Goshen Pass

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Goshen Pass
Goshen Pass.jpg
Maury River at Goshen Pass
Elevation 1,350 ft (411 m)
Traversed by SR 39
Location Rockbridge County, Virginia,
United States
Range Ridge and Valley Appalachians
Coordinates 37°55′49″N 79°27′19″W / 37.93028°N 79.45528°W / 37.93028; -79.45528Coordinates: 37°55′49″N 79°27′19″W / 37.93028°N 79.45528°W / 37.93028; -79.45528

Goshen Pass is a water gap, or gorge, in the Little North Mountain, formed by the passage of the Maury River, approximately 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Lexington in Rockbridge County, Virginia. State Route 39 traverses the pass along the banks of the Maury River.

Background[edit]

Goshen Pass is the site of the Matthew Fontaine Maury memorial overlooking the Maury river. After Maury's death, his body was taken from the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. Along the way the coach stopped at the Goshen pass, per Maury's request, to pick some of his favorite flowers, Rhododendrons, and mountain-ivy before continuing onward to Richmond. Subsequently a memorial to him was placed there, consisting of a vertical stone monument, showing Maury's face and an inscription a poem written by Mrs. Margaret Junkin Preston as cited on the webpage. In addition, high above the river below, a huge anchor and chain was placed, honoring Maury's naval service. [1]

Matthew Fontaine Maury is buried between Virginian presidents John Tyler and James Monroe.[2][3]

The bronze plaque in stone at Goshen Pass is a memorial to Matthew Fontaine Maury where the hearse stopped on the way to Richmond, Va from V. M. I in Lexington. M F Maury had asked that after he died that it stop here to pick some of the Rhododendron flowers that grew in abundance to place on his coffin. His body had been placed in the Gilham Vault across from the original "Stonewall" Jackson grave at V M I for the winter to be moved to Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery as his wife had wished before Maury died. Prior to that his body remained a short while in the Library of V. M. I. with a globe and a large anchor at the head of his body. The anchor was donated by the state of Tennessee where Maury spent his youth of age 5 to age 19. I believe the globe of the world at the head gave the sculptor the basic idea for the Maury Monument in Richmond, Va. and the anchor is placed at the Goshen Pass Memorial.

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