Archive for August, 2010

Danville, Pittsylvania County Posters

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

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History Posters -Danville, Pittsyvlania Co. VA

This is a part of the Clay Poster (No. 24)  showing a map of a large 9,600-acre land grant beginning above the Main St. Bridge in Danville an north to the ridge of the White Oak Mountains.  $5.00 (Large) plus actual postage.  For detail cut and paste htmls.

Posters, Charts and Historical Charts by Robert “Danny” Ricketts

102 Parrish Road Phone: 434-792-4943
Danville, VA 24540 Email:

SHIPPING & Handling: Priority Mail $5.00. Additional posters are shipped at no extra charge in the same mailing. Large posters are rolled in a large triangular priority tube; smaller posters are shipped in a priority box.

1. William Byrd’s 1728 Survey of Boundary Line Va-NC Map with campsites, entries from Byrd’s diary, area in Pittsylvania Co. in the Danville area. 11″ X 14″. $3.00

2. Main Street/Canal area of Danville, Virginia in 1871 showing covered bridge and 1796 Mill. Limited printing of 500 copies, each signed and numbered by artist Danny Ricketts in 1993. The original site for the beginning of Riverside Cotton Mills (now Dan River Inc.) is traced back to the original land grant. 11″X14″. $3.00

3. Danville, Virginia 1819 Property Owners for the first 119 lots shown on map. Name and date of purchase of the first lots sold beginning in 1796. Much more historical information. 11″x14″. $3.00

4. Danville, Va. Property owner tax lists for 1797 and 1819. Exact copies of the original hand written court records. 11″X 14.5″. $3.00

5. Map of Lots in Danville, Va. 1877 showing businesses and property owners. 11″X17.5″. $3.00

6. Capt. John & William Dix, Revolutionary War Patriots. Much history about Pittsylvania Co. including a list of the 30 members of the Committee of Safety, Oath of Allegiance, List of the 27 Revolutionary War Captains, Lieutenants, and Ensigns. Dix claims at the Court of Claims including hundreds of soldier, horses, and wagons transported across Dan River at Dix’s Ferry. 11″X14.5. $3.00

7. Porter Flagg (b 1808 Mass.) Stagecoach Driver. Early Free Black Property Owners. Flagg Island. Maps of Flagg Island and property on Dan River. 11″ X 14″. $3.00

8. Stage Line Map circa 1830. Milton NC to Fredericksburg Va. Cross Stages to Danville, Lynchburg, Richmond, Orange Court House, Charlottesville Goochland Court House. The line continued to Powelton, Georgia. List of distances between taverns and Court Houses. 1830’s woodcut of stage. 11″ X 13.5″ $3.00

9. Historical Map Danville, Virginia area. Roads Streams Houses Mills. Entries from President George Washington’s Diary: crossed Dan River here in 1791. 11″ X 14″ $3.00 (#20 below is a larger revised edition of this poster)

10. Land Grants Danville Va area. William Wynne (3,500 acres) photo of his Wynne’s 17th century 200 lb iron family chest from England is on poster. Other land grants include Nathaniel Terry, Absolom Bostick, Thomas Barnett, John McClain, William Travis, John Armstrong, Lewis Green (Chiswell), John Boyd, Edmond Floyd, John Cargill, William Hogan, and William Cornelius. Info on Indian Villages, First Blacks, Water Powered Grist Mills (Wynne’s Mill c 1754). 17.5″ X 22.5″ $5.00

11. Col. John Donelson’s migration from Pittsylvania Co. to Nashville, Tennessee area in 1779. Map shows parts of Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, and Illinois. Donelson was in charge of about 30 boats with 40 families who traveled by water 985 miles down the Holston, and Tennessee Rivers and up the Ohio and Cumberland to Nashville. Capt. James Robertson led men and animals over land to meet the others there. Over 100 names of the early setters. Entries from Donelson’s Diary of the trip. Daughter Rachel, born in Pittsylvania Co., was 12 years old during the trip and later married President Andrew Jackson. 17.5″ X 22.5″ $5.00

