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From the Wilderness of Colonial Virginia to Civil War in the American Heartland: A Series of Frontiers
- Date: 09/24/2017 2:00 PM
This work describes how a closely knit group of English pioneers who lived along the Potomac from 1680 to 1740 traveled up Ox Road in the early 1740s to become the first settlers of the Virginia Piedmont’s forested foothills near the junction of Indian paths later known as Colchester and Carolina Roads. There Hall, Owsley, and West began to clear and till land creating homesteads. West established an ordinary, visited in 1748 by Potomac River residents George Washington and George William Fairfax. Robert Carter III leased an 11,375 acre Goose Creek Tract adjoining the Hall, Owsley and West grants to Smarr, Pearl, Stephens, Tyler, Kelley, Taylor, Roberts, Shore, Squires, and others. West aided George Washington’s regiment in the English fight against French and Indians and by the 1760s the settlers were rolling their hogsheads of tobacco down Colchester Road to Colchester on the Occoquan in exchange for Scottish merchant John Glassford’s finished goods. They aided the colonial military in the Revolutionary War, supporting the emergence of the new American nation. Historic homes and businesses recall the rich historical heritage near Gilbert’s Corner - William West’s Ordinary, Jacob Ish’s Tanyard, Joseph Lacey’s Tavern, George Carter’s Oatlands, President James Monroe’s Oak Hill, Charles Fenton Mercer’s Aldie Mill and William Ellzey’s Fleetwood Farm. An in-depth study of the early history, leases, and subsequent ownership of Robert Carter III’s Goose Creek Tract along Little River and Goose Creek are mapped to provide a visualization of the network of settlers who lived in what is today south-central Loudoun County.
David Smarr, MS, CPA worked for 35 years in higher education administration at the University of Missouri and is currently completing the remaining three volumes of this series From the Wilderness of Colonial Virginia to Civil War in the American Heartland: A Series of Frontiers.