Great Wagon Road

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1751 Fry-Jefferson map depicting 'The Great Waggon Road to Philadelphia'

The Great Wagon Road was an improved trail through the Great Appalachian Valley from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, and from there to Georgia in colonial America.

Introduction[edit]

The heavily traveled Great Wagon Road was the primary route for the early settlement of the Southern United States, particularly the "backcountry". Although a wide variety of settlers traveled southward on the road, two dominant cultures emerged. The German Palatines and Scotch-Irish American immigrants arrived in huge numbers because of unendurable conditions in Europe. The Germans (also known as Pennsylvania Dutch) tended to find rich farmland and work it zealously to become stable and prosperous. The other group (known also as Presbyterian or Ulster Scots) tended to be restless, clannish, and fiercely independent; they formed what became known as the Appalachian Culture. Partly because of the language difference, the two groups tended to keep to themselves.[1][2][3]

Beginning at the port of Philadelphia, where many immigrants entered the colonies, the Great Wagon Road passed through the towns of Lancaster and York in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Turning southwest, the road crossed the Potomac River and entered the Shenandoah Valley at Winchester, Virginia, continuing south in the valley via the Great Warriors' Trail (also called the Indian Road, as on this map), which was established by centuries of Indian travel. The Shenandoah portion of the road is also known as the Valley Pike. The Treaty of Lancaster in 1744 had established colonists' rights to settle along the Indian Road. Although traffic on the road increased dramatically after 1744, it was reduced to a trickle during the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War) from 1756 to 1763. But after the war ended, it became the most heavily traveled road in America.

Historic marker for the Carolina Road, Franklin County, Virginia

South of the Shenandoah Valley, the road reached the Roanoke River at the town of Big Lick (today, Roanoke). South of Roanoke, the Great Wagon Road was also called the Carolina Road. At Roanoke, a road forked southwest, leading into the upper New River Valley and on to the Holston River in the upper Tennessee Valley. From there, the Wilderness Road led into Kentucky, ending at the Ohio River where flatboats were available for further travel into the Midwest and even to New Orleans.

From Big Lick/Roanoke, after 1748, the Great Wagon Road passed through the Maggoty Gap (also called Maggodee) to the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Continuing south through the Piedmont region, it passed through the present-day North Carolina towns of Winston-Salem, Salisbury, and Charlotte and sites of earlier Indian settlements on the historic Indian Trading Path. The Great Wagon Road ultimately reached Augusta, Georgia on the Savannah River.

Despite its current name, the southern part of this road was by no means passable by wagons until later Colonial times. The 1751 Fry-Jefferson map on this page notes the term 'Waggon' only north of Winchester. In 1753, a group of wagon travelers reported that "the good road ended at Augusta" (now Staunton, Virginia), although they did keep going all the way to Winston-Salem. By all accounts, it was never a comfortable route. The lines of settlers' covered wagons moving south were matched by a line of wagons full of agricultural produce heading north to urban markets; these were interspersed with enormous herds of cattle, hogs, and other livestock being driven north to market. Although there surely would have been pleasant areas for travel, road conditions also could vary from deep mud to thick dust, mixed with animal waste. Inns were generally not fancy. The pioneers were strong people.[1]

Great Wagon Road: Philadelphia to Roanoke, Virginia (Circa 1754)[edit]

   Note:  The segments are approximations; actual paths varied constantly with fallen trees, floods, etc.  All distances are approximate.

Begin at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

Location Present-Day Road-Segment Number Present-Day Road-Segment Name Distance Covered (Miles) Distance Covered (km) Remarks
Philadelphia, Market Street, at Delaware River
State Road 3 (PA-3) Market St By about 1740, milestones were placed along the side of the Great Wagon Road to Lancaster (known as the "King's Road", or occasionally the "Conestoga Road"), each with a chiseled number, indicating the distance in miles from the Quaker meeting house at Second Street and High Street (now Market Street) in Philadelphia. (Example: "20 M to P")[4]
Schuylkill River Ferry (now a bridge)
PA-3 Market St 0.7 The Strasburg Wagon Road (first used 1716, rebuilt 1790) branched here, (continuing along PA-3, PA-162, PA-372, PA-741) through West Chester, Parkesburg, Gap, and Strasburg, Pennsylvania, from where a track continued through Willow Street village to the Susquehanna River at the mouth of the Conestoga River. This road followed roughly the ancient Great Minquas Path, also known occasionally as the Conestoga Path.[5] In 1716, John Miller became the first regular wagon driver between Philadelphia and Lancaster County; he used this Strasburg Road. By 1717, there were two or three more wagons in use, including the first "Conestoga" wagon.[6]
PA-3005 Lancaster Ave 2 Detour around Drexel University (founded 1891). This is where the 1795 Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike began.
Crossing of Girard Ave, Philadelphia
US-30 Lancaster Ave 2.4
Montgomery County Line; at US-1 (City Ave) The Lincoln Highway (1916) from Trenton, New Jersey (US-1) joined the Lancaster Turnpike (1790) here.[7]
US-30 Lincoln Hwy 10 This section (Old Lancaster Road) was relocated in many places in 1830 by construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad "Main Line".
Delaware County Line; at County Line Rd
US-30 Lincoln Hwy 9
Chester County Line; at Sugartown Rd
US-30 Lancaster Ave 11
Crossing of US-202
US-30 Business Route Lincoln Hwy 7
Downingtown (formerly Milltown), Pennsylvania; Brandywine Creek Ford (now a bridge) The Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike (built 1795) branched here, continuing along US-30Business until rejoining US-30 twelve miles west of here. US-30 now follows its path until meeting PA-462 at Lancaster. The turnpike continued along PA-462 to end at the Susquehanna River in Columbia, Pennsylvania.[4] After 1913, the turnpike was renamed as a section of "The Lincoln Highway".[7]
US-322 Manor Ave 3 In 1803, the Horseshoe Pike (now US-322) was built from here to Ephrata and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.[8]
PA-4015 Edges Mill Rd 1.7
PA-340 Kings Road 12 The King's Road was built from Philadelphia to Lancaster in 1733.[9] It became a section of the Great Wagon Road.
PA-340 Old Philadelphia Pike 10 PA-340 departs from the original Harrisburg Road at White Horse, Pennsylvania. Called Old Peter's Road (for Peter Bezaillon, who had a trading post at the end of the road), this packhorse road turned northwest through Springville, Groffdale, and Center Square, then over a future quarry to ford the Conestoga River, continuing south of Lancaster Airport to Mount Joy, then along Donegal Springs Road and Stackstown Road to the Susquehanna River at Bainbridge (formerly Conoy), Pennsylvania.[10][5] Much of it is obliterated now by cultivated fields and residential developments.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Conestoga River Ford (now a bridge); Fork of the Great Wagon Road Lancaster is where blacksmiths fabricated the famous heavy Conestoga wagons and supplied horses that were locally bred especially to pull them in lieu of oxen, commonly with a team of six animals.[11][12] In 1734, a segment of the original Great Wagon Road, PA-230 (Old Harrisburg Pike), was built from the center of Lancaster through Mount Joy to Pine Ford (now a bridge) across Swatara Creek at Middletown, and past the Harris ferry (now Harrisburg) to Chambers Mill at Fishing Creek (now Fort Hunter, Pennsylvania).[9][13] Also, in 1736 there was built a well-used wagon road (now US-222 & US-422) from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to Harris ferry.[14] Much later, in 1806, a group of Conestoga wagon craftsmen moved from Lancaster to the Harrisburg area where they set up business; the settlement was named Mechanicsburg in 1820 because of all their shops there.
PA-462 King St + Columbia Ave + Lancaster Ave + Chestnut St 14
Columbia, Pennsylvania; Susquehanna River Ferry (now a bridge) The road from Philadelphia to here was paved with stones in 1795 and the railroad from Philadelphia to here was completed in 1834.[15][16]
Wrightsville, Pennsylvania (formerly Wright's Ferry) ....... York County Line
PA-462 Lincoln Hwy + Market St 13
York, Pennsylvania; Codorus Creek Ford (now a bridge)
PA-462 Market St 4
US-30 1.4
Fork of the Great Wagon Road; PA-116 at US-30 Another early wagon route, the "Monocacy Road" (built 1739), went from here to Hanover, Pennsylvania (PA-116), then Taneytown and Frederick, Maryland (MD-194), then to Boonsboro (US-40A), and continued across the Antietam Creek ford (now a bridge on MD-34), then through Sharpsburg, Maryland to the Potomac River. It appeared to use Samuel Taylor's ferry (1734) and later Thomas Swearingen's ferry (1755) across the Potomac River at "Packhorse Ford" where Shepherdstown, West Virginia was established in 1762. From there, it continued on to Winchester, Virginia.[17] It was about 110 miles from York to Winchester, using this road.