12. 1850 Historical Map of part of Pittsylvania Co. Roads Streams Houses Mills. Chalk Level, Mt. Airy, Markham, Sonans, & Greenfield Church. NE of Chatham, the county seat. 11″ X 17″ $5.00

13. Last Capital 1865 Map. Danville showing the location of houses where the Confederate Cabinet stayed at the time of the surrender at Appomattox Court House. Sutherlin Mansion & Prisons where thousands of Union Soldiers died. 11″ X 22″ $5.00


14. 80 Indian Tribes of Virginia & 127 Powhatan Villages named. 17″ X 22″ $5.00


15. Dan River Plantations & Mills 20 sketches with Historical Info. Dan’s Hill, Berry Hill, Ferry Farm, Briarfield, Oak Hill, Oak Ridge, Laurel Cliff, Bachelor’s Hall, Belle Grade, Bridgewater, Ferry Farm, Homes of Wm Bean, Nicholas Perkins, Thos. Harden Perkins, Wm Wynne, Robt Payne, John Dix, Joseph Motley, Thomas Fearn, John Dix Ordinary, Barnett & Townes 1796 Grist Mill, & Wynnes 1754 Grist Mill. History of each.  Dan’s Hill is one of the plantations.Col. Thiis was the home of Robert Wilson (b 24 Jan 1789 d 1873), who married Catherine A. Pannill. The children I have listed are John, George, Samuel Pannill, Robert A., William, Maria C., Mary D., Caroline (married Redd) Wilson, Harriet A. (married Cunningham). Not all of the children are named in his will, which was presented, to the court on 17 Nov 1873. The Dan’s Hill home tract of 1,562 acres was willed to his son Robert A. Wilson. The “Sandy River Tract” of 1,900 acres was divided between daughters Harriet A. Cunningham and Caroline E. Redd. The ten-acre “Scarce’s Mill Tract” of ten acres went to son Robert A. Wilson. Son Samuel P. Wilson had been “already advanced an equal portion of my estate.”

 17.5″ X 22.5″. $5.00


16. Samuel Harris’ Fall Creek Plantation. Pittsylvania County, VA. Survey of 6,592 acres. Col. Samuel Harris commanded Fort Mayo during the French & Indian War and was present when George Washington inspected in 1756. 17.5″ X 22.5″. $5.00


17. Lynchburg Republican June 23rd 1845. Newspaper reprint. Death of President Andrew Jackson reported. Andrew Jackson’s wife, Rachael Donelson, was born at Markham in Pittsylvania County. In this newspaper it is said that the President was laid to rest at the Hermitage, Nashville, Tennessee. (See # 11 above – about John Donelson, Rachael’s father, and their migration to the Nashville area in 1779.) 23 in. x 35 in. (actual size of the original newspaper) $5.00


18. Principal Engagements of the Civil War. Location, dates, Commanders and Men Engaged. 16 inches x 20 inches. $5.00


19. Danville, VA Railroads 1910. Richmond & Danville, Lynchburg & Danville, The Piedmont, Danville & Western (“Dick & Willie”), Atlantic & Danville, Danville Street Car Co., Words to the ballard “Wreck of the old 97”, photos of wreck. 17.5″ x 22.5″ $5.00


20. President George Washington’s Southern Tour 1791 – Entries are shown from George Washington’s Diary beginning June 1, 1791. Areas shown are Danville, Virginia; part of Pittsylvania County, Virginia; and Caswell County, North Carolina. George Washington spent the night of Friday, June 3, 1791, at the Whit Gatewood house, crossed on Dix Ferry, and had lunch at Dan’s Hill with Colonel John Wilson, who was County Lieutenant during the Revolutionary War. Shown on the map are Laurel Cliff, Bridgewater, Bellegrade, and the homes of Thomas Fearn, Joseph Motley. Also shows Walters’ Mill, Dix Mill, Wynne’s Mill, Townes & Barnett’s Mill, Worsham’s Mill, Bryant’s Mill (Keen’s Mill), Beaver’s Mill, Clark’s Mill. Also shown are roads and waterways. 17.5″ x 22.5″ $5.00


