Famous Travelers Along the Turnpike

Famous Travelers Along the Turnpike (HMAR1)

Location: Bridgewater, VA 22812 Rockingham County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 23.524', W 78° 57.757'

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In its 82 year history, the Warm Springs Turnpike was used by many noted travelers. Daniel Boone, when an old man, used the road when he visited the sons of his boyhood friend Henry Miller at Mossy Creek Ironworks to the south of Bridgewater. He spent about two weeks with younger Millers, hunting and recalling earlier times.

Tradition says that Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay frequented Bridgewater inns on their travels between their homes in Tennessee and Kentucky, and Washington, D.C. President Martin Van Buren's coach took him to the springs to avoid the heat of summer in the Capitol.

Jerome Bonaparte, who would one day be named king of Spain by his brother Napoleon, used the roadway when he journeyed to the springs.

The beautiful Betsy Patterson of Bordentown, New Jersey, who met Jerome Bonapare at one of the resorts and almost cost him the crown of Spain, also passed this way.

In the 1840s a young man named "Jed" Hotchkiss, a native of New York, walked along this road and became tutor of the ironmaster's children at Mossy Creek. Later he would become famous as Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson's mapmaker during the War Between the States.

Nineteenth centyury writer, illustrator, and Civil War officer David Hunter Strother, better known as Porte Crayon, came along the road exploring western Virginia before the guns began to sound.

Stonewall Jackson moved along the road with his army on May 18, 1862 following the victory at McDowell in Highland County and camped that night in the fields just to the right of this sign. The army had spent most of the day crossing the rain swollen North River on a makeshift wagon bridge.

Confederate General John D. Imboden's Northwestern Brigade guarded the North River line on several occasions, and moved along the road at various times during the Civil War, as did Confederate Major General Thomas L. Rosser's cavalry division. The Southern partisan ranger company commanded by Missourian Charles Woodson was issued horses at Bridgewater in the summer of 1864. Several local boys enlisted in the unit.

On September 30, 1864, General George Armstrong Custer forded the North River and road through Bridgewater to his new command, the 3rd U.S. Cavalry Division, which was camped on the heights just to the northeast. On October 2, 1864, a cavalry action took place along the pike, and in the fields where Jackson had camped in 1862.

After the Civil War the famous spy Belle Boyd came along the pike and delivered a lecture on her war exploits at the Bridgewater Opera House.

The famous Shenandoah Valley historian John W. Wayland traveled along the Warm Springs Turnpike scores of times gathering information for his books and articles on Valley people and their culture.
HM NumberHMAR1
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 4th, 2014 at 2:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 677928 N 4251282
Decimal Degrees38.39206667, -78.96261667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 23.524', W 78° 57.757'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 23' 31.44" N, 78° 57' 45.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)540
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 111 Oakwood Dr, Bridgewater VA 22812, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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