After Harpers ferry began operating in 1761, the road through Boonsboro was no longer needed; wagon traffic followed the path of US-340 from Frederick to Harpers Ferry and continued directly onward from there to Winchester, Virginia. It was about 105 miles from York to Winchester via Harpers Ferry.

From Frederick, there was also another route to the south, generally followed by US-15. This was called "The Carolina Road" or occasionally "The High Road" through Virginia and it crossed the Potomac River via Noland's ferry at "Point of Rocks". From Clarksville, Virginia, it entered North Carolina about 15 miles west of the "Fall Line Road" and 80 miles east of the Great Wagon Road. From that entry point, it was possible to travel west through Hillsborough and Greensboro, to Salem or Salisbury, North Carolina and rejoin the Great Wagon Road.[18][19]

US-30 20
South Branch of Great Conewago Creek, Ford (now a bridge)
US-30 1.6
Fork of the Great Wagon Road; Swift Run Road at US-30 Another early wagon route, the Nichol's Gap Road (built 1747) went from here through the future Gettysburg, Fairfield, Iron Springs, and Gum Springs, Pennsylvania, over Monterey Pass (Blue Ridge Summit), then down "Old Rte 16 St" to Hagerstown, Maryland. It then used a ferry across the Potomac River to reach Winchester, Virginia.[20][21] It was about 105 miles from York, Pennsylvania to Winchester, Virginia, using this road.
Swift Run Rd + Shrivers Corner Rd 6 This route, built in 1747, was shown on the 1751 map by Fry and Jefferson.[22] It was about 110 miles from York, Pennsylvania to Winchester, Virginia, using this road. In 1811, it was replaced by the Gettysburg and Chambersburg Turnpike.[21]
Goldenville Rd 4.4
Hilltown Rd 5.3
Lincoln Hwy 2.2 In 1811, the Gettysburg and Chambersburg Turnpike was built through here, moving the Great Wagon Road to present-day US-30.[21] It was renamed as a section of the Lincoln Highway in 1916.[23]
US-30 Lincoln Hwy 2.3
South Mountain Gap (Black's Gap or Cashtown Gap); Franklin County Line In 1744, the Treaty of Lancaster, an agreement with the five Iroquois nations, legalized settlement in the great valley west of here.[24]
US-30 Lincoln Hwy 11
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Fork of the Great Wagon Road This is the junction with the Harrisburg-Carlisle-Shippensburg-Chambersburg (US-11) branch of the Great Wagon Road that had been built to the Potomac River in 1744.[25] The French and Indian War (Seven Years' War) disrupted traffic on the Great Wagon Road from 1756 to 1763. The population of Franklin County, Pennsylvania (the Chambersburg area) in 1756 was 3,000; by 1760 it was down to 300.[26]
US-11 South Main St + Antietam Way 6
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
US-11 Antietam Way + Molly Pitcher Hwy 5.6
Maryland State Line; Washington County
US-11 Pennsylvania Ave + Burhans Blvd 6 It appears that the Great Wagon Road actually followed the path of the present-day railroad from its Burhans Blvd crossing to the ford at Conococheague Creek and onward to the Potomac ferry landing on the upstream side of that creek (or to the Potomac ford just above the ferry landing).[22]
Hagerstown, Maryland
US-11 Virginia Ave + Potomac St 7
Williamsport, Maryland; Potomac River; Watkins Ferry (now a bridge) Evan Watkins' ferry was established by law in 1744. At times it was possible to ford Conococheague Creek at the present-day railroad bridge and then to ford the Potomac River just above the mouth of the creek. After 1795, Watkins Ferry became Peter Light's ferry; in 1854 it became Robert Lemen's ferry, which was an improvement because of its attachment to a cable strung across the river. (Before that, they would tow the boat upstream to a release point from which they hoped the current would carry the boat to the right spot on the opposite bank.) [27] Williamsport, Maryland was named after General Otho Williams, who laid out the town in 1787. Earlier, a settler named John Williams operated a different Potomac River ferry (1731) at the mouth of Obequan Creek, seven miles downstream from here.[28] (The frequently mentioned "Obequan Settlement" area, in contrast, was at the headwaters of the creek, at Bartonsville, about six miles south of Winchester, Virginia.)[29]
West Virginia State Line; Berkeley County
US-11 Williamsport Pike + Queen St 14
Martinsburg, West Virginia
US-11 King St + Winchester Ave 13
Virginia State Line; Frederick County
US-11 Martinsburg Pike + Cameron St 10
Winchester, Virginia (orig. Frederick Town, Estab.1738) Winchester, Virginia was considered the gateway to the Shenandoah valley, leading to the Carolina Piedmont, Tennessee, and Kentucky. In the period after the French and Indian War until the Revolutionary War, this Great Wagon Road was said to have been the most heavily traveled road in all of America. Its eventual decline can be traced to the construction of railroads in the second half of the nineteenth century.[30]
US-11 Cameron St + Gerard St + Valley Ave + Valley Pike 14
Cedar Creek Ford (now a bridge)
US-11 Old Valley Pike 1
Shenandoah County Line (Estab.1772)
US-11 Old Valley Pike + Massanuten St 3
Strasburg, Virginia (Estab.1749)
US-11 King St + Old Valley Pike 17 There are fords at Tumbling Run, Toms Brook, Jordan Run, Pughs Run, and Narrow Passage Creek. The "Narrow Passage" ridge is just 1 mile north of Edinburg.
Edinburg, Virginia (Estab.1852); Stony Creek Ford (now a bridge)
US-11 Old Valley Pike 7
Mill Creek Ford (now a bridge at Mt. Jackson, Virginia)
US-11 Old Valley Pike 1
Shenandoah River Ford (now a bridge)
US-11 Old Valley Pike 10
Rockingham County Line (Estab.1778); at Whereman's Run
US-11 Lee Hwy 3
Fork in Road; Brocks Gap Road (now VA-259) to West Virginia
US-11 Lee Hwy + Main St 11
Harrisonburg, Virginia (Estab.1780)
US-11 Main St + Lee Hwy 10
Augusta County Line; at VA-690 (Estab.1738)
US-11 Main St + Lee Hwy + US-11BUS + Augusta St 14
Staunton, Virginia (Orig. Augusta) (Estab.1747) Fork in road: Left to Waynesboro (US-250), right to Carolina (US-11).
US-11 0.8 Lewis Creek ford (now a culvert).
VA-613 + VA697 Old Greenville Rd 14 Fork at VA-694 (Waynesboro-Middlebrook road); ford at Folly Mills Creek.
Greenville, Virginia (Estab. 1794); South River Ford (now a bridge)
US-11 Lee Hwy 6
Rockbridge County Line (Estab. 1777); Marl Creek Ford (now a bridge)
US-11 Lee Hwy 22 Ford Moores Creek, Marlbrook Creek, Mill Creek;
Maury River Ford (now a bridge)
US-11 Lee Hwy 1
Lexington, Virginia (Estab. 1777)
US-11 Lee Hwy 13
Natural Bridge, Virginia Over Cedar Creek.
US-11 Lee Hwy 4
Botetourt County Line (Estab. 1770); at VA-610 (Chambers Rd)
US-11 Lee Hwy 7
Buchanan, Virginia (Estab. 1832); James River Ford (now a bridge)
US-11 Lee Hwy 17
Fork in the Great Wagon Road; at VA-654 (Read Mountain Rd) & VA-605 (Sanderson Rd); Tinker Creek Ford: Cloverdale, Virginia The road to Tennessee continued west along US-11 for 3 miles, then along VA-117 (Peters Creek Rd) for 5.5 miles, then west 2.5 miles along the Lynchburg-Salem Turnpike to rejoin US-11 westward at Salem, Virginia. The road to North Carolina turned south here, following VA-605.[31] Also, there is another fork; VA-654 continues over the hill in a shortcut to join US-460, a branch of the old "Warwick Road" to Lynchburg and Richmond, Virginia.
VA-654 + VA-605 Read Mountain Rd + Sanderson Rd 1.5 A section of this road is now a railroad track.
Roanoke County Line (Estab. 1838);
VA-601 Hollins Rd + Railroad tracks 3 Detour via Plantation Rd.
Tinker Creek Ford (now a railroad bridge)
VA-115 + US-460 Hollins Rd + Orange Ave 2 A section of this road is now a railroad track.
Old Buffalo Salt Lick (now a park and a railroad switch yard)
Fork in the Great Wagon Road; at US-11A (Orange Ave or Salem-Lynchburg Turnpike) and VA-116 (Williamson Rd) Intersection Williamson Rd leads south to the Carolinas; Orange Ave leads west via US-11 past the New River (Kanawha River) to Tennessee, or to Kentucky and the Ohio River via the Cumberland Gap and Wilderness Road, which was widened enough for wagons in 1796. (Orange Avenue also leads east to Lynchburg, Virginia via US-460. This was sometimes called the "Warwick Road" because the road ended south of Richmond at Warwick, Virginia, a seaport that was destroyed in the American Revolutionary War and never rebuilt.)[31]
Williamson Rd 0.8
Roanoke, Virginia (Estab. 1834 as "Big Lick")


