State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Politics and Potatoes and Such- 1911


Roxbury. Va.. November 13- After the political storm there is a calm. The victors and vanquished have settled down to business again. In New Kent county especially that for supervisors the fight was a hot one. Black Creek district was the battle ground between Mr. R. Southall (Democrat) and Mr. Lemuell L. Ellyson (Republican). In this precinct there were 72 qualified voters, and 66 out of 72 voted. Mr. Ellyson got 36, Mr. Southall 30. For justice of the peace. J. A. Wright, 65; C.C. Tunstall, 18. For constable, G.W. Moran, 62. All the others for state office has no opposition. 
The saddest part is life long Democrats, some of whom voted in the primary, forgot their pledge went over to the Republican camp. Mr. Ellyson won his laurels on a determined fight, not one derogatory word was spoken by either candidate of each other. Mr. Ellyson like his father, is a Republican from principle not for graft, and will be as faithful in the trust confided to his keeping as in his dramatic life. All will watch the actions of the members of the board with an eagle eye. They go in as reformers. So may it be, all hope, for the county is heavily in debt, a burden heavy to bear on the tax payers. The new courthouse¹, the automobile highway, the six head of mules and road implements. All came against young Southall, who has been on the board 14 years and believes in public improvements. Many can not see it that way. 
Many new homeseekers are here today looking after Peninsula farms. Several farms have changed hands the past week. Looks to this writer now as if all the far western people are now heading for the country between Richmond and Newport News. 
On the farm of Mr. Bock at this place is an exhibition sweet potatoes 3 feet 8 inches long; Irish potatoes measuring 6 inches in diameter. 400 bushels to the acres. The latter raised on the farm of Mr. R.D. Provo, Liberty Farm. 
Mr. T. W. Marston has on farm several white partridges among the brown. Where this strain of birds originated none knows. None like them were ever seen in this section before. Mr. Marston is guarding them with care. The party who kills or captures these prettys will be severely dealt with. Notices have been posted everywhere to be careful of these birds. A few months ago a pair of white squirrels made their appearance here. One was killed, the other captured and became as gentle as a kitten. Mr. W. P. Tunstall, Sr., killed a fine old doe a few days ago and Mr. Roy Ford killed an old buck weighing after dressed 165 pounds. This section is stocked with deer so plentiful that much corn and green vegetables are being destroyed. This month closes the hunting season east of the Blue Ridge mountains for deer. The watchful eye of the; game wardens are keeping the pot hunters and triffling(sic) negro with a gun off, so game is plentiful.   
Four men from Richmond were arrested by Game Warden Moran a few days ago. They begged off the fine, promising to pay the costs. This they have failed to do and Sheriff Apperson will look after them. Before these arrests Richmond pot hunters swarmed in Chickahominy swamp, shooting all day Sunday as if it were a week day. It is different now.

-Virginia Gazette, 16 November 1911

1- New Kent had decided after years of controversy to build a new courthouse which was finished in 1909 for the sum of $7,700. Then work was started on a new jail for $2,500.

2- The highway funds for Peninsula highway.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

More 1911- Warm Politics

Warm Politics in New Kent. 

Quinton. Va., October 16- As the general election for state and county is near at hand, any new faces will be seen as many who have served their people for years will have to retire to private life. The most important places to be filled by the county people is that of supervisor. In New Kent county for some time, as well as in our adjoining counties, a sea of unrest is beneath the surface. Taxes are higher than ever before, schools worse, roads not one bit better than 25 years ago.  
The board of supervisors for New Kent, for it is the object of this reporter to begin to sweep the trash from his own door before he goes to his neighbor's, there are already two new members of the board elected in the primary against another, and perhaps another, if not the other two. All hope that our young chairman of the board, who has filled the place for years with honor to himself and his people, will be reelected. I refer to Mr. R.T. Southall. He is only 35 years old, left when an infant without a father, but brought up by a christian mother. At her knee he learned the lessons of honor, sobriety and industry. Rather than great riches to be chosen, there was a better thing- a good name. All this he has followed through life. Not until the hearts of all hearts is known will be known the good he has done for the poor and afflicted of this county. Many a poor widow and the old have had the wolf driven from their door by this charming young man.  
Mr. Southall will be opposed in the general election by Mr. L.M. Ellyson, the  Republican candidate, he too like Mr. Southall is quite young and popular in his neighborhood. Both candidates are for the honor. To let Mr. Southall go down in defeat will be a great mistake as his long service has placed him in a position to understand the needs of his people. 
Mr. W.P. Tunstall, who defeated Mr. R.C. Apperson, Sr., in the primary,is another young man who has already won honors for himself and will make a good supervisor. 
The three cornered fight in between Messrs. Eggleston, J.B. Richardson and Eddie Boswell is  a hot one to the finish. Mr. G.E. Fisher, our popular treasurer, will be opposed by George Sweet. Mr. Fisher is one of the most popular you men in the county has filled the position with honor to himself and his people. All the candidate are Democrats  except Mr. Ellyson. There is going to be brought out every voter in the county on November 7th, and people are watching with interest the result.

