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Austinville in Wythe County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Jackson’s Ferry and Shot Tower
 
Jackson’s Ferry and Shot Tower Marker Photo, Click for full size
By David Seibert, June 29, 2010
1. Jackson’s Ferry and Shot Tower Marker
 
Inscription. By 1770 Capt. William Herbert had established a ferry across the nearby New River that became known as Jackson’s Ferry. Thomas Jackson erected the 75-foot shot tower in the early 1800s to manufacture shot for firearms. The Austinville mines supplied lead for this business. Molten lead was dripped through a sieve from the top of the tower, then fell through the structure and an additional 75-foot shaft beneath the building into a kettle of water. While falling, the lead cooled and developed into shot pellets; the water cushioned the fall. The shaft was connected to the riverbank by a tunnel through which the shot was carried and then loaded onto boats.
 
Erected 2000 by Virginia Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number KD 6.)
 
Location. 36° 52.383′ N, 80° 52.217′ W. Marker is in Austinville, Virginia, in Wythe County. Marker is on Fort Chiswell Road (U.S. 52) Ľ mile north of Foster Falls Road, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Austinville VA 24312, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Austin's Birthplace (approx. 1.8 miles away); Carroll County / Wythe County (approx. 1.9 miles away); Fincastle County (approx. 2 miles away); Anchor and Hope Plantation (approx. 6.5 miles away); Lead Mines (approx. 6.5 miles away); Hillsville (approx. 10.5 miles away); Draper's Valley (approx. 11.1 miles away); Wythe County Poorhouse Farm (approx. 11.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Austinville.
 
Jackson’s Ferry and Shot Tower Marker Photo, Click for full size
By David Seibert, June 29, 2010
2. Jackson’s Ferry and Shot Tower Marker
The bridge in the right background is over the New River.
 

 
More about this marker. This marker replaces one with the same title and number erected in the early 1930s which read “Here on New River, Captain William Herbert, before the Revolution established a ferry, later called Jackson’s Ferry, that was operational until 1930. The old tower across the river was built about 1820 for the manufacture of shot.”
 
Jackson’s Ferry and Shot Tower Marker Photo, Click for full size
By David Seibert, June 29, 2010
3. Jackson’s Ferry and Shot Tower Marker
Looking north on US 52 toward Fort Chiswell; the high bridge is northbound Interstate 77.
 
 
Jackson’s Ferry and Shot Tower Marker Photo, Click for full size
By David Seibert, June 29, 2010
4. Jackson’s Ferry and Shot Tower Marker
Looking south on US 52 toward the bridge over New River.
 
 
The Shot Tower Photo, Click for full size
By David Seibert, June 29, 2010
5. The Shot Tower
The shot tower, built around 1807, stands in Shot Tower State Park, on the opposite side of the New River from the marker.
 
 
N-353 Old Shot Tower, At Jackson’s Ferry in Southwestern Virginia Photo, Click for full size
J.J. Prats Postcard Collection, circa 1930/1945
6. N-353 Old Shot Tower, At Jackson’s Ferry in Southwestern Virginia
Linen postcard mailed in 1956 published by Asheville Post Card Col, Asheville, N.C. and numbered E-4500. The caption reads, “The Old Shot Tower, one of Virginia’s oldest landmarks, was built about 1820 by Thomas Jackson for the manufacture of shot. It is 20 feet square, 75 feet high, with walls 2½ feet thick, and in shape resembles a fortress. It is said that both Daniel Boone and Thomas Jefferson often visited there and that ammunition from the tower was used in the War of 1812. Here on New River, before the Revolution, a ferry was established, later called Jackson’s Ferry, that was in operation until 1930.”
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on July 1, 2010, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 759 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 1, 2010, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia.   6. submitted on October 2, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
 
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