Great Wagon Road: Roanoke, Virginia to Shallow Ford of Yadkin River, North Carolina (Circa 1754)[edit]

   Note:  The segments are approximations; actual paths varied constantly with fallen trees, floods, etc.  All distances are approximate.

Continue south at Roanoke, Virginia:

Location Present-Day Road-Segment Number Present-Day Road-Segment Name Distance Covered (Miles) Distance Covered (km) Remarks
Roanoke, Virginia (Estab. 1834 as "Big Lick") In 1753, the original 15 Moravian men on their way to start a settlement at Wachovia (present-day Winston-Salem), North Carolina, were apparently misinformed and took a wrong turn here. With great effort, they forced their way with a large Conestoga type of wagon through the Windy Gap packhorse road over the Blue Ridge mountains (now VA-116). After their descent into Franklin County on the east side of the ridge and following VA-684, they rejoined the Great Wagon Road at Boone's Mill, Virginia.[32][33]
Franklin Rd 1.4 [31]
Roanoke River Ford (now a bridge) Franklin Rd (US-220Bus) continues onward, becoming Electric Rd (VA-419), which forks south after 1 mile to Starkey Rd (VA-604) leading to Merriman Rd (VA-613). VA-613 leaves the Great Valley, crossing into Franklin County through Maggoty Gap in the Blue Ridge mountains; this route provided wagon access to North and South Carolina and Georgia.
US-220 Business Franklin Rd 2 [31]
US-220 Freeway Intersection
VA-419 Electric Rd 1 [31]
VA-604 Starkey Rd 2 [31]
VA-613 Merriman Rd 2.5 [31]
Simmonds Gap (Formerly Maggoty Gap); Franklin County Line [31]
VA-613 Naff Rd 4.5
US-220 Freeway Intersection
US-220 Goode Hwy 1
Boone's Mill, Virginia (Estab. 1786) After 1838, the Great Wagon Road moved to the Franklin-Fincastle turnpike, which continued straight here and passed through Rocky Mount, Virginia.[34][35]
VA-739 Bethlehem Rd 5 Passing over Little Creek culvert. The original Moravian Settlers of Wachovia camped here on Bethlehem Road at Little Creek on November 4, 1753.[36]
VA-643 Bethlehem Rd 2.5
VA-641 Calloway Rd 0.2 Detour around a cultivated field. (Calloway Post Office is 3.5 miles west of here.)
VA-643 Hickman/Hopkins Rd 2.2
Blackwater River Ford (now a one-lane bridge)
VA-643 Coles Creek Rd 2.8 Passing over Coles Creek culvert.
VA-821 Calico Rock Rd 1.6
Crossing of VA-640 (6 Mile Post Rd)
VA-980 Pepper Rd 0.1 Staying on northeast side of creek.
Dirt Track 0.7 Around cultivated fields. (May be passable now only on foot or bike.) A detour is located 3 miles west of here; south on VA-756 (Old Forge Rd).
Pigg Creek Ford This ford is directly at the north end of VA-802.
VA-802 Old Carolina Rd 0.8 (Another path of the "Old Carolina Rd" appears to run along the ridge just 0.3 mile southeast of this path.)
VA-756 Old Forge Rd 0.1
VA-864 Old Ferrum Rd 7 The original Moravian Settlers of Wachovia camped here beside Story Creek one mile northeast of Ferrum on November 5, 1753.[37]
VA-623 Union Rd + Ingramville Rd 0.5 Passing over Story Creek culvert.
Ferrum, Virginia (Estab. 1889) Railroad crossing here. The Great Wagon Road south of here was obliterated by railroad construction in 1892.
VA-767 Prillamin Switch Rd 6 Passing over Little Town Creek & Town Creek culverts.
VA-606 Town Creek Dr 2.5 Passing over Town Creek Fork bridge. Later travelers could avoid some of the swamps along Town Creek by following ridges west of the valley; VA-771 (Will Hill Rd) and VA-770 (Old Henry Rd).
Henry, Virginia (Estab. 1790); Town Creek Ford (now a bridge); Henry County Line (Estab. 1777) The original Moravian Settlers of Wachovia camped here November 6, 1753.[38]
VA-606 Henry Fork Rd + Original Henry Rd 4 Passing over Town Creek and Grassy Fork swampy area, then a steep little hill.[38]
VA-606 Philpott Dr + Oak Level Rd 4 Long gradual ascent, then one mile along the ridge.[38]
VA-669 Colonial Hill Rd 0.6 Steep descent, crossing Little Reed Creek at bottom.[38]
US-220 Virginia Ave 1 The original Wachovia settlers described this section as "beautiful lowlands" with many grapes, which they enjoyed. They camped on November 7, 1753 at the mouth of Reed Creek on the bank of Smith River. The landscape as seen by them has since been extensively altered; the Philpott dam upstream has reduced the river to a relative trickle and the construction of a railroad and major highway interchange further modified the topography. For these reasons it is difficult to interpret their diary notes. It seems clear, however, that although the next day was extremely strenuous, they traveled through present-day Collinsville, Virginia, and ended up at the mouth of Daniels Creek on the bank of Smith River, across from present-day Fieldale, Virginia, after traveling only seven miles.[39]
Smith River Ford; Fieldale, Virginia (Estab. 1917) The original Wachovia settlers camped on the east bank of the Smith River ford here on November 8, 9, and 10th, 1753, waiting for the floodwater to recede. The next day, after fording the river, they took a very difficult route straight ahead through a swamp and up a rough hillside to rejoin the Great Wagon Road.[40]
Fork in The Great Wagon Road at Smith River Later traffic across this ford appeared to take a right turn onto the Great Wagon Road which looped north briefly around the rough hills. It also appears that wagon traffic in better weather used a ford almost at the mouth of Blackberry Creek (at the end of VA-698) instead of at Fieldale. The 1751 Fry-Jefferson map shows the Blackberry Creek location.[22]