 -Virginia Gazette, 19 October 1911

Sunday, October 15, 2017

In the Pines

From the account of the 95th Pennsylvania Volunteers as they marched through New Kent during the Peninsula Campaign of 1862 . . .

The Pines of Virginia often played an important part in the history of our army life, and were many times the theme of some poetic effusion. The erection of bowers to ward off the sunbeams; construction of picket-huts and corduroying the roads. The use of pine wood for fuel which when green would emit a nasty disordering smoke damaging to the sight. We used to cut pine branches with which to decorate our camp on festive occasions and many times whilst on the march through some dense thicket have had the springy limbs of some stubborn bush fly back and switch our faces. The charcoal burner, also had his abode in the pines before Richmond. 

-The Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers (Gosline's Pennsylvania Zouaves") in the Sixth Corps
George Norton Galloway, 1884

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Road Building in 1911

                                 NEW KENT PROMISES AID. 
         Nearly $2,000 Will He Given for Richmond-Newport News Highway.
                                 [Special to The Times-Dispatch.]  
Roxbury, Va.. February 10.-There was a full attendance of the members at a meeting of the New Kent Board of Supervisors held at the courthouse on Tuesday. After several matters of routine interest were disposed of the subject of the proposed highway from Richmond to Newport News was discussed. Each of the four districts in the county promised to give $200; by private subscriptions the amount of $1,000 was raised, and the board agreed to allow four months' work of the county teams and employees. It was also decided that the county shall ask appropriation from the State to equal that made by the county. The subscriptions and time allowed means more than $2,000 for this county. The route of the proposed highway could not better please the residents of New Kent, as it will traverse the entire, length of the county, a distance of thirty-two miles.

 -Times Dispatch, 11 February 1911

Office of State Highway Commission. 
Richmond. Va., April 6. 1911. 

Bid will be received at this of office 12 o'clock noon, Saturday, for the construction of about ten miles of sand-clay road in New Kent county from New Kent Courthouse to the James City county and about six in James City county from the New Kent count line to Toano.  
Specification on file at this office.  
Certified check for $250.00 to accompany each bid.  
Further information furnished on application to the undersigned. 
The right is reserved to reject any and all bids. 

P. St. J. Wilson.
State Highway Commissioner

-Virginia Gazette(Williamsburg), 20 April 1911

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Road Trip from Richmond to Williamsburg- 1911

A 1911 account of a road trip down the trip Peninsula by a reporter from the Times-Dispatch. I have included, in red, my own comments about the itinerary.

Correct and Accurate Reading of Road Made for Benefit of Those Desiring to Make Trip-Road in Splendid Condition and People Anxious to Welcome Visitors.

