The Early History of
Mad Ann Bailey
Compiled, Edited, and Mimeographed by the Seventh Grade Students, Teachers and Staff of the County and
Table of Contents
“The Song of the Covered Bridge” CH.H. Rumbold
Introduction Page 1
General Information Pages 1-4
Callaghan Page 6
Hematite Page 7
Alleghany Page 7
Crow’s Tavern Pages 7-8
Sweet Chalybeate Page 8
Snake Run Page 8
Big Ridge Page 8-9
Old Humpback Bridge 1835
If you’ll lie on the bank some summer’s eve, as the sun declines yon ridge and the water laps its feet, you’ll hear the Song of the Covered Bridge.
A sycamore shades my lichened thatch, my flickering shadow rests,
On a limpid pool where a swallow skims, in my rafters a robin rests.
Under my arch a kingfish chatters in mimic fears,
Where the eddy ends the riffles sing the Song of a Thousand Years
And over my brother of stone and steel, a hundred yards away,
Comes the class and the clang of the Model T and the shriek of the Chevrolet.
Full many a year my shingled roof gave shelter to maid and swain,
From the burning rays of the summer sun and the chill of the winter’s rain.
And my rafters shook with the old-time songs, and the tramp of the Blue and Gray.
And I look at my brother of stone and steel (quite up to date is he).
But I wonder whether he’ll stand the strain till twenty thirty-three.
My beams were hewn of heart of oak, and fastened with locust nails,
When they called the highway “The Great
They come from the
And I carried the traffic from East to West a hundred years and more.
So I look at my brother of stone and steel, my brother who ousted me,
And I wonder whether he’ll stand the strain till twenty thirty-three.
(Used by permission of his wife,
Classes participating in Research Project:
Boiling Springs Mrs. Louise Gibson (whose copy this is taken from)
Central Mrs Virginia Black
Dunlap Mr. James Ownes
Falling Spring Mr. Pat Murphy
Jeter Mrs. Mildred Armstrong
Mrs. Rex Davis
Mrs. Ruth Hahn
Mrs. Mattie Landis
Miss Mayre Lowman
Mrs. Alice Sheltman
Mrs. Helen Young
Watson Mrs. Arnesia Drew
Early History of
In the fall of 1955 the Seventh Grade students of
The area of
The three main streams of Alleghany are the
The situation of the county with reference to the mineral springs (Red Sulphur, Sweet, White Sulphur, and Blue Sulphur) accounted for some of the early activity that pervaded the territory and resulted in the establishment of a system of roads which would enable the frequenters of these mineral springs to be transported thither. The taverns of these early days such as kept by the Crows, Callaghans, and others figured often in the descriptive literature of the times.
The first order for a road in Alleghany was in 1748. This was to be a road from
About 1811 improved highways were chartered between Lewisburg and
The Midland Trail, now known as Highway 60, is one of the oldest and most historic roads in the County. It traverses Alleghany east and west and connects the eastern part of
Canals were giving way to the new mode of transportation, the railroad, which reached
. . . . From the defeat of Braddock in July 1754 to the close of the
. . . . The population continued to increase, and in 1840 there were 776 whites of school age in the County and 88 pupils were enrolled in the five common schools. In 1843 the Board of School Commissioners was appointed and 13 schools were in operation, with a total of $243.33 spent for school expenses that year.
Religious services were firs held by the Presbyterians as early as 1775, and by the Methodists in 1784. The first Presbyterian Church was organized in 1819. The first Methodist preacher to settle in
The early settlers in Alleghany were predominately of Scotch-Irish ancestry, driven out of
In 1746 the fist white settlement west of the
Mr. Joseph Carpenter left
Returning with him was Peter Wright who staked off his claim in the area where
Joseph later moved to the site of
Another brother, Zopher, took land in what is now Mallow. The other brother, Nicholas, went to White Sulphur and settled. He also had a son who was captured by the Indians and who later returned. He became know as Dr. Jeremiah who settled at Sutton, near the present site of
Fort Young, built 1756 where Arlington Court now is, according to specifications furnished by George Washington; Fort Dinwiddie, which stood northwest of Warm Springs, Fort Breckinridge (or Fort Mann); Fort Carpenter, another one near Low Moor, and a block house near the McAllister and Bell Mill were the posts built for the protection of the settlers. But there were many disastrous raids made on them by the Indians, and numbers of them were either captured or killed by the savages.
Mad Ann Bailey was a very famous fighter I the early days of this settlement. She was born in
Alleghany has more undeveloped water power than any other section of the state. It has a water mileage for game fish sport which is equaled by very few and probably excelled by no other county. There have been several projects under consideration for the development of the water power resources, but, thus far, no project has been undertaken.
The soils of Alleghany very greatly in formation, type and fertility. Most of that in the tillable areas is a light clay loam. Dark, rich loam is found sparingly in the river and crek bottoms.
The climate of Alleghany is ideal. The summers are only slightly warm with moderately cool evenings, and winters are mostly mild. There is usually ample precipitation and abundant sunshine.
The economic history of the early days was largely dependant upon the mineral resources of the County. Iron was its most valuable mineral. Early settlers discovered it in the mountains at Iron Gate where it has been exposed by the erosion of the
Since 1865 and until 1900 many mines and furnaces were opened and operated, but when the furnace at
Some mines and furnaces that once gave work to many people in
2. Rumsey Iron Works furnace
3. Dolly Ann furnace
4. Lucy Selina and
Later, after the charcoal furnace days, the following mines were developed.
1. Stack mines –
2. Low Moor mine
3. Rich Patch mine
Limestone, used in making fertilizer; white quartz (silica), used in making glass; shale and manganese are also found in
The Merry family purchased the Peter Wright estate and for a time the little village was called “Merry’s Store”. Dr. James Merry was a practicing physician who also ran a general merchandise store on the site where the late Mrs. J.A. Riffe’s property stood. Some historians list the village as “Merry’s Stand”, because of the small boats which came up to a dock at the end of Lexington Street near Riverside Avenue. Dr. Merry came originally from
A public sale of lots was held on August 24, 1818. Deeds for titles went to the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to the Trustees of the Seminary of Covington, and to the Justices of the County for lots on which to erect the public buildings.
An old log building know as Kroger’s shop, built around 1770 on what is know Main Street, served as the first courthouse for Alleghany County. 1823 a courthouse and jail; 1877 a brick building; 1911 the present structure was completed; Skeen’s Hotel; the McCurdy House, located near the railroad station; 1880 Clifton Forge became the division point; General and Mrs. Robert E. Lee and General Grant praised the hospitality of the McCurdys. It burned down in 1892. Today the Collins and O’Gara hotels accommodate visitors.
Averill, who had been in route to
The Virginia Central Railroad (now C&0) reached
An Iron furnace was built in 1891 by the Covington Improvement Company, and the old Deford Tannery was put into operation in 1892, it closed in the early 30s. Covington Machine Company, E,M. Nettleton mill and in 1899 the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company began construction.
Other industries, the Bates Valve Company and manufacturers of patented paper bags for cement and other hard substances; the Robeson Process Company, which operated and extract plant utilizing waste products for the paper mill, Covington Brick Company, Alleghany Brick Company, passed from the scene several years ago, due to changes in economic conditions and markets. Columbia Baking Company closed early in 1856, Pearless Creamery, the Covington Virginian, Alleghany Publishers. . . . The first Fire Company was organized formally on March 4, 1902 with 24 charter members and with Fred Jesser as chief, as a result of several disastrous fires in the fall of 1901
To be continued. . .
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