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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Boydton in Mecklenburg County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Boydton and Petersburg Plank Road

A “Timbered Turnpike”

 
 
Boydton and Petersburg Plank Road Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 13, 2010
1. Boydton and Petersburg Plank Road Marker
Inscription. The Boydton and Petersburg Plank Road, built between 1851 and 1853, was the first all-weather route connecting Southside Virginia’s tobacco and wheat farms with the market. Pine and oak planks, 8 feet long, 1 foot wide, and 3-4 inches thick were laid across paralleled beams slanting toward a ditch. The road boosted crop revenues 30 to 100 percent. Along the approximately 73 miles, there were 7 toll houses and keepers. Stagecoaches drove the 73 miles Monday through Saturday, stopping every 11 miles for food and fresh teams. Condemned by 1860, the victim of heat, rainfall, humidity, and clay, it nonetheless provided an important route for troop movements during the Civil War. Another continuous hard-surface link would not exist until the 1930s. Parts of some highways, including U.S. 1, follow the old roadbed, and Petersburg still has a thoroughfare called Boydton Plank Road. A ten mile extension to the Roanoke River at Clarksville was completed in 1856.
 
Location. 36° 40.127′ N, 78° 23.135′ W. Marker is in Boydton, Virginia, in Mecklenburg County. Marker is at the intersection of Hull Street (Virginia Route T-1204) and Cemetery Street, on the left when traveling east on Hull Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Boydton VA 23917, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Moving goods to market on the Plank Road image. Click for full size.
2. Moving goods to market on the Plank Road
At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Boydton Presbyterian Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Boyd Tavern (approx. 0.2 miles away); Boydton (approx. 0.2 miles away); Mecklenburg County Confederate Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Boyd Tavern (approx. 0.3 miles away); Boydton Academic and Bible Institute (approx. 1.2 miles away); Taylor's Ferry (approx. 1.2 miles away); Old Randolph-Macon College (approx. 1.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Boydton.
 
More about this marker. On the lower right is a portrait of Robert E. Lee with the caption, "Boydton Plank Road was mentioned numerous times in Robert E. Lee’s dispatches to President Jefferson Davis and Secretary of War John C. Breckenridge during the last days the Confederate Army was in Petersburg, Viginia."
 
Also see . . .  Boydton Historic District (pdf file). National Register of Historic Places (Submitted on June 14, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Antebellum South, USMan-Made FeaturesRoads & VehiclesWar, US Civil
 
Boydton and Petersburg Plank Road Exhibit image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 13, 2010
3. Boydton and Petersburg Plank Road Exhibit
Plank Road Exhibit image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 13, 2010
4. Plank Road Exhibit
Plank Road Exhibit image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 13, 2010
5. Plank Road Exhibit
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,070 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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