Archiver > RANDOLPH > 2006-06 > 1149910073

Subject: Notes on Muddy Creek, North Mountain - Augusta Cty > Rockingham Cty, VA
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2006 03:27:53 +0000

Rockingham County, Virginia

Rockingham County formed 1778 from Augusta County, Virginia
The area that became Augusta County was settled primarily by the Scots-Irish in the early 1730s. Formed from Orange County, Augusta County was created in 1738 by an Act of the General Assembly which provided that its territory should remain a part of Orange County until there were sufficient inhabitants to support a local government. The first Court was held in 1745. The primary religion of the area was Presbyterian and the early settlers lost no time in forming the Triple Forks of the Shenandoah Congregation. The Tinkling Spring Meeting House, the simple log structure shown at the right, was the first Presbyterian church in the Shenandoah Valley.
Augusta County Maps/Formation - 1738, 1770, 1776, 1791, and Present Day
Maps showing Formation of Virginia Counties

Upper Valley/Lower Valley ?
Today, in geographical terms, we normally think of upper as being north and lower as south. Not so during the early development of the Shenandoah Valley. In many old reference books you may find these terms used and they can be quite confusing when they speak of the lower valley and in the same breath mention Winchester (which is in the northern part of the Shenandoah Valley).
The assumption is that early settlers in the Shenandoah Valley referred to parts of the Valley as Upper and Lower for two reasons: 1) the elevation of the floor of the Valley is higher in the Rockingham County/Harrisonburg area and south than in the Frederick County/Winchester area (reason enough in itself) and therefore, 2) the Shenandoah River which runs through the Valley flows north. If they were shipping anything via the river from Rockingham County they would go "down" the river toward Front Royal and Winchester (which is north).
Along with these terms that were used you may find a few others that do not appear on today's maps or in the current records. In some of the old deeds you will find references to North Mountain and South Mountain. At that time they referred to the Massanutten Mountain as the North Mtn. and the Blue Ridge as the South Mtn. There are also various names used for the Shenandoah River such as "Sherando" (Sherundo & other spellings) and Gerundo.
Just What Makes Up the Shenandoah Valley?
Living in the Shenandoah Valley (Harrisonburg to be exact) I usually think of the valley as stretching from about Winchester to Lexington. Technically it would be the area where the Shenandoah River flows and can be expanded into whatever watersheds feed into the river. The southernmost county included in the term "Shenandoah Valley" would therefore be Augusta since it's streams and rivers flow into what becomes the Shenandoah, and the northernmost county would be Jefferson County, WVa, where the Shenandoah flows into the Potomac at Harper's Ferry. In between these two points the counties whose watersheds would feed into the Shenandoah River would be Rockingham, Page, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren and Frederick.
There are two forks of the Shenandoah River. The South Fork begins at Port Republic which is in Rockingham County. Two rivers, the North River and South River meet at Port Republic and become the South Fork of the Shenandoah. This branch flows north up the eastern side of the Massanutten Mountain range (which, by the way is a separate range and not part of the Blue Ridge). To natives, this side of the "Valley" is called "Page Valley".
The North Fork of the Shenandoah River begins above the Broadway/Timberville area. This branch flows north up the west side of the Massanutten Mountains and the two branches meet at Front Royal. The river then continues north and meets with the Potomac at Harper's Ferry.
Ephriam Love came from Lancaster co. Pa. to Augusta co. prior to 1750 and settled at the head of muddy Creek in the present county of Rockingham about 8 miles NW of Harrisonburg. During the French and Indian War he commanded a company of Augusta co. militia and on Sept 2 1760, Daniel Calhoun and Major Calhoun were members of his company. Info. Virginia magazine of History & Biography, June 1990, vol vii, page 252.
Inhabitants of North Mountain, at head of Muddy Creek, petition for road from Ephraim Love's to the road from South Branch to Swift Run Gap: Ephraim Love, John Herdman, Jeremiah Hanason, Aaron Oliver, Thomas Campbell, Robert Pattison, John Slaven, Patrick Black, Robert Rallstone, John Negarry, Tomes Shanklin, John Taler, Daniel Harrison, John Foolton, Jesse Harrison, Patrick Cain.
Page 350.--5th June, 1762. John McGarry and Sarah ( ) to James Greer, farmer, power of attorney to recover a patent for the land John 401 now lives on and convey same to Archibald Hopkins. Teste: Ephraim Love and John Hopkins. Page 352.--17th September, 1763. John Megarry and Sarah by James Greer, attorney, to Archibald Hopkins (John, formerly of Augusta, but now of North Carolina), 40, 170 acres on Muddy Creek on a line of Pincher's old place. Teste: John Archer, Wm. Hyde. Delivered to Thomas Hopkins, the grandson of grantee, who produced the original patent for the same lands in testimony of his right to have the same as per receipt filed with the deeds of this same date, 19th January, 1814. (Receipt says Thomas is entitled to the land by devise from Archibald, his grandfather.)
Page 82.--20th March, 1759. Robert Ralston and Martha (her mark) to Thomas Campbell, 6, 40 acres on a branch of North River called Muddy Creek. Teste: Ephraim Love, James Bruster, Jno. Davison. Delivered: Archibald Hopkins, March. 1763.
Page 772.--4th September, 1764. Thomas O'Neal to Archibald (Ersbald) Hopkins, 4, 27 acres on a branch of Muddy Creek; corner Wood's land. Teste: Ephraim Love, Jno. Hopkins, Geo. Baxter.
Page 443.--17th June, 1771. Ephraim Love to John Hopkins, on head branches of Muddy Creek, part of tract whereon said Love now lives. Teste: Silas Hart, Daniel Smith, Jno. Grattan, Jno. Steed, Jno. Gorden.
Muddy Creek comes off of the Dry River at about Rushville just west of Harrisonburg. The creek crosses Route No. 33 at Hinton moving north it goes through Mount Clinton to Stutz Mill and ends just past the intersection of Route 442 (Sparkling Springs and Singers Glen) at Route No. 777 (Well Hallow).

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