VA-609 Dillons Fork Rd 2.5 A man named John Hickey had a peddler's license and ran a store and "ordinary" here at Rangely, Virginia in 1753. It was the last place to buy salt until beyond Winston-Salem, North Carolina.[41]
VA-683 The Great Rd + Meadowood Trail 4.5 In 1753, the original Wachovia settlers continued south along VA-683 (fording over Jordan Creek and Bassett Branch) to Preston Rd. Other travelers reportedly turned west onto VA-627 (Hodges Farm Rd) for 2 miles and then south on VA-687 (Preston Rd) to avoid creeks and swamps.[41]
VA-687 Preston Rd 5.5
US-58 Philpott Hwy 0.3
Horse Pasture, Virginia; Crossing of US-58 (Philpott Hwy) The original Wachovia settlers camped here on November 11, 1753.[42]
VA-694 Wagon Trail Rd 3.5
VA-692 Horsepasture-Price Rd 0.2
VA-692 Wagon Trail Rd 3.3 Passing over Horse Pasture Creek ford (now a culvert).
VA-695 George Taylor Rd 1.4
North Mayo River Ford (now a bridge)
VA-695 George Taylor Rd 3.6
South Mayo River Ford (now a bridge) The original Wachovia settlers camped here on November 12, 1753.[43]
VA-695 George Taylor Rd 1.2
Crooked Creek Ford (now a bridge)
VA-695 George Taylor Rd 0.4
North Carolina State Line (Estab. 1728); Stokes County Line (Estab. 1789)
NC-1630 Amostown Rd 0.6 In 1753, the original Wachovia settlers lost their way in this area and traveled slightly west of the Great Wagon Road.[44]
NC-1625 Amostown Rd 5.2
Sandy Ridge, North Carolina In 1753, the original Wachovia settlers left the easily travelled ridge more than once to descend to creeks, once at Buffalo Creek,[45] another apparently on Dillard Road to cross Blackies Branch,[46] presumably because they were following buffalo trails where the animals wanted water.
NC-704 NC Hwy 704E 5.3
NC-772 NC Hwy 772 2
Dodgetown Community, North Carolina; Fork in The Great Wagon Road Some later wagons branched southwest here to ford the Dan River, initially following Dodgetown Road past Dillard Road, then down Glidewell Lane to a ford and then over Bumpy Hollow Road and Stewart Road to US-89 at Meadows, North Carolina. Wagons later followed Dodgetown Road and NC-1648 (Davis Chapel Church Road), crossing another ford (now a bridge) to reach Meadows, Danbury, or Walnut Cove, North Carolina. It is possible that Morgan Bryan forded the Dan River here in 1748 and then traveled south to cross Town Fork Creek at present-day Walnut Cove.
NC-772 NC Hwy 772 3
Dillard Community, North Carolina
NC-772 NC Hwy 772 4.3
Hickory Fork Rd 1.9
Willard Rd 1.5 4-wheel drive now recommended from Willard Rd to Walnut Cove. Otherwise continue on Hickory Fork Rd south to US-311, then west to Walnut Cove.
Dan River Ford Impassable during flooding. The original Moravian settlers of Wachovia camped here November 13, 14, and 15th, in 1753, waiting for the floodwater to recede.[47] The land on the west side of the Dan River has been altered significantly for agriculture, but from the Moravian diary map it appears that wagons rolled through in the vicinity of NC-1718 (Saura Farm Road) and made their way up the hill (now Oldtown Road) to the Townfork settlement (now Walnut Cove and Germanton).[48]
NC-1718 Dirt track + Saura Farm Rd 1
NC-1717 Tuttle Rd 1
US-311 US-311 + Oldtown Rd 2.4 Culvert with a small creek under US-311.
Walnut Cove, North Carolina (Estab. 1883) Some wagons, including Morgan Bryan's, may have forded Townfork Creek here and then followed NC-65 to rejoin the other wagon road path at Germanton, North Carolina.
Brook Cove Rd 5 Fording at Mills, Ash Camp, Voss, Watts, and Martin creeks. This is the area of the historic Townfork Creek Settlement.[48]
NC-8 NC-8 1
Ford at Townfork Creek (now a bridge)
NC-8 NC-8 0.6 The Moravians first encountered a new road here in 1753, presumably cut five years earlier by Morgan Bryan and leading into the Wachovia Tract. This would indicate that Morgan Bryan's road crossed the Dan River either upstream near Dodgetown Road or downstream somewhere below the mouth of Town Fork Creek, but not at the Saura Farm ford.[49]
Germanton, North Carolina (Estab. 1790); Forsyth County Line (Estab. 1849); Buffalo Creek Ford (now a bridge)
NC-8 NC-8 0.6
Fork in the Great Wagon Road Some later wagon traffic reportedly continued straight here on NC-65, through Rural Hall, North Carolina, to rejoin the old road at Bethania, North Carolina.
NC-8 Germanton Rd 2.3
Stanleyville Dr 5
University Parkway 0.1 Detour around houses.
Fork in the Great Wagon Road The Moravians cut a new road on November 17, 1753 from here to Bethabara, North Carolina. It is roughly followed by NC-4000 (University Drive) + NC-1672 (Hanes Mill Rd) + Bethany Station Rd to its end at Bethabara Rd (3 miles total).[49]
Ziglar Rd 2.3 The Ziglar Road fork matches the rough distance given in the Moravian diary.[49]
Bethania - Rural Hall Rd 2.2 This is probably a detour from the original wagon road.
Bethania, North Carolina (Estab. 1759); Fork in the Great Wagon Road The Moravians cut a new road, now NC-1681 (Bethabara Rd), to here from Bethabara in 1759. Today, an unimproved dirt track still continues down the hill at the northwest end of NC-1681 and joins NC-1688 at the entrance to Bethania. It is possible that this dirt track running along the creek is all that remains of the original Great Wagon Road in the vicinity. If so, the original road would only have followed Ziglar Road briefly and then followed the path of Walker Road down to the creek below Mallard Lake. Today, travel from Bethabara to Bethania is via NC-67 + NC-1688.

