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

Transportation Through the Ages


— The Carriage House —

Transportation Through the Ages Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, May 29, 2011
1. Transportation Through the Ages Marker
Inscription.  Roads were only paths made by walking and from the passage of wagons and buggies. When the first cars came into the area, the roads were “pot-hole after pot-hole.” Sam Bonham told of riding his motorcycle around 1918 to Knoxville, Tennessee, dodging the holes in the road. When it rained, roads were all mud. The Macadam road led from St. Clair’s Bottom to Chilhowie and was built around 1905. H.L. Bonham was instrumental in the development of good roads in Smyth County, Virginia, and served on the commonwealth of Virginia’s Good Road Commission (ca. 1916). In 1911, Mr. Bonham owned the third automobile in the local area for transport, a Cadillac. The first automobile used for farm use was a Ford Model T.

The Carriage House was built to house H.L. Bonham’s first cars.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1918.
Location. 36° 47.71′ N, 81° 40.888′ W. Marker is in Chilhowie, Virginia, in Smyth County. Marker is at the intersection of Whitetop Road (Virginia Route 107) and Exit 35 (Interstate 81), on the
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right when traveling north on Whitetop Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 405 Whitetop Rd, Chilhowie VA 24319, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Chilhowie (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Chilhowie (approx. 0.2 miles away); Farthest West, 1750 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Town House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Chilhowie Methodist Episcopal Church (approx. half a mile away); Sulphur Springs Church and Campground (approx. one mile away); Smyth County / Washington County (approx. 1.1 miles away); William Campbell’s Grave (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chilhowie.
More about this marker. Nine photographs appear on the marker. Click on Photograph 1 to zoom in to examine the photos. Their captions read (clockwise from top left): “Sam Bohnam on his first motorcycle.” “Before buses, truck beds were used for large group transport. This group was headed to Whitetop Mountain for a picnic.” “Checking under the hood for a long drive to Atlantic City, NJ.” “Some cars were built to accommodate the larger families of the day.” “It was fashionable to dress for a drive.” “Horseback riding was a popular leisure activity.”
Transportation Through the Ages Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, May 29, 2011
2. Transportation Through the Ages Marker
“H.L. Bonham drove this car to Florida to get buyers for his apple crops.” “A buggy with a Surry canopy.” “Tractors replaced mules in the farm field.”
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 13, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 726 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 13, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Feb. 29, 2024