0.0 - Foster Motor Car Company. Down Broad to Jefferson; turn right to
0.4 - Jefferson Hotel. Down Franklin to . . .
1.1 - Capitol Square. Turn right down Ninth; then left down Bank; then right down Tenth; then right up Main to . . .
1.2 - Times-Dispatch. Up Main to Ninth to Capitol then right to . . .
1.6 - Memorial Hospital. Turn to left into Marshall Street; then turn to right one block to Broad Street to . . .
3.0 - Chimborazo Park.
3.3 - Keep straight ahead, skirting Chimborazo Park to right, to
3.5 - Left down steep hill to railroad crossing.
3.6 - Railroad crossing.
4.4 - To Government Road (good condition).
8.4 - Church on right; turn to left. (I believe this is the original Corinth United Methodist Church which is now less than a  half mile to the east.)
9.6 - Pass store and road on left pass by National Cemetery. (Seven Pines National Cemetery.)
10.7 - Good road to
12.6 - Ford; to (Ford over Boar Swamp)
13.2 - Sharp turn to left (about nine degrees)
15.3 - Long Chickahominy Bridge, sandy road. (Bridge at Bottom's Bridge; NOT in its current location.)
15.6 - Short Chickahominy Bridge.(Bridge over Higgins Swamp.)
15.7 - Corduroy road.
15.8 - More corduroy.
15.9 - New road (good).(This would be Clint Lane, then  on what is now Quaker which at that time continued straight through to Rose Cottage Rd and at that road . . .)
18.7 - Take fork to right. Follow, telegraph wires.( . . . going down Quinton Road and then bearing left onto New Kent Highway.)
21.1 - Pass store on left. (Patterson's Store at Crump's Crossroads.)
23.8 - Turn to left and keep straight ahead.(Going north on Emmaus Church Road.)
21.2 - Richardson's store. Turn right, down slight hill. (The Baltimore Store at Talleysville.)
25.4 - Church on left, down hill. (Rising Mt. Zion.)
25.5 - Ford foot of hill- hard bottom. (Pelham Creek.)
26.3 - Store on right.
29.5 - Church on right. (Corinth Baptist; road until 1930's passed north of church.)
29.9 - New Kent Courthouse.
30.7 - Take right fork.
32.4 - Slatersville cross roods. (It gets tricky here. Instead of proceeding down what is now New Kent Highway they seem to go straight through on Stage Road.)
35.1 - Spring at bottom of hill. ( Upper reach of Beaverdam Creek?)
38.6 - Ford; hard bottom. (Warreneye Creek?)
40.0 - Barhamsville.
40.1 - Store on left; turn to right. (Pott's store?)
45.1 - Brick school house on left. (Hickory Neck Academy, the school, was closed in 1908. The year after this trip it would be deeded to the trustees of Hickory Neck Protestant Episcopal Church thus returning it to it's original use.)
45.7 - Cross bridge over railroad.
45.9 - Toano; well of good water at entrance to town turn left through town.
47.1 - Pass brick school house on left. (Toano High School opened 1908.)
50.5 - Pass store on right; well on left.
50.6 - cross railroad tracks; turn sharp left and then right.(Lightfoot.)
52.1 - Pass store on right.
52.1 - Pass fork on right.
52.3 - Pass fork on right.
52.4 - Pass fork on left.
53.6 - Cross railroad.(Across from Yankee Candle.)
54.4 - Pass road on right.
56.0 - William and Mary College on right approaching Williamsburg.
56.1 - Pass fork on right.(Jamestown Road.)
56.4 - Bruton Church on left.
56.5 -Ruins of Williamburg Courthouse on left.(the Old Courthouse of Williamsburg/James City, the one across from the powder magazine, had been destroyed by fire just 3 months before in April 1911. The building was restored to original appearance, except for some new columns, work finishing up January 1912.)

-Times Dispatch, 13 July 1911

The Foster Motor Car Company went into bankruptcy in 1913.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Good Work If You Can Get It

By John B. Alsop, of Alsop Motor Company.

On account of the interest shown by the business men of Richmond in the Tidewater Counties of Virginia, I thought it would probably be Interesting to give you an idea of a recent trip which I have just taken through the counties of the Eastern Shore. E.R. Bittner and myself left Richmond on Friday about 12:30 o'clock in a five passenger K-R-I-T car for Mathews County. After leaving Seven Pines we found the trip uneventful, and very hot, until we reached Barhamsville, in New Kent County, forty miles below Richmond. We stopped at this place for a few minutes, called on Mr. Potts*, who runs a very nice store, and who is an automobile owner. 
We inquired of Mr. Potts regarding the roads between Barhamsville and Williamsburg, and to our surprise he stated that we would have to take a by-road between Barhamsville and Toano on account of the very bad condition of the road between these two points. He stated that there were several places that were extremely bad on account of the shade surrounding these spots, which kept them from drying up rapidly. Mr. Potts stated to I me that he and some of the neighbors around the store had tried to fill up these bad places by cutting down some of the trees, and throwing brush into some of the small holes, but as fast as this was done some of the people living in the immediate vicinity of these bad spots would take out the brush and trees which they had put In. Their reasons for doing this, he stated, was that one man had been able to make $15 or $20 a week by pulling automobiles out of these holes, and naturally they did not want to see them fixed up. The people reaping the benefit of the bad roads would let an automobile owner go into this road without any warning, and consequently, they could not pull through. We were very thankful to Mr.Potts for his advice, and had no trouble in passing this spot on the road through the woods.

-Times Dispatch, 13 July 1913

*probably either James Anderson Potts or George Kidder Potts

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New Confederate Stone Fleet

This a cleaned up re-posting of a post from April, 2013 . . .

An Annex from
Navy Department,
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Naval History Division,
Washington, D.C.

