The People, Their Homplaces, and Their Lives on the Frontier
by Fred Ziegler
This study combines the names of settlers from the original 1772-1775 Botetourt County courthouse records with the latest thinking on the conditions and events in the contemporary counties of Monroe, Summers, Greenbrier, and southern Pocahontas, West Virginia.
This first permanent settlement included 583 families on an average 200 acre tract, and these were arrayed in 19 diffuse communities along 60 miles of the Greenbrier Valley. These adventurous souls found arable land, conditioned by thousands of years of Native American occupation, but vacated because the original populations were decimated by European diseases. The remaining Native Americans were defeated in Dunmore’s War, which included 288 militia troops from this area who performed the diverse functions of ranging, fort-building, as well as fighting at the Battle of Point Pleasant.
Contemporary accounts of life on the frontier are also discussed and 132 products available at the Mathews Trading Post are listed, as are the 24 natural remedies used to treat the afflictions experienced on the frontier.
The Greenbrier Valley is special because it was a gateway through the rugged Allegheny Mountains. Many descendants of these early settlers are now dispersed across the country but return here to discover their roots.