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Fort Chiswell in Wythe County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Lead Mines
 
Lead Mines Marker Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, May 28, 2011
1. Lead Mines Marker
 
Inscription. Nine miles south on New River. Discovered in 1756 by Colonel John Chiswell, these mines supplied lead for the Patriots in the Revolutionary War. Tories attempted to seize them in 1780 but were suppressed.
 
Erected 1927 by Conservation & Development Commission. (Marker Number K-39.)
 
Location. 36° 56.658′ N, 80° 56.859′ W. Marker is in Fort Chiswell, Virginia, in Wythe County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 52 and Exit 80 (Interstate 81), on the right when traveling south on U.S. 52. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Max Meadows VA 24360, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Anchor and Hope Plantation (a few steps from this marker); Fincastle County (approx. 4.8 miles away); Wythe County Poorhouse Farm (approx. 5.1 miles away); Walter Crockett (approx. 6.2 miles away); Jackson’s Ferry and Shot Tower (approx. 6.5 miles away); Robert Enoch Withers (approx. 6.8 miles away); Wytheville Training School (approx. 7.3 miles away); Edith Bolling Wilson (approx. 7.5 miles away).
 
More about this marker. This marker was originally erected on U.S. Route 11, which has been replaced through these parts by Interstate 81.
 
Lead Mines, and Anchor and Hope Plantation Markers Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, May 28, 2011
2. Lead Mines, and Anchor and Hope Plantation Markers
 

 
Regarding Lead Mines. The nearby Jackson Ferry Shot Tower used to create lead shot by dropping molten lead from a height is still standing. There is a marker for the shot tower roadside on Route 52 south of here.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia entry for Withe County. “Lead was mined and shipped throughout the fledgling country; lead shot was also produced. Located near Fosters Falls, Jackson Ferry Shot Tower still stands as a testament to the citizens of Wythe County. Lead was hoisted to the top of the tower using block and tackle and oxen. The lead was melted in a retort and then poured through a sieve at the top of the tower. The droplets of molten lead would become round during the 150-foot descent. The shot would collect in a kettle of water and workers would enter through a 110-foot access tunnel located near the bank of the New River to retrieve the shot from the kettle.

“The lead mines closed in 1982 due to new United States Environmental Protection Agency‎ standards and the lack of market for lead. The mines have since filled with water; the main shaft extended in excess of 1100 feet straight down. ... The community was named for Colonel John Chiswell who helped establish the lead mines (1757).” (Submitted on June 12, 2011.) 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on June 12, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 567 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 12, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.
 
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