Easton (N.H.).

Summer resorts and points of interest of Virginia, western North Carolina, and north Georgia online

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its mountain fastness. Midway (or a little beyond) the ascent of this portion of the
Appalachian chain is Alleghany Station, from which stages run to the Old Sweet and
the Sweet Chalybeate or Red Sweet Springs. As to the recent improvements of the
White Sulphur, it is enough to say that the immense enlargement of the main hotel,
begun last Summer, has been completed, and continued by the introduction of all the
modern facilities and conveniences, additional drainage and sewerage, more new cot-
tages, a large lake, a race-course, etc., the determination of the proprietors being to
keep *' The White " fully abreast with the times and with the demands which will be
made upon it, in common with the other Virginia Springs, in consequence of the
westward and eastward extensions of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.

Beyond the White Sulphur are the Salt Sulphur, the Red Sulphur and other
Springs, the wooded chasms that have been cloven by the limpid waters of the Green-
brier River, the mingling streams at Hinton, the forges and conical hills at Quinne-
mont, the dizzy inclines at Sewell and a dozen other places, the towering precipices at
Hawk's Nest, the gray and awful canon of New River, the junction of the New River
with the Gauley, the great Falls of the Kanawha, the mining towns at Cannelton,
Blacksburg, Coalburg and elsewhere ; Charleston, the capital of West Virginia, with
its busy industries, its little stern-wheel steamers — the first infallible note of the West
— and so on to the young City of Huntington, on the banks of the Ohio, and thence
again to Lexington in the heart of the renowned blue-grass region of Kentucky, from
which point the Chesapeake and Ohio, a true trans-continental railroad, aspires to and
will soon attain, by links rapidly nearing completion, the Pacific Ocean. Already on
the east, the line that stretches from Richmond over the historic peninsula between
the York and James Rivers, pierces the ancient and long-isolated seats of the earliest
civilization in America, terminating at the grand haven of Newport News, in sight of
Hampton, Old Point Comfort, Fortress Monroe, Norfolk and the Capes of Virginia,
that look across the Atlantic to Gibraltar and the coasts of Africa.

By special arrangements between the two companies, the Virginia Midland and
the Chesapeake and Ohio Railways are enabled to transport passengers from the
North and East on a faster schedule, in a more commodious manner and with fewer
changes than by any other route whatsoever to the White Sulphur Springs, and from
that place, as a radiating centre, the two roads have it in their power to offer visitors
such interchanges from mountain heights to sea-shore breezes, and such variety of
excursions as defy competition on the part of other roads. In the morning the


invalid may inhale the ozone and feast on the mountain mutton, the trout and the
venison of the Alleghanies, and at night regale himself on the hogfish, sheepshead,
the crabs, terrapins and oysters of the Hygeia Hotel at Old Point Comfort, while his
ears are ravished by the plash of the waves and his lungs refreshed by the salt air of
the Chesapeake Bay. If a longer excursion be desired, what could be better than a
trip of a week or ten days' duration, extending from "The White," via Charlottes-
ville, to the great tobacco centres at Lynchburg and Danville, thence to Salisbury in
the gold section of North Carolina, and thence again through the glorious mountain
regions of Western North Carolina, along the bright Swannanoa to Asheville,
thronged with countless Summer visitors, and down the impetuous French Broad
River to the Warm Springs and Paint Rock, thence on to Morristown, Tenn., from
which place the traveler, completing his detour, would return via the East Tennessee
and Georgia Railroad and the Norfolk and Western Railroad, through the beautiful
scenery of Southwestern Virginia to Lynchburg, and so back by Charlottesville to
the White Sulphur again. But this is only one of the many charming excursions
which the rapid integration of the great passenger routes and the interchange of rail-
road courtesies and facilities will offer to the invalid and tourist who seeks health and
recreation in the Virginia mountains.


