"The Great Wagon Road" of Virginia

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sun Jul 31 14:48:35 EDT 2011

Ed Painter mentions "The Great Wagon Road" in his recent response to " N&W in 1911--Two Christmas items."

Wikipedia features a great reproduction of the 1751 "Fry-Jefferson Map" locating the Great Wagon Road with respect to the various mountains in the Shenandoah Valley. To make the image full-screen, double click on the thumbnail, then click "Full Resolution," then click again to magnify it even more. What is amazing about this map is how accurately those old birds had figured out the configuration of the mountain ranges, even at that early date, probably long before any serious surveying had been done of that frontier part of the state. (How do you think they did it? Sextant and compass only...?)


If anyone knows of a more detailed map of the Great Wagon Road, perhaps locating its path with respect to present day towns and features, I'd love to see it.

Sorry if this ain't "pure railroadin' ...," but it's about as close to railroadin' as one could have come in the Year 1751 Anno Domini !

-- abram burnett, a piker

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