North Carolina

Great Wagon Road Along The Mayo River

The Great Wagon Road Project has been researching the state of North Carolina for the past several months. Members, Bill Collins and Dowell Lester both share a tremendous amount of knowledge about the old road bed. Years and years of research has been conducted by them both. Dowell and Bill have walked the old road many times. The photos below will demonstrate a small portion of their personal research all through the years along the Great Wagon Road. The descriptions following each photo are submitted by GWR Project members, Bill Collins and Dowell Lester.

North Mayo River Ford Along The Great Wagon Road

Adam Lovings Plantation. North Mayo River ford. Bank on both sides of the River had to be “cut” to and from the River to get their wagon across.

Great Wagon Road after North Mayo River Ford

Great Wagon Road heading south AFTER crossing the North Mayo River at Adam Lovings plantation site. Dowell Lester, (6’2″)can barely be seen at the curve in the Road. Note the depth of the Road cut.)

Another View of the Great Wagon Road After North Mayo River Ford

After crossing the North Mayo River at Adam Lovings plantation the Moravian Brethren followed the Road approximately one mile uphill to the top of a ridge. From there the Road ran approximately 2 miles along the top of the ridge before descending to the South Mayo River ford. The picture here is the GWR at the beginning of it’s run along the top of the ridgeline. It is obvious this portion of the Road is still in use. Note the street sign on the picture’s left. The Road is named Old Winston-Salem TPK (Turnpike). An old map shows the Road as being Salem Pike. Winston was added when the village of Winston merged with the Moravian village of Salem. Thus, today’s Winston – Salem.

South Mayo River Ford Along The Great Wagon Road

Here is the South Mayo River ford which 7 years later was named Hughes Ford. (This story tomorrow!). Note the massive shallow river rock formation extending across the river. My researching buddy, Dowell, is standing in the middle of the ford with totally DRY feet. The Ford is that shallow.

South Side of South Mayo River Ford Along The Great Wagon Road

This picture was taken on the south side of the ford from the GWR looking across the South Mayo River bottom farmland. An early Indian village was located on this site.

As you can see, present day photos are an important part of the research that is required for the project. This and so much more must be placed into order, such as timeline, surnames, maps and deeds before the project will be able to reach it’s goal of National Historic Trail recognition. Do you have evidence of the Great Wagon Road? Do you know the location of an old road bed and would like to have more information about it? Are you interested in joining the GWR Project? Simply click on the Contact TheGreat Wagon Road Project below and fill out the form.

Enjoy Your Journey To The Past !!

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