Why That Crazy Route Over Peak Creek Mountain ?

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon Sep 25 18:10:15 EDT 2017


The V&T was looking to profit from the vast turnip trade around Gunton Park,
but that dream died in the big Turnip Famine of 1873. ;-)

Seriously, what is so crazy about the route over Peak Creek Mountain?
Seems to me to be fairly logical to follow Peak Creek to Indian Grave
Creek up to the headwaters of Beaverdam Creek.

Interstate 81 follows a relatively roller-coater profile between Newbern
and Fort Chiswell, going cross-ways over a bunch of hills and streams
oriented north-south to flow down to the New. Seems to me like that would
have required much more excavation and trestle-work than digging a short

Perhaps a better question is why did they cross the New River at Radford
instead of somewhere else?  Such as going up the New and then crossing to
follow Reed Creek all the way up to Wytheville?  Or even following Peak
Creek from the New River instead of going via Dublin?

I can only presume they took the route of least resistance.

Joe Shaw
Christiansburg, VA

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