Staunton River Tour
Halifax County, Virginia

 Washington Passes Through Halifax

A Traveler's 1779 Sketch of the Dix's Ferry Area

"One thing I disagree with is that the home of John Dix c1778 is still standing.

The home commonly called the Dix-Ragland house is on property which I could not trace to the Dix family. It is east of John Dix's property along the Dix Ferry Road. I believe that this house was built by Joseph Motley in 1819.

A traveler came through in 1779 and sketched the Dix Ferry area. The house is shown on the western side of the ferry road. I believe it was located not far from the ferry site, just above the flood plane.

There is a fairly large cemetery with just field stones in that area. Some of these may be Revolutionary War soldiers form the Battle of Guilford Court House. This sketch has been enhanced to read the original notes.

This was twelve years before Pres. Geo. Washington came through. The Salisbury Road is to Greensboro which came about later.

There is probably no way to prove the idea about the Revolutionary War soldiers, but John Dix filed claims for transporting hundreds of soldiers and numerous wagons across his ferry in 1781. It is likely that some of the wounded died there.

Another map by the same traveler has a note: "The pointing finger is the best road it misses the dreadfull hills of Gander Cove." I thought this might be the 360 route to Halifax as opposed to the River Road. Have you ever heard this term used?"

Contributed by Robert "Danny" Ricketts of Danville, Virginia.

Last updated on September 12, 2003
Direct your comments & inquiries to J. Dan Shaw

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