The other day, we ventured down the road that goes past Penn Hall, an Appalachian Power-Company owned tract of land with a large home-like building that's used for conferences and such. It looks like a private residence, but it isn't. The power company built it after Smith Mountain Lake
had filled in.
But we wanted to go to the end of the road that dead-ends at the lake. An ancestor of mine, John Smith, used to own a lot of land in that area—he owned land on both sides of the Blackwater River (which is now part of the lake) in the late 1700s. The drive to the lake took us through a row of cedars.
The end of the road:
Was this part of John Smith's land? I don't know.
Here's Smith Mountain in the distance:
A closer shot:
This is a shot looking in the direction of land we own:
On the way back from the lake, we stopped by an old cemetery that was barely noticeable among the fallen leaves.
Some stones were marked, but most weren't—or maybe the markings had worn off. I couldn't find any Smiths, but this likely wasn't Smith land.
This stone marks the grave of Morgan Newbill. The dates aren't clear—18_9 and 191_.
The last name on this stone is Hancock, but I'm not sure of the other markings:
The stone of Fanny Hippingstall:
There was a stone marking another Fannie, but I can't make out her last name—only that she died in August 1909.
A huge tree guarded the cemetery:
Next to the cemetery, I looked in the direction of our land (the Brown Farm
) which would be a couple miles south as the crow flies.
The lake has over 500 miles of shoreline. So, where were we? Penn Hall Road is marked on the map below. A tiny portion of one of our hayfields is visible at the far left center of the picture below:
The three fields in the bottom left corner are our hayfields on the Brown Farm
in the picture below:
If my ancestor, John Smith, could see the land as it is today, he'd likely never believe it.
Labels: Brown Farm, Franklin County history, Morgan Newbill, Penn Hall, Smith, Smith Mountain Lake