Scott County Historical
Scott County, Virginia
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Robert Benge, aka Chief Benge
|Martha Jewel Quillen and the
Wayne V. McConnell
Thomas J. Dingus Marker
Presley Road off Fisher's Creek Road
Hawkins County, Tennessee
|Lane Family of
Scott County, Virginia
Don W. Lane
Gen. Ayers’ Residence Burned
Gen. Ayers’ Residence Burned
The residence of Gen. R. A. Ayers
at Holston Springs in
Bank Organized at
The following officers were elected: J. F. Sutton, president; C.
W. Bond and J. A. Odle, vice-president; J. A. Bond, cashier.
Directors: R. L. McConnell, H. F. Addington, C. C. Broadwater, W.
B. Addington, J. M. Darter, Dr. J. M. Dougherty and J. F. Sutton.
The Wood Stock Company’s Percheron (sic) horse won first
premium; Dr. H. C. Moore secured several premiums on horses.
Hugh Gobble won on saddle horse and trotter.
In the ladies riding contests, ribbons were won by Mrs. D. S.
Peter Wininger, aged 93, was awarded the premium for being the
oldest man, and Mrs. Sarah Vaughn for being the oldest woman.
Little Sarah Broadwater won the baby premium.
There were many other premiums awarded.
Yesterday evening the balloon had gone up only a short distance
when it bursted (sic) and started down.
The balloonist had barely room to open his parachute but escaped
injury. The ascension
Tuesday was very fine, with double parachute drop.
of A Natural Tunnel
S. H. Long, Lieut. Col. U. S. Army
the past summer, I visited a remarkable natural bridge in
To form an adequate idea of this remarkable and truly sublime
object, we have only to imagine the creek to which it gives a passage,
meandering through a deep narrow valley, here and there bounded on both
sides by walls or revetments of the character above intimated, and
rising to the height of two or three hundred feet above the stream; and
that a portion of one of these chasms, instead of presenting an open
through cut from the summit to the base of the high ground is
intercepted by a continuous unbroken ridge more than three hundred feet
high, extending entirely across the valley, and perforated transversely
at it base after the manner of an artificial tunnel, and thus affording
a spacious subterranean channel for the passage of the stream.
The entrance to the natural tunnel on the upper side of the
ridge, is imposing and picturesque in a high degree; but on the lower
side the grandeur of the scene is greatly heightened by the superior
magnitude of the cliffs, which exceed in loftiness and which rise
perpendicularly – and in some instances in an impending manner – two
to three hundred feet and by which the entrance on this side is almost
environed, as it were, by an amphitheatre of rude and frightful
The observer standing on the brink of the stream at the distance
of about one hundred yards below the debouchure (sic) of the natural
tunnel has in front a view of it arched entrance, rising seventy or
eighty feet above the water and surmounted by horizontal stratification
of yellowish, white and gray rocks, in depth nearly twice the height of
the arch. On his left a view
or the same mural precipice deflected from the spring of the arch in a
manner to pass thence in a continuous curve quite to his rear, and
towering in a very impressive manner, above his head.
On his right, a sapling growth of buck-eye, poplar, linden,
&c., skirting the margin of the
creek, and extending obliquely to the right and upward through a narrow,
abrupt ravine, to the summit of the ridge, which is here, and elsewhere,
crowned with a timber growth of pines, cedars, oaks, and shrubbery of
various kinds. On his
extreme right is a gigantic cliff lifting itself up perpendicularly from
the water’s edge, to the height of about three hundred feet and
accompanied by an insulated cliff, called the chimney of about the same
altitude, rising in the form of a turret, at least sixty feet above its
basement, which is a portion of the imposing cliff just before
Desirous of illustrating this paper by a front view of the
natural tunnel where the creek issues from it, I have, with the
assistance of a particular friend in this city – to whom I am indebted
for the accompanying drawing – been enabled to furnish a sketch which
very faithfully represents some of the appearances I have described.
The embellishments last mentioned, however, viz the chimney and
its accompaniments, could not be comprised in the landscape.
In order to give a more full description of the magnificent
spectacle which forms the subject of this paper, I shall transcribe some
of the minutes taken from my private notes, whilst on the ground, but
first I shall give an extract from a letter addressed to me by my friend
P. C. Johnston, Esq. Of Abingdon in the adjoining county to Scott, a
gentleman well acquainted with this interesting locality.
“The rocks through which Stock creek flows are a light blue and
gray limestone, of a subcrystalline (sic) character, the strata are
nearly horizontal, and this arrangement of the strata continues for
several miles north-eastwardly, but in every other direction in the
county to the S. E. at an angle generally of from 30° to 50°.”
This tunnel is near what they believe to be the N. W. boundary of
the transition formation, or a little within.
I have not been able to discover any organic remains in the
limestone there or in the neighborhood.
On the little projections on the rock which occur on the walls
near the lowest S. end of the tunnel, a crystallized deposit is lodged,
which you no doubt recollect, that seemed to my taste to be a mixture of
salt-petre and alum. No
attempt has been made to analyze it.
The earth found in the upper (N.) extremity of the tunnel some
years ago, (the first time I visited it,) afforded salt-petre.
The crystallized deposit seems to be made from a stratum
apparently not more than six inches thick, which is so high that it
cannot be reached for examination. The
growth of timber is such as is common in the neighbouring (sic) country,
white, red, Spanish, black-oaks; hickory, white-walnut, dogwood,
popular, chesnut (sic), birch, ironwood; some hemlock and papaw (asimina
triloba) on the banks of the creek, and the edges of the cliffs fringed
with cedar. On the creek,
below the tunnel for two miles, is found that variety of ash called the
fringe tree, (chionanthus virginica,) the long white fringe-like
blossoms of which are so delightfully fragrant.”*
plan, in the natural system, belongs to the cleaces, or olive tribe. The
flowers of the olea fragrans are used for flavouring (sic) tea in
The following passages are from my
own private journal.
+This designation has been given to a spot in the valley of the creek, where formerly stood a hollow sycamore (platanus occidentalis) tree of an enormous size, the remains of which are still to be seen, and in the cavity of which whilst it stood, fifteen persons are said to have encamped at the same time together.
“The extent of the tunnel from
its upper to its lower extremity, followings its meanders, is about 150
yards, in which distance the stream falls about ten feet, emitting, in
its passage over a rocky bed, and agreeable murmur, which is rendered
more grateful by it reverberations upon the roof and sides of the
grotto. The discharge of a
musket produces a crash-like report, succeeded by a roar in the tunnel,
which has a deafening effect upon the ear.”
“The hill through which this singular perforation leads,
descends in a direction from east to west, across the line of the creek,
and affords a very convenient passage for a road which travers3s it at
about this place, having a descent in the direction just mentioned, of
about four degrees.”
The rocks found in this part of the country are principally
sandstone and limestone, in stratifications nearly horizontal, with
occasional beds of clay slate. A
mixture of the two former frequently occurs among the alternations
presented by these rocks. A
variety of rock resembling the French burr, occurs in abundance on
Butcher’s fork, of Powell’s river, abut twenty miles northwardly of
the natural tunnel. Fossils
are more or less abundant in these and other rocks.
Fossil bones of an interesting character have been found in
several places. Salt-petre
caves are numerous. Coves,
sinks, and subterranean caverns are strikingly characteristic, not only
of the country circumjacent to the natural tunnel, but of the region
generally situated between the
The mountains in this vicinity, long. 82° to 84° W. from
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