(fruit culture.)

pOMING back to the main stem of the Virginia Midland Railway at Charlottes-
^ ville, we encounter on the route to Lynchburg a rough, mountainous section, not
at all inviting to the eye of the agriculturist. But on each side, beyond the rude hills
near the track, are pleasant valleys and good farming lands. On the left, not many
miles away, lies the rich valley of the James River, where very recently the tardy
course of trafific by canal has given place to the rapid transit of the Richmond and
Alleghany Railroad. Indications of ore increase — nor are they mere indications, for
on the northern bank of the James, in the belt of country between the river and the
Virginia Midland Road, the aggregate mineral wealth — augmenting as we approach
Lynchburg — is incalculable. We have also entered, par excellence, the fruit region.
All parts of Nelson County are well adapted to the growth of fruit, but especially of
apples and grapes. The finest and largest apples exhibited at the annual meeting of
the Pomological Society of the United States, held at Boston, Mass., in the fall of
1873, came from Nelson County. The two most excellent varieties were the Albe-
marle Pippin and the Pilot. The former has heretofore been considered superior to
all others, but the latter, which has its habitat in Nelson, surpassed, it is said, even
the famous pippin in some of its qualities. Dr. Hill has gathered the following facts
in regard to apples, etc., in this and other counties along the Virginia Midland
Railway :

"The Agricultural Bureau Report of 1871 shows that Mr. C. Gillingham of
Accotink, Fairfax County, has a nursery of one hundred acres of peaches, one hun-


dred of apples and ten of pears. From five hundred peach trees three hundred
bushels of peaches were sold, at an average price of $i per bushel. The pears
brought $4 per bushel. Mr. Gillingham recommends as the best apples for early
marketing, 'Edward's Early,' Hagloe, Astrachan, and Early Ripe ; of Fall apples, the
Grovenstein, the Fall Pippin, and the Maiden's Blush ; and of Winter apples, the
Albemarle Pippin, Abram, Bowling's Sweet, Ridge Pippin, etc.

" Messrs. Miller & Wood, Washington, Rappahannock County, have one hun-
dred acres in apples, thirty-two feet apart, with peach trees intervening. The apple
trees yielded last year one hundred and fifty bushels per acre, worth $1.25 per bushel.
The crop was shortened one-third by the drought. Their best market variety is the

" Mr. James Newman, Gordonsville, Orange County, has two hundred bearing
apple trees, averaging twelve bushels each, or three hundred bushels per acre, worth
twenty-eight to thirty cents per bushel at the orchard. The loss of trees is about two
per cent, per annum, from unknown causes. The loss of fruit is rare. The Albe-
marle Pippin is the best market variety. This is a very low estimate of what can be
done in the way of fruit-raising in this locality. Mr. Goss, of Orange County, has a
great reputation as an apple grower.

" Mr. R. E. Davis, Nelly's Ford, Nelson County, has three thousand bearing
apple trees on eighty-nine acres. The yield per annum ranges from one to fifteen
bushels per tree ; losses, about twenty per cent. He prefers, as the market varieties,
the Pippin, Esopus, Spitzenberg, Baldwin, etc."

In this and the adjoining County of Amherst, the annual proceeds of certain
orchards pay the entire original cost of the lands.

" Mr. John C. Murrell, Campbell Court House, raises three hundred bushels of
apples per acre, worth fifty cents per bushel. His best market varieties are Wine-sap,
Russet and Lady apple."

Nelson County, formed from Amherst in 1807, and named for Thomas Nelson,
who was Governor of Virginia in 1771, is about twenty-six miles long and twenty
broad. It is watered by the Rockfish, Tye and Piney rivers, the first emptying into
the James at Howardsville, the others uniting and emptying in at New Market.
These and other mountain streams give to the country a superabundance of fine
water power for manufacturing purposes.

Amherst County was formed from Albemarle County in 1761, and is about
twenty-two miles long and nineteen wide. It is watered by the Pedlar, Buffalo and
numerous smaller streams. The passage of the James through the Blue Ridge is a
magnificent spectacle. The Richmond and Alleghany Railroad, from Lynchburg to
the County of Rockbridge, winds along the mountains through scenes most wild and
romantic. Lofty mountains rise on ever)' side, and shadow the ravines and rapids
below. Nothing more sublime in all the length of this mountain chain from the
Potomac to the James.

The soil of this county is naturally fertile, of a dark, rich, red hue, and the scenery
beautifully diversified. The productions are tobacco, wheat, corn, oats, rye and fruits.



