Route 31, 4 miles west of Bedford, PA.  Erected by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 1992.

Bonnet Tavern and the marker on the left  As roads were developed to open up lands west of the Allegheny and Appalachian mountains local commerce appeared with the opening of inns and taverns, stables and other services needed by the traveler. The Jean Bonnet Tavern was located at the junction of two early roads, the Old Forbes and Burd Roads (Routes 30 and 31). Bonnet Tavern due to its unique location destined it to witness some of the early history of the U.S from 1779-1815.

  The tavern was built on the only road connecting eastern Pennsylvania with the Ohio River and territories beyond. The tavern is still located today near a major east-west transportation route, the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The tavern can be seen from the Turnpike about four miles west of the Bedford exit. Unfortunately, you can not exit here to visit the tavern but have to exit the turnpike at the Bedford exit and travel west on Route 30.

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Oakhurst" Golf Club

Oakhurst Golf Club marker Greenbrier County, WVGreenbrier County, WV

Marker Text: Site of the first organized golf club in United States. It was formed, 1884, on the "Oakhurst" estate by owner, Russell W. Montague, a New Englander, and Scotchmen: George Grant, Alexander M. and Roderick McLeod and Lionel Torrin.

Location: On U.S. Route 60 east of downtown White Sulphur Springs at the intersection with junction with WV Route 92. Erected by the West Virginia Historic Commission in 1965.  Marker is group another marker title, “Dry Creek Battle.”

Oakhurst Golf Club marker at intersection with Routes 60 & 92  The Oakhurst Golf Club course is located approximately two miles northeast of White Sulphur Springs in Greenbrier County off the Big Draft Road on Montague Drive. I found this marker particularly interesting, because the golf course is located in the same area where I spent some of my summers as a child, visiting relatives that lived along Big Draft Road. My father was born north of this location at the end of Big Draft Road.

  Oakhurst Links, near White Sulphur Springs, was the first organized golf club and course in America. The Oakhurst Links property began as the farm of Russell W. Montague, a native of Dedharn, Massachusetts who moved to Greenbrier County, West Virginia in 1876. Montague was joined in founding the club in 1884 by George Grant, a retired British army officer; Alexander and Roderick MacLeod from Scotland; and Lionel Torrin, who was the owner of a tea plantation in India, avid golfer, and regular summer visitor. Frazer Corron, a local carpenter, made golf clubs for the club members.