By 1766, the Moravians built a road in the opposite direction from Bethabara to Old Salem via Bethabara Rd + NC-4000 (University Parkway) + Thurmond St + Peters Creek ford + Broad St, and also possibly 1st St + Main St.

They cut a road from Old Salem to Lewisville (for Shallow Ford) via 1st St + Country Club Dr + Shallowford Rd in 1772.[50]

By 1775, they continued from Old Salem to Salisbury through Davidson County via Salem Creek ford + Old Salem Rd + Main St + NC-2932 (Old US-52) + Midway, North Carolina + Welcome, North Carolina + NC-8 (Old US-52) + Lexington, North Carolina (Estab. 1775) + NC-8 (5th St) + NC-8 (Main St) + NC-1147 (Old Salisbury Rd) + NC-150 + Seven Oaks Rd, crossing the Yadkin River at "Trading Ford" and finally following US-70 into Salisbury.[19] The path can be tracked by the creeks crossed in the 1776 Jefferys map, which has the old creek names as follows: "Little"="Loaf", "Salem"="Wack", "South Fork of Muddy"="Ewes", "Miller"="Sparks", "Potts"="Potts".[51] This road provided a major alternative to the Shallow Ford route.

In 1791, George Washington rode in a carriage from Salisbury to Salem via the ferry at Trading Ford, using a branch of the Great Wagon road that is followed by present-day NC-150 (Salisbury Ridge Road) through Davidson County. This wagon road was built sometime between 1770 and 1790.[52][53] (This road does not appear on the 1776 Jefferys map.)[51]

Main St 0.2
Bethania Rd 1.4 This is a detour; the original road to Pfafftown no longer exists.
Crossing of NC-67 (Reynolda Rd)
Transou Rd 2 This continues the detour.
Pfafftown, North Carolina (Estab. 1786)
NC-1525 Yadkinville Rd 2.5
Vienna, North Carolina (Estab. 1794)
NC-1308 Lewisville-Vienna Rd 3
Lewisville, North Carolina (Estab. c.1850); Fork of the Great Wagon Road The Moravians cut a wagon road from Salem to here in 1763 (present-day 1st Street + Country Club Dr. + Shallowford Rd). This opened an alternate path for the Great Wagon Road from Germanton through Bethabara and Salem to here.[50]
NC-1001 Shallowford Rd 6.6
Shallow Ford (Yadkin River); Yadkin County Line (Estab. 1850) This is where the Great Wagon Road ended in 1748 when Morgan Bryan finished his trip and settled nearby on the east side of the river.[54] Several years later he moved to the west side, with a farm at the fork of North and South Deep Creek (near US-421). The road south of Shallow Ford was gradually improved from a pack horse trail to a wagon road and completed around 1764 to Salisbury, North Carolina. In 1770, another road was ordered cut west to "Mulberry Fields" (now Wilkesboro), which was extended later to Kentucky as the "Daniel Boone Trail" and which turned Shallow Ford into a major north-south and east-west crossroad.[50]

Shallow Ford itself is a gravel bar below a natural stone ledge, smooth, wide and flat, and capable of supporting large heavy wagons and automobiles. It is normally under about 18 inches of water, but subject to sudden flooding that may last for days. The Shallow Ford was in regular use until a bridge was built in 1920.


Great Wagon Road: Shallow Ford of Yadkin River to Salisbury, North Carolina (Circa 1764)[edit]

   Note:  The segments are approximations; actual paths varied constantly with fallen trees, floods, etc.  All distances are approximate.

Continue south at Shallow Ford on the Yadkin River, North Carolina:

Location Present-Day Road-Segment Number Present-Day Road-Segment Name Distance Covered (Miles) Distance Covered (km) Remarks
Shallow Ford (Yadkin River); Yadkin County Line (Estab. 1850) This is where the Great Wagon Road ended in 1748 when Morgan Bryan finished his trip. Several years later he moved to the west side of the river, with a farm at the fork of North and South Deep Creek (near US-421). He and his family owned over 5,000 acres extending south all the way to Dutchman's Creek.[55] At about the same time, Squire Boone (the father of Daniel Boone) settled (at present-day Mocksville) about 14 miles south of Morgan Bryan's mansion.[56] In 1763, the extended wagon road was ordered to be cut from Shallow Ford to Salisbury.[50]
NC-1001 Courtney-Huntsville Rd 1.2
Huntsville Community, North Carolina (Estab. 1793)
NC-1716 Farmington Rd 2 Over Turner Creek ford (now a bridge).
Davie County Line (Estab. 1836)
NC-1410 Farmington Rd 5
Farmington Community, North Carolina (Estab. c.1756) Daniel Boone and his wife lived for a time on Sugar Creek two miles east of here.
NC-1410 Farmington Rd 4 Over Cedar Creek ford (now a bridge).
US-158 Main St 4.8 Over Dutchman Creek ford and Elisha Creek ford (now bridges).
Mocksville, North Carolina (Estab. c.1840) US-64 Intersection.
US-601 Main St 4.6
NC-801 Watt St 2.4
Cooleemee, North Carolina (Estab. 1814); Rowan County Line (Estab. 1753); South Yadkin River Ford (now a bridge) Cooleemee was an Indian plantation until 1814.[51]
NC-801 0.4 For a detour, continue south on NC-801 to Woodleaf Community, then east on NC-1948 (Potneck Road) to rejoin the Great Wagon Road.
Watkins Farm Rd 2 Ends now in a dirt track.
Fourth Creek Ford or Bridge (impassable now) (Third Creek branch is upstream.)[51]
Skyview Circle 0.8 Now a residential development.
NC-1948 Potneck Rd 1.4
US-601 0.1
Second Creek Ford (now a bridge) [51]
US-601 1.2
NC-1910 Old Mocksville Rd 2.5
Deals Creek Ford (now a bridge) [51]
NC-1910 Old Mocksville Rd 4
Grants Creek Ford (now a bridge) [51]
NC-1910 Mocksville Ave + Ellis St + Innis St 2 To US-70 and NC-150 (Main St) intersection.
Salisbury, North Carolina (Estab. 1755) Salisbury became a major east-west and north-south crossroad. (The great Trading Path came through here.) By 1775, the Moravians cut a road from Bethabara and Salem (traced by US-52) to the Trading Ford at the Yadkin River and which connected here as an alternate route of the Great Wagon Road. Eventually, by 1775, the Great Wagon Road continued south from here to Charlotte, North Carolina and Augusta, Georgia.