The apples grown here, as in the County of Nelson, are of a v^ery superior quality.
Recently large veins of magnetic and brown hematite iron ores have been discovered,
and are being developed by local and foreign capital. Discoveries have been made of
a great many other valuable mineral substances. Years ago gold was found, and a
rich variety of copper was worked. Barytes, manganese, plumbago, emery, limestone,
marble, slate, soapstone and kaolin have also been found. Different kinds of mineral
springs have been discovered, but none of them improved or frequented.

Since the war, and more particularly since the reaction of the panic of 1873,
the county seat of Amherst, in common with other towns along the Virginia Midland
Railway, has exhibited an activity unknown m the old days. Population about 600 ;
a newspaper, many stores, churches, etc. ; scenery very beautiful ; climate all that
heart can ask ; living abundant — in a word, a first-rate Summering place for families
and children.


PRECIPITOUS as Quebec; "live," almost, as Chicago ; famous throughout the
world for its smoking and chewing tobaccos ; noted all over the United States
for the indomitable push of its inhabitants ; an important railroad centre ; romantically
situated, with water as pure as air, and air like the ether itself, Lynchburg, the portal
of the busy and prolific Southwest, proudly surveys the magnificent scenery far
stretched on every side around her. Time was when Lynchburg truthfully claimed
to be, with a solitary exception, the wealthiest city per capita on the American Conti-
nent, and wealth is there still. Tobacco holds sway, as it has done for near a
century, but the day is not distant when iron in its various forms will eclipse the
Indian weed, and Lynchburg will become the Pittsburgh of Virginia, and perhaps of
the South.

A bewildering scene meets the eye of the traveler as he alights at the Midland
Station in Lynchburg. Such a medley of railways and watercourses is rarely ever
seen outside, and still less inside, of a city. The Virginia Midland, the Norfolk and
Western, and the Richmond and Alleghany Railways all come together just at the
confluence of Blackwater Creek, with the James River and Kanawha Canal (or what
is left of it) and the James River itself. Factories, mills, foundries, railway shops,
lumber and coal yards, saw and planing mills, are all piled together in a narrow area
under the southern bluffs which cut off all view of the city proper. Truly a stirring

Named for the author of the summary Lynch law (or for a relative of his) the
town had in 1880, a population of about 16,000; it is now nearer 20,000.

There are in Lynchburg eight banks and banking houses — two national, three
State, and three private. The capital in the incorporated banks aggregate $800,000,
with a discount line in conjunction with the private banks of about one million and a
half ; four newspapers — three daily and one weekly ; four first-class hotels, and a
number of excellent private boarding-houses, ten or tv^-elve churches, nine public and
several private schools, water and gas works, a large number of mercantile stores and


commission houses, and on the suburbs, beautiful and commodious fair grounds.
These are the property of the Agricultural and Mechanical Society, which has adorned
them with well-arranged and appropriate buildmgs. This society offers annually a
large and expensive list of premiums to exhibitors. The most attractive exhibits are
the native minerals, and each year the quality and variety have increased.

The great staple of trade and manufacture, however, in this city is tobacco, and
it is estimated that there are some seventy or eighty establishments engaged in its
manufacture or manipulation in some form. The Lynchburg brands of smoking and
chewing tobacco are those best known in the markets of the world. Ample water-
power is afforded by the James River for rolling mills, foundries, flour mills, bark and
extract manufactories, etc. Few places are so admirably fitted for industrial enter-
prises and for every kind of manufactures. Labor is cheap, living is cheap, water
power is cheap and abundant, coal, iron and lumber are within easy reach, railways
on the river bank radiate to all points of the compass — all the factors that capital and
skill demand are here ;' and the future of Lynchburg as an industrial centre is beyond


PAMPBELL County, in which Lynchburg is situated, and the adjoining county —
Pittsylvania — until penetrated a few years ago by the Danville extension of the
Virginia Midland Railway, constituted a terra incognita, so cut off were they from
railways. Large tracts of original timber were practically inaccessible and untouched.
These have to some extent fallen under the lumberman's axe, but much remains and
many saw-mills are kept busy at different points along the line, or a little distance
from it. What is true of these two counties is also true of others that are near the
Midland Road. The amount of timber, its variety and value, and especially the pines
of great size that are found in the country south of Lynchburg, deserves more than
the passing notice here given.

