The Road Less Traveled is Sometimes Most Interesting

Historic marker

Last week at the Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia annual conference I met a wonderful travel blogger who’s site is call Pullover and Let Me Out. When she told me that she looks for off the beaten path historic posts, I thought of the one in downtown Christiansburg. Did you know that the first rifle duel in Virginia took place just 2 blocks from The Oaks Victorian Inn? When we got home from the conference I started looking for more markers here in Montgomery County. There are quite a few.


In this town occurred the duel between Thomas Lewis and John McHenry in May, 1808. This was the first duel with rifles known to have taken place in Virginia. It resulted in the death of both men. Dr. John Floyd, later Governor of Virginia and member of Congress, was the attending surgeon. This affair contributed to the passage in January, 1810, of the Barbour Bill outlawing dueling in Virginia.
Virginia State Library, 1951.

Of course there is one for Virginia Tech


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University was founded in 1872 as a land-grant college specializing in agriculture and mechanics. The land-grant college system marked the beginning of scientific agricultural and industrial instruction in the Commonwealth. Over the next century Virginia Tech became nationally recognized as a comprehensive research university with a broad range of scientific, technological, business, and liberal arts instruction. The 3,000-acre main campus includes the site of Drapers Meadow where settlers were killed and captured on 8 July 1755 by Ohio-based Shawnee Indians at the beginning of the French and Indian War.
Department of Historic Resources, 1996.

There is also one for historic Smithfield Plantation which sits in the middle of VT’s campus.


Smithfield, visible to the northeast, was the last home of Col. William Preston, a noted surveyor who fostered the settlement of western lands. Preston was also a Revolutionary officer, Indian fighter, and a member of the House of Burgesses. Built soon after 1773, Smithfield is one of the earliest surviving houses in southwestern Virginia. The house is a remarkable expression of architectural sophistication in what only a generation before had been the edge of the frontier. Smithfield remained in the possession of Preston descendants for for almost two hundred years.
Department of Historic Resources, 1994

These are just 3 of the dozen here in Montgomery County. How many will you find on your next visit to The Oaks Victorian Inn? Book a room with us and Happy Hunting.

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