State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

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


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Reconstruction Winter- 1870

                                                            Letter from New Kent.
                                         [Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
          New Kent C. H., Va., Dec. 5th, 1870.
A motion to set aside the election in this county will be made before Judge Benj. W. Lacy, in a few days, upon the grounds that the registration books were not opened in accordance with the election law, fifteen days anterior to the day of voting. The popular impression is that the court will grant the petition, and that the Conservatives will have another shuffle and deal. In this event they may succeed in winning, as the Radicals only triumphed by a very small majority in the late contest. The result would have been otherwise but for the almost criminal apathy on the part of the Conservatives, many of whom remained quietly at their homes while others were battle nobly for political disenthralment(sic). Much has been said about the Hon. Jos. Mayo¹ allowing himself to be run on the Radical ticket for Commonwealth's attorney. The platform upon which this gentleman stands is not erected of Radical or Conservative timber, as he defines his political position, for he declared to your correspondent immediately after the election that he was not identified with either party; that he had been solicited by both sides to become a candidate. Be this as it may, it is known that he did formally accept the nomination of the Radicals, and was elected by them.
The quarterly term of the county court has just closed, Judge Lacy presiding. A negro man was found guilty of larceny and sentenced to imprisonment in the county jail, but the negro having the election between this and the whipping-post, preferred the latter and became the recipient of fifteen stripes², properly administered by the sheriff. In this the negro evinced wisdom, for it is not half so painful as a protracted incarceration, particularly at this season of the year.
From the late census returns one would readily perceive that the population has been greatly depleted in this county within the last decade, and one see the decline of industrial resources in every neighborhood. It certainly cannot be an indication of increasing prosperity of a county or State when there is such an alarming loss in the people as there has taken place here in such a short period, numbers of young men have gone out to seek their fortunes in different portions of the Union since the war, and will likely never return. But we cannot think a country abounding with every natural resource for greatness can long remain in such a depressed state, and we believe that in the course of the next decade a new era will dawn.³ 
A party consisting of five gentlemen from your city came here a week ago with the view of hunting, and in a few days killed fifteen deer, among them some as heavily antlered as were ever seen in an American forest. 
Mr. W. A. Pollard, a most worthy and enterprising young man of Baltimore, who died at the residence of his brothers, in your city, was brought to the country for internment to-day. He was a gallant Confederate, and bore himself heroically in the war, and received a most painful wound, from which he never wholly recovered. Old Hickory

-Daily Dispatch, 9 December, 1870

Joseph Carrington Mayo, was the same Mayo who was mayor of Richmond, 1861-1865 and 1866-1868. After his second term as mayor he moved to New Kent about the same time as the death of his brother Dr. John Mayo, a county resident. Joseph served as Commonwealth's Attorney from 1868 until his death in August 1872.

 The whipping post was abolished by the "Readjuster" General Assembly of 1882.

The Census of 1870 gave New Kent a population of only 4,381. This was a decline of 25% from the 1860 figure(5,884). New Kent had the smallest population of any county east of the Blue Ridge.