Sumac abounds in Virginia. The demand for it being unlimited, large and
annually increasing amounts are forwarded from every station on the line of the
Virginia Midland Railway. It can be gathered at a comparatively small cost, and
readily sold for cash to the numerous competing mills in and out of the State.
Heretofore, the proprietors of the land permitted the freedmen to collect this article
wherever they found it growing. Now, it is getting to be regarded by the owners of
the soil (as it deserves to be) more in the light of property, as in some places it yields
to the gatherer what the owner would consider, imder existing circumstances, a fair
annual rent for out lands ; and some experts say that, if properly planted, cured and
gathered at the proper season, it could be made a paying crop. Certain it is the
adaptability of most soils for its production is almost everywhere evident. Two
specimens, grown in Virginia, were tested by Miller's method at the Agricultural
Bureau at Washington, with the view of substituting it for the foreign article in the
manufacture of fine leather, and were found to contain respectively " I9>^ and 1"]%


per cent, of tannin." The extracted dye stuff is said to be superior to the Sicilian
variety, 2,000,000 pounds of which are annually imported into the United States. At
Alexandria. Culpeper, Orange Court House, Gordonsville, Charlottesville, Lynchburg-
and other places, large mills, many of them steam, are kept going day and night
during the gathering and delivering season to meet the demand. Besides, all along
the Blue Ridge, in close proximity to the Virginia Midland Railway, grow immense
forests of chestnut oak, the bark of which is considered the very best known for
tanning purposes. The oak tanned leather is superior to the hemlock, which latter
has been very much diminished in the forests of New York, Pennsylvania and other
Northern and Eastern States, and those engaged in this profitable business will sooner
or later have to resort to the better article of chestnut oak in Virginia, where tanneries
can be located and run more cheaply and profitably than in other sections of the
United States ; and at no distant day this immediate section will become the tanning
centre of the Union. Already there has been established at Sperry ville, Rappahannock
County, by C. C. Smoot & Sons, of Alexandria, a very large branch tannery. They
now tan 20,000 sides of sole leather, for which they find quick sale in the adjacent
cities, and they have made preparations to extend their vat capacity to 30,000 sides,
to enable them to supply in part the great demand for pure chestnut oak leather.
This article having taken the premium at the recent Vienna Exposition, there is an
increasing demand for it that the European market cannot supply, or even compete
for, on account of the greater abundance of oak bark supply in this region.

Small fruits grow in such wanton profusion that it is hard to speak about them
with moderation, and well nigh impossible to exaggerate their quantity, variety and
excellence. In Orange and its sister counties the section hands have no little trouble
in keeping the roadbed clear of strawberry vines. The Commissioner of Agriculture
says : " The strawberry, raspberry and blackberry are indigenous plants in Virginia.
The latter, when cultivated, attains a large size and fine flavor. Large quantities are
gathered from the old fields and woods and sold in the Washington market. Other
wild fruits are held in high esteem, and are sold at good prices — whortleberries, chin-
quepins, chestnuts, walnuts, hickory nuts, etc., etc." Large fields of strawberries are
cultivated, and yet the supply falls short of the demand. Raspberries, currants and
gooseberries have an increasing demand ; indeed, of these small fruits it may cor-
rectly be said that the public appetite " grows by what it feeds upon." In garden
vegetables, everything required for the most sumptuous table is grow^n to perfection.
To enlighten persons not acquainted with the productions of our soil and climate. Dr.
Hill mentions the following vegetables, grown by the most simple means of cultiva-
tion : " Peas, beans, potatoes (both Irish and sweet), watermelons, cantaloupes,
pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers, cabbages, turnips, radishes, asparagus, spinach,
celery, tomatoes, peanuts, leeks and onions ; " and he might have added lettuce,
chiccory, cauliflower, cress and an endless variety of other things, all of which can
be profitably raised on the various soils to be found in the Piedmont region, and
shipped either North or South to good markets. Speaking within bounds, tons of


blackberries, dewberries and cherries are allowed each year to rot in the ground or
upon the trees, because the people are too indolent or too thoughtless to gather them.
Colored men and women have been known to refuse themselves to assist, or allow
their children to assist, the whites in gathering cherries, although offered pay in
money or half the gathered crop.