21. Danville, Virginia in 1829 Drawing based on Thompson Coleman’s writing concerning early homes and businesses of Danville. This is the area from Grove Street Cemetery (c. 1827) down to the canal and Dan River. Residences of Capt. James Lanier (first mayor of Danville), John Ross, George Price, John W. Paxton, Capt. William Linn, Capt. John Noble, Robert Payne Esq., Samuel Patton, General B.W.S. Cabell (his son, Confederate General William Lewis Cabell, was born in this house and was later mayor of Dallas, Texas), Letha Flagg (free mulatto woman and ancestor of the late Rev. Doyle Thomas), Dr. Nathaniel T. Green, and many others. Some of the businesses shown on poster are: the newspaper “The Reporter”; William F. Russell, Tailor; Bell Tavern (later a bank where part of the Confederate gold was kept during the time Danville was the last capital of the Confederacy); Robert Carter’s Hatter Shop; Tan Yard; Market House; Pannil’s Tobacco Warehouse; Saw Mill with Sash Saw; Flour Mill; Mill with stone for grinding; Linseed Oil Mill with a cotton gin and wool carding machine; Roanoke Navigation Company Canal; Williams Tavern; Dye House; and many more. 11″ x 14″ $3.00


22. Capt. John Noble (1785-1858) Estate in North Danville, VA, listing his children and dates. John Noble was born on November 14, 1783 in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was lost at sea and his mother moved to Petersburg, Virginia before 1796. He was apprenticed to a shoemaker. Some time before 1807, he ran away and settled in Danville. In Nov. of 1821, he bought out Henry Neal’s Shoe Shop. He became wealthy and a large land owner. When Capt. Noble died in 1855 he owned 240 acres north of the Toll Bridge (Main Street). The Richmond and Danville Railroad, completed from Richmond in 1856, is shown on the map (the original was prepared in distribution of his property). The western boundary of the property is the Danville, Franklin and Botetourt Turnpike, which went 93 miles to Fincastle. The first five miles was completed in 1839 by contractor Robert Townes of Danville. There are many tidbits of historical information about this area of what is now Danville. The location of the old Worsham burial ground is shown. 17.5″ X 22.5″. $5.00


23. Ricketts Land Grant and Homestead at Dry Fork, VA 1780 (near White Oak Mountain) History of the Town of Dry Fork. Ten generations of Ricketts in Pittsylvania County (photographs of six generations). Early records misspell the name “Rickles.” 17.5″ X 22.5″. $5.00


24. Charles Clay Land Grant survey 1755. 9,600 acres from Dan River in Danville to the crest of White Oak Mountain along the Franklin Turnpike. Much Clay family genealogy. 17.5″ X 22.5″. $5.00


25. Confederate Hospitals Danville, VA. Locations of hospital buildings and list of about 700 men who died there during the Civil War. Poster shows a Map based on drawing made by Freedmen’s Bureau in 1865. These Confederate buildings were confiscated at the end of the Civil War. The complex of thirty buildings shows eighteen numbered buildings to be sold as “not of use to the military or government.” One of these buildings was later used for the first Black church in Danville. The High Street Baptist and Loyal Baptist Church congregations came from this first church. 17.5″ X 22.5″. $5.00


26. Confederate soldiers named Ricketts (Ricket, Rickets, Ricket, etc.). 136 names of soldiers 1861-1865 with rank, company, regiment and state. 17” x 22”. $5.00


