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Roads

The Great Road, the Valley Road, and the Valley Pike were different names for the road that carried Germans and the Scotch-Irish from Pennsylvania into the south.  The Rockbridge area was a natural stopping off point with its rich farmland, abundant water and mild climate.  This road, from the 1700s, developed from an Indian path, to a toll road, to a public road, to a two-lane then four-lane U.S. Highway.  

Eventually it became Interstate 81 going 855 miles from the Canadian border in upstate New York to Dandridge, Tennessee.  It largely traces the paths created down the length of the Appalachian Mountains by migrating animals, American Indians and early settlers.

“Our greatest difficulty is the roads. It has been raining in these mountains about six weeks. It is impossible to get along. It is that which has paralyzed all our efforts.”​

 - General Robert E. Lee in 1861