Hold onto your hats; the wagons are coming fast down the Great Wagon Road. In June of 2022, the project studied the Shenandoah Valley area in Virginia. The groundwork continued well into August as the team located the road foot by foot. If you think this task is easy, think again. The weather was gorgeous almost every day, and the past revealed itself before our eyes. We will continue in Virginia until the first week of November before we use the winter months for some much-needed rest. The gathered proof provides clear evidence that the road grew at an alarming rate during the 1750 decade. In July, a separate study included the Virginia southern border as the project needed to tie up a few loose ends in the area. We tied those and found new questions to the riddle that will need our attention in December. When you think you’ve completed a section, this happens, and that’s ok! It’s all part of the research and comes with the territory. August, week one, began with a unique discovery in Roanoke near the colonial crossroads, while September reached deep into the records and revealed some lesser-known facts dating to the 1740s.
As the project traveled from one day to the next, many people accepted our work and eagerly shared their knowledge of the Great Wagon Road and local history. The road left many artifacts stored in the homes of local families. Many items were passed down from generation to generation with incredible stories behind them. The project looked upon them as priceless treasures from the past. We must admit that the authentic evidence dwells on the actual properties and among the people living in the areas. We found this to be surprising in many ways.
The recordkeeping amounted to heaps of notes. Land deeds were the primary thing we were after with court road orders. The fords and shootouts stood out as the work progressed. We anticipated changes with ford crossings and met challenges for their locations. (not all of the time) Slow going, we conquered one area and moved on to the next.
The groundwork can be tedious and strenuous, but when a connection links to the Great Wagon Road, ecstatic and thrilled can best describe the feeling. Are we tired? Yes! Very Special Thanks to those who greeted our research with smiles this past summer. We will share much of the summer material on Piedmont Trails during the coming months. Remember, if you have information about the Great Wagon Road and would like to share it with the project, please let us know. You can do this by filling out the form on the Contact Page. Enjoy Your Journey To The Past!