The Confederate Army and Navy found it expedient at times to construct barricade at strategic points in inland waterways to permit the escape During the first half of 1862, two areas of Virginia, Croatan Sound and of their forces, prevent captures, and impede the Federal advance. the Pamunkey River, were obstructed with numerous ships which were served briefly as transport. Varied sizes and types of ships, having seized from private owners specifically for this purpose, or which had little if any previous service were loaded with stone and sand, or CSA, and employed to carry provisions and supplies while the army was filled with dirt, then towed to a designated spot and sunk as a hazard to all craft that passed. 
The following ships were seized by forces under Gen. J. E. Johnston, on the Pamunkey River. Most of the ships were then sunk in that vicinity at Yorktown. When the army withdrew toward Richmond, the transports were loaded with Government stores that were discharged at White House, Va., during May 1862 to delay Union gunboats.

Ships sunk at White House, Va., between 5 & 10 May 1862

CLAUDIA, owned by M. Williams
LITTLE ADDIE, sloop owned by J. Montgomery

Ships destroyed at Cooke's Island 5 & 10 May 1862

AMERICAN COASTER, schooner owned by M. Crockett, was loaded with dirt and prepared for sinking but was captured by USS CURRITUCK. She was later used as a Union transport.
DAVID VANAME, schooner owned by C. Johnson
DIANA HOPKINS, schooner owned by E. Phillips
HANNAH ANN, schooner
EXPERIMENT, schooner owned by W. Messick
FRIENDSHIP, schooner owned by Allman and Watts
KING WILLIAM, schooner owned by Sayre & Fleming
J.& G. FAIR, schooner owned by W. Lee
J.T. CONNOR, owned by J. Bagby
JOSEPHINE, schooner owned by W. Dansey
PRINCESS, schooner owned by W. Lee
MARY LUYSTER, owned by J. T. Bland
ORNAMENT, sloop owned by Crittenden and Post
PALESTINE, schooner owned by Thomas
WILLIAM SHANBERG, schooner owned by W. Messick and E. Phillips
R. P. WALLER, schooner owned by T. Gilliam
SARAH ANN, schooner owned by W. Ward
WILLIAM EDWARD, schooner owned by J. and W. Thomas

Ships destroyed at Garlick's landing Between 5 & 10 May 1862

JENNY LIND, schooner owned by J. F. New & Co.
STAR, owned by S. Moon

Ships Burned Near Indian Town Between 5 & 10 May 1862

WAY, schooner owned by Gresham and Bagby

Ships burned at Newcastle on 17 May 1862

MARGARET SCHULTZ, owned by Harrenn and Ballown
O. WHITMOND, owned by J. Wright
WATCHMAN, owned by J. Brown
WALTON, owned by J. Warring
WAVE, owned by R. Howard
WILLIAM S. RYLAND, owned by W. Berkley

Ships burned at Cumberland between 5 & 10 May 1862

CALIFORNIA, schooner owned by Blassingham
CAROLINE BAKER, schooner owned by F. and C. Post

Ships sunk near Bassett's Landing on 17 May 1862

ALERT, owned by A. West
BETTY RICHARD, owned by W. Smith
ANN BELL, owned by W. Thomas
FRANCIS AND THEODORE, owned by J. Arrington
JEFFERSON, schooner owned by Garefoster & Braumly
JAMES BRADEN, owned by S. Kimble
JOHN ALLEN, schooner owned by S. Guy
MARY BAXTER, owned by C. Parks
LITTLE WAVE, owned by T. Hibble
MARY ALICE, owned by Captail Gage
OXFORD, schooner of 85 tons and 7' draft built in 1855 at Dorchester, Md., and owned by Claybrook and Dobyns.
PARAGON, sloop
SARA WASHINGTON, schooner owned by Moore and Elliston
WILLIAM AND WESLEY, schooner owned by J. Cronmonger
SEA WITCH, owned by J. Robins
UNION, owned by B. F. Gresham
VIRGINIA, owned by E. Lawson
WILD PIGEON, schooner owned by W. Messick
WILLIAM FRANCIS, schooner owned by C. Coleman

-Principally from the site Haze Gray

* PLANTER, a schooner, was prepared for sinking but was captured by USS CURRITUCK on 7 May 1862. She was turned over by the Union to her former owner in recognition of assistance rendered in the York and Pamunkey Rivers.

** STARLIGHT, also scheduled for destruction, was approached while underway for White House, Va., by USS CORWIN. STARLIGHT escaped up the Potopotank River where she was abandoned. She was seized by CORWIN on 16 June and sent into Norfolk at a prize.

†--Named I assume for, " . . .  Capt. David Van Name who entered the oyster business as a dealer in 1817 and was said to be one of the first two men in America to plant oysters, according to Dr. A.L. Van Name Jr., his great-grandson." -The Daily Press, Nov.2, 1995