The Greate Road - Jamestown, VA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
N 37° 13.667 W 076° 46.933
18S E 341892 N 4121629
One of many historical markers at the site of the first English settlement in the Americas.
Waymark Code: WMQQCF
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 03/18/2016
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
Views: 3

The plaque says, "The Greate Road, also called the Maine Cart Road and the Great Old Road, connected the isthmus of Jamestown with the mainland between the James and Back Rivers. Originally, it was a path established and used by Native Americans.

In May 1607, George Percy “espied a pathway…wee traced along some four miles…the ground all flowing over with fair flowers of sundry colors and kinds, as though it had been in any garden or orchard in England” that he followed to a Paspahegh Indian settlement. Early on, the Greate Road was used regularly by colonists to move goods between outlying areas and the port of Jamestown, but as tobacco cultivation spread throughout the mainland it was used extensively for rolling tobacco.

As tobacco production increased and the colony expanded, new paths and roads developed, all of which converged on the Greate Road.

Eventually, the Greate Road extended to Middle PIantation, the settlement that grew into Williamsburg and later became the colonial Capital of Virginia and the hub of its colonial road system. By the Civil War, and after more than 250 years of continuous use, the Greate Road was abandoned.

In the early twentieth century archaeologists rediscovered sections of this important thoroughfare in the form of deeply rutted road surfaces and flanking ditches. Today, traces of it are still visible near Glass House Point.

Desandrouins’ 1781 map showing the Greate Road extending from Jamestown to Green Spring Plantation, the seventeenth-century home and experimental farm of Governor Berkeley.

Bishop James Madison’s 1807 map showing the Greate Road as part of a rapidly expanding network of roads reflecting growth and development in Virginia. Courtesy Library of Virginia Batteaux, hogshead rollers, and wagons like these were used increasingly throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to move goods throughout Virginia. Courtesy Library of Virginia"
Type of Historic Marker: Plaque

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