Pictorial History


Bedford County Virginia


Thomas A. Markham

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"On The Trail of the Lonesome Pine"

Big_Spring_1905.JPG (66773 bytes)The Bedford County story begins with the Indians, the Cherokees and later, the Sioux. The Cherokees lived around the Big Spring and later groups were located near Montvale, on Goose Creek.

Wilkersons_Gap_II.JPG (56254 bytes)There were many villages in the valley and wigwams were set up on the surrounding banks of the rivers and streams. These waterways, along with the Indian trails, formed links between  various Indian capitals in the territory. One of the main Indian trails led through Wilkerson's Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains and ran westward west of Roanoke.

HotelMons.jpg (72342 bytes)Ruins have been found of Indian settlements near the site of  the Hotel Mons which was demolished to make way for the   Blue Ridge Parkway.

North_Side_Peaks_of_Otter.JPG (22942 bytes) Legend has it that the closest settlement to Bedford was apparently  on   Turkey Mountain on the Parker Road. Here  was found  an amphitheater, cut from solid rock by the Indians, which formed a council meeting place. The chief sat at the highest elevation and the lesser dignitaries below. Lower still the tribe convened and held their feasts and revels while the Chief looked on from his seat of honor. There was a campground near and  fine  specimens of tomahawks, arrow heads and pipes have been found. The Indians enjoyed this happy hunting ground until the early 1600ís when the white man came and began to usurp his land.