THE breezy hills and the excellent hotels of Lynchburg tempt numbers of people to
make that bustling city a summer resort for weeks and sometimes for months
together. Each year the numbers mcrease. But, beginning at Lynchburg, the
country along the line of the Norfolk and Western Railroad, like that along the
Manassas Division of the Virginia Midland Railway becomes in Summer time one
vast boarding-house. At the first visit of hot weather the people of Texas and the
lower parts of the Gulf States begin to crowd in ; a little later Vicksburg, Memphis
and other cities north of the Gulf pour in their tide, and still later, come the dwellers
of the seaboard cities of Virginia and the Carolinas, until almost every farmhouse,
and certainly every town, village, hamlet and railway station has its quota of health
and pleasure seekers. These, be it remembered, are in addition to the contingent of
the regular watering-places. Not unfrequently the hotels and boarding-houses in
the towns and villages are, if possible, more crowded than the Springs themselves.
Nor is this to be wondered at. Although the watering-places on the Norfolk and
Western Railroad have not the national celebrity that some of those on the Chesa-
peake and Ohio Railroad have, they are nevertheless as numerous, varied and
meritorious as the better-known system of medicinal waters on the latter line.

The Bedford Alum Springs are but ten miles from Lynchburg, and on both sides
of the Norfolk and Western Railroad there is a succession of watering-places and
Summer resorts stretching from Bedford to the terminus of the line at Bristol, 200
miles away— the Blue Ridge, Coyner's, the Alleghany, the Montgomery White
Sulphur, the Yellow Sulphur, the New River White, the Salt Pond, the Peaks of
Otter, Natural Bridge, the Seven Springs, the Washington Springs, the Salt Works at
Saltville, the Natural Tunnel, etc. To these add the attractive mountain towns —
Liberty, Salem, Wytheville, Christiansburg, Newbern, Marion, Abingdon, the Agri-
cultural College at Blacksburg, and Emory and Henry College near Glade Springs.
Of the scenery it is needless to speak — Puncheon River Falls, the White Top, Bald
Knob, the New River at Eggleston's and countless others must be seen to be fully

The great extent and richness of the mineral deposits on the Norfolk and
Western Railroad, only guessed and scratched at for generations, have now become
scientifically known, and have attracted investments" already exceeding a million
dollars, and rapidly increasing. Every variety of metal— gold, iron, zinc, lead, copper.


barytes — crops out of this pactolian soil, and the hands of skill and experience
alone are needed to reap the rich fruit. In one single county along the line (Wythe)
there are fourteen iron furnaces, with capacities ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 tons,
whose yield aggregates over a million of dollars yearly.

Game is abundant, as well as fish. There is superior mutton, beef, poultry,
butter and eggs, for the refreshment of the inner man. Board is cheap, the fare
excellent and abundant at the various private boarding-houses, and the body being so
repaired the mind will be the better enabled to take in the poetic glories of the
mountains and the shady forests that hide their eternal crowns.

The list of summer resorts in the shape of springs, hotels, boarding-houses and
private families, who will entertain visitors during the coming Summer, will be
furnished on application to the Norfolk and Western authorities and agents.

One point we should like long to dwell upon, but must content ourselves by
simply touching. It is this : Railroads fail of their moral purpose if they do not bring
together the people, especially of the hitherto discordant sections, and thus weld the
national life into a firm and harmonious whole. Why, then, should not the men of
the North and East, who flock to the Greenbrier White Sulphur, avail themselves of
the opportunity afforded them by excursion tickets to spend a few days among the
watering-places of Southwestern Virginia ? In no other way can they so easily, and
at such trifling cost, acquaint themselves with the men of the South, their wives and
children. Putting it upon the lowest plane, the acquaintance thus made could hardly
fail to result in business relations which would prove profitable, and at all events the
change of base to fresh scenes of natural beauty and to a society wholly different from
that which they see at home, would be a novelty at once pleasing and instructive.

The Richmond and Alleghany Railroad can with justice claim to be one of
the most attractive roads, in a purely artistic point of view, in or out of Virginia.
A valley so fertile and so beautiful as that of James River is seldom found, and begin-
ning with the softer landscapes near Richmond the road, ascending by the gentlest
grades to the mountains, becomes more and more picturesque each mile of the way
until the climax of the bold, the wild, we might almost say the terrible, is reached

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Online LibraryEaston (N.H.)Summer resorts and points of interest of Virginia, western North Carolina, and north Georgia → online text (page 4 of 11)