27. “Roanoke Navigation Co. Danville, VA., Bateau Passage & Water Power”. Map of Danville showing the 3,200-foot long canal with four locks, which was completed in 1824. Several old maps are pictured including 1. A very early map of Winns (Wynnes) Falls and Dan River along the VA/NC line. This is prior to 1793 when the Va. Legislature established Danville. 2. A map prior to 1824 when the millrace was converted to a canal for bateau. Shows the 1796 mill of Barnett & Townes and the Old Saw Mill. 3. An 1854 map showing the Toll Bridge, the Basin, and three of the four locks (each 90 feet long). 4. An 1877 map of the Free Bridge and canal. 5. Drawing of the old mill near the locks. The Roanoke Navigation Co. completed the canal around the “Great Falls” or “Wynnes Falls” in 1824. The canal system here at Danville, Virginia extended the navigation from the Atlantic Ocean in the area of Roanoke Island/Nags Head, North Carolina up Dan River another 65 miles to Danbury, North Carolina. The Danville Canal system was 3,200 feet long, 30 feet wide and 3 feet deep. There were four locks 90 feet long which raised or lowered the bateau (batteau) barges a total of 27 feet. Traffic was heavy. The 1849 annual report showed that 3,607,341 pounds of manufactured tobacco passed through the canal. Shows the location where Confederate Gen. William Lewis Cabell was born. He was Mayor of Dallas, Texas after the War. Also, the location of a Civil War Gun Factory where Confederate carbines (Keen and Walker) were manufactured. James M. Walker, Mayor of Danville. The site of the “Wreck of the Old 97” (Sep. 27, 1903) is shown on the opposite side of Dan River. There is a Revolutionary War era description of the falls at Danville by Capt. John Smith of the 6th Maryland Regiment on Dec. 25, 1780. There is information about the “True Friends of Charity Colored Church, which was built in 1870 opposite the Court House. The decline in use of the canal began with the completion of the Richmond and Danville Railroad in 1856. The Danville Depot was a short distance east of the locks. Gen. Benjamin W. S. Cabell was the leading force in construction of the canal. He also promoted the first cotton mill in Danville, which evolved to what is now Dan River Inc. Waterpower from the canal provided electricity for what was the first municipal electric company in the United States. 17.5″ X 22.5″. $5.00


Poster #28 1922 Chatterbox GWHS Danville VA. Exact copy of the first issue in 1922 of the Chatterbox. Originally Danville High School (later George Washington High School) Danville, Virginia. $3.00


Poster #29 Rickett Steamer Built in 1858 (50 years before the Stanley Steamer) Limited Print Signed by artist. Only 500 printed in 1989. The vehicle was demonstrated in the presence of Queen Victoria in London in 1858. 11” x 17” on thick paper. $5.00


Poster #30 Old 97 Engine – weight, HP, wheels. Bells, Whistles. The new engine (36 days from the factory) that wrecked in 1903 with specifications from the Baldwin factory in Philadelphia. The famous song was the first to sell a million records in the 1920s. On quality photographic type paper. History of Old 97
Nov. 2, 1902: The 57th United States Congress authorized a $140,000 annual contract between the U.S. Postal Service and the Southern Railway to carry mail from Washington, DC to Atlanta, Georgia. Substantial penalties would result if the mail was late arriving in Atlanta.
Dec. 5, 1902: Daily one way trips from Washington to Atlanta begin by train Number 97.
Aug. 21, 1903: Engine #1102, a 4-6-0 Class F-14, Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphia.
Sept. 27, 1903: 8:00 am: Train Number 97 pulled by engine #1102 encounters a delay of one hour waiting for mail from New York and Philadelphia. It leaves Washington’s Union Station at 9:00 am. 1:00 pm: The express mail train #97 reaches Monroe, Virginia one hour behind time after traveling 166 miles along the 640 mile run. Engineer Joseph A. “Steve” Broady along with firemen Albion G. “Buddy” Clapp and John M. Hodge climb aboard the train for their 168 mile run to Spencer, North Carolina.
1:27 pm: Number 97 leaves Lynchburg after a brief stop…1 hour and 10 minutes late.
2:43 pm: Train Number 97 leaves the rails at a high rate of speed entering the curved trestle over Stillhouse Branch in North Danville. It careened into the stream 45 feet below, killing eleven and injuring six.
Oct. 1, 1903: Engine #1102 is towed to Spencer, North Carolina to be rebuilt.
Jan. 6, 1907: Train Number 97 is discontinued when Congress fails to allocate it’s funding.
1930: Engine #1102 scrapped in Princeton, Indiana.
16” x 20” $5.00

