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

The Great Road

Wilderness Road

 

— Virginia's Heritage Migration Road —

 
The Great Road Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 9, 2021
1. The Great Road Marker
Inscription.  
"The Wilderness Road" sums up the iconic meaning of the lives of Daniel Boone and the thousands of settlers who poured after him through the great gap into Kentucky. In its various forms as frontier trail, wagon road, stage route, and antebellum turnpike, the road directed pilgrims and travelers to the West. Whatever your background, as the starting point for the settlement of the West, the Great Migration Route over the Cumberland Gap tells your story as an American.

The Great Road is one of the six sections that comprise the Wilderness Road. The Valley of Virginia has been occupied for 10,000 years, since the glaciers retreated to the north. Settlers in the 1730s blazed new routes and used existing paths to develop a main road along the Valley. European immigrants, particularly Swiss-German and Scots-Irish, poured into Virginia and North Carolina. The road ran all the way to North Carolina by 1748. By the late eighteenth century it had been improved as a stage road, but remained difficult in many places. By 1840, the Valley Turnpike, roughly corresponding to Rt. 11, had been constructed from Winchester to Harrisburg.

The Great Road Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 9, 2021
2. The Great Road Marker
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Prosperous towns like Winchester, Stephens City, and Middletown supported a rich tradition of crafts.

Cyrus McCormick Farm and Workshop
128 McCormick's Farm Circle, Raphine, Virginia
The museum at the Cyrus McCormick Farm and Workshop provides an opportunity for visitors to understand how traditional farming around the world was revolutionized by the inventions of a Scots-Irish family of farmers and innovators. Walnut Grove, the McCormack family farm near Steele's Tavern, is the birthplace of the mechanical reaper, the ancestor of the modern combine harvester.

Frontier Culture Museum
1290 Richmond Avenue, Staunton, Virginia
The Frontier Culture Museum is an outdoor, living-history museum and a Commonwealth of Virginia educational institution. The Museum currently features ten outdoor exhibits comprised of original and reconstructed farm buildings from West Africa, England, Ireland, Germany, and Virginia. The exhibits are carefully researched and documented, and many of them are original buildings that were dismantled and many of them are original buildings that were dismantled and transported to the Museum for restoration and reconstruction. The Museum's exhibits serve as settings for interpretive and educational programs designed to increase public knowledge of the diverse Old

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World origins of early immigrants to america, of how these immigrants lived in their homelands, of how they came to America, and how the way-of-life they created together on the early American frontier shaped the success of the United States. The Museum is open to the public 362 days a year, and welcomes all who wish to understand the origins and growth of the American people and their Culture.

R.R. Smith Center for History and Art
22 South New Street, Staunton, Virginia
Many of the settlers to the Augusta County area were Scots-Irish. A small village grew up around the county's first log courthouse, built in 1745. The newly named town of Staunton was laid out in thirteen half-acre lots in 1749. The R.R. Smith Center is housed in the former Eakleton Hotel of 1893. In addition to the offices of the Historic Staunton Foundation and the Staunton Augusta Art Center, it is the home of the Augusta County Historical Society history gallery and library, an excellent place to begin local family research.

Augusta Stone Church
28 Old Stone Church Lane, Fort Defiance, Virginia
Augusta Stone Church is the oldest surviving church in the Valley of Virginia and the oldest Presbyterian church in Virginia. The original log building was built in 1740. It was replaced with the present stone structure

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in 1749 under the supervision of the Rev. John Craig, the founder of Presbyterianism in the Valley, and famous for his faith and perseverance. The plain rectangular church was built with a clipped gable roof.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionColonial EraRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1748.
 
Location. 38° 7.488′ N, 79° 3.023′ W. Marker is in Staunton, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Frontier Drive (Virginia Route 644) half a mile south of Red Oaks Drive, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1290 Richmond Rd, Staunton VA 24401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Frontier Culture Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); Great Indian Warrior Trading Path (within shouting distance of this marker); The Barger House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Avenue of Trees (approx. ¾ mile away); First Settler's Grave (approx. ¾ mile away); Staunton National Cemetery (approx. 1.1 miles away); Address by President Lincoln (approx. 1.1 miles away); Medal of Honor Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Staunton.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 10, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 10, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 39 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 10, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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May. 11, 2021