Great Wagon Road: Salisbury, North Carolina to Charlotte, North Carolina (Circa 1775)[edit]

   Note:  The segments are approximations; actual paths varied constantly with fallen trees, floods, etc.  All distances are approximate.

Continue south at Salisbury, North Carolina:

Location Present-Day Road-Segment Number Present-Day Road-Segment Name Distance Covered (Miles) Distance Covered (km) Remarks
Salisbury, North Carolina (Estab. 1755); Intersection of US-70 and NC-150 (Main St) with Innis Street This is where the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road ended in 1764.
US-29 Main St 8.4
US-29A Main St 1
China Grove, North Carolina (Estab. 1792)
US-29A Main St 3
Kannapolis, North Carolina (Estab. 1906) Established by J.W. Cannon for his textile mills.
US-29A Main St 3
Concord, North Carolina (Estab. 1750)
US-29 Concord Parkway 3.9 This is a detour. The original Great Wagon Road continued south from here along Central Drive and crossed the Irish Buffalo River somewhere in the vicinity of Funderburks Lake, then continued on the ridge along NC-1414 (Eva Dr + Rock Hill Church Rd), then Stagecoach Rd, then down a hill and along the present-day Winkler Middle School driveway after which it is interrupted by NC-1430 (Liles Parkway) before continuing to NC-1432 (Concord Farms Rd) and following it south 0.5 mile to rejoin US-29 at the end of the detour.
Fork in the Great Wagon Road (to Camden, South Carolina); Intersection with NC-1414 and with Union Cemetery Rd The original fork actually occurred 1.7 miles northwest of here on NC-1414 at the junction of Rock Hill Church Road and Stagecoach Road. Stagecoach Road led to Charlotte, while NC-1414 crossing here to Union Cemetery Road led southwest along Webb Road and Zion Church Road (NC-1155 + NC-1153 + NC-1152) to Camden, South Carolina. This path can be followed by creek crossings on the 1776 Jefferys map where his "Hinds Creek" is now named Back Creek and his "Little Creek" is now called Reedy Creek.[51]

This route bypassed Charlotte and the Catawba Indian land, and also eliminated the need to cross the Catawba River to reach Camden.

At the end of Zion Church Road, the route apparently followed NC-1132 (Flowes Store Road) across the Rocky River ford, then south in Mecklenburg County and Union County via Ferguson Road, Indian Trail Road, and Mill Grove Road, through a golf course and Goose Creek Airport, then on Rocky River Road (NC-1514 + NC-1007) and Lancaster Highway (NC-200) to the South Carolina state line (Lancaster County), then SC-200 (Monroe Highway) to Lancaster, South Carolina, where it joined another branch of the Great Wagon Road to Camden, South Carolina. [51]

US-29 Concord Parkway 2.6 This continues the detour until the NC-1432 junction.
US-29 Concord Parkway 3 Over Coddle Creek and Mallard Creek fords, now bridges.
Mecklenburg County Line (Estab. 1762) At Hudspeth Rd. Intersection.
US-29 Salisbury Rd + Tryon St 12.6
Charlotte, North Carolina (Estab. 1768) At Trade Street Intersection.


Great Wagon Road: Charlotte, North Carolina to Augusta, Georgia via Camden and Columbia, South Carolina (Circa 1775)[edit]

   Note:  The segments are approximations; actual paths varied constantly with fallen trees, floods, etc.  All distances are approximate.

Continue south at Charlotte, North Carolina:

Location Present-Day Road-Segment Number Present-Day Road-Segment Name Distance Covered (Miles) Distance Covered (km) Remarks
Charlotte, North Carolina (Estab. 1768) At Trade Street Intersection.
US-29 Tryon St 1
Camden Rd + Tremont St + South Blvd 2 Slight detour around rail tracks.
NC-1308 Old Pineville Rd 3.8 Slight detour around rail tracks.
South Blvd 0.2 Slight detour around rail tracks.
Fork in the Great Wagon Road (to Camden, South Carolina) The road on the right led to Augusta, Georgia via the Broad River ford and Rock Hill, South Carolina. The road on the left led to Augusta, Georgia via Lancaster and Camden, South Carolina as described below.
NC-1308 + NC-1138 Old Pineville Rd + Arrowood Rd 3.7 Slight detour around rail tracks.
South St + Pineville Rd + Polk St + Lancaster Hwy 4.8
Dorman Rd 1
South Carolina State Line; Lancaster County Line (Estab. 1798) Former boundary of Catawba Indian Nation.
Dorman Rd + Harrisburg Rd 3.4
Clems Branch of Twelvemile Creek ford (now a bridge) Great Wagon Road historical marker here at roadside.[57]
US-521 Harrisburg Rd + Charlotte Hwy 9
Twelvemile Creek ford (now a bridge)
US-521 Charlotte Hwy + Main St 13 Fording Causar Branch, Waxhaw Creek, Cane Creek and Camp Creek (now culverts).
Fork in the Great Wagon Rd; Gills Creek ford (now a bridge); Lancaster, South Carolina (Estab. 1795) A branch of the Great Wagon Road from Concord, North Carolina (SC-200, Monroe Hwy), merged here with the branch (US-521) from Charlotte to Camden. Waxhaw Presbyterian church was built here in 1759, indicating the presence of an early Scotch-Irish settlement.
US-521 + US-521Bus Main St + Kershaw Camden Hwy 18 Fording Bear Creek (now a bridge).
Kershaw, South Carolina (Estab. 1732)
US-521Bus + US-521 Hampton St + Kershaw Camden Hwy 3.5 Fording Hanging Rock Creek (now a culvert).
Kershaw County Line (Estab. 1791) at US-521 and SC-29-769 intersection
US-521 Main St + Kershaw Camden Hwy + Broad St 18 Fording Grannies Quarter Creek, Gum Swamp Creek and Sanders Creek (now culverts).
Camden, South Carolina (Estab. 1732)
US-1 Main St 2.7 Fording Bolton Branch and Camp Creek (now culverts).
Wateree (Catawba) River ferry
US-1 + SC-12 Two Notch Rd (Fall Line Rd) + Taylor St 30 Fording Buck Creek and Little Jackson Creek (now culverts).
Columbia, South Carolina (Estab. 1786); Congaree River ford (now a bridge); Lexington County Line (Estab. 1785)
SC-12 + US-1 Jarvis Klapman Blvd + Augusta Rd 3.5
Fork in the Great Wagon Road; Intersection of I-26 and US-1 I-26 leads north to the nearby Saluda River ford and the Broad River ford near Chester, South Carolina, which carried wagon traffic from Charlotte, North Carolina.[51]
US-1 Augusta Rd + Main St 8.4
Lexington, South Carolina (Estab. 1735) Originally named Saxe-Gotha.
US-1 + SC-23 Main St + Augusta Rd + Leesville Ave + Church St 16.6 Fording Horse Creek, Little Creek and Clouds Creek (now culverts).
Leesville, South Carolina (Estab. 1875); at Lee St intersection.
SC-23 Church St 3
Saluda County Line (Estab. 1895)
SC-23 Church St + Calhoun St 16
Fork in the Great Wagon Road; Johnston, South Carolina (Estab. c.1750); Edgefield County Line (Estab. 1785) The Great Wagon Road branches from Columbia ford and Camden joined the branch from Ware Shoals ford here at Johnston. Later, in 1795, Francis Higgins installed a ferry across the Saluda River between Newberry and Saluda (serving SC-121); this shortened the Great Wagon Road to Augusta significantly.[51]
SC-121 Edgefield Rd 20
Aiken County Line (Estab. 1871) At Sweetwater Rd intersection.
SC-121 Edgefield Rd 8
Savannah River Ferry; Georgia State Line; Richmond County Line (Estab. 1777); Augusta, Georgia (Estab. 1735) The river was navigable from here to Savannah, Georgia.
End of the Great Wagon Road


