The Lewisville and Yadkin County Historical Society hosted the annual Shallow Ford Walk on Saturday that began with an overview on the subject and eventually culminated at the site of a Daniel Boone Memorial.
Author Randall Jones explained to the audience of around 38 people how fortunate the community is to have a bronze Daniel Boone memorial at the opening site of Mulberry Fields Road, also called the Daniel Boone Trail. The memorial was donated by The Daughters of the American Revolution of the Colonel Joseph Winston Chapter, said Jones.
Jones said it was his passion for Daniel Boone and history and heroes of the American Revolution, especially in the South, that drives him to pursue local history and write about it.
In the Shallow Ford battle, which was fought in October of 1780 near the town of Huntsville in Yadkin County, one Patriot and 14 loyalists were killed along the road. A poplar tree he described as at least 250 years old remains standing, helping to mark the site where the bloody battle took place. Also along the trail, a lone Patriot burial site belonging to Captain Henry Francis of the Virginia Militia is marked with a tombstone and records his death as October 14, 1780, the day of the battle.
Kyle Stimson, author of “Great Wagon Road in Forsyth County,” offered insights and historical perspectives along the Great Wagon Road trail along with Andrew Mackie, president of the Yadkin Historical Society. Stimson said each side felt it was being patriotic but the division proved to be too much to overcome. Ultimately, the situation became so dire that it resulted in a “kill or be killed situation,” said Stimson.
Historical Society volunteer Anna Black, originally from Knoxville, Tenn., said “I really do believe it is something in my DNA that pulls me back here. I am drawn to real people,” she said.
Yadkinville resident Richard Hauser said he read about the walk and is happy he participated. Hauser said he grew up fishing in the area and said he is amazed so much history happened all around him. He said he would like to study more about Yadkinville history.
Tom Boyd of East Bend said it is important to “remember our kin and not forget history.” His wife, Tammy Boyd, remarked on the chilling sound that once must have echoed throughout the local area as Cornwallis’ troops pursued settlers along the once highly traveled thoroughfare.
According to the information provided by Mackie of the Yadkin County Historical Society, Charles Hunt, a real-estate developer, established the town of Huntsville in 1792 and the town, ideally located for business, flourished in trade for the next 100 years.
In Huntsville five main roads intersected. They were the Great Wagon Road, also known as the Georgia Road; the Irish Ford Road, now Farmington Road, which ran to the Irish Settlement at Salisbury; the Island Ford Road or Sherrill’s Path, which connected the Yadkin River with the Catawba River; and the Mulberry Fields Road, which connected Salem with Mulberry Fields, and is now Wilkesboro and points west.
From Forsyth County three main roads ran to the Ford, the Great Wagon Road, the Cape Fear Road to Fayetteville, and the road to Salem.
These roads were once the routes used during the Westward Movement of the United States and traces of them remain visible.
A highlight of the walk was Yadkin County Forest Ranger John Kessler’s identification of foliage along the deeply cut routes which including winding vines of the muscadine grape. He illustrated how to determine the ages of two large boundary oaks found along the trail and explained how knowledge of forestry helps expound on the history of traveler’s habits.