NEW HIGHWAY FOLLOWS OLD INDIAN TRAIL ROUTE
Birmingham, Alabama Herald
The Pocahontas Times
September 15, 1927
Through Tucker, Randolph, Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe and Mercer counties, West Virginia, runs the Seneca Trail, which before long will be known as one of the greatest scenic highways in the world. Millions of people in the eastern half of the United States are within easy reach of this road, and those who know of the beauty spots hidden away until this trail is completed are anxiously awaiting the time when motor cars can follow the footprints of the Indian along this route.
The Seneca Trail closely follows the old Indian trail, called the Warriors’ Road, which topped the mountains of western Virginia and which formed a highway for the Indians from New York to Georgia. So well worn was this trail that even today at points where no sled or wheeled vehicle has ever passed, the narrow path is sharply defined and is plainly seen. It connects at the north with the Northwestern Turnpike and by Oakland with the National Pike, while at Princeton, it joins with U. S. Rt. 21. It touches the waters of the Cheat, Tygart, Greenbrier, New and Bluestone Rivers and is within reach of the Monongahela and Shenandoah national forests.
Tucker county has many beauty spots, most noted of which is the falls of the Blackwater. This stream drains the famed Canaan Valley, a great bowl of more than 50,000 acres in the very heart of the mountains, rimmed about the ridges 3,500 feet high, and with a 3,000 foot altitude above the sea. “The Land of Canaan” was made famous by “The Clerk of Oxenford” (David Hunter Strother) and later by the same writer under the name of “Porte Crayon” in “A Visit to the Virginia Canaan.” The state forestry nursery is at Gladwin. The Fairfax stone, near Thomas, marks the head of the north branch of the Potomac and originally marked the northern and western limits of the lands of Lord Fairfax. The battlefield of Carrack’s Ford is near Parsons.
Randolph county, battle scarred, holds a wealth of scenery and historic interest. As a frontier outpost, it had numerous log [ ] for defense against the Indians. The battlefields of Laurel Hill and Rich Mountain are both within easy reach.
Near Beverly is a monument commemorating the battle of Rich Mountain and the deeds of early pioneers. Earthworks thrown up by the union army are seen at Elkwater.
At Elkwater, too, the first Four-H camp for boys and girls was held, the beginning of a movement that has spread throughout the United States. The monument to the Mingo Indians at Mingo Flats marks the site of the last Indian village in the state. The Sinks at Osceola is a remarkable natural phenomenon, where the Gandy River disappears into a great cavern in the mountains.
Middle Mountain was the summer encampment of General Robert E. Lee. The battle of Duncan’s Lane between home guards, was due to an effort to prevent the first election in West Virginia, May 28, 1863.
Marlinton, named for Jacob Marlin, is the oldest recorded settlement west of the Alleghanies, dating from 1749. Fort Greenbrier, built to check the numerous Indian raids, stood on the site of the present courthouse.
The Charter Oak there, marked by General Lewis in 1761, is a member of the American Hall of Fame trees and is the oldest line tree in the Mississippi Valley.
Marlinton was fortified by the confederates in the Civil War and General Lee spent his first night under canvas there.
The Old Warriors’ Road is seen at Marlinton and also at Buckeye.
Buckeye had a powder mill during the Revolution.
Traveler’s Repose is a noted hostelry of early days.
The fire platform on Bald Knob, 4,902 feet high, at the eastern entrance to Cheat Valley, is the highest point in the state, although several other peaks in Pocahontas county break the 4,000 foot level.
Minnehaha Springs is a fine health resort.
“Wylie Manor,” home of Col. H. R. Wylie, near these springs, a tract of 4,400 acres, with private golf course, tennis courts, deer park, etc., is one of the finest country estates in the East.
Many strange plants are found in Cranberry Glades, near the head of Cranberry River, and such animals as black bear, deer and bobcat are found there.
The Seneca Trail passes through the battlefield of Droop Mountain, an important Civil War engagement on the hill facing Hillsboro.
Lewisburg was a mustering center for the frontiersmen of Augusta, Botetourt and Fincastle counties, from which General Lewis marched against the Indians, under Cornstalk. At the mustering place, known as Camp Union, Fort Savannah was built, with Donnelly and Fort Springs not far away.
Kate’s Mountain, near White Sulphur Springs, offers one of the greatest displays of native flora in the United States. Here are many specimens of the 1,650 flowering plants in the state, including the rare box huck- leberry, some colonies of which are 600 years old, and the famed Kate’s Mountain clover.
Organ Cave, near the border of Greenbrier and Monroe counties, has been explored for more than a mile and is the only cave in the state lighted by electricity. Many curious formations of stalactite and stalagmite are found in it. Rapp Cave, near Frankford, is another interesting cave.
Near Union is the old Rehobeth Church, built of logs in 1786, and dedicated by Bishop Francis Asbury, the first Methodist Church in America, west of the Alleghanies.
Elmwood, near Union, built by Hugh Caperton, and Walnut Grove are among the many fine old mansions that grace the Greenbrier Valley.
Old Sweet Springs, where have been entertained many prominent Virginians from both the states, Salt Sulphur Springs and Red Sulphur Springs are not far away.
Beyond Peterstown, the Seneca Trial cuts across a corner of Virginia to enter Mercer county, thence by Princeton to Bluefield and on to the south.