Great Wagon Road: Charlotte, North Carolina to the Broad River, South Carolina (Circa 1775)[edit]

   Note:  The segments are approximations; actual paths varied constantly with fallen trees, floods, etc.  All distances are approximate.

Continue south at Charlotte, North Carolina:

Location Present-Day Road-Segment Number Present-Day Road-Segment Name Distance Covered (Miles) Distance Covered (km) Remarks
Charlotte, North Carolina (Estab. 1768) At Trade Street Intersection.
US-29 Tryon St 1
Camden Rd + Tremont St + South Blvd 2 Slight detour around rail tracks.
NC-1308 Old Pineville Rd 3.8 Slight detour around rail tracks.
South Blvd 0.2 Slight detour around rail tracks.
Fork in the Great Wagon Road (to Camden, South Carolina) The road on the left led to Augusta, Georgia via Lancaster and Camden, South Carolina. (George Washington arrived in Charlotte from this fork in 1791.)[53][57] The road on the right led to Augusta, Georgia via the Broad River ford and Rock Hill, South Carolina as described below.
NC-49 + NC-177 Yancey Rd + Tryon St + Nations Ford Rd 1.5 Slight detour around I-77 Expressway interchange and railroad tracks.
NC-1164 + NC-1167 Nations Ford Rd 6.4
South Carolina State Line; York County Line (Estab. 1772)
SC-51 Rock Hill - Pineville Rd 1
US-21 Rd 0.8
US-21Business Old Nation Rd + White St + Kenawha St + Spratt St 7
US-21 Cherry Rd 2.4
Catawba River ford (Nations Ford) (now a bridge); Rock Hill, South Carolina (Estab. 1852)
US-21 Cherry Rd 4.2
SC-748 Charlotte Ave + Elizabeth Lane 6
Possible Fork in the Great Wagon Road SC-5 (Black St) may follow the path of a Great Wagon Road branch east and south to Camden, fording the Catawba River at the mouth of Twelvemile Creek, or continuing south roughly along US-21. But the terrain seems too rugged for a wagon road, considering the building tools available at the time. Perhaps it was a packhorse road.[51]
US-72 Saluda Rd 5
Fishing Creek ford (now a bridge)
US-72 Saluda Rd 4.5
Chester County Line (Estab. 1776); South Fork of Fishing Creek
US-72 Saluda Rd 9.7
Chester, South Carolina (Estab. 1785)
US-72 West End Rd 15
Broad River ford (now a bridge); Union County Line (Estab. 1791)
US-72 Carlisle-Chester Hwy + Carlisle-Whitmire Hwy 5.5
Fork in the Great Wagon Road Continue on US-72 to reach Augusta via the Saluda River ford at Ware Shoals, then through "Ninety Six" Village and Johnston, South Carolina. Alternatively, turn left onto SC-36-54 (Tuckertown Rd) to reach Augusta via the Saluda River ford at Columbia, then through Leesville and Johnston, South Carolina. (After 1795, Higgins ferry across the Saluda River provided a much shorter route via SC-121 through Newberry and Saluda, South Carolina.)


Great Wagon Road: The Broad River, South Carolina to Augusta, Georgia, via Columbia, South Carolina (Circa 1775)[edit]

   Note:  The segments are approximations; actual paths varied constantly with fallen trees, floods, etc.  All distances are approximate.

Continue south at the Broad River Ford, North Carolina:

Location Present-Day Road-Segment Number Present-Day Road-Segment Name Distance Covered (Miles) Distance Covered (km) Remarks
Broad River ford (now a bridge); Union County Line (Estab. 1791)
US-72 Carlisle-Whitmire Hwy 5.6
Fork in the Great Wagon Road Turn left onto SC-36-54 (Tuckertown Rd) to reach Augusta via the Saluda River ford at Columbia, then through Leesville and Johnston, South Carolina. (After 1795, Higgins ferry across the Saluda River provided a much shorter route via SC-121 through Newberry and Saluda, South Carolina.)
SC-36-54 Tuckertown Rd 6.2 It is possible to trace the path from this location by following the creek crossings on the 1776 Jefferys map.[51]
Tyger River ford (now a bridge); Newberry County Line (Estab. 1785)
SC-36-54 + SC-36-45 Tuckertown Rd + Maybinton Rd 5.2
Enoree River ford (now a bridge over a lake)
SC-36-45 + SC-36-55 + SC-36-28 Maybinton Rd + Mt Pleasant Rd + Broad River Rd 11
Second Creek ford (now a bridge)
Broad River Rd 2.7
Cannons Creek ford (now a bridge over a lake)
Broad River Rd 3.6
Crims Creek ford (now a bridge); Richland County Line (Estab. 1785)
SC-40-32 + US-176 Stoudemayer Rd + Broad River Rd 4.8
Wateree Creek ford (now a bridge)
US-176 Broad River Rd 4.2
Hollinshead Creek ford (now a bridge)
US-176 + US-76 + I-26 Broad River Rd + I-26 16
Saluda River ford (now an Interstate Hwy bridge); Lexington County Line (Estab. 1785)
I-26 Interstate Hwy 26 3
Fork in the Great Wagon Road; West Columbia, South Carolina (Estab. 1894); Junction with "Fall Line Rd" (US-1) from Camden, South Carolina The Fall Line Rd was also called the "Occaneechi Path".[51]
US-1 Augusta Rd + Main St 8.4
Lexington, South Carolina (Estab. 1735) Originally named Saxe-Gotha.
US-1 + SC-23 Main St + Augusta Rd + Leesville Ave + Church St 16.6 Fording Horse Creek, Little Creek and Clouds Creek (now culverts).
Leesville, South Carolina (Estab. 1875); at Lee St intersection.
SC-23 Church St 3
Saluda County Line (Estab. 1895)
SC-23 Church St + Calhoun St 16
Fork in the Great Wagon Road; Johnston, South Carolina (Estab. c.1750); Edgefield County Line (Estab. 1785) The Great Wagon Road branches from Columbia ford and Camden joined the branch from Ware Shoals ford here at Johnston. Later, in 1795, Francis Higgins installed a ferry across the Saluda River between Newberry and Saluda (serving SC-121); this shortened the Great Wagon Road to Augusta significantly.[51]
SC-121 Edgefield Rd 20
Aiken County Line (Estab. 1871) At Sweetwater Rd intersection.
SC-121 Edgefield Rd 8
Savannah River Ferry; Georgia State Line; Richmond County Line (Estab. 1777); Augusta, Georgia (Estab. 1735) The river was navigable from here to Savannah, Georgia.
End of the Great Wagon Road


Great Wagon Road: The Broad River, South Carolina to Augusta, Georgia, via Ware Shoals, South Carolina (Circa 1775)[edit]

   Note:  The segments are approximations; actual paths varied constantly with fallen trees, floods, etc.  All distances are approximate.

