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

The Wilderness Road Crossing of the Clinch River

 
 
The Wilderness Road Crossing of the Clinch River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 5, 2010
1. The Wilderness Road Crossing of the Clinch River Marker
Inscription. In 1775 Daniel Boone and a group of axmen, following a Native American trade route, blazed a trail from the Anderson Blockhouse to a site on the Kentucky River. This trail, later to become the Wilderness Road, traversed 200 miles of wilderness and encountered a number of natural barriers. One of these was the Clinch River. The gorge to your right has been widened by considerable blasting and rock removal to make room for the modern highway and railroad, but in the eighteenth century it afforded passage only for Troublesome Creek. This creek, which enters the Clinch about fifty yards east of the bridge to your right, got its name from the trouble it gave travelers trying to follow it through the gap to the river. The ford was on a shelf of rock that lies under the bridge. Though usually safe, it was dangerous in high water. In May 1779 a party of militia almost drowned while crossing the river here. They were escorting British Governor Henry Hamilton, who had been captured at Vincennes by George Rogers Clark, to Williamsburg, Virginia. The photograph on this exhibit is an artist's conception of the Clinch River Ford as it might have appeared in 1779.

"29th. Crossed the north branch of Clinch river, forded stock creek 6 times, forded Clinch river with great difficulty, some of the men were near being drownd, it fell sleet and
Wilderness Road Map image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 5, 2010
2. Wilderness Road Map
hail with an exceeding sharp wind - a very small canoe took over some of us, after making a fire & getting well warmed we proceeded on our march thro' cane brakes, the ways crooked steep & miry"

From Hamilton's Diary, May 29, 1779
 
Erected by Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation and Scott County Virginia.
 
Location. 36° 39.271′ N, 82° 44.81′ W. Marker is in Speers Ferry, Virginia, in Scott County. Marker is on Orby Cantrell Highway (U.S. 58), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located at a pull off providing a view of the Clinch River and railroad bridges. Marker is in this post office area: Duffield VA 24244, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Natural Tunnel: Railroading and Recreation (here, next to this marker); The Copper Creek Railroad Trestles (here, next to this marker); Speers Ferry (within shouting distance of this marker); Carterís Fort (approx. 2.8 miles away); The Natural Tunnel Route (approx. 3.2 miles away); a different marker also named Carterís Fort (approx. 4.6 miles away); Scott County / Lee County (approx. 8.1 miles away); Carter's Store (approx. 9.3 miles away in Tennessee). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Speers Ferry.
 
Also see . . .
Markers at the Clinch River Pull-off image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 5, 2010
3. Markers at the Clinch River Pull-off
 The Wilderness Road in Scott County. (Submitted on September 23, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Roads & VehiclesSettlements & SettlersWar, US Revolutionary
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 23, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 897 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 23, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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