31. Col. Nathaniel Wilson (1780-1857), a brother of Col. Robert Wilson of Dan’s Hill, lived in what is now Danville on his “Bellegrade Plantation,” fronting over a mile on Dan River (Woodall’s Chevrolet to Sandy Creek near the Stratford Inn) and up to the Keen’s Mill Pond at Colonial Heights. Col. Nathaniel Wilson owned more than 80 slaves when he died in 1857. These slaves, appraised after his death, were valued at $50 to $1,200 each, and their names are shown on the poster. The Keen’s water powered grist mill and mill pond is shown at what is now Wendell Scott Blvd. When the graves were moved from the Bellegrade cemetery, seven hermetically sealed iron coffins were found with a glass plate. Col. Nathaniel Wilson’s skin is said to have looked like parchment and he wore a string tie. The comb marks could be seen in his hair after more than a hundred years. During the 1830s, Nathaniel developed his “new town” subdivision along Wilson Street, which was incorporated into the town of Danville. Ann Benedict’s vacant schoolhouse on Wilson Street was used as the Executive Office Building for the Confederate government during April of 1865 when the capital was moved here from Richmond. 17” x 22” $5.00

32. Riverside Cotton Mills was established in 1882. After more than 100 years, this company which later became Dan River Mills no longer manufactures cloth in Danville, Virginia.  Some of the oldest of the buildings have been torn down for the old brick, heart pine framing and maple flooring. There are parts of three maps which were originally drawn in 1887, 1890 and 1910. A race by the Great Falls of Dan River provided water power for a grist mill which was built by John Barnett and Halcott Townes in 1796. The race was widened for the Roanoke Navigational Canal (see poster #27) which was completed in 1824. An earlier cotton mill was operating in 1828 and Riverside was established in 1882. Mill numbers one through eight are shown.

In 1904, the Dan River Mills opened in Schoolfield. Up stream on Dan River a high dam was built to generate electricity for a mill at the crest of the hill above. Over 800 houses were built in Schoolfield Village for mill families. See Poster #33 on Schoolfield Mill and Village.

There are drawings and photographs with details about the history of the Danville mills. At one time these mills were the largest in the south. During WWII, employment reached about 18,000. Building on the “Long Mill” on the north side of the river began in 1887. The 1920s covered bridge connecting the mills is among the longest in Va. Union Street Bridge, built in the 1880s, was originally a covered bridge. There is a drawing of the covered Main Street Bridge which as replaced in 1887 by a “fireproof” bridge which burned in 1927. . This 22” x 17 ½” poster is on thick card stock paper. $5.00

33. Schoolfield Mill & Village. There are maps and over thirty (30) pictures. The Dan River Mills here and Riverside Cotton Mills nearby later merged as one company. Riverside was organized in 1882 (see poster #32 in our store under History Posters). These mills originally operated by water power. Outside of the town of Danville, the mill owned about 1,700 acres where they built the mill and over 800 houses of mill workers. Electricity, and even toilet paper, was free. The first mill in Schoolfield began operating in 1904. A Park Place Mercantile Company store trade store is pictured. Employees could spend these tokens in the store and the amount borrowed was taken from their pay. There is a photograph of the 1930 strike. There is a photograph of Nancy Langhorn Astor (1869-1964) on her 1946 visit. Lady Astor, who was born in Danville, Virginia, became the first female to serve in the English Parliament. When she entered parliament, women in the United States could not vote. There are many interesting details and old photographs. This poster 23” x 17 ½” is on heavy card stock paper. $5.00


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