Continue south at the Broad River Ford, North Carolina:

Location Present-Day Road-Segment Number Present-Day Road-Segment Name Distance Covered (Miles) Distance Covered (km) Remarks
Fork in the Great Wagon Road Continue on US-21 to reach Augusta via the Saluda River ford at Ware Shoals, then through "Ninety Six" Village and Johnston, South Carolina. (After 1795, Higgins ferry across the Saluda River provided a much shorter route via SC-121 through Newberry and Saluda, South Carolina.)[51]
US-72 Carlisle-Whitmire Hwy 3.4
Tyger River ford (now a bridge)
US-72 Carlisle-Whitmire Hwy 4
Enoree River ford (now a bridge); Hendricks Falls; Newberry County line (Estab. 1785); Whitmire, South Carolina (Estab. 1801)
US-72 Clinton Hwy 4.9
SC-30-554 Ridge Rd 8 The 1776 Jefferys map shows this route avoiding all creeks in the area ahead.[51]
SC-30-26 Philson Rd 3.7
SC-56 SC-56 0.3
SC-30-314 Bethany Church Rd + Belleview Church Rd + Torrington Rd + Fleming St + Holmes St + Main St 12.5
Laurens, South Carolina (Estab. 1785)
US-76 + SC-252 Main St + Hwy 252 15 Fording Rabon Creek and Reedy River (now bridges).
SC-30-6 + SC-30-228 Indian Mound Rd + Karak Rd 2.3
Saluda River ford; Ware Shoals, South Carolina (Estab. 1902); Greenwood County Line (Estab. 1897)
SC-24-38 + + US-25Bus + US-25 Main St + Greenwood Ave + Hwy 25 8 Fording Turkey Creek and Mulberry Creek (now bridges).
SC-254 + SC-246 Cokesbury Rd + Hwy 246 + Cambridge St 24 Fording Ninety Six Creek (now a bridge).
Ninety Six, South Carolina (Estab. 1730) At SC-24-131 (Main St) intersection. (Town reportedly named after milepost ninety-six.)
SC-248 + US-178 Cambridge St + Greenwood Hwy 13
Saluda County Line (Estab. 1895) At US-178 and SC-246 intersection.
US-178 + SC-41-155 + SC-121 Greenwood Hwy + Hwy 41-155 + Fruit Hill Rd + Hwy 121 + Lee St 18
Fork in the Great Wagon Road; Johnston, South Carolina (Estab. c.1750); Edgefield County Line (Estab. 1785) The Great Wagon Road branch from Columbia ford joined the branch from Ware Shoals ford here at Johnston. Later, in 1795, Francis Higgins installed a ferry across the Saluda River between Newberry and Saluda (serving SC-121); this shortened the Great Wagon Road to Augusta significantly.[51]
SC-121 Edgefield Rd 20
Aiken County Line (Estab. 1871) At Sweetwater Rd intersection.
SC-121 Edgefield Rd 8
Savannah River Ferry; Georgia State Line; Richmond County Line (Estab. 1777); Augusta, Georgia (Estab. 1735) The river was navigable from here to Savannah, Georgia.
End of the Great Wagon Road

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rouse 1973.
  2. ^ Mobley 2003.
  3. ^ Family Search 2003.
  4. ^ a b Kerr 2013.
  5. ^ a b Wallace 1987.
  6. ^ Wolfe 2003.
  7. ^ a b LHA Map Committee 2014.
  8. ^ Heathcore 1926.
  9. ^ a b Clare 1909, p. 204.
  10. ^ Wilt 1945.
  11. ^ Reist 1975.
  12. ^ Conestoga Area Historical Society.
  13. ^ Egle 1894, p. 415.
  14. ^ Mereness 1916, p. 325.
  15. ^ Kerr.
  16. ^ Taber 1987.
  17. ^ Benson 1908, p. 316.
  18. ^ Scheel 2014.
  19. ^ a b Rummel 2014.
  20. ^ Bennett 2007.
  21. ^ a b c Swope 2004.
  22. ^ a b c Fry 1751.
  23. ^ AdamsCounty.com 1999.
  24. ^ Adamson 2010.
  25. ^ Hemminger 1909.
  26. ^ FCHS 2013.
  27. ^ Taylor 2003.
  28. ^ Brooke 1734.
  29. ^ Smith 2014.
  30. ^ Bridenbaugh 1952, p. 130.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h map 1865.
  32. ^ Jacobs 1912.
  33. ^ Mereness 1916, p. 345-347.
  34. ^ Mitchell 2003.
  35. ^ Clement 1952.
  36. ^ Mereness 1916, p. 347.
  37. ^ Mereness 1916, p. 348.
  38. ^ a b c d Mereness 1916, p. 348,349.
  39. ^ Mereness 1916, p. 349.
  40. ^ Mereness 1916, p. 349-351.
  41. ^ a b Mereness 1916, p. 351.
  42. ^ Mereness 1916, p. 351,352.
  43. ^ Mereness 1916, p. 352.
  44. ^ Mereness 1916, p. 353.
  45. ^ Google Inc. "Buffalo Creek". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://maps.google.com/maps?q=buffalo+creek&hl=en&ll=36.510,-80.067&spn=0.023607,0.052314&sll=36.510,-80.067&sspn=6.049632,13.392334&t=w&hnear=Buffalo+Creek&z=15. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  46. ^ Google Inc. "Blackies Branch". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://maps.google.com/maps?q=blackies+branch&hl=en&ll=36.404,-80.104&spn=0.023607,0.052314&sll=36.404,-80.104&sspn=6.049632,13.392334&t=w&hnear=Blackies+Branch&z=15. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  47. ^ Mereness 1916, p. 353,354.
  48. ^ a b Soelle 1772.
  49. ^ a b c Mereness 1916, p. 355,356.
  50. ^ a b c d Brownlee 1996.
  51. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Jefferys 1776.
  52. ^ Tursi 1994, p. 51.
  53. ^ a b Washington 1791.
  54. ^ Tursi 1994, p. 22.
  55. ^ Bryan 1979.
  56. ^ Ramsey 1987, p. 30-35.
  57. ^ a b Anderson 2007.


References[edit]