Glasgow in Rockbridge County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Erected 1854 by Captain Edward Echols.
Location. 37° 38.035′ N, 79° 27.01′ W. Marker is in Glasgow, Virginia, in Rockbridge County. Marker is at the intersection of Blue Ridge Road (County Route 684) and McCulloch Street, on the right when traveling north on Blue Ridge Road. Touch for map. It is in Centennial Park. Marker is in this post office area: Glasgow VA 24555, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Frank Padget Water Tragedy (within shouting distance of this marker); Indian and Settler Conflict (approx. 0.6 miles away); Amherst County/Rockbridge County (approx. 2.1 miles away); The Courage Of Frank Padget (approx. 2.1 miles away); Falling Spring Presbyterian Church (approx. 4.3 miles away); Natural Bridge (approx. 5.1 miles away); A Miracle in Stone ... Old as the Dawn Natural Bridge (approx. 5.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Glasgow.
Regarding Frank Padget. The present-day Maury River was known as the North River until the 1960s. The Blue Ridge portion of the James River and Kanawha Canal ran in the slack water sections of the James River itself. Man-made canals and locks transported canal boats around rapids and falls. Lock 16 was here at Glasgow, where the Maury River flows into the James. The tragedy of the canal boat Clinton occurred while it was in the open waters of the James at the mouth of the Maury. Frank Padget’s rescue attempt occurred a ways down stream, past Balcony Falls.
Also see . . . Frank Padget: A Superhero of the Bateau & Packet Boat Era. Scroll down for the story in this the August 2006 issue of the Amherst County Museum newsletter “The Muse.” (Submitted on November 26, 2011.)
1. Excerpt from A History of Rockbridge County, Virginia
1920 book by Oren F. Morton published in Staunton by The McClure Co., Inc. The excerpt reproduced below begins on page 251.
Captain Edward Echols, who lived at the mouth of North River, was a brother to General John Echols, of the Confederate army, and consequently an uncle to the late Edward Echols, of
In January, 1854, a large covered freight boat with a cargo of nearly 100 negro men who had been hired in the vicinity of Richmond to work in the furnaces above Buchanan was swept over the dam on James River at Balcony Falls, in consequence of the breaking of the tow-line, as the boat was struggling across the mouth of North River then swollen by a heavy freshet. Most of the negroes as soon as the boat began to drift down the stream plunged into the river and swam to the bank. About a dozen of them who probably could not swim stuck to the boat and were dashed over the dam into the boiling and foaming whirlpool below. The boat was broken into fragments, and half the men drowned. The others clung to a fragment of the wreck and were drifted down the surging and roaring torrent about a mile and a half, until they struck a large rock called the “Velvet Rock,” from the carpet of soft green moss which covered it, when they jumped off and after much scrambling secured a precarious foothold on the narrow surface of the wet and slippery stone. One of these men was William G. Mathews, uncle to William G. Mathews of the Virgina Western Power Company. The river was rising, the spray dashed over the rock. The
“IN MEMORY OF FRANK PADGET a colored slave who during a freshet in James River in January, 1854, ven- tured and lost his life by drowning in a noble effort to save some of his fellow creatures who were in the midst of the flood from death.”
If the hearty admiration and commendation of noble and generous action is the next thing to performing them, then when Captain Echols so generously erected this monument to this poor, humble negro, who deserved it far better than many an overpraised and vulgar hero who dies on the field of battle, he illustrated the nobleness of his own heart and built for himself, let us hope, an enduring monument in the hearts of his countrymen.
When the canal was sold to the Richmond and Alleghany Railroad Company, it was stipulated that the monument should not be disturbed, and a railing was placed around it.
— Submitted November 26, 2011.
Categories. • African Americans • Antebellum South, US • Heroes • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 26, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 758 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 26, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